Hey Guys, what foot gear do you use? I’m looking for recommendations for footware that is comfortable, lightweight, water resistant, and good traction without breaking the bank. I was doing a roof inspection the other day and I definitly did not have the right gear and traction was an issue.


I wear regular casual brown leather slip on shoes for my inspection. (My dress is business casual.) For a steeper, or “more uncomfortable” roof, I change into a pair of cougar paw boots. Those are expensive, but since I don’t wear them all the time, they last forever.


Best bang for your buck. Just ordered a pair myself.

Best shoe I have found for roofs / traction is the Desert Boot by Clarks. It has a crepe sole that grips extremely well in all weather conditions. It isn’t very waterproof as it has a suede body, but is very lightweight, good pricing if you look around. There are just going to be some roofs you should not walk on. Either so old the mineral surface comes loose underfoot regardless of footwear, some so steep it isn’t safe to walk and during the summer months walking on shingles can easily “smudge” the surface (remove the minerals due to heat and mechanical action of walking on it).

I wear a dressy/work type shoe for the entire inspection and use a pair of tennis shoes (a.k.a sneakers) for the roof. I would never wear anything hard soled on a roof -Tennis shoes/soft soled only.

I prefer Merrels. Designed in Grand Rapids!

I wear police tactical boots on inspections. Lightweight and weather resistant. Great traction on roofs and they provide ankle support.

Same here Scott. best overall

Cougar Paw are designed specifically for roofing.
They only come in regular width, so if you have wide feet you will have to look elsewhere.

The roofing supply houses here JB and such said “Cougar Paws??” when I asked.

The die hard boots I wear seem to: Last, not track dirt and if I keep them clean, they don’t look too bad.

I would like: A rockport style shoe like vince had shown with the Die Hard boot bottom. Having almost slipped off a roof and the boots ended “biting” I trust them. The Die Hard sole doesn’t seem to “track” or pick up dirt / soil like tennies or waffle bottom boots.

Waffle bottom boots (aggressive tread) are OK for some, but in SoCal, the asphalt roofs are gonna get torn up if you walk them in waffle bottoms in the summer time. And as mentioned, waffle bottom boots or even tennies IMO are gonna track dirt / mud in the home.

I always wear boot covers when inside. Works for me

Believe it or not, Treds from WallyWorld are perfect for inspections. Great traction on rooftops and unbeatable price.

Nothing is better than Cougar Paws for walking roofs.
I have walked on pitches as steep as 14/12…, 12/12
in the rain. They are awesome.

I’d have to concur with Jeff on this one. Cougar Paws are one of the most important pieces of PPE equipment that I bring on every inspection. I have used them for 6 years now and will not walk a roof without them anymore.

They are designed specifically for roofing contractors, inspectors, insurance adjusters, etc. and have a special tacky sole material that literally “sticks” to the roof. As soon as you try them for the first time you will understand and you will be hooked. They aren’t cheap but they last a long time and when it comes to your safety spending a little extra is the right move in my book!

I learned about them from the owner of a local roofing company here in Chi Town when he came out to speak at a monthly NACHI chapter meeting. He provides them for all of his employees and has seen a huge decrease in the number of slips and falls.

Give them a try and you will not be dissapointed.

oh yeah, forgot to mention that when the soles wear out, you can simply replace the pad on the bottom of the boot and do not have to “re-sole” the boots. These things last forever.

I used to use Cougar Paws and they’re nice, but too time consuming taking them on and off especially in muddy, snowy or wet conditions.

About 3 years ago I switched to black, hi-top Reebock court shoes. They have soft gummy soles - they look like dress shoes below your dockers and being soft soles, they STICK very well on roofs.

No time lost switching shoes. Walk the outside, walk the roof, then put shoe covers (The Bootie) on and head inside.

Helps shave valuable time off the inspection.

Shoes for Crews