Work Boots

Work boots come in all shapes and sizes to suit different professions. What they all have in common is the ability to protect your feet during challenging conditions. Although they are more robust than your regular shoes and come with powerful features to suit the demands of tough work environments, they aren’t immortal. 

The truth is they may even last shorter than your everyday shoes due to the way you use them. And since work boots can be quite an investment, you probably want to make them last as long as they can to avoid buying pair after pair. 

If you want to know how to make your work boots last longer, you’re in the right place. Here are 14 pro tips to prolong the life of your favorite boots.

1. Purchase High-Quality Work Boots

Unless you buy quality work boots, they will break down quicker than they need to. But how long should work boots last anyway? It all depends, again, on quality. Work boots that are made of durable, quality materials can last up to 36 months if you take proper care of them. 

Your job likely requires you to stay on your feet for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, you need all the comfort and quality to make sure your boots can withstand everything your work throw at them. And that’s not something you can get from cheap work boots. If you want boots that last, be ready to invest in them.

2. Don’t Forget to Waterproof Your Boots

It’s recommended to waterproof your boots as soon as you buy them. Although many work boots are made to be waterproof, one more layer of protection will ensure your boots are protected not only from moisture but also from other environmental factors.

Still, moisture is an issue for many boots. That’s especially true when it comes to leather boots as water can damage them. So, remember to occasionally waterproof your boots with wax, spray, or cream. 

But how to know when your boots need another layer of waterproofing? All you need to do is drip some water on them and see whether the water will build up. If not, that’s a sign your boots are ready for another layer of the waterproofing agent.

3. Keep Polishing and Conditioning

Polishing and conditioning your work boots will help keep them in excellent condition as they can repel grime and dirt while maintaining flexibility. Once you see your boots are rigid and not so comfortable, you should start conditioning them. And that’s easy to do – simply apply the conditioner with a clean cloth or brush and there you have it. However, you should avoid doing this when they are dirty or wet.

4. Undo Your Shoelaces

Kicking off your boots with laces all set up won’t help prolong their life as this way the heel collar will bend, putting stress on the lacing system. To avoid this, just make sure to undo your shoelaces.

5. Keep Your Work Boots Clean

Putting your work boots in the washing and drying machine may sound tempting. However, this will damage the glue and stitching. When it comes to work boots, hand methods give the best results. 

First, you will want to remove the shoelaces and wash them with soap and warm water. Moving on to boots, use a brush with soft bristles, cold water, and mild soap to clean them. Once clean, leave them to dry naturally or in a boot dryer.

6. Keep Them Dry

Make sure to dry your boots as soon as you can after they get wet or washed as moisture in footwear promotes fungus, mold, and bad bacteria. The best way to dry your boots is with a boot dryer because the insole doesn’t need to be removed and your boots will be dry in no time.

Boot dryers are valuable to anyone who regularly works in wet environments and will serve them for years to come. 

7. Give Your Boots Time to Rest

Although work boots are designed to be tougher than your regular shoes, they will wear out fast unless you give them time to rest. That said, you should have at least one more pair of work boots and switch between them to avoid putting too much pressure on only one pair. This way, your boots will have time to relax, prolonging their life.

8. Store Your Boots Right

Make sure to leave your boots in a well-ventilated area as the absence of airflow can promote unpleasant bacteria and fungus, harming both your feet and shoes.

9. Invest in Tree Shoes

After long periods of wear, your boots may lose their original shape. Investing in tree shoes and placing them inside your boots will help maintain their shape for longer. In addition, tree shoes often smell nice, preventing unpleasant odors from forming inside your boots.

10. Wear Moisture-Wicking Socks

Moisture-wicking socks will draw moisture from your feet and discharge it, keeping both your boots and feet dry and comfortable. Also, long socks create a barrier between the boots and your skin, reducing friction between the two. This helps prevent excessive rubbing and minimizes wear and tear on the boots’ interior lining and exterior material.

11. Use a Shoehorn

If you don’t use a shoehorn when putting on your boots, it’s time to start as it makes it easier to put them on, preventing the heels from misshaping.

12. Buy Your Size

It’s not uncommon for people to buy the wrong size of boots and not even know it before it’s too late. Since the size and shape of your feet change with the years, you should measure them regularly to avoid getting the wrong size and thus injuring your feet. Besides harming your precious feet, wearing boots that are too small or too big can also hurt the boot.

13. Replace Your Boots When Necessary

Work boots should protect you while you perform your duties, so it’s vital to maintain them in good shape. If you notice any tears in the seams, signs of wear, or thin areas, it’s probably time to buy a new pair.

Or Re-sole Them

If everything but the soles is in order, consider re-soling your boots instead of buying new ones. This way, you will make them last longer without having to invest more money into a new pair. That said, you will want to find a skilled shoemaker whole can re-sole and repair your boots whenever needed. Replace the insole with an arch-support orthotic insole every 6-12 months. Arch support workboots are more supportive and generally the best workboots for your feet.

14. Let Your Boots Serve Their Purpose

Boots will degrade with wear. That’s why it’s vital to reduce their use when you can and use them only for work. While wearing your work boots outside your workplace may sound tempting, it’s better to avoid them if you want to increase their durability.

Work Boots Will Last with Proper Care

If you don’t water the plant, it will die. The same goes for work boots (just don’t water them). If you buy quality boots and take good care of them, they can serve you for years to come. However, if you just wear them at work and ignore them at home, they will start to wear out more quickly.

Make sure to clean and condition them regularly and keep them dry. Don’t forget about waterproofing either, as this can significantly boost their lifespan. Also, give them some time to rest by switching to another pair from time to time. 

Re-soling your boots is a great idea if you don’t want to invest in a new pair and everything else is in place. However, if you need to replace them, make sure to get the right size to avoid damaging them quickly. Lastly, let your boots serve their purpose by avoiding wearing them anywhere other than at your workplace.

By Punit