Welders are standing, crouching, kneeling, laying, and everything else in between while welding. Which is why they need a boot that delivers that flexibility and maneuverability along with the comfort for everyday wear.
Recommendation 1: Pull-On 8”+ Boot
Pull-on boots are great, as they are easy to put on and take off, supply the same amount of protection above the ankle as other boots, and most importantly keep all of the sparks and slag out. Nobody wants a piece of burning steel (or really anything that is red hot) in their boots. Also, by not having laces, you eliminate the possibility of burning through laces (or you can buy leather laces). Now, why do I believe that the pull-on should also be at least 8” tall? It adds more protection up your leg.
Recommendation 2: An Oil-Tanned Leather
An oil-tanned leather is great for a few colossal reasons. First and foremost, it makes the leather more water resistant. As a welder, I’m sure you will have plenty of days where you will be outside, and therefore plenty of days where it is not sunny and 90°. Secondly, the oil-tanned leather typically is more pliable and soft, making it great for crouching and kneeling.
Recommendation 3: Durable Comfortable Sole
THE SOLES MATTER! The soles are the base on the entire boot and will be the deciding factor (in most cases) of whether or not the boot is comfortable. Based on what type of welding you’re doing and where you’re doing it is going to decide which type of sole you’re going to want on your boot.
If you’re always standing on concrete and hardly moving around, you will want to go with a soft sole (similar to the crepe one pictured above). This type of soles is extremely soft which makes it extremely comfortable while on concrete, although it will wear out fast if you do a lot of walking.
If you’re always standing on concrete and also always walking around on concrete, then you will want to go with something that is still soft but also durable. A dual density sole, like the one pictured above, is going to provide you with this type of durability and comfort.
If you’re constantly on rough terrain and uneven surfaces, you will want to go with something that is harder (such as the one pictured above) as it will not fold under pressure as easily.
DISCLAIMER:The recommendations I’m making for the boots are just that...recommendations. Meaning they are not an absolute necessity, if the boots you have now are lace up and I suggest a pull on (which I do suggest for a welder), you don’t need to throw your boots out and say they’re broken, because it does also come down to other factors (such as preference).