Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that over 500,000 blue collar workers are injured every year as a result of welding accidents. With just a little over half a million welders in the U.S., it can be assumed that a welder will experience an injury while on the job at least once every year. Taking these numbers into consideration, it’s not hard to see that welders need to do a lot more than just take care. No doubt, wearing the right protective gear from head to toe should be a major precaution.
Now, I’m no welder, but I’ve been in the business of footwear long enough that it’s become my second nature to spot necessary, helpful, and important footwear features that fit specific industries. So in my attempt to help the hardworking welders out there, I dove into research for a few days to find the best work boots for welders.
Want to find out which ones made the cut? Then keep on reading as I discuss the 8 best options available on the market.
The 8 Best Work Boots for Welders
Iron Age Ground Breaker IA5016 Work Boot
Boasting premium materials brought together with expert workmanship, the Iron Age Ground Breaker IA5016 Work Boots are the best boots on my list despite having the lightest price tag. The design uses a burly leather material for its uppers and a solid lug outsole that are secured together with premium Kevlar stitching. The hardy boots are pretty lightweight despite being ultra-heavy duty, and take just around 3 weeks to completely break in.
Safety wise, these boots comply with ASTM F2413 safety standards, making them suitable for welding work and many other hazardous blue collar jobs. They also feature a protective metatarsal guard, electrical hazard protection, and a built-in steel toe to offer you superb protection and confidence while you weld away.
In terms of durability, there’s really nothing I can say other than these boots do deliver. They’re exceptionally hard-wearing but they don’t really sacrifice comfort all that much. However, if you want a little extra softness, I would suggest buying gel inserts, especially for the heel region. Other than that, the boots perform impressively and come at an incredibly affordable cost.
Delta Plus Panoply Cobra 3 S1P Black Leather Welders Welding Safety Boots
Designed with welders in mind, the Delta Plus Panoply Cobra 3 S1P Black Leather Welders Welding Safety Boots is a premium safety work boot that puts your comfort and protection front and center. These boots boast a 200-joule steel toe cap which is also shock and crush proof. On top of that, the Panoply Cobra also boasts a puncture-resistant design, letting you step in confidence regardless of the environment around you.
Over the front of the uppers, a Velcro fastened leather flap protects you against welding spatter. Compared to other welding boots on the market, the flap on this Delta Plus boot is particularly streamlined and sleek, so it doesn’t take away from the clean aesthetic of the boot.
When it comes down to the price, the Delta Plus Panoply Cobra 3 S1P Black Leather Welders Welding Safety Boots is a mid-range boot. So while it isn’t the cheapest option on the list, it definitely isn’t crazy expensive. So you can definitely purchase a pair without having to put too much of a dent on your wallet, especially if you’ve got a slightly bigger budget to spare.
Ever Boots Protector Steel Toe Industrial Work Boots
It seems when it comes to welding boots, pricier doesn’t always mean better as another budget-friendly option makes its way to the top of my list. The Ever Boots Protector Steel Toe Industrial Work Boots is an affordable worker boot that makes a great companion for welding. They’re built to be particularly burly and they can take on years of use before you need to start looking for a replacement.
To keep you protected, these boots from Ever Boots feature oil and slip resistant lug rubber outsoles, EH protection compliance, and an extra heavy duty construction that keeps every piece in place no matter the conditions you work in. The safety toe meets safety standards and protects your toes from heavyweights, trauma, and puncture.
Surprisingly, the Ever Boots Protector Steel Toe Industrial Work Boots comes at a very reasonable price point. These boots prove to be an impressively affordable investment that you’re not likely to regret.
Rhino 6MS01 6” Steel Toe Metatarsal Leather Work Boot
The 6MS01 6” Steel Toe Metatarsal Leather Work Boot from Rhino looks just like that – a rhino. This burly boot features a large leather metatarsal shield to protect your feet from welding spatter, giving it a real mean look that’s worthy of its robust build. The tough uppers are made from premium leather, while the outsoles are crafted from natural rubber formed into a single, hardwearing lug.
The Rhino 6MS01 is ASTM F2413 compliant and is electrical hazard approved to give you an extra stretch of protection and safety. In the arena of comfort, they’re probably not the most impressive. The boots take a while to break-in, but personally, I find that once they do soften up, they’re really comfortable to use on the daily. If you want extra comfort straight out of the box though, you’d probably be better off putting in your own gel insoles. Personally, I find the ones built into the 6MSO1 can leave a lot to be desired.
Keen Utility MT Vernon Met Waterproof Boot
The Keen Utility MT Vernon Met Waterproof Boot was built for safety. This premium work boot for welders aptly meets ASTM testing standards, letting you navigate your work environment and get the job done without having to worry about accidents or injuries. The design comes with a built-in asymmetrical safety toe that keeps your foot protected from puncture accidents and trauma. An ultra-sturdy metatarsal guard secures across the front of the boot, protecting you from welding spatter.
This boot also features a number of aspects that are characteristic of the Keen brand. Firstly, they use Keen.Grip outsoles to give you superb traction on a variety of surfaces – both indoor and outdoor. Inside, a proprietary Keen.Dry membrane wicks away moisture and releases vapor to keep your feet cool and dry all throughout your work shift.
Dr. Martens Ironbridge MG ST Steel-Toe Met Guard Boot
The Dr. Martens is best known for their 1460 Classic Boot which has become something of an icon in the market of boots. But the brand has come up with much more than the 1460, even going as far as offering buyers heavy duty work boots that suit a variety of blue collar jobs.
With that, the company has met quite some success with their Ironbridge MG ST Steel-Toe Met Guard Boot. This work boot uses a grizzly, lightly milled, premium black leather to achieve optimal durability all around. Around the collar, plush ballistic padding improves comfort to keep your feet pain-free for extended hours of work.
The boot meets all requirements for ASTM approval. So everything from the steel toes, to the metatarsal shield, and the outsoles come together with expert craftsmanship to guarantee your safety while you go through your shift.
Timberland PRO 53530 8” Metguard Steel-Toe Boot
Just like Dr. Martens, the Timberland brand is originally a fashion brand that has transitioned quite well into the work boot market. Their designs are sturdy, reliable, and long lasting, which has made them popular among buyers in search of something that can really last. The Timberland PRO 53530 8” Metguard Steel-Toe Boot is one of their premium heavy duty work boots, reinforced with all the features you would look for to keep you safe at work.
The 8” boots offer superb protection without sacrificing comfort. Areas prone to wear boast substantial reinforcement, such as the heel and toe box. This is so the boots don’t give in to damage after daily use and abuse. The metatarsal shield on this particular design is exceptionally durable, using robust waterproof material to keep your feet aptly protected. Perhaps my only problem with the Timberland 53530 is that it’s pretty heavy because of the fact that it uses an 8” silhouette.
Wolverine W05680 McKay Steel Toe Boot
I don’t think any work boot list would be complete without an entry from Wolverine. For this particular category, I thought the W05680 McKay Steel Toe Boot would be the perfect choice. What I really like about these boots is that they’re a lot more comfortable than the other choices I’ve discussed. Using premium leather, the McKay Steel Toe Boot can break-in in just 1 to 2 weeks making it much more comfortable sooner.
Despite being flexible and comfy though, the boots are still pretty durable. Goodyear welt construction connects the slip and oil resistant lug outsoles to the premium leather uppers. Unlike other boots, this particular design has plates on the inside that work as metatarsal plates. Around the collar, plush padding keeps the boot snugly in place without causing discomfort or excessive pressure on the leg. And to top it all off, the boots use built-in steel toe caps to protect users against blue collar work hazards.
Leaving any part of your body exposed to the dangers of a hazardous work environment can put your safety at risk. As a welder, it’s important that you invest in the best work boots to help keep you confident and comfortable during each shift.
Although there’s no such thing as a perfect work boot, there are a few choices that come pretty close. Be sure to check out the 8 top picks I’ve listed above to help narrow down your options and find a great work companion that you can rely on for many years to come.