Best Shoes for Roofing
We tried on 44 shoes in-person. Then, we put them through a series of tests. This included spilling water from our water bottle onto the shoe to see if our feet got wet. We also talked to roofers to see what brands they swear by and buy time and time again. We used their insight to create this list.
In the end, the Men’s MAXwear Wedge Non-Safety Toe boot was a clear winner. The wedge sole has a ton of surface area to effectively grip the roof you are walking on. The shoe shaft comes high above the ankle with lace eyelets running to the top. You can tighten your boots for a custom fit to keep your ankle supported. These features make this shoe safe, comfortable, and efficient.
For women, we found the Danner Manufacturing Bull Run Moc Toe 6” Construction Boot to be the best shoes for roofing. This shoe is made to last with durable materials and excellent safety features.
While the MAXwear and Danner boots are the best, other boots had unique features. That’s why we picked the best roofing shoes in 7 categories.
We have the best boot for rain and snow all the way down to the best boot in sub-zero temperatures. Find the boot that best matches your working conditions and equipment preferences. If it’s on this list, know you are investing in a quality roofing shoe.
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Table of Contents
Best Overall (Men)
After testing, the MAXwear Wedge Non-Safety Toe boot is the best men’s work boot for roofing.
This roofing shoe is a high-quality leather boot designed to last. They can withstand electrical shocks of up to 18,000 volts. They also maintain almost half an inch of clearance when compressed by a 75-pound weight. These shoes are incredibly safe.
Their wedge sole provides incredible traction. This is one of the many qualities that makes them ideal for roof work. The MAXwear also features a non-slip outsole, these shoes aren’t going anywhere.
The leather upper allows your foot to breathe while you work. In any climate, you are going to be able to perform comfortably with these shoes to keep you cool. Not only are these shoes functional, but they are presentable for after-work wear. They feature a handsome tobacco-oil stain.
This roofing boot provides adequate ankle support. Featuring a high-rise ankle cuff that laces tightly to the top. If you want a work boot that works with you, check out the MAXwear Wedge Non-Safety Toe Boot.
If you have heard of Cougar Paws, consider these boots to be the off-brand alternative. They feature comparable grip performance. Their footbed support will keep you comfortable for your entire shift. The MAXwear is considerably cheaper than the Cougar Paw but is of comparable quality.
- Provides great traction
- Non-slip outsole
- Provides ankle support
Best Overall (Women)
For women, we recommend the Danner Manufacturing Bull Run Moc Toe 6” Construction Boot. This full-grain leather work boot has .5 in thick sole and electrical hazard protection. The moc toe provides plenty of protection without the risks of conductive steel.
The outsole provides incredible grip strength and is made of non-slip non-marking rubber. These shoes are handcrafted in America, so they look beautiful and support local workers. Their 6 inch shaft provides ankle support and the padded collar adds comfort.
The Danner have plenty of cushion, so they are ready to keep you comfortable all day long. These shoes work as hard as you do.
The deep leather upper contrasts beautifully with the light rubber sole. Add in the gold eyelets and say goodbye to the rugged look of men’s work boots. Instead, you have a sleek and polished boot that can be worn after hours as well.
The 6 inch heel is designed to fit a woman’s narrow foot shape. With a shorter ankle shaft, these roofing boots provide a snug fit. Exactly what you need to promote comfort and prevent injury.
Manufacturers do recommend purchasing a half size up. The Danner boots tend to run small compared to standard size charts. Fortunately, they are available in half sizes to get a near perfect fit.
For women in roofing, the Danner boot offers peak safety and comfort for a day on the job.
- Provides incredible grip strength
- Provides ankle support
- Provides snug fit
Best Steel-Toe Boots
Steel-toe boots offer several advantages to roofing. They provide extra protection for your foot and add necessary traction while kneeling.
Some people prefer steel-toe protection. The Timberland Pro boot is your best bet for quality performance. This is the best steel-toed boot on the market when it comes to comfort and performance.
Made of waterproof leather, the Men’s Timberland Pro will keep your feet dry during rain. They feature 200 grams of Thermolite insulation. This will keep your feet warm in colder climates.
The outsole is non-marking. Timberland has a patented slip-proof sole design to keep you safe on the job. It provides excellent traction on all surfaces, including a metal roof.
This roofing boot has a breathable inner mesh and is moisture-wicking. This prevents your foot from becoming too hot. It also keeps your boot lining from feeling wet and rubbing blisters as you work.
Also, this roofer boot provides ample ankle support. Such support prevents injury and exhaustion while on the job. The inner lining is fit with Timberland 24/7 custom comfort technology. This material molds to your foot for customized arch support.
The Timberland Pros are the best steel-toed shoes for roofing. Their all-weather adaptability and excellent grip make them the ideal roofing work boot.
This boot is also available in Women’s sizes. They maintain all of these great features, while being designed to fit a women’s foot. Timberland boots have an anti-fatigue system to help keep your feet comfortable all day.
Timberland boots are having a fashion moment and many people are using them for day wear. Blend in with the crowd in your work clothes with these shoes.
With a padded ankle collar and thick insole, Women’s Timberland boots offer intense comfort throughout the day.
The textured rubber outsole is designed for optimum traction. Your boots will stay put even on slippery surfaces.
- Non-marking outsole
- Slip-proof sole design
Best Sneaker Boot
For a lightweight option, try the Merrell Moab Hiking shoe. These shoes are not specifically designed for roof work. Yet, they have incredible features that will maximize your work performance.
This work shoe has both a men’s and women’s model which allows all roofers to find a perfect fit. Both shoes have suede leather construction and a breathable mesh upper sole.
The shoe is high enough to provide adequate ankle support. This also prevents debris from entering the boot and prevents injury to the foot and ankle during the workday.
The rubber outsole of this shoe is top of the line. The Vibram TC-5 sole is the best there is, ready to tackle any steep roof or slippery surfaces. The excellent grip is the performance you need in a roofing work boot.
These shoes are waterproof with Goretex lining sealing the lower seams of the shoe. This will allow you to walk through shallow puddles and work through light rains. All without getting your feet wet.
The Merrell Moab also features a protective toe cap to enhance your safety on the job. No tool is going to stub you up! The footbed cushion provides extra heel and arch support. This will keep you comfortable all day long.
One of the biggest perks of this shoe is the price point. The Merrell Moab is significantly cheaper than other safety shoes. While still providing a quality product. Perfect for if you are looking for a lightweight work shoe. The Moab still provides excellent grip and support.
This hiking shoe is a cost-effective choice. Now, they won’t last you as long as a high-quality leather boot. Yet, they are a great product that gives an incredible performance.
- Provides excellent grip
- Features a protective toe cap
- Won’t last long
Best Waterproof Boot for Rain or Snow (Men)
So far, every product we have listed is waterproof leather boots. But, they are not designed for heavy inclement weather. In dense snow or rain, your feet will eventually get wet or cold. That’s where these leather boots come in.
For men, the Wolverine Composite Toe Waterproof Work Boot is an industrial safety shoe. It will keep your feet warm and dry regardless of the weather.
Rain and snow create slippery surfaces. You need a roofing work boot with excellent traction. This will keep you safe during these conditions. The Wolverine has you covered. The imported rubber sole has the traction to keep you on the roof while you work.
Also, these boots provide significant ankle support to keep you balanced while roofing. The boot rises 5 inches from its arch to snugly support your ankle.
Removable Ortholite material forms the inner footbed. This will keep you comfortable all day long. The breathable membrane keeps your feet warm, but not too warm. This work boot adapts to your temperature throughout the workday.
What makes these boots some of the best shoes for roofing is the attention to detail in their design. Made to be flexible, these boots allow for natural foot movement as you work.
If you are on a roof during heavy rain or snow, the waterproof Wolverine Composites are the roofer shoe for you. With a flexible outsole, this roofing boot will keep you comfortable for the entire shift.
- Provides excellent traction
- Provides ankle support
- Allows natural foot movement
Best Waterproof Boot for Rain or Snow (Women)
For women, we found the Keen Santa Fe Utility and Construction boot to be the best option. Like the Wolverine, this shoe is designed to keep your feet warm and dry in the most inclement of weather conditions.
Made of 100% waterproof leather, the Keen Utility has a breathable inner mesh to keep sweat and rain off of your feet. With a tall shaft, your foot and ankle are completely supported in this shoe.
This boot has asymmetrical steel toes. This allows both feet to be comfortable and have full range of motion. This shoe is designed to perfectly fit and protect a woman’s foot.
- 100% waterproof leather
- Supports foot and ankle
Best Lightweight Boot
If you are working in a warmer climate, a lighter shoe may be perfect for your needs. These unisex skate shoes are incredible for roofing!
Designed to have good traction on any surface. This shoe design helps a skater stay on their board. Yet, the outsole of Vans Skate Shoe works just as well providing grip to a roof.
This is not a waterproof shoe. If you are working in an area that tends toward inclement weather, this shoe is not for you.
This is a lightweight shoe that provides ankle support and has a padded collar. The Van sneaker is incredibly comfortable and will work with you all day long.
These shoes are available at a low price point. While you sacrifice some durability, these shoes are accessible enough to replace frequently. If you are new to roofing, these shoes are a great option while you think about which boot you may want to invest in. Or, you may find these skate shoes work well and stick with them throughout your career!
You really can’t say enough about the sole of this shoe. The flat design has shallow grooves in a waffle pattern. This allows for plenty of surface area to come in contact with the roof. These skate shoes will keep you cool, supported, and safe for a long day on the roofing job.
These shoes have a reinforced toe to help them withstand wear and tear. They also have a lace-up upper, so they can tighten to fit your foot. Made of breathable fabric, a Vans tennis shoe will keep you cool in warm weather.
If you are roofing with a lot of sunshine and very little rain, a Vans Sk8 tennis shoe is the perfect fit for your roofing needs.
- Low price
- Provides good traction
- Incredibly comfortable
- Not a waterproof shoe
Best Premium Shoe (Men)
If you are looking to invest in a quality shoe that will last a long time, the Men’s Red Wing Iron Ranger is for you. These shoes are for serious roofers. The full-grain leather upper comes equipped with many features. Each is designed to improve your comfort and boot performance.
For starters, this boot has a bump toe with reinforced leather. This gives you more room in the front of the shoe and increases the durability of the toe cap. For a boot that is going to encounter scuffs and bumps every day, that is an advantage for this boot. You want a toe box that is comfortable and durable on a roofing job.
Red Wing Boots do not have a rubber outsole but are instead made of nitrile cork. They are the only shoe on this list to feature this material. Designed to provide excellent traction, nitrile cork is a definite perk. It is also a non-conductive material so they are not an electrical hazard.
Reinforced toe roofer boots last longer and outperform other styles of shoe. Made from waterproof leather, the Red Wing Iron Ranger is worth the price difference.
Some other features worth mentioning are the high lace front style and roomy heel cup. Both increase the comfort and support of this style of roofing boot.
One drawback is that this boot does not have a steel toe. If you prefer a steel toe to ensure foot safety, you would be better off with the Timberland Pro mentioned above.
- Provides good traction
- Has bump toe with reinforced leather
- Does not have a steel toe
Best Premium Shoe (Women)
The Red Wing Heritage boot is the women’s boot of the same quality. Made with the same goodyear welt construction, you are not going to find a nicer boot on the market. This shoe has a leather lined insole and contrast stitching. It feels as good as it looks.
This boot has a steel shank and rubber sole that is oil and slip resistant. A perfect combination for walking on a rooftop. These shoes will keep you comfortable and safe for your entire shift. You can walk with confidence in these boots!
The waterproof leather means these boots are ready for any weather. Rain or shine, your feet will be comfortable and dry in the Heritage boots.
These shoes have lace eyelets to the top of the ankle shaft. You can tighten each one to your desired fit. These boots are guaranteed to stay in place. They will not slip or rub. Over time, the leather insert forms to your foot.
The more you wear these shoes, the more comfortable they become. Eventually, your Red Wing Heritage boots will feel like a custom fit.
- Comfortable and safe
- Will not slip or rub
Best Sub-Zero Roofing Boot (Men)
The hiking shoe is designed with cold weather in mind! The XPETI Thermator Trekking Boot is perfect for working in cold temperatures.
This waterproof shoe also features 200 g Thinsulate. A material designed to keep you warm in the coldest of temperatures. It also offers a thick, insulate-lined sole. This feature offers support and prevents foot fatigue.
The rubber sole has an excellent grip for slippery surfaces, such as a snowy roof. It also features a rubber toe cap and rubber outsole. Both further improve the good traction this shoe offers.
At this price point, you are getting your money’s worth as far as function. If you will be roofing in below-freezing temperatures, these boots will keep you the warmest.
If you aren’t roofing in sub-zero temperatures, there isn’t a reason to buy these boots. Unless you just like the way they look. They are like the Merrel Boots listed above. Those shoes would function better in warmer climates. Designed for such cold weather, these boots are not very breathable. Unless you are roofing in cold weather, you most likely won’t find these shoes to be comfortable.
They are not lightweight shoes and can feel cumbersome to wear at times. Especially if you aren’t trudging through snow. But, they are durable, stable, and warm– a fair trade-off in bad conditions.
The EVA rubber sole works to insulate your foot and keep an electrical hazard at bay. There is a greater risk for an electric shock when working in wet weather. It is important for shoes designed for the snow to protect you from this risk.
- Perfect for cold temperatures
- Prevents foot fatigue
- Provides excellent grip
- Not very breathable
- Not lightweight
Best Sub-Zero Roofing Boot (Women)
For the women’s model, you see a lot of these same great features. There are 200 grams of thinsulate to keep your feet warm, and an EVA footbed. These boots will keep you warm to -25 degrees celsius.
The company does recommend sizing up for the women’s model. The boots do run a bit small. All that insulation takes up some room! However, once you feel their performance, you will be grateful for it.
These boots feature the rubber rounded toe and textured outsole. Two features that give this model excellent grip. Exactly what you want when repairing a roof. You will not slip and fall in these roofing shoes.
This boot is designed to provide excellent ankle support. With a tall shaft and padded ankle collar, your shoes keep your ankles from becoming tired. Paired with their cushioned foot bed, the Thermator Trek boots fight foot fatigue.
This shoe is as fashionable as it is functional. Wear these shoes on and off the job. With their cute exterior, these work boots are as much street wear as they are work wear. Show up to work confident in your foot attire.
- Provides excellent grip
- Provides ankle support
- Keeps feet warm
- Fit: one size smaller
Best Sneakers (Men)
The Reebok Sublite Athletic Work Shoe is an excellent roofing shoe choice. This sneaker includes many features for excellent performance throughout your workday.
For starters, these shoes are incredibly easy to take care of. The FlexWeave material is simple to clean and maintain. You don’t have to worry about taking care of these shoes because they are so low maintenance.
The Sublite have steel toe caps that are comfortable when kneeling. They also have reinforced material in the toe, which improves the durability of the shoe. The composite alloy protects against electrical hazards. So, electricity can not conduct through your shoe.
The synthetic sole provides great traction and grip for walking on the roof. It also has carefully designed groove patterns. These allow for greater flexibility and mobility– the first shoe on this list to do so. The foam midsole offers a medium level of cushioning.
These shoes are not waterproof. Yet, are great options for roofers in dryer climates or as an option for the roofer on a dry day. A benefit to a sneaker-style shoe is that the shoes are lightweight. This helps you preserve your energy throughout your busy day.
The mesh upper is lightweight and breathable, your foot will not get stuffy in these shoes! The lack of ankle shaft also allows for greater airflow during the workday. If you are roofing in a hot, dry climate, definitely give these sneaker roofer shoes a try.
- Material is simple to maintain
- Protects against electrical hazards
- Allows flexibility and mobility
- Not waterproof
Best Sneakers (Women)
The Women’s Reebok Sublite Athletic Work Shoe is also made of 100% leather. With a complete leather upper, there is not any exposed metal. Like the men’s model, the composite alloy provides electrical hazard protection.
These shoes are equipped with a footfuel injected removable foot bed. This foot bed provides above-average support for comfort all day long. Fight foot fatigue in these comfortable shoes.
The rubber outsole is slip resistant with extra traction to stick you to the roof. The manufacturer paid close attention to worker safety when designing this shoe. This design meets ASTM safety standards. This is a rare find in a sneaker.
The inner lining is made of moisture wicking nylon mesh. This is designed to keep your foot cool and dry during the work day. This is a smart choice sneaker for your safety shoe.
- Provides above-average support
- Slip resistant outsole
- Not any exposed metal
The Best Shoes for Roofing - What to Look For
Several features will help you choose your perfect fit when it comes to roofing shoes. Pay attention to the following qualities. This way, your new shoes complement your working conditions. The best shoes for roofing are the ones that keep you safe and comfortable all shift long.
Traction and Grips
When working on a roof, the traction of your shoe is critical for keeping you safe. A fall from that height could be fatal. The sole of your shoe is oftentimes the only equipment keeping you on the roof.
Look for shoes that feature non-slip soles and are liquid resistant. This will allow your shoes to grip your walking surface in inclement weather. Any feature that improves the traction of the sole of your shoe is a benefit.
When walking on a sloped roof, good traction is essential. This is only made possible by quality grips on the soles of the shoes.
Roofs can quickly become slippery surfaces. In rain or snow, you need proper traction to safely and efficiently complete the job. Pay close attention to the tread design on your roofing shoe. Features such as lugs and knots can improve the traction and grip of your work boot.
You will be wearing your roofer boot for an extended period of time. You need safety shoes that can tighten and adjust to better fit your foot. This will prevent foot fatigue and allow you to give your best performance day in and day out.
Look for features like high laces and a padded collar. They give the wearer the ability to shape the shoe to the unique shape of their foot and ankle.
This provides ample support and comfort for a long day on the job. It will also help hold your foot in place and prevent you from sliding during the workday. Not only does this preserve your energy, but it also keeps you safe.
Comfort goes beyond a good fit. The ideal roofing shoe provides plenty of support and comfort to your footbed as you meet the day’s demands.
This includes ventilation, supportive insoles, and waterproof construction. The shoe lining should have ample cushion and an overall tight fit to keep your boot from sliding up and down.
Your shoes are some of your most important gear. They should work with you, and not against you. Comfort is an important factor when it comes to deciding the best shoes for roofing.
Durable leather and quality stitching: two of the first things we looked for. When considering a pair of shoes, you want a pair that will last. Roofing is hard work and your roofer boot needs to be able to handle the intensity of your line of work.
Shoes made to last have reinforced stitching. They also have a padded collar, rubber outsole, and full-grain leather. We looked closely at the toe box, which is a high-impact area. We wanted to make sure they had reinforced material and could handle some heavy scuffing.
Walking on sloped surfaces all day can put a lot of strain on your work boot. Poor craftsmanship can lead to early signs of wear and tear on your roofing shoe. You want a work boot that is more durable than your roofing job.
This is just science. Flat soles have more surface area in contact with the roof. A roof shoe with a flat sole will have more traction than a work shoe with an arched sole or elevated heel.
Shoes that have a patterned outsole have less rubber in contact with the roof itself. This reduces the friction between the boot and roof, increasing the risk of slipping.
Elevated heels also pose a second obstacle to roof work. Even with excellent traction, it can be nearly impossible to walk up a sloped roof with an elevated heel.
When you choose the shoe you are going to spend all day in, you want to make sure the support is there. This is especially important for people with high arches. A roofer shoe with support is going to better protect your foot’s health.
The greater support will also reduce the amount of work you need to do to climb roofs. This is especially in situations where you are walking on a sloped roof or slippery surfaces. Which is every day in the life of a roofer! You need a high level of support from the rubber sole of your safety shoes.
You also need shoes that will support your ankle. With all the climbing and kneeling, your ankles can quickly wear out and be at risk for injury. Shoes with a padded collar that can tighten above the joint provide more ankle support. This is why a boot is more popular than a tennis shoe when it comes to roofing.
What About Cougar Paws?
If you have been in the roofing business for a while, you have undoubtedly heard of Cougar Paws. Top-of-the-line roofing shoes designed by roofers, for roofers.
Those very shoes may have been what you expected to see at the top of our list. Cougar Paws are great shoes, but are they the best shoes for roofing on the market? Let’s find out.
Cougar Paw Steelwalker
The Steelwalker is the model that put Cougar Paw at the top of the market. With powerful magnets in the sole, these shoes go beyond great traction and adhere you to the roof.
The Steelwalkers design is specifically for working on metal. The Steelwalkers are the only metal roofing shoes to feature a magnet in the sole. In that respect, they are in a class of their own.
Not only do they have great grip, the Steelwalker has goodyear welt construction. They can withstand years of use! Their moc toe is highly durable and you will be wearing these boots for years to come.
Too, the tall ankle shaft and padded collar provide plenty of support. The thick liner creates plenty of cushions. Steelwalker shoes are comfortable enough to wear all day.
Cougar Paw also offers two more models– the Performer and the Estimator. These are excellent models that have many of the same features as other shoes on this list. They are durable, comfortable, and equipped to keep you safe on the job.
Should I Buy Cougar Paws?
If these shoes are so great, why are they not at the top of the list?
For one, Cougar Paws can be challenging to buy. Most department stores don’t stock them. Not everyone has access to a specialty roofing store.
Their sizing also varies from traditional shoe sizes. It can take many orders before finding the size that is best for you. Because of this, it can be hard to buy Cougar Paws online. It takes an average of 3-4 tries to find the right size. Since you have to pay for shipping every time you buy and return a pair, the cost can add up.
The Steelwalkers specifically can prove to be very high maintenance. While excellent performers on the roof, it is impossible to walk in these shoes unless you are on a roof. If you are heading to many client locations a day, you would change in and out of your shoes many times a day.
The Estimator and Performer shoes face these same challenges. They don’t offer any benefit over the other shoes on this list. You are better off purchasing a shoe you know will fit and meet your needs. They are also at a lower price point.
In conclusion, we found the MAXWear Wedge Non-Safety Toe Boot to be the best shoes for roofing. They offer great performance at an accessible price. From their waterproof uppers to the cushioned lining, these shoes work as hard as you do.
If you are working in extreme condition, we have many other shoes listed that can get the job done. From sub-zero temperatures and wet climates, to boot style and shape. There is a shoe to please everyone on this list. After all, the best shoes for roofing are the ones that you feel safe and comfortable in all day long.
Every roofer is different. You need roofing shoes that will work for you. A poor choice in footwear can make the workday unnecessarily challenging. Choose a work boot from this list and see the different quality roofing shoes made in your day.
How to Buy
All of these shoes are available for sale through our affiliate links. We make a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you found a shoe you would like to try, click on its name. You are then directed to its Amazon page (except for Cougar Paws). All of these products are available with Prime shipping. So you are only two days away from rocking your new pair of roofing shoes.
We know how hard you work, and want your footwear to be as hardworking as you. These shoes have been extensively tested. We want to make sure you are getting a product that ensures your comfort and safety. You can feel secure knowing you are purchasing a quality product. These shoes fit your roofing work needs. Stay safe and comfortable in one of the best shoes for roofing.