10 Best Welding Boots 2018 and Buying Guide
Using the best welding boots can make a big difference during any welding operation. Many people might not give preference to welding boots when thinking about the welding accessories to buy.
But, using the best welding boot is as important as your welding helmet, this is one factor that distinguishes qualified welder from others. You just can’t do without welding boots as they do an excellent work of giving your feet and toe protection from flying objects and to resist fire should something go wrong.
I understand that it could be a big task searching for the best welding boot. The fact that there are many welding boots out there that claim to be of good quality does not make things easy, so I have taken my time to share my experience with various welding boot and also review the 10 best welding boots available in the market today.
I hope you take your time to explore the various welding boots I have reviewed and select the most appropriate one for yourself.
Note: To equip the other welding gear, read the posts:
Top 10 Welding Boots
Join me as I take you through the 10 best welding boots I found in the market
1. Dr. Martens Men's Ironbridge MG ST Steel-Toe Met Guard Boot
Dr. Martens Guard boot is flexible, made of non-processed leather and very rugged. It comes with padded foot beds to give your feet the needed comfort while working. There is moisture wicking in the inner lining to reduce moisture from sweat that might occur while working.
The welt construction of the boot guards against moisture from seeping in. The boot is also oil-resistant hence, the boot can resist wear from chemical corrosion.
It weighs just 38 ounces and sizes are available up to 14D
- The boot is resistant to water
- It is very tough and easy to clean.
- It has features meant to give the feet a very comfortable feel
- The boot is very durable hence, will last long
- The soles are slip resistance hence, gives a sturdy support
- It can’t be corroded by chemicals
- There is electrical hazard protection a well.
- In extremely high temperatures, the sole might melt.
2. Iron Age Men's Ground Breaker IA5016 Work Boot
This is a very good welding boot which is made of leather for welders fed up of low-quality welding boot. It comes with a synthetic sole which makes it resistant for any hazard on the floor or from flying fire arcs.
It comes at different prices and offers a firm fit for your feet. The design and workmanship put into this welding booth is impressive
- Synthetic weather makes it resistant to damages
- Protects against electrical hazards
- The boot was made with Goodyear construction featuring Kevlar sewing thread on welt
- Provides sturdy support for the feet
- Full leather construction
- Boots are heavy
- Feet could hurt after continuous usage
3. Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
This Caterpillar work boot gets you set for the task ahead with strength and flexibility. It is built with Climasphere inside to keep your sole fresh and cool while working.
There is the ASTM compliant steel toe to keep the toe against injuries. The sole is built with slip-resistant features to give your feet a grip while working.
It is made with pull up leather to give your feet extra comfort and breathability during the task.
- Goodyear welt construction
- Slip-resistant outsole gives a firm grip
- Very durable
- You will enjoy extra support with the steel shank structure
- All day support with the removable sock liner
- CAT metatarsals guard guides the feed from impact and other forms of attacks
- The boots give a very secure and supportive feeling
- You will not experience rubbing as the ankles have the support of a padded collar at the top.
- They could be heavy and cumbersome to wear
- Minor discomfort due to the metguard
4. Timberland PRO Men's 40000 Met Guard 6' Steel Toe Boot
The Timberland PRO Men's Safety boot is designed to help working professional be on top of their game. These high-performance shoes provide comfort, protection, and durability at its peak.
Designed to follow the natural shape of the feet, the Hinged Met Shield makes squatting comfortable. They are made of very light and flexible materials without sacrificing the comfort of the feet. Timberland has been meticulous in the construction of these boots so as to meet and even surpass ASTM safety standards.
It comes with a steel shank and carefully streamlined footbed. This is to give the feet the needed support. It is the perfect fit for your work deals with petrol, oil or other greasy liquid
- Protects against electrical hazards with the slip resistance ridged rubber outsole
- Constructed with flame resistant materials
- The boot features a Goodyear construction featuring Kevlar sewing thread on welt
- Resistant to oil, heat, and slipping
- It features a metatarsal shield to protect the toe from heat and other forms of impact
- Boots are heavy
5. Caterpillar Men's Revolver Pull-On Steel-Toe Boot
I do fancy the Caterpillar revolver boot because of the simple design. The simplicity did not in any way sacrifice the comfort and protection it is meant to give. It is designed with a full – grain upper leather construction. Hence, the durability is not negotiable.
The rubber sole makes it resistant to slip and corrosion from oil or chemicals, providing excellent traction. Immediately you put on this Caterpillar revolver boot, you can feel a breath of comfort for your feet. It comes with padded collar support at the ankles which helps guard against rubbing.
It weighs just 2 pounds
- Strong metatarsals to protect against any form of impact
- Quality leather material increases their level of comfort and durability
- Rubber sole provides excellent traction
- Protects against electrical hazards
- Very, very durable
- You will enjoy a dry foot as a result of the climasphere lining
- Slight discomfort as a result of the outer metatarsal steel tongue
6. Stanley Men's Dredge Steel-Toe Work Boot
I would admit, this is one of the most comfortable welding boot I have ever own. I once used it for ten straight hours without any iota of discomfort. This is not surprising as it is made with a complete grain leather.
The Stanley Men's welding boots are light hence provides a grip firm and maximum support while working. The manufacturer carefully engineered the both for reinforced durability and comfort while working. Asides, there are moisture wicking –lining to absorb sweats and prevent water from sipping in while working.
- It is very light and comfortable
- Rubber sole for excellent traction
- Steel shank for extra rigidity
- Resistant to slip and oil
- Pretty durable and affordable
- It is very durable
- Extra protection feature from the TPU toe cap
- Excellent cushion from the removable EVA insole
- Leather could be a little thin
7. 6” Steel Toe Work Boots - Timberland Style - Oil Slip Resistant Safety Shoes
If you seek a very durable good welding boot, I would recommend this 6” Steel Toe Work Boots – Timberland model. I can guarantee it’s durability because I have a friend who has been using it for 20 years.
The manufacturer carefully constructed safety and comfort into this welding boot. As a result, there are various features that ensure maximum safety for the user’s feet during operation. It was made with original Nubuck leather alongside a synthetic Goodyear welt design. Hence, it is not surprising this welding boot last long.
Thus, when you own this welding boot, you need not worry about metal shavings or flying object injuring your feet.
- Heavy-duty steel to protect the toe
- It last really long
- Features like Goodyear welt construction and the removable cushion gives extra comfort.
- Rubber outsole to guard against slippery surface
- Designed to reduce muscle strain and stress on the leg
- Guards against electrical hazards
- Welding boots are not heavy
- Price is pretty affordable
- The absence of lateral support might make the boot roll when on the slope
8. GW Men's 1606ST Steel Toe Work Boots
The GW men’s welding boot sets a unique standard for durability, comfort and protection. Made with genuine nubuck leather, they are carefully crafted to withstand all harsh welding conditions and also survive the test of time.
It features a rubber sole to give it firm traction with a steel toe for protection. You don’t need to worry about the boot being corroded by water or any other chemical as it was made with tested materials proven to guard against just corrosion
- The boot was made with Goodyear welt construction
- One of the cheapest welding boots available
- Genuine Nubuck leather guaranteed to prolong its life
- Rubber sole hence gives a firm grip on the floor
- Resistant to water and other corrosives
- If you prefer a welding boot with high heels, this might not be the best for you.
9. EVER BOOTS "Protector Men's Steel Toe Industrial Work Boots Safety Shoes Electrical Hazard Protection
When it comes to designing comfort into your welding boot, I will give it up for EVER BOOTS "Protector Men's Steel Toe. Not only for welders, but it is also appropriate for all professionals like Engineers, carpenters, handyman, construction workers, plumber etc.
The outsole is multilayered hence there are enough provisions to keep users comfortable while going about their task in the boot. Asides, there is enough steel shank to support the ball of your foot. Hence, this keeps pressure off while keeping your feet stable while walking.
It is made of pure leather hence durable with a rubber sole which provides a firm grip on the floor.
- It is very cheap
- Steel toe for toe protection
- Resistant to oil, water, and other corrosive materials
- Ability to withstand up to 12,000 volts of electricity
- Multilayered outsole to enable your feet to withstand pressure without sacrificing comfort
- Good traction even on uneven surfaces
- Very impressive customer care service
- Eyelets are prone to breaking
10. Stanley Men's Dredge Soft Toe Industrial and Construction Shoe
One of the features I love about Stanley Men's Dredge Soft Toe is that they are just so easy to clean. These pair of welding boots are soft and made of ultra-light material. Thus, you will not feel excessive discomfort due to the weight of the boot.
It is recommended for all professionals especially people who will work while standing for a long period of time. As a result, there are features (the removable EVA foot bed for instance) to provide extra support for the feet to guard against all forms of discomfort.
I also love that this boot is very durable as I have got a friend using it for the past 2 years. He credits the design of the shoe as it gives his feet extra air circulation
- It is very cheap and last long
- Flexible rubber sole gives the needed traction
- It is light in weight
- Can withstand corrosion from acid and other corrosive substance
- Detachable EVA foot bed give extra comfort, cushioning and shock absorption
- It is very easy to clean
- Boots could be somehow too loose
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT WELDING BOOTS
Welding in itself is a very dangerous activity. Hence, you are more exposed to the risk inherent in welding without the appropriate safety boots. While wearing a welding boot cold feel a little uncomfortable at first, it does a very good job of protecting the leg.
Below are some dangers to your feet when welding without a safety boot:
- Injuries and burn as a result of flying sparks
- Splatter from welding materials, irritating liquids or molten metals could cause injury
- Risk of stepping on an electric wire or sharp object
- Electric shock
- Risk of the object penetrating the sole of your feet
- Fall and slippage as a result of wet floor etc.
With the above in mind, it is obvious that the main reason for selecting a good safety boot is safety. Thus, you get to protect your leg and toes from injuries that could otherwise be deadly.
Looking at the dangers involved in not using a welding boot, it is a big risk not to use one as a welder. You just don’t go to the market and select a welding boot that appeals to you.
There are many things to be considered when choosing a welding boot. While I don’t trivialize aesthetics and design, comfort, ease of movement, materials etc are the factors that you should consider when selecting the right welding boot for you.
Key features to Consider When Choosing Safety Boots
1. Heat Resistant Material
Welding is a hot job that required continuous exposure to very high temperatures. Asides, irrespective of the type of welding you are operating, heat will always be involved.
In this regards, it is important to consider leather, as it is one of the most common heat resistant material. Hence, a leather made welding boot keeps your feet secured against extreme temperatures and some of the hazards described above like sparks, molten metal, and electric shock.
Also, leather materials are often resistant to water and other corrosive materials.
2. Slip-On or Lace-Up Design
Majorly, there are two basic welding boots design: the slip on and the lace-up design,
The lace-up design:
The lace-up boots give a more comfortable fit. With the lace, the tightness of the welding boot can be adjusted to give a secure and comfortable fit.
One con about welding boots with lace design is the risk of the lace catching fire from sparks. Asides, the lace makes removing the welding boot quite tedious.
If you prefer a welding boot with a lace design, I recommend that you opt for boots with leather guards to cover the lace. This reduces the risk of catching fire from sparks.
The Slip-on Boot
These slip-on boots do rise up the calves, giving more protection. Due to the absence of slip, it is very easy to put on and remove. Asides, the risk of the lace catching fire is off the table.
The downside is that it is not as comfortable as the lace up design.
3. Shock Resistance
In welding, you have to deal directly with electrical equipment. In other words, there could be wires on the floor with the risk of accidentally stepping on a naked wire. Asides that, there could be static discharges on conductive materials and metals which could lead to an electric shock.
With this in mind, I recommend choosing a welding booth that is resistant to shock. The best welding boot in this category is those with rubber outsoles. Most of them can withstand electric shocks up to a thousand volt.
4. Safety Toes
Welding in itself is a pretty dangerous exercise and so is the welding environment. As a result, having the best welding boots on is not negotiable. When classifying welding boots based on safety toes, there are three major types. These are the steel, composite and aluminum.
Worthy of note is that these varieties all satisfy the ASTM protection. Your choice is a factor of your personal taste and your specific working environment. I discuss the types below:
- Steel toes: of all the three types, these are considered to be the heaviest. Steel toe caps are the basic choice for protection and can conduct temperature better than other options. There are new designs that improve the comfort and fit. I also recommend that you go with a steel toe cap that is light without sacrificing safety.
- Aluminum toes: Aluminum toes can be said to be the most comfortable option. It is thicker than the steel toe type yet meets the ASTM safety requirement. They are recommended for welders who prefer a light welding boot.
- Composite Toes: While complying with ASTM safety standards, the best composite toes shoes are usually made of Kevlar, plastic or carbon fibers. It is the thickest of the three options and of course, lighter than the steel toe. Since it is non-metallic, it doesn’t transmit heat or electricity and also offers electrical safety
- Your choice when considering a safety boot is your personal preference and working condition. Should you be in an environment with the possibility of flying objects around, the steel toes option is recommended. But, if you don’t want to sacrifice comfort, I recommend the composite toe.
5. Guards – Metatarsal Boots
One of the main features to consider before selecting a safety welding boot is the metatarsal guard design. If you work in an environment with a high possibility of a critically heavy object falling, you need a welding boot with this feature. Welders will find this feature beneficial as their feet are protected from sparks, hot embers and flying materials
6. Comfort and Fit
Protection of your leg is essential while welding, it is not a license to sacrifice comfort. An extremely tight welding boot could make you sore with blisters after use. Asides, if the welding boot is not appropriate, you can suffer abrasions, corns and even worse. Hence, the welding boot of your choice should provide minimal discomfort.
While safety is very important while working, it is a bad idea to sacrifice comfort. This is because most times, you might be required to be in the welding boot all day. With time while using leather welding boots, it will stretch to conform to your feet size.
Before you buy a safety boot, make sure you are aware of your shoe size. This is particularly important if you are going to make your purchase online.
7. Sole of Your Welding Boot
The sole is another very important part of welding shoes. The material that makes up the sole should be durable enough to make your boot survive all kind of usage. Welding boots, as you will agree are usually subjected to rugged use. Hence, the sole should be tough enough to handle whatever is thrown at it.
Since work environment differs, it is essential to choose a sole appropriate for the working condition. One common factor all welding boots should have is slipping resistant. Slipping and falling while working could be catastrophic.
I discuss the basic types of sole available below:
- Rubber: Of all the welding boots available, rubber outsole is pretty common. This is a very rugged sole as it is resistant to oil, slip, and abrasion. Since I have been using my welding boot, I have never slipped let alone fall.
Before you select your rubber outsole welding boot, I advise that you make sure that it offers maximum traction for all kind of surface (dry and wet).
- TPU (Thermo Polyurethane): If you will be working in an environment prone to oil, chemical, abrasive material, and other corrosives, the TPU sole is highly recommended. Of the three types of a sole, they are the most durable.
TPU is tough, light in weight and does not split compared to other options.
- EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) Midsole: Ideally, you welding boot should give you maximum stability while working. The EVA midsole is like foam, light in weight and flexible. It is very comfortable as it gives the feeling of your feet on a cushion with every step.
- In selecting a welding boot based on the sole, your work environment should be the main determinant. Thus, it is recommended that you understand the hazards in your worksite before selecting your welding boot based on the sole.
It will be bad having to buy a pair of welding boot every year. Hence, your welding boot should be strong and rugged enough to withstand the harshness of the work environment.
9. Slip resistance
A slippery welding boot is a disaster waiting to happen. Hence, your choice of welding boot should have good traction on any surface. Most welding boots are designed with slipping in mind anyway.
For maximum safety, the overall height of your welding boot is equally necessary. There are cases you might have to bend or weld in awkward positions. Your welding boot should not give any discomfort and should be able to provide an extra level of support.
As a result, I will recommend getting a pair of safety boots at least 9 inches high which is also comfortable. Thus, while welding in various heights, your boot will be able to adjust with all positions.
The best welding boots are usually around a hundred dollars. Some could be way less and more. It all depends on the features you want in your welding boot. I would recommend that price should not be your determinant in choosing the right welding boot. A welding boot that will give all appropriate features might not be cheap
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR WELDING BOOTS
While I will advise that you clean your welding boot after every heavy use, it is also advisable to clean them regularly. Leaving dirt to build up will end up giving you a tough time when you decide to clean.
I don’t really buy any special cleaning material when I want to clean my welding boot. Although, I will still recommend some cleaning materials you can buy to help clean your welding boot. But if you like to use household items, you will find this list helpful
- Nail Polish Remover: Using a cotton wool, apply a little amount of nail polish and wipe the boots. After cleaning, you can give your boot a fine finish by adding baby powder
- Petroleum Jelly: I only use this when my boots are not very dirty. A little drop of petroleum jelly on a piece of cloth will do. All you have to do is wipe, wash and leave to dry.
- Rubber Eraser: Even the eraser on a pencil will do. This works for light marks
- Cloth and water can also be used to clean your welding booth. Again, this is applicable if the boot is not critically dirty
Steps to Cleaning Your Welding Boots:
- With a brush, get rid of dirt and mud. At times, I dip the brush in water for easy removal
- At times, I use a piece of cloth to get rid of dirt. I also recommend using polish or oil to get clean your boot
- If your boot is made of leather, the leather polish is recommended. You should please follow instructions.
- Apply spray protection on your boots. This gives optimum protection. You can spray the interior as well after taking out the insole.
Steps to Clean a Smelly leather Boots
Terrible odors from boot could be horrible. But, getting rid of them is not a big deal. Just spraying vinegar or using a baking soda can help get rid of the foul odor. Baking soda, being a deodorizer will absorb the foul odors, neutralizing the smell.
What do you need?
- Spray bottle
- Baking Soda
- White vinegar
To get rid of the bad odor, take the following steps:
- For pretreatment, you will need to spray about a quarter cup of vinegar into the boots.
- Leave the boot to dry thoroughly
- Also, you can have the baking soda in the boot overnight
- By the next morning, tap the boot to remove the baking soda
- You should have an odorless boot
Other Step to Clean the Inside of your Welding Boot
If your feet sweat a lot, you need to form the habit of cleaning the inside of your welding boot. You will need the following:
- Dry cloths
- Mild shampoo
- Damp washcloth
- Add shampoo to the insides of a boot.
- With the damp cloth, scrub thoroughly
- Wash and wipe the inside of your boot with a damp cloth
- Allow the boot to dry
Cleaning the Outside of Your Welding Boots
I will like to point out that there are different types of leather. As such, the cleaning method for each type differs. I have four basic process outlines for cleaning your welding boots:
- With a piece of dry cloth, wipe the dirt off your boot.
- Once the boot is dry, you can apply conditioning.
- With a dry cloth, apply the oil evenly to the boot.
- Leave the boot to dry and wipe off the excess oil
- With the cloth, you used to get rid of the excess oil, polish the boot using a circular stroke
Some Care tips to preserve Your Welding Boots
- Form a habit of cleaning regularly.
- Use the welding boot for the main purpose – welding!
- Be aware of the break in period of your boots
- Be careful when water –proofing your boots
- Form a habit of conditioning your boots regularly
- When the insoles are worn out, replace them
- Use leather polish where applicable
There are many types of welding boot out there. As an expert in welding, I have carefully selected the 10 best welding boot of the hundreds of welding boots available in the market.
In choosing your welding boot, I will recommend choosing something that offers maximum protection without sacrificing comfort. Your money will be worthless if you are not comfortable in a shoe which protects your feet.
With the abundance of welding boots available, you should have no issue selecting the one that is most appropriate for your work. Also, I recommend being considerate of your job requirement before selecting your boot.
The right pair of a boot will make you work safely and efficiently!
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