Did you hear the story of the 44 year old farmer who died after an electrocution while trying to weld his feed bunker wagon? Well, while the investigators blamed the 240 volt naked electrical wire and his lack of protective gloves, it is also mentioned that he had tennis shoes on.
Welders just like electricians need protective clothing. But it is not clothing only that they need. They will also need some good boots that will protect their feet. As a protective welding helmet is to your head, so is a good welding boot to your feet.
Because let’s face it, other than their eyes and hands that are prone to hazards and electrical risks, their feet too could get electrocuted if they stepped on a high voltage live wire like our farmer in the case mentioned. They are also tiny metal parts that could puncture light shoes hurting their feet. We should not forget that they suffer the risk of heavy objects falling on their feet causing impact injuries. Let’s dig down into the best welding boots.
The caterpillar men’s second shift work boot beats all the other shoes to bag the award for the top best welding boot for welders. You will love it for its durable design with a full-grain leather make that has the Good year welting. It features a steel toe to protect your feet from impact. The leather is waterproof and so you can work in the most drenched of places.
The inside is well breathable and so your feet will not suffer from clamming in smelly sweat or blisters that are caused by wet feet. With a thick rubber outsole, you are assured of protection from punctures that might come about at work. At the same time, you do not have to worry about electrical shocks even when you step on a live wire since the boots are EH rated.
|Timberland PRO Men's 53530 8" Metguard Steel-Toe Boots||100% Leather.||Meets ASTM safety standards.|
Lace front with waterproof Met Guard flap.
|Dr. Martens, Men's Ironbridge Met Guard Heavy Industry Boots||100% Leather.||Steel toe cap, slip resistant sole and rigid steel metatarsal guard.|
|Iron Age Men's Ground Breaker IA5016 Work Boots||100% Leather.||Aramid stitching for long-lasting durability.|
|Rhino 6 inch Metatarsal Work Boots||100% Leather.||Electrical Hazard (EH).|
Approved safety outsole.
Review on the Top 9 Best Welding Boots
1. Timberland Pro Men’s 53530 8” MetGuard Steel-Toe Boot
Excellent look, safety, waterproof and breathable. Those are the words that come to your mouth when you see this Timberland pro men’s metguard steel toe boot. The work boot fit for welders provides safety by avoiding compression and impact. The lace front is protected by a Met Guard which is also waterproof. The boots meet the ASTM safety standards. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.
|1. Built to exceed the ASTM safety standards for impact, compression and resistance.|
2. Gives feet a non-slip grip and an extra protection.
3. The soles are heat resistant to protect your feet.
4. The Goodyear welted waterproof boots keeps your feet warm and dry even in the most terrible of weather conditions
|1. Lace loops rip easily.|
2. Easily falls apart
2. Martens, Men’s Iron bridge Met Guard Heavy Industry Boots
These boots are 100% leather featuring an Electrical Hazard insulation for protection against any accidental contact with electrical charges. The sole provides shock absorption, abrasion and slip resistance. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.
The leather is water resistant to protect your feet from any harsh weather conditions. The PVC air-cushioned sole is slip resistant to oil, fat, petrol and alkali.
|1. Welted construction footbed gives great stability and durability.|
2. Iconic classic PVC air cushioned sole is resistant to oil, fat, petrol and alkali.
|1. The sole is very soft for heavy duty jobs.|
2. Laces are too short.
3. The metatarsal cover easily comes out.
3. Iron Age Men’s Groundbreaker IA5016 Welding Boots
The boots have an external met guard to add protection against debris and heavy objects. They have a Kevlar stitching for long lasting durability. Their lacing system allows you to have a secure fit while working or walking. Removable EVA footbed provides perfect underfoot cushioning and support. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.
The spongy rubber heel is for adding comfort and shock absorption. The sole is slip and heat resistant featuring tough rubber lugs to provide excellent traction on different kinds of surfaces. They also have an EH rated protection.
|1. Meets ASTM F2413 standards|
2. EH protection.
3. Slip and heat resistant.
4. Lacing system enhances well fitting.
|1. Poor sizing technique.|
2. Laces rip off easily.
4. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boots
The nylon mesh lining allows breathability and comfort on your foot. The steel shank helps in adding support and firmness while working on any kind of surface. These welding boots have a removable sock liner that provides comfort. The steel toe offers protection against compression and impact. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.
They have a lace up feature to ensure that you easily adjust your boots to your best fit. The steel toe meets the ASTM F2413-11 I/75, EH standards. The climasphere insole creates a drier and an odor resistant environment. They have a T3 rubber outsole that delivers on slip resistance which protects you from punctures.
|1. The soft insoles are great especially for those welders working all day long standing|
2. Have a roomy feel giving great comfort to your feet.
3. Features an EH protection.
4. Highly breathable owing to the nylon mesh lining.
|1. Laces rip off easily.|
2. You will have to wax them regularly to retain the waterproof nature.
3. Does not have meta-tarsal guards
5. Timberland Pro Men’s Powerwelt Wellington Boots
These pull-on best welding boots offer a steel safety toe that is able to meet ASTM F2412-11 and ASTM F2413-11. It protects against impact and compression. The insole has a steel shank to offer support. The Goodyear Welt Cast-Bond technology offers durability, chemical bond and excellent stability. The material is treated with EVA-Guard abrasion resistance. They have a mesh lining with antimicrobial treatment for breathability and odor control. The arch supportive footbed helps reduce fatigue. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.
|1. Very comfortable especially if you are working on your foot for long hours.|
2. Safe to wear even in rainy weather conditions since they are waterproof.
3. Antimicrobial treatment improves breathability and reduces odor control.
4. The steel toe protects against impact and compression.
|1. Liner detaches easily|
2. Not roomy hence forming blisters on the foot.
6. Martens, Men’s Icon 2295 Steel Toe Heavy Industry Boots
These boots are made with DM’s durable air-cushioned PVC sole fitted with an EVA footbed and padded ankle support to make sure that your feet feel comfortable. It protects your feet against electrical hazards with a standard ASTM of F2413-11 mi/75 c/75 EH. The soles are slip resistant with an insulation that protects you against contact with electrical charge. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.
|1. Have thick comfy soles.|
2. The ankle padding enhances comfortability.
3. Truly waterproof.
4. EH protected.
|1. The steel toe part makes the leather tear off easily.|
2. Poor mode of sizing.
7. Keen Utility Men’s Tacoma Waterproof Work Boots
These boots offer an advantage of removable Metatomical Dual-Density EVA footbeds. Their outsole is oil and slip resistant and meets ASTM F1677-96 MARK II non-slip testing standards. These brands have a waterproof membrane to allow you to work in different weather conditions. The EH meets ASTM f2412-11 and f2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH standards. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.
|1. Composite toes offer the same strength as steel without adding weight to the boot.|
2. The outsole offers slip resistance even on harsh surfaces.
3. 100% non-metallic construction.
4. 100% leather.
|1. Quality has lowered.|
2. Feet wet even on grass with dew in it, not water resistant.
3. Does not offer room for breathability, they are way too narrow.
8. Rhino 6 inch Metatarsal Work Boot Black – 6MS01
Rhino protects your feet by the presence of the steel toe cap which prevents compression and impact. These welding boots features an external metatarsal guard that is set to provide safety on the upper regions of the feet. The 6 inch ankle design provides maximum safety and support in the ankle region. The ankle region is padded to prevent your feet from getting blisters. The leather material of the boots is both abrasion and water resistant. These boots are certified against electrical hazards. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.
|1. Good looking.|
2. EH protected.
3. Water and abrasion resistant.
4. Ankle padded to protect your ankles.
5. Metatarsal guard provides protection on the feet.
|1. Low quality.|
2. Inner soles need replacement when used after sometime.
3. Laces rip off easily.
9. Timberland PRO Direct Attach Women’s Steel Toe Waterproof Insulated Boots
These women’s welding boots have waterproof nubuck leather on the upper part. They have a breathable and moisture wicking lining with an antimicrobial treatment. The Thermoplastic Urethane outsole is abrasion resistant and has patented SR Max MaxTrax slip resistant tread design. They are EH protected and have a steel toe design to protect against impact and compression. These boots have ASTM F2413-18 M/I/C standards and are EH compliant. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.
|1. EH protected.|
2. Patented SR MaxTrax slip resistant tread design outsole
4. Antimicrobial treatment to enhance treatment and reduce odors.
|1. Get easily stained.|
2. You will have to constantly wax it to retain the waterproof nature.
Frequently asked questions about best boots for welders
We curated some of the most asked questions about the best welding boots.
1. What kind of footwear are recommended for welders?
Welders should wear boots with thick outsoles that are not easy to puncture and should be insulated from electrical hazards. With this kind of boot, the welder is safe to work.
2. Can you weld in rubber boots?
While you can weld in boots with thick vulcanized rubber outsoles that would be hard to be punctured, you will find that boots with rubber tops are just unbreathable and would be uncomfortable to weld in. your feet are going to calm in the sweat and feel very comfortable. Non-breathable boots also cause easy blistering of your feet.
3. What is the most common injury to a welder?
Welders are highly likely to face burns when sparks from the welding medium hit on your body. You are therefore advised to wear a fire-resistant and well covered apron so that the sparks do not touch your body. You need to wear well protected shoes with an ankle coverage of six to eight inches. Expert also advise that you wear metatarsal guards as opposed to shoe laces.
Other injuries that you are likely to face as a welder is eye injury when the same sparks get to your eyes. The light from welding is also not good for your eyes and so you should find good PPEs.
Electrocution is the worst case scenario since it can easily lead to fatalities.
4. What are the PPEs for welders?
As part of their personal protective equipment, welders should have a helmet, flame-resistant aprons, gloves and a cuff. One thing that most people forget is having good shoes that are safe for welding. With a good, EH protected shoe, you can safely work in your welding yard.
Factors to consider while choosing Best Welding Boots
According to a study published on Science Direct, 61% of occupational fatalities among construction workers were caused by electrocution.46% of people who died from electrocution were craft artisans while 15% were casual laborers. While the research does not go into the nitty gritties of the specific occupations of these craftsmen and casual laborers, one can easily tell that there must have been welders.
If we dig deep into the research, we will find that most of the causes of deaths could have easily been prevented by wearing personal protective equipment (PPEs). But since bygones are bygones, we can only protect the lives of the living welders.
So, what should a welder look out for when buying their protective shoe?
1. Thick impenetrable outsole
On the place where you are welding, you will of course have tiny sharp pieces of metals that remain after your work. You need to ensure that your feet are protected from punctures by having thick impenetrable outsoles.
Working on your welding yard during the hot seasons, you are highly likely to have your feet sweating. You will want breathable boots whose insoles and interiors are made of a meshwork. Once your boots are breathable you are not likely to sweat. While sweating is not that bad, your shoes are supposed to allow for the evaporation of the sweat. This way, you protect yourself from blisters which are caused by wet clammy feet.
3. Electrical hazard protection
EH protection is the most important thing to consider while buying a boot for welding. Because let’s face it, you will be stepping on high voltage live wire carrying electric charge, right? Well, you could easily get electrocuted but with a boot that is insulated from all these hazards, you are good to go. A boot that meets EH standards can withstand 18000 volts of electricity at 60Hz for 1 minute with no current flow to the foot of the wearer.
4. Steel toe
While welding, heavy metals and rods might fall on your feet. You do not want to break your toes simply because you did not want to spend on a steel toe boot. Better safe than sorry. Well, make sure to get yourself a steel toe boot.
5. Good traction
While the area you are working on might not have water and oil spillages, you are highly likely to have small ball bearings and unused slippery metal rods that might cause you to fall. You will need a boot with a rugged traction that grips the ground even in such environments.
6. Laces vs metatarsal guards
You want a lace material that will last for long, right? Not one that will get burnt and so you have to walk about with burnt up boot laces. Well, your best bet is the Kevlar laces whose make is strong and will last for a long time.
Other than laces, you could get metatarsal guards that will protect your feet from a spark that accidentally sneaks right through your shoe burning your ankle.
7. Should you get boots with laces?
As you weld, you are bound to get spatters coming into contact with your boots. Unfortunately but not rarely, some spatters will get into contact with your feet. They could scald you and you will be struggling to remove your boots to prevent so as to get rid of the hot spatters burning you. But what if you have a laced up boot? It will take ages before you can get the laces off. The best boots for welders are therefore slip-ons that you will easily get off your feet.
8. Ankle length
You will want a boot with an ankle length of at least 6 inches. This will protect your foot from sparks that might find their way burning up your ankle.
Wrap up on the 9 Best Welding Boots
Having covered the above 10 best welding boots, we believe that you will be spoilt for choice in selecting the work shoes in your next welding assignment. You therefore have no reason to wear your sneakers or tennis shoes the next time you go welding. Not unless you want to be electrocuted.