When you’re working with a hot welding torch sparks are going to fly so safety has to be number one and that’s why we set out to create this best welding boots of 2021 buying guide.
Inside you’ll find our tips for choosing the boots that offer you the best protection and what you should be looking for as you make your purchase decision.
It’s important to keep in mind that the potential for injury is always present when you’re working on a welding project whether it’s through cuts, burns or falling objects. Most of us know that we have to protect our face and hands when welding, but the rest of the body is just as vulnerable including the feet.
Before we jump into our reviews of the best work boots for welding on the market today, here’s a quick guide that explains the main features we think are important when looking for welder’s work boots.
Must-Have Features Of Welding Boots
If your work is primarily indoors a pair of waterproof boots may not seem like a priority, but they’re always good to have just in case you need them on the odd project. For welders that work mostly outdoors, waterproof footwear is essential. The last thing you want is the uncomfortable feeling of working with wet feet all day long.
At a minimum we expect a good pair of work boots for welders to have steel or strong composite materials such as Kevlar protecting our toes. A good pair of work boots should also protect the rest of the foot as well as the ankle from cuts and abrasions and that’s why work boots are made from tough materials such as genuine leather.
Toe And Sole Protection
Work boots, in general, should provide strong protection for the toes and the soles of your feet. This is critical when working on job sites where it’s hard to control the environment. The idea is to protect your feet from falling objects and sharp objects on the ground.
For welders that work mostly outdoors, it’s a good idea to make sure the work boots that you choose are insulated against the cold. In the past, this added protection could add a lot to the weight of a boot, but with modern advancements in footwear that’s no longer an issue.
Lightweight And Comfortable
The work boots you choose should be lightweight and comfortable. The last thing you want is a pair of weights around your feet for 8 to 10 hours a week, 5 days a week. Fortunately, most work boots are designed with maximum comfort in mind and all of the boots we review below were chosen with this factor as a major consideration.
The Best Welding Boots Of 2021:
1. Thorogood 1957 Series Flyway
The best overall boots for welders
We’re convinced that the Thorogood1957 Series Flyway boots are the best product on the market today. They take advantage of modern composite materials to protect your feet replacing the steel that many manufacturers still use. They are a little expensive, but they’re also lightweight, comfortable, shock-absorbing and abrasion-resistant. In other words, they’re the complete package, so if you don’t mind paying a bit more for a pair of welding work boots they’re the best on the market in 2021.
When we started our reviews of welding safety boots we were impressed with the number of great quality boots available in 2021. It was hard choosing one boot as the best overall boot for welders, but after careful consideration, we settled on the Thorogood 1957 Flyway boot. It has it all – comfort, great protection and it’s a pretty good looking pair of footwear as well.
The 1957 Flyway had everything we were looking for. It has a slip-resistant sole so you’re safe even on wet surfaces and it’s waterproof so you won’t have to worry about that water leaking inside the boot. Your feet are protected by composite materials which are lighter than steel so the boots don’t feel heavy and cumbersome. Also, these boots are abrasion-resistant and shock absorbent.
If we had to identify one or two things we didn’t like about this boot the first thing would be the price tag. These boots are more expensive than your average pair of work boots at well over $200. They’re also tall, so if you don’t like footwear that fits well over your ankle these are not the boots for you.
- Slip-resistant soles.
- Composite toe and sole.
- Abrasion-resistant and shock absorbing.
- Expensive – priced well over $200.
- Fit well over the ankle – may be uncomfortable for some.
2. Propet Seeley
The best cool-looking boots
When we discovered the Propet Seeley work boots we were pleased to learn that you can have a great-looking pair of welding safety boots that protect your feet well. These boots have everything you need in a great pair of safety boots – they’re waterproof, moisture-resistant, slip-resistant, made from strong composite materials and they’re priced reasonably. They are low-cut so if full ankle protection is important to you, then you may want to consider a different pair of boots.
Just because a pair of footwear is safe, it doesn’t mean you can’t look cool while you’re wearing them. We thought it would be fun to include a pair of quality work boots in our reviews that not only provide great protection for welders but also look great. Our pick for best cool-looking boots for welders is the Propet Seeley boots. They’re a great pair of safety footwear and they’re priced reasonably at just over $100.
Propet hasn’t sacrificed anything to make these boots look great. They’re lightweight taking advantage of composite materials for toe and sole protection instead of steel. These boots are also waterproof and moisture resistant – that means they not only stop water from getting in they actively work to remove moisture from your feet as you work. The combination of all this with a slip-resistant rubber sole means you get a great looking pair of welding safety boots that do the job they’re designed for.
One drawback of these boots is their low-cut design. They sit just over the ankle and that means a lot of your lower leg is still exposed to sparks and debris. These Propet boots are also lace-up footwear so if you prefer something that slips on these aren’t for you.
- Slip-resistant rubber soles.
- Waterproof and moisture resistant.
- Composite toe and sole.
- Priced just over $100.
- Low-cut design.
3. Timberland Pro Excave Met Guard
The best leather boots with extra protection
We like the Timberland Pro Excave steel toe work boots. The Met Guard is a nice feature that provides welders with peace of mind protection from flying debris. They may not be the best looking pair of boots, but they’re practical and safe which is important in the workplace.
Leather is still one of the toughest materials for protecting workers from abrasions and burns so it should be no surprise that there are many great leather welding safety boots. Our choice for best leather welding boots are the Timberland Pro Excave Met Guard. They’re a great boot that offers tons of protection while welding.
One of the features we like best about this boot is that it has a Met Guard for extra protection from flying debris. These Timberland’s rely on traditional steel for toe and sole protection, but they’re still relatively lightweight. As you’d expect from a top-quality pair of safety boots, these are waterproof. Inside the boots, there’s also a breathable mesh material that helps with moisture control.
While we like these boots for safety, we have to admit they’re not the best looking pair of work boots on the market and that’s probably because of the addition of the Met Guard. They also have a relatively low-cut design so they won’t offer complete protection for your lower leg.
- Met Guard.
- Steel toe protection.
- Breathable mesh interior for moisture protection.
- Low-cut design.
- Not the best looking.
4. Iron Age Groundbreaker IA5016
The best cheap welding boots
While the Iron Age Groundbreakers aren’t perfect, they’re a great bargain at well under $100. They have all of the standard features you’d expect in a quality pair of work boots and they even have a Met Guard for added protection. They aren’t the most comfortable boots on the market though and they will wear quicker than more expensive competitors. Overall, they’re still a great option if you’re on a tight budget.
Welding safety boots don’t need to cost a fortune to be effective. The Iron Age Groundbreakers are a quality work boot priced well under $100. They include all the common safety features you typically find on more expensive competitors and they’re made from 100% leather.
We were surprised to find that these boots are equipped with a Met Guard for added protection from flying debris. They also have standard safety features such as steel toes and slip-resistant soles. These boots are heat resistant as well, which is an important feature for a pair of welding safety boots. The bottom of the shoe features a thick rubber heel as well for shock absorption.
If there’s one major difference between these boots and more expensive boots it’s the level of comfort while wearing them. They feel a bit cumbersome on the feet. We also found they tend to wear out a little more quickly than other brands.
- Met Guard.
- Steel toe protection.
- Slip-resistant soles.
- Priced well under $100.
- Not the most comfortable boot.
5. Dr. Martens Icon 2295 ST
The most durable boots
We like the Dr. Marten Icon 2295 ST industrial boots. These boots are durable and designed to last through heavy use. Their length provides extra protection for the lower leg and that makes them ideal for use in welding where flying sparks are ever-present. There is the potential for chafing at the top of the boots, but a thick pair of work socks should help to prevent this.
When you’re shopping for a new pair of welding boots there are few things more important than their durability. You want a pair that will stand up to everything you have to throw at it over several months of use before it’s time for a replacement. Our pick for the most durable welding boots are the Dr. Martens Icon 2295 ST. This iconic brand has been making quality footwear for decades with a reputation for durability that continues with these boots.
The 2295s are an all-leather boot with protection from possible electrocution. These boots rely on a traditional steel-toe design for protection and they’re nice and tall for better protection from flying debris. They’re also waterproof and they have slip-resistant soles.
On the negative side, the upper boot can be a little uncomfortable. If you don’t wear a pair of thick socks you may experience some chafing as the material rubs against your legs. They’re also relatively plain-looking, so if style is important to you then you’re going to be disappointed with these boots.
- Steel toe protection.
- Tall design for extra protection.
- Waterproof and anti-slip soles.
- Top of the boot may chafe.
- Plain looking boot.
6. Caterpillar Second ShiftSteel Toe
The most comfortable boots for welders
These Caterpillar Second ShiftSteel Toe work boots are easily the most comfortable pair we reviewed. They’re nice and lightweight and they have extra padding around the ankle that will help to prevent chafing. The low-cut design may not be appealing to everybody, but that’s more of an individual preference.
When you’re spending 8 to 10 hours a day in a pair of boots, comfort has to be a major consideration. That’s why we decided to include a review of the welding work boot we felt was the most comfortable on the market in 2021. Our top pick in this category is the Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe boots. They’re stylish looking and easy on the feet.
These are an ankle cut boot with extra padding around the ankle to prevent chafing. They’re made from 100% soft leather that quickly molds to your feet in the first week of use. At less than 2 pounds they’re also lightweight which adds to the level of comfort of the wearer. The sole is slip-resistant and waterproof.
These boots do tend to wear more quickly around the tongue area than other boots we’ve reviewed. Another possible issue that may discourage some potential purchasers is their ankle cut design – if you like a taller pair of boots these ones aren’t for you.
- Steel toe protection.
- Extra ankle padding for comfort.
- Lightweight and waterproof.
- Tongue area wears quickly.
- Low-cut design leaves lower leg exposed.
7. Keen Lansing Mid
The best steel toe boots
If you still have your heart set on a pair of steel toe work boots then we believe the Keen Lansing are a great choice. They’re a comfortable boot with all of the standard features you’d expect in a pair of welding work boots – they’re waterproof, they have a breathable membrane inside that repels moisture and they’re slip-resistant. They do leave a lot of the foot exposed because of their low cut design and they aren’t as durable as some of their competitors, but overall they’re a good quality steel toe boot.
In the past steel toe was the only option in workboot protection, but today many manufacturers use composite materials such as Kevlar that offer just as much protection. If you’re a traditionalist that still wants a great pair of steel toe boots that combine comfort and style we recommend the Keen Lansings as the best steel toe boots for welding on the market today.
These Keen boots are 100% leather and fully waterproof so that your feet will stay dry. The rubber sole provides a solid grip on the ground to prevent slips and will even provide traction on slippery surfaces such as oil-contaminated ground. Inside the boot is a breathable membrane that expels moisture and prevents anything from leaking in.
One criticism we do have with this boot is its low-cut design at the back of the ankle. Keen has opted for a boot that covers the bare minimum of the foot and ankle area and that can leave you vulnerable to flying debris. They’re also not the most durable boot on the market as obvious signs of wear tend to appear after just a couple of weeks of wearing these boots.
- 100% leather.
- Traditional steel-toe protection.
- Waterproof and vapor repellant.
- Rubber sole provides added traction on slippery surfaces.
- Low-cut design leaves the back of the ankle exposed.
- Not the most durable.
8. Rock Rooster Slip-On AK223
The best slip-on safety shoes
If you’re looking for a durable and comfortable pair of slip-on work boots, the Rock Rooster Slip-ons are our top recommendation in this category. They’re a comfortable boot made from traditional leather and composite materials. We love the memory foam soles for added comfort as well. They may feel a little loose fitting to some, but that’s not unusual in a pair of slip-on boots.
If you’re the type of person that likes to wake up in the morning and get out the door with as little fuss as possible then you’ll appreciate the Rock Rooster Slip-on work boots. With these boots you don’t have to waste any time tying up laces – you just slip them on and go. They’re also priced under $100 so they won’t put a major dent in the pocketbook either.
These Rock Rooster boots might be easy to put on, but that doesn’t mean the manufacturer has taken any shortcuts when it comes to the safety of the weather. They use composite materials for protection and the carbon fiber also makes them nice and lightweight. These boots are also waterproof, slip-resistant and designed to protect against extremes of both hot and cold. Inside, they have a memory foam sole that helps them conform to your feet providing added comfort for the wearer.
We have to admit, these aren’t the best looking pair of boots so if style is important to you these aren’t the boots you’re looking for. You may also find that the slip-on design does not provide a secure fit around your ankle – if you like your boots nice and tight these will feel a little loose when you wear them.
- Leather and composite materials.
- Easy slip-on design.
- Memory foam soles.
- Protection from temperature extremes.
- Loose fitting.
9. Oliver 65 Series 10″
The best heat-resistant work boots
We were impressed with the Oliver 65 Series boots. They’re heat-resistant, chemical-resistant and puncture-resistant which makes them ideal for use while welding. Their tendency to wear around the interior heel is a bit concerning, but for the most part, this is a great pair of boots that offers the wearer maximum protection in most situations.
The Oliver 65 Series work boots were a great boot that we gave strong consideration to as our choice for best overall boot. It may have fallen a little short in that category, but it is our selection as the best heat-resistant work boot on the market in 2021. These boots are also reasonable priced.
Not only are these 65 Series boots heat-resistant, but they’re also chemical-resistant and puncture-resistant. The tall design of the boot provides maximum protection for the lower leg while you work. These boots also stand out because of their shock-absorbing qualities and slip-resistance on most common workplaces surfaces.
Where we do feel these boots could use some improvement is in their interior design. The liner does wear more quickly than you’d expect in the heel area. They could also use a bit more insulation for use in cold weather circumstances.
- Heat-resistant and chemical-resistant.
- Shock-absorbing soles.
- Wears quickly around the interior heel area.
- Not ideal for cold weather use.
After reviewing some great welding work boots we chose the Thorogood 1957 Flyway boots as our pick for best overall welding boot in 2021. In truth, there are a lot of great options on the market today and anyone of the boots we’ve reviewed here is a quality choice. In most cases, it will come down to style preferences and comfort. That’s why we included a range of different styles in our reviews so that there’s something here to suit any taste.