Welding is a difficult and time-consuming process. In addition to that, it also comes with a safety risk. Without proper protective gear and due vigilance, you may be prone to serious injuries.
Work boots are crucial parts of said protective gear as they protect your feet from a variety of injuries. With a steel toe cap at the helm, this protection is further accentuated. So it is important to know what the best work boots for welding (with steel toe caps) are.
And that is exactly what this article hopes to achieve by reviewing a variety of work boots that will protect you from all sorts of dangers of welding.
Why Do You Need Special Boots for Welding?
Here are the reasons why you would want to own a pair of special boots for welding.
- Reduces risk
The risks associated with welding require boots of higher quality in order to be alleviated. You need to work with a lot of harmful chemicals that may damage ordinary footwear.
Furthermore, sparks resulting from cutting metals can rain down or flow away and potentially create a multitude of issues. Working boots help avoid that.
- Saves Your Skin
Again, the damage potentially caused by welding isn’t limited to simply your footwear or environment. It can greatly affect the skin of your feet as well. Chemicals and sparks may seep through the fabric of the footwear and may cause lasting damage to your feet.
You absolutely need the best welding work boots for issues like these. Additionally, these work boots allow you to work for longer hours, much more comfortably.
6 Best Lace-Up Work Boots
There are multiple varieties of work boots, including lace-up, pull-up, etc. and the right one for you depends completely on personal preference. So we have divided various types of work boots to better filter your search.
In this section of the article, we will be going through 6 of the best work boots for welders that are of the lace-up variant.
Timberland is one of the best companies when it comes to delivering high-quality boots at affordable prices. This product maintains the same integrity.
Let us first talk about the absolutely top-notch construction. The footbed of the boot is made of durable polyurethane. And the outer stitching is done with Kevlar, which makes that the boot very tough and heat resistant.
The soles are made of pure rubber, and as we know, rubber is resistant to oil and fat. So it is quite slip-resistant and goes a long way in protecting you from accidents. The highlight of the boots, however, is the Met guards. These protect the laces from serious damage by giving it a protective shield.
But it’s a shame that it doesn’t cover the entirety of the laces. The met guards also give the boots a larger shielding range in general and thus increases the area of protection. And the only issue with it is that the attachment is very weak, and there is a possibility that it may fall apart.
These boots do not only care about toughness, however. It provides quite a bit of comfort as well by giving you a soft cushioning layer on the inside of the boots.
This one is made of 100% pure leather. This makes the product not only attractive but also very durable and long-lasting. Speaking of looking attractive, this product looks aesthetically pleasing. Multiple customer reviews suggest that this is one of the best looking work boots out there.
Speaking of the construction, it comes with rubber soles. These rubber sole help in making the boots much more comfortable to wear. Additionally, it makes it completely resistant to electricity.
But you would expect that the rubber soles would make the boots resistant to oil and skid. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t meet expectations. There is a good chance that oil and skid will affect the boots. The boots are also not quite resistant to slips, which may result in potential accidents.
However, it does try to make up for these flaws by some unique features as well. For example, it comes with a padded collar that increases stability and comfort at the same time. It is also completely waterproof, and so any possibility of dampness is nearly non-existent.
Instead of using traditional leather, this product uses full-grain leather. It is resistant to both oil and water and thus prevents all sorts of dampness. We can say the same about the synthetic soles. They are completely oil and slip-resistant, and this is primarily because of the rubber construction on them.
Like the first product on the list, this one also comes with a met guard. It protects the laces and keeps them safe. Again, the met guard also gives you a much wider range of protection and adds an extra layer of security as well. Additionally, the attachment is perfectly solid and doesn’t fall apart like the Timberland boots.
These boots give a special emphasis on comfort as it comes with a Smart mask PU cushioned insole for added comfort. If that wasn’t all, it also allows you to remove it and thus gives you control over your comfort.
The only noticeable flaw in these boots is with the toe box. There have been multiple customer complaints regarding the tight toe box and the inaccurate sizing. You may be forced to buy one or two sizes up for a perfect fit.
These work boot are among the most budget-friendly work boot available in the market. Even at a low price, however, these still manage to deliver a terrific performance, great comfort, and fantastic durability. The specialty of these boots is the emphasis on waterproofing.
And these boot are perfect for people working in shipyards or pipeline industries. Naturally, the boot come with rubber soles that are slip-resistant, and that makes them even more suitable for shipyards. The outer covering is made of full-grain leather that makes the boot resistant to oil along with water.
Not only that, but it also comes with proper insulation for resistance from electricity. Additionally, these boots contain PORON materials that are unique to these boots only. These materials help in controlling the temperature of the boots and give you more comfort.
Speaking of comfort, the product contains very comfortable insoles, and the footbeds are perfectly contoured to your liking. Thus, it allows you to work long hours in this one. The only issue comes with the sizing as many customers have complained that their general size doesn’t fit them properly.
This is the second product from Timberland, and that goes to show how reliable and trustworthy this company is. Once you become acquainted with the features of this particular product, you will believe that notion even more strongly. Firstly, these boots are made of 100% pure and authentic leather.
The pure leather construction makes the boots not only attractive to the eyes but also very efficient and durable. Speaking of attractiveness, these boots definitely rank very high in that department for its sleek design and aesthetic. Secondly, the soles are made of pure rubber that makes them completely resistant to oil and slips.
Thirdly, they come with the Timberland trademark PRO 24/7 Suspension technology. This technology is geared to increase your comfort. It significantly reduces any and all foot fatigue, and it also adds a cushioned insole to the mix that accentuates the comfort even more.
Lastly, it has completely accurate sizing, which is even rare for some of the best welding work boots. So that is a hassle that you don’t need to consider in these boots.
When it comes to the flaws, there are two notable ones. Firstly, we have to talk about the weak arch support that makes walking in these boots for long hours a massive chore. Secondly, these boots come with a large seam at the back that may be painful for a lot of people.
These boots are extremely underrated. They provide fantastic durability and construction, great functionality, amazing comfort, and convenience at an extremely low price. This is one of the cheapest pairs of boots on the list, and you couldn’t have guessed that unless we told you because of their amazing features.
Firstly, let us talk about construction. Like most boots, these have an outer covering of full-grain leather, and the insoles are made of rubber. Thus they are resistant to water, oil, and slips.
But the thing worth mentioning is that these use a Goodywear Welt construction, which is arguably the strongest type of construction for boots. This maximizes the durability of the boots. Secondly, these boots really care about your comfort. It comes with PU cushioned insoles for more comfort.
Thirdly, it also makes the boots convenient to use. It has absolutely accurate sizing, which is a blessing while buying the boots. Again, these come with speed hooks that make them very easy to put on and take off.
However, like any boots that come at such a low price, these ones come with a few flaws. Firstly, these aren’t entirely waterproof. In fact, these are quite susceptible to water. Secondly, they are not very suitable for use as winter boots.
Best Red Wing Boots for Welding
Red Wing boots are not like other boots. In terms of quality, looks, and functionality, it stands out as almost a separate entity. That is why we dedicated a separate section of the article to a very specific pair of red wing boots.
The heritage is one of the finest boots to come out from Red Wing. It may not necessarily excel in a specific department. But very few boots are as well-balanced as this one. If there is one department it excels at, though, it has to be the aesthetics. These boots look absolutely gorgeous.
And the simplistic and stylish design makes the boots very attractive, and the pure leather construction greatly enhances it. Let us now talk about the overall construction. The leather construction makes the boots very firm and durable. It also comes with synthetic rubber soles.
All of these make the boots resistant to many harmful materials. Almost all the customers who have used these boots have attested to its durability. Many have even claimed that these boots have been going strong even after 4 years of use.
If all of that wasn’t all, these boots are immensely convenient. They come with speed hooks that make them very easy to put on. Also, the sizing of the boots perfectly accurate all the time, and thus, it reduces your hassle.
Even when it comes to comfort, it makes sure the user has sufficient comfort. It has fantastic arch support that eases the pains of its user. The cushioned insole also goes a long way towards making that happen.
Moreover, the only major issue with these boot is the price. You can argue that the price is way too much compared to other boot, and quite a fair argument can be made that it is overpriced.
Best Pull-On Welding Boots/Mid-Calf Height
So far, in the article, we have only talked about lace-up welding work boots. Another variant of work boots is pull-on work boots. In this section of the article, we will be taking a look at 4 pull-on boots that you should consider buying.
This boot from Irish Setter comes with some of the most unique and attractive features. Some of these are only unique to this one only. For example, these boots have anti-microbial treatment given in the lining of the boots. This achieves so many things, including more safety and more comfort.
Again, it is one of the most heat-resistant work boots out there. The soles can tolerate up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit, which is nothing short of incredible. In fact, this is one of the best heat-resistant boots for welding. The heels of the boots are also extra-large at 15 inches, which significantly increases the stability of the boots.
Thus, these boots are very comfortable and convenient to use. These are also completely waterproof because of their full-grain leather construction. That also makes them resistant to oil and electricity. The rubber soles also prevent slips very efficiently.
However, the biggest flaws of the boot are the issues with its durability and temperature control. These boot have been said to fall apart after about 6 months of use. Users have also complained that it gets very hot on the inside after prolonged use.
Caterpillar, as a company, is known for its high-quality boots. It really uses the best possible materials to enhance your experience. This particular product is no different.
Firstly, the revolver features 100% pure full-grain leather construction. This high-quality leather makes the boots durable, long-lasting, strong, and resistant to most harmful materials. The soles are made out of rubber. These soles are completely resistant to oil and slips, giving you more reassurance of your safety.
Secondly, these boots are completely insulated, i.e., they do not conduct electricity. Hence, it cannot be affected by electricity making it more efficient and safe.
Thirdly, it comes with a mesh lining that is made of nylon. This feature significantly contributes to making the boots as durable as they are. The strength and firmness of the boots are greatly influenced because of this. Lastly, the boots come at a very affordable price.
It is extremely cheap, and with all these features, it is a very sweet deal. But we have to mention that you need to maintain these boots constantly to get the most out of them. These need maintenance on almost a daily basis, and that may understandably be tiring for many.
Again, these boots aren’t entirely waterproof despite having proper full-grain leather construction. This is just another case of looks being deceiving.
This pair of boots is one of the more underrated pairs of boots. You wouldn’t see them mentioned in general circles, but you can trust us when we say that these absolutely deserve your attention.
The construction is absolutely fantastic in this one. And the outer covering is made of 100% authentic leather, which makes the boots very durable and long-lasting. This quality of the leather is also completely waterproof. You will be hard-pressed to even find it damped.
A unique feature of these boots is the ATS Max Platform. It is the platform that these boots stand on. This high-quality platform provides you with maximum stability and comfort while using these boots. The soles of the boots are made out of pure synthetic rubber.
That is why these boots are resistant to oil. They also protect you from slips very efficiently. The front part of the boots has a round toe shape. A tight toe box is a problem seen in many boots of this type. But this one smartly avoids that issue through this unique feature.
But we should mention that this boot is overall quite narrow despite having the aforementioned round toe box. Thus it is unsuitable for people with wide feet or legs. It also isn’t sufficiently durable. Many customers have complained about reduced quality of performance after a while of use.
The specialty of Dr. Martens as a company is that they can provide high-quality products with fantastic functionality at a very low and affordable price. The Icon is no different. A unique feature of these boots is that it can be used by both men and women.
Although it is primarily directed towards men like most work boots, even women can make the most out of them as they are contoured in that manner. The leather used to make these boots was made in such a way that they would be specifically resistant to water.
Thus the boot cannot be affected by water and is immune to most liquid materials. The soles of these boots are different from that of all other boots. These soles are air-cushioned, and they are perfectly resistant to acid, fuel, oil, fat, etc. Very few boots consider the risk posed by acid. But these boots aren’t one of them.
Moreover, the only issue with the soles is the fact that these soles aren’t very durable. They can get ruined very quickly, and their ability may weaken as time goes on.
These boots also come with complete electrical hazard insulation. Thus, they can keep you safe, even from electricity. When it comes to safety, these cover all the possible bases.
Furthermore, the shape of the boots and the insoles are perfectly contoured. This significantly adds to the stability and comfort of the user. However, there are a few issues with the fitting, and that primarily exists in the toe area. The toe box can be quite tight for many people.
What Kind of Boots Are Best for Welding
In this article, we have discussed two different types of boots. One of them is lace-up boots, and the other is pull-on boots. Now the question is, which one is better? That is what we hope to answer in this section of the article.
Lace-up boots offer more stability. They remain tied to your feet strongly and do not come off easily. Again, they are also usually more comfortable to wear as they do not reach up to your mid-calf, and thus, it gives you more mobility. Additionally, they generally look much more attractive than pull-on boots.
But with lace-up boots, there is a possibility that the laces will be affected by heat sparks or chemicals, and that may cause the laces to tear. This is something you don’t have to worry about with pull-on boots. Some boots have met guards that protect the laces, but even they cannot do an entirely satisfactory job.
Additionally, pull-on boots are much more convenient to wear. All you have to do is slip your feet in. You do not need any spare laces or extra hassle. It is simple and effective, and that is all you really require.
What to Consider before Buying Footwear for Metalwork Boots
So far, we have discussed many things related to work boots. Now it is time to discuss the mindset you need before that. For that, we need to take a look at the features that you need to consider.
- Material Footwear Construction
The material that the footwear is made of determines the overall quality of the footwear. There are many things you expect your boots to do, and the first thing you need to look at to make sure your boots are capable of said things is the material.
For welding boots, nothing is better than leather. You need a boot that will be immune to sparks and chemicals. No other material can handle sparks and chemicals, as well as leather.
You should also look for good quality stitching. Kevlar is incredibly efficient and durable, and that is always a good option to seek out. You should also try to avoid boots with prominent crooks and crannies because molten metal often gets stuck in these crooks and crannies.
- Steel Toe Box
A steel toe box is definitely not an obligatory component of working boots. In fact, you will likely be absolutely fine even if you don’t use a steel toe box. But there will always be a risk looming over your shoulders.
Any heavy metal object can feasibly fall on your feet and potentially injure your feet very badly at any time if you are not careful enough. Having a steel toe cap with your footwear can protect you from the bulk of the damage. So it is a great advantage for your safety.
- Durability, Resilience, and Protection
These three things are tied together much more closely than you realize. Durability is almost a pre-requisite for any product, and it is more so for work boots. You don’t want to constantly replace your boots after it wears out. So you should make sure the boots are long-lasting.
For that, you need to ensure the boots are resilient to substances like water and oil that can damage the materials of your boot. Also, while we are talking about it, the boots must be able to keep you safe from the dangers of burns, electrocution, and slips.
- Comfort and Size
Comfort is an absolute essential while you are looking for boots. Remember that you will have to wear these boots for long periods of time for a long time. So you must make sure the boots are comfortable.
For that, you should try to make sure the boots are breathable and sufficient air can pass through. You should also try to see if the insoles are cushioned as that can make the boots very comfortable as well.
- Heat Resistant Material and Build
Most boots are quite heat-resistant. But welding boots require slightly more resistance to heat. This directly ties into the build as that is what determines how heat resistant the boots will be. Try to look for boots with premium leather, heat resistant soles, and neoprene construction to make sure of its resistance to heat.
Types of Boots: What Are My Options?
Here we will look at the various types of soles and shoe toes that are available in the market.
Types of Boot Soles
You can usually differentiate the different types of soles by looking at their materials. Most work boot soles are made of rubber, but not all of them are pure rubber. Some variations are given below:
- Rubber Soles: These are made of pure rubber. They are the best options when it comes to welding.
- Leather Soles: These are primarily used in dress boots. While they do offer style, they lack in terms of functionality.
- Commando Soles: These are rough and are made for heavy-duty chores. They will get the job done efficiently, but they can be a little heavy and uncomfortable to use.
- Cork Nitrite Soles: These are very lightweight and comfortable. While they aren’t as comfortable with commando soles, they still have enough functionality to get the work done.
Types of Shoe Toes
There are mainly three types of shoe toes, and the classification is made based on the shape of the shoe toe. These three types are:
- Round shoe toe
- Almond shoe toe
- Pointed shoe toe
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the best work boots:
Which is better between slip-on boots and lace-up boots?
As we have discussed, slip-on boots offer more convenience, while lace-up boots are better for stability and comfort.
Should I get work boots with laces?
You will certainly benefit from laces as they make the boots more stable. But they can also easily get ruined by sparks and chemicals. So look for a met guard as well.
Should I get steel toe boots?
Yes, you should definitely get a steel toe cap for added safety.
What is the best material for boots?
As we have said multiple times in this article, nothing beats leather. It is the most suitable for welding.
Which is the best brand of work boots?
If we had to choose, we would go with Timberland for their wide variety of high-quality boots.
Safety and security in the workplace are of utmost necessity, especially when the workplace involves something as dangerous as welding. To make sure your feet are safe from burns, infections, and other injuries, you must make sure to get a work boot made specifically for welding.