I occasionally do roof work, usually on moderately pitched (40 or 45
deg) roofs. I'd always worn whatever 'sneakers' I had at the time.
Then I tried rubbers, which were better than the sneakers, but a
little on the warm side. This summer, I've been wearing some 'deck
shoes' that have rubber strips in the soles, which have really good
traction. The trouble is, the uppers are light nylon, and they get
cut up pretty quickly on the shingle surface.
So, I got wondering if there is better footwear that I'm just ignorant
of. Any comments appreciated.
40 to 45 degrees isn't a "moderate" pitch. It's steep. I've always worn
tennis shoes that are built for the lateral forces involved. Running
shoes can't deal with the forces placed on the uppers in that
environment. They just rip apart at the welt. Some cross trainers do
well. But then again, roofing pretty much just trashes all shoes!
I read your post about the rubbers being better than sneakers and
nearly died trying them out. Next time I won't get the pre-lubricated.
I like boots better than sneakers on a roof. The sneakers may be a
little easier on the roof, but I'm more worried about me and my feet.
I'm not a full time roofer so I can avoid the hottest part of the day.
With boots I find that I reposition my feet less as the sneakers don't
distribute the stress as well.
If you want a tough, abrasion-resistant, sticky, light shoe, try
Interesting. Disposable soles attached by velcro. For a pro roofer
that would add up pretty quickly. They estimated a life of one to two
weeks for a pair of the $10 replaceable soles used daily.
I don't know how roofers do it, but I see them prancing around on 45
degree roofs in the rain on 3 story houses. It's like no big deal to
Is it in their genes?? Do they have special articulating bones in
their feet? Do they have an ability to balance themselves like a cat?
I have back problems on a roof. It's called a big yellow stripe going
down the back.
Familiarity, if not breeding contempt, breeds nonchalance.
I had a buddy fall off of a second story roof, landed flat on his back
on grass. Wasn't hurt at all, but the HUGE surge of adrenalin made him
jump up and run around the house a few times. Pretty funny to watch,
Well, I'm betting these "prancing" roofers (don't let 'em hear you say that!)
have at least a 2x6 on brackets not too far below them. There are times you
might make a lunge to the next level, but not without knowing where your "out"
is. And your ankles do take some stressing, along with hamstrings, quads and
backs. Steeper was always more comfortable on the back for me. Tom
You didn't say what type of roof (e.g. asphalt shingles or metal).
Heard some of the roofers in my area (central TX) will take an old pair of
shoes and the night before work, run beads of silicone across the soles. I
think this is works best on smooth surfaces.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.