What Kind of Footwear are Recommended for Welders?

Welding is a risky business. The risks involve electric shocks, exposure to high degrees of heat, burns from sparks, molded metal, and embers, wounds from sharp metal, and much more. The hands are at risk and so are the feet. 

It’s foot protection that we will be talking about in this post on what are the safest shoes to weld in. Welders should wear EH shoes and boots that are non-conductive, heat-resistant, impact-resistant, compression-resistant, and puncture-resistant. 

The ASTM and OSHA take workplace safety from electric hazards very seriously. Hence, the EH boots you’re wearing should fully comply with the guidelines laid down by these bodies for welding boots. 

What Kind of Footwear are Recommended for Welders

A typical ASTM-approved non-conductive welding boot is supposed to protect your feet from an electric shock from electricity up to 600 volts in dry conditions whenever there’s an open circuit on the ground. 

There are also specific guidelines for the outsoles, heels, and the material that the EH boots should be made of. Since burns and shocks from welding can be life-threatening, ASTM mandates that the outsole of your work boots should work as a protection from secondary electric shocks.

Take a plunge and find out all the in-depth details about EH boots in the upcoming sections. 

The ASTM Guidelines for EH Boots

The non-conductive ASTM F2415-05 compliant EH boots are the ones you should buy for overall guaranteed protection from workplace hazards you face while welding. This mark is the stamp that the boots have passed the following safety tests.

1.) The boots can withstand an impact of 75 pounds or 50 pounds.

2.) The boots that offer 75 pounds impact resistance can withstand the compression of 2500 pounds. The boots that offer 50 pounds impact resistance can withstand the compression of 1750 pounds. 

3.) The boots are chainsaw cut-resistant and puncture-resistant.

4.) When the leakage current is below 3 mA, the material will offer protection from 14,000 volts (@60 Hz) for 1 straight minute when the conditions are dry.

What is the Best Material for EH Welding Shoes and Boots?

Hands down, it’s leather. Not the normal leather you might be used to wearing, but the high-quality real leather that’s heat-resistant.

As a full-time welder, you’d be aware that the conditions at the workplace can sometimes be as hot as 500° F. This kind of direct heat exposure to your feet can cause a lot of damage. And, there is no material better than leather that can withstand that amount of heat.

Now, leather is the upper part of the boots, what about the outsole of the boots? Well, the answer to this question is rubber. Rubber makes the best material for the outsole since it’s non-conductive. 

At times, the outsole could also be synthetic or PVC. They’re also good options!

See also: Why Do Welders Wear Boots? 

3 Features to Look for When Buying EH Welding Boots

You know the right materials for the boots and the outsole. But, there’s more to know. We have pointed out some features you should be looking at to make sure you’re buying the best.

#1 Metatarsal Guard is a Necessity if the boots have no other protection 

Welding boots cannot have any sort of opening since that will trap sparks inside and by the time you’ll be able to take the boots off, the damage would already be done. 

There’s always the option to wear slip-on boots, but most employers insist that their staff should wear lace-up leather boots as they’re more tough and rugged. That’s why a metatarsal guard is an absolute necessity.

#2 The Entire ASTM Marking is a Necessity 

If you have doubts due to any reason, check the gusset, tongue, quarter lining, or shaft of the boots. The original ones will display the entire marking that goes like: 

ASTM F2413-05

M I/75/C/75/Mt75



Some boots might also say, ASTM F2413-11 or ASTM F2413-18 instead of ASTM F2413-05. Remember, all of these are just as good as the latter. 

When either of these markings is inscribed, that’s how you know that the boots you’re buying are actually approved by the ASTM and tested by OSHA. 

#3 Steel-toe is Necessary if the boots do not have a metatarsal guard

EH boots are good only if they have metatarsal guards – says who? It will always be your personal choice.

If you find metatarsal guard obstructing you in any way (which it generally does not), you can buy steel-toe non-conductive boots as well. As long as they comply with the ASTM guidelines, you’ll be just fine! 

What are the Safest Shoes to Weld in? The Top 4 Options You Can Count On

This brings us to the last section in this guide. We have listed 4 ASTM-approved EH boots that are best for welding.

No matter if you’re a part-time, hobby welder, these boots are just as important for you as they are for full-time welders since you’re exposed to the exact same risks that full-time welders face! 

Let’s get started with the safest welding boots you can buy. 

1. EH Work Boots for Men by ROCKROOSTER

These non-conductive EH boots are more than you’ve actually bargained for. They’re ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 compliant welding boots that are slip-resistant. Some of the noteworthy features are as follows.

1.) In addition, to slip resistance, these EH welding boots are also static dissipative, and breathable. 

2.) They’re made of 100% oiled horse leather. Their outsole is thermoplastic Polyurethane.

3.) These work boots are highly resistant to water. On the better side, they’re not very heavy; hence, your feet won’t get fatigued even if you have to wear them for non-stop 7 hours or more. 

4.) They’re impact-resistant, puncture-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and heat resistant. 

Cons: Some buyers mention that the shoes could be a little narrow. So, if you have wide feet, look for the extra-wide option in the same class and same size.

Also, some customers have mentioned that the boots aren’t as light as advertised. Yet again, since these are work boots, they will anyway not be as light as your regular boots. 

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2. Skechers for Work Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot for Welding 

These are pretty rugged EH boots that are in full compliance with the ASTM F2412/2413-2011 I/75 C/75, EH standard. They offer excellent slip resistance, are 100% Buffalo leather boots, and have a non-conductive outsole. Other benefits are as follows.

1.) It’s easy to break into these boots. They won’t cause blistering and will not give you shoe bites. 

2.) They have multiple lacing options. Hence, your feet won’t get fatigued during long work hours. 

3.) They’re highly resistant to abrasion, punctures, and impact. 

Cons: Their cost can be a constraint. 

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3. Men’s Rancher Steel-Toe Work Boot Welding Boots by Wolverine

These are probably some of the best slip-on steel-toe welding boots that are 100% in compliance with ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C75 EH standard. They’re 100% leather and highly resistant to water. 

1.) The midsole is EVA. Hence, the boots are gentle on the feet. Your feet won’t get tired in them even if you have to work for 10 hours.

2.) EVA midsole also ensures that all the moisture and sweat gets wicked. 

3.) Another plus point of wearing these EH-rated boots is that they last a long time, are resistant to punctures and heat, and are abrasion-resistant too. 

Cons: Some customers say that the boots run one size bigger. So, always check the size chart provided by the manufacturer. 

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4.) Men’s Milwaukee Steel-Toe Work Boots for Welding by KEEN Utility 

These are one of the best EH boots that are ASTM F2412 I/75 compliant, F2413 I/75 compliant, and C/75 EH compliant. Some of the other amazing benefits of these EH boots are as follows.

1.) They meet the ASTM F1677 MARK II and ASTM F2913 standards. It means that they are extremely resistant to friction. Their rubber outsole is slip-resistant to a great extent.

2.) They’re made of 100% leather and since they feature a left and right asymmetrical steel-toe design, they offer a lot of space. It means, they won’t give you shoe bites. 

3.) They’re waterproof boots.

4.) Their outsole can resist 572° F heat. 

Cons: Some users have mentioned that the boots make a squeaky sound while walking. If you’re too sensitive to noisy boots, you might want to skip these. 

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Concluding Thoughts:

EH, non-conductive footwear is the best option for welders. You have to ensure that the boots are ASTM-approved.

Since welders require protection from more than heat and burns, the non-conductive welding boots should also be impact-resistant and puncture-resistant.

A rugged build with a metatarsal guard is the best safety defense against workplace hazards. ASTM EH-rated Steel-toe boots are also amazing options in case metatarsal doesn’t work for you.

Whether it’s a lace-up or slip-on boot that you’re wearing, as long as it complies with the ASTM standard, your feet are safe. 

Steve Goodman
Experienced welder with 7+ years of expertise in all the latest welding techniques MIG, flux and stick welding, drill press, crane operation and metal fabrication. Welding certificate course graduate and 2018 Excellence in Welding award winner.

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