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What Kind Of Shoes Do Your Wear When Roofing? - Oldie But Goodie

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September 15, 2014 at 6:33 p.m.


Has your opinion changed much?


Steve- What kind of shoes do you wear when roofing? What is the best kind of sole to have on your shoe when roofing?


TexasPaul- Dr. Martins. You can stand on a 10 on 12 without slipping or tearing up the shingles. I couldn't believe it until I got a pair.

LEFTY- The guy who taught me how to roof, told me it was not the shoes that kept you on the roof. I had a pair of sneakers and those boots. After a week he taught me how to stay on the roof and would not let me wear sneakers.

Mike H- I really like Gucci for roofing and barn work, but like TXPaul, my son swears by Doc Martin's. Says he's never had anything so comfortable.

OnARooftop- Dr. Martins. Those were a popular thing to have in high school. They are made in England, I think. They are very comfortable. Not cheap. I paid 130.00 for my one pair, but have had them about five years. They don't seem to wear out. Cougar paws, I have to say, I like very much also. I love them on all pitched roofs. Not only the steep ones. You are literally on a sponge-like pad. Comfortable, increased safety, doesn't mark up the shingles on hot days. I also have two pairs of Steve +Barry Boots, 2 for 10 dollars. Can't beat that deal. I will use one of those three depending on my mood in the morning.

EGG- Tennies with the softest sole you can get and no knobs or fancy modern squiggly stuff on the edges. They are invariably worn out on the left side on the shoe, often with a new lace on that side. Or topsiders when I'm feeling like slacking. Got rid of my last pair of "workboots" thirty years ago. All the craft action is from the waist up. From the waist down has to be light, maneuverable, flexible, and fast. To each his own.

Redshirt- MCGREGORS get em @k-mart all leather. They are called court shows I can walk a 10/12 ply wood deck. The soles wear out pretty fast, but what the hell. I get the white. kind of keeps my feet cooler We don't allow boots on the roof tears up the product.

Cobra- You think 130 bucks is expensive shoes. But they will last for 10 years. Odd priorities man. I wear Columbian Shoes. They are high quality shoes, that do not break down on you. I have flat feet, so I need a structural shoe, none of this no-support crap I see a lot of shoemakers doing.

Redshirt- I think paying a lot for shoes is a luxury that I cannot afford. I get about 8 months from my k-mart specials I don't think any shoe will last me more than a year, sides get wore out. My court shoes are sticky and I won't pay a great deal of money for something that isn't.

Burnit- I buy cheap running shoes, at $19 a pair, lucky if they last more than a month, the toes wear out from kneeling on granule torch roofs doing detail work and the laces always seem to get shorter by the day (the flame), but they don't mark the roof. On commercial work I wear steel toe boots, OSHA requirement, although once on the roof you can wear soft soled shoes if you want to.

Mike H- Seriously (no Gucci here), I still own a pair of Timberland insulated smooth soled workboots that I bought in 1984. I wore them every day for 4 years, and once melted the sole away from the upper with a torch. A little ShooGoo, and they were ready to go. I wore insulated boots year round since they were cooler in summer on torch work. They were the same price 20 years ago that they are today, and at an average cost of $6.50/year, I guess they were worth every penny.

Seen-It-All- Custom made boots to fit my ankle braces. $960.00 a pair. I get a pair once a year no charge. The only good thing is that you don't really have to break them in.

Bones- Would anybody be interested in about 20 size 12 tennis shoes (right foot only)? I wear out the left sides so fast. Maybe it's the way I sit and the 8-10/12 pitches that I can't seem to get enough of. I need to find a left handed shingler to trade with. I usually buy those 15 buck K-Mart specials. I've seen guys glue on a piece of leather to make their shoes last. Seemed to work I guess. Another bad habit I have is wearing my good shoes on the roof. Inevitably, I end up wearing everything I have on the roof and ruin them (jeans, shoes, shirts, hats) I guess it's a way to keep your wardrobe fresh.

Bull- For most of the year I like the hi-tech tactical boots. Tall leather sides with the ankle support that I like, but a soft flexible sole like a tennis shoe. Man are these things comfortable! I have a few pairs and have gotten several people addicted to them. I like the side zip version, makes it easy to get the tall boot on. In the winter time, nothing but matterhorns.

Specialist- I hate to tell you guys you are wrong, but you are. Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars are the bomb. Flexible sole, grip well, but the canvas wears out on the ankle bone. Solution: Never sit down because you are too busy bangin' shingles to sit.

Hattrick- I used to wear sneakers, but my feet would always hurt. I need more support. I now wear Birkenstock. They look like a work boot. I wear low tops, but they have high tops. They're waterproof. They have great arch support, so my feet don't hurt at the end of the day. They are pricey though, but last a very long time. I have even had a seam re-sewn. It broke due to dragging on the shingles, just the way I stand or kneel on the roof.

Tiny- Use to wear my chuck taylors when I shingled but for commercial Red Wings all the way. Only boot I have found holds up to bonding.

Peter- Started wearing Doc Martens about fifteen years ago, now I just can't wear anything else. They make the boot with a steel toecap which is great because I'm Health and Safety compliant. I wear the same style boot for everyday wear as my work boots, some people have commented maybe I should buy another pair of shoes. I have a stock of both types, the beauty is when slating and tiling it wears the heavy thread down just nice for torch on work, no marks on the sheet.

Boss- In the summer, a nice pair of leather Filas and in the winter, Rocky Bearclaws.

RedShirt- Boots on the roof? That's how we tell if the new-guys are the real thing. If they show up with timberlines or redwings on it's going to be a long day. Ee also ask them to check and see if they can tell if the homeowner is smoking marijuana by sniffing the plumbing vents.

April 6, 2021 at 1:48 p.m.

J's Roofing

As some have said, wear what is comfortable AND supports your ankle.. AND, has the softest sole/bottom you can find! Find a pair on clearance somewhere? Buy 5 of them! lol

AND, always keep a pair of Cougar Paws (and foam cushions) with you, just in case you still can't stick! :)

March 17, 2021 at 3:59 a.m.


I just wear the boot shoe that I have used in my working space

March 11, 2021 at 10:10 p.m.


I know roofers who wear affordable safety shoes with slip-resistant and EH-resistant functions will benefit from their options. In some work sites even require the roofers to wear steel-toe shoes.

September 18, 2020 at 2:23 p.m.


I'm not a roofer, but I used Vans to go up on the roof. Skateboarders use them to stay on that thing, so I figured what the heck. Seem to work fine as I was brushing leaves off.

September 4, 2020 at 5:17 p.m.


Thorogod is number one and Timberland is the 2nd best! Roofing shoes -This will help you to choose the right pair of shoes for roofing if you are searching for!

July 13, 2020 at 12:40 a.m.


A good quality skate or converse sneaker shoe is your best choice... Watch for nails they'll tear your sole's apart. Had a nice pair of Puma's last for just about 2 years. Been mainly using these for the past 4-5 years now Good for torch-on as well... No laces to melt. Incredible grip. They make a non-steel toe version too much less aggressive Pretty much I see people wear whatever they are most comfortable in...

February 19, 2020 at 11:42 p.m.

Ken Evans

I like to wear Merrell Moab ventilator shoes. comfortable and best for roofing service.

February 10, 2020 at 10:54 a.m.


I can second the Dr. Martins shoes. Very comfortable. 

November 26, 2019 at 10:22 p.m.


Hey, I'm Andra with Best Roofing Shoes - THE BLOG.

To give a quick answer, we always recommend Thorogood American Heritage and Merrell Moab 2 - you cannot go wrong with any of these. Sure, Thorogood boots also come with a high price tag, but in our opinion - totally worth it. 

If you don't have the budget for professional boots, make sure to choose any soft-soled shoes with flat outsoles (for slip-resistance and stability) and with good ankle support.

Merrell Moab 2's are also ideal for roofing, because they come with a rubberized outsole (Vibram Technology) which is super grippy (even on wet metal roofs). 

Absolutely, you also need comfortable, breathable, cushioned and durable footwear.


September 15, 2014 at 7:52 p.m.


Dr. Martins these days they are as comfortable as a tennis shoe and durable as hell, and the rubber soles can almost grip ice

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