How To Make Your Work Boots Last Longer
A couple pairs of good shoes are the staple in every wardrobe, unless you’re a bit of a footwear fanatic, then you’ll probably have a couple dozen pairs. One thing that were certain of, is that no shoes get more use than your work boots. And we are not talking gentle strolls either – every working day your boots get covered in dirt, dust, and grime depending on your job, all while doing thousands of steps and keeping your feet protected. As a result of all this, it feels like work boots, even super sturdy steel toe cap boots, never last long enough.
We know that getting a pair of long-lasting work shoes that help you get through your days in comfort doesn’t exactly come cheap. That being said, if you find yourself forking out hundreds of dollars every year on new boots, you might not be doing enough to take care of them. A little TLC goes a long way, and we have compiled ten tips on how to make your work boots last longer, helping you get maximum wear out of your next pair.
1. Invest In Quality Boots
A serious commitment to making your work boots last longer has to start with investing in a decent pair. You might be anxious about stretching your budget, but when you take into account how long they will last it is almost certainly more cost-effective to fork out for more expensive boots.
The cheaper the boot, the sooner it will start falling apart. Meanwhile, boots from a quality brand will show good craftsmanship, be more comfortable and safer, so do right by your feet and pay for a quality pair. For the best protection, choose steel toe cap boots.
2. Break Them In
Anyone who has ever jumped straight into an eight-hour workday in a brand new pair of boots will know this only ever ends in sore feet and feeling rage that the boots have let you down. Truth is, they need at the very least a few days, ideally a week, of breaking in new shoes or boots before you wear them on the work site. Skip this stage and you will likely give up on your boots sooner than usual because they cause your feet so much pain.
Wear your boots around the house starting with 15 minutes here and there, building up the time as the week goes on. When you are ready to take them to work, try wearing them just in the mornings to start with, switching to old boots in the afternoon. Heat makes your feet swell as the day goes on, so this is worth doing until your new boots are nicely broken in and stretch enough to allow for your feet expanding.
3. Use A Leather Conditioner
As part of breaking in new work boots, use a leather conditioner to soften them up. These help by moisturizing the material just enough to make it more flexible, which allow them to stretch to your unique foot shape more easily.
4. Use A Waterproofing Treatment
Chances are your work boots are going to tough it out in all kinds of weather. With water damage shortening the life expectancy of leather boots considerably, applying some waterproofing spray or wax is a must. These products create a barrier between rain, sleet and snow and the material of your work boots, keeping moisture damage out.
5. Always Dry Out Your Boots
Speaking of moisture damage, make sure you properly dry out your boots whenever they have been worn out in the rain or have had sweaty feet (which might be most days!). A shoe dryer, also known as a shoe tree, is a handy accessory or the age-old trick of stuffing scrunched up newspaper inside your shoes always does the job. Not only does this minimize that horrible damp, old boot smell but it is good for maintaining their shape too.
You might have heard stories about people microwaving their work boots to dry them out, or putting them in the oven. Do not make this mistake – it does more harm than good, causing them to dry out and crack.
6. Clean Them Inside
Another way to keep that smelly boot odor at bay is to give the inside of your boots a good clean – just think of all the sweat and dirt lurking in there. There are interior boot cleaners you can buy, or any low pH shampoo should work fine.
7. Clean Them Outside
It would be impossible to keep your work boots spotless but cleaning them as much as you can is definitely worth it to help them last longer. Get yourself a shoe brush for brushing off the worst of the dirt and dust each day, then do a more thorough clean every now and then, wiping them down and scrubbing at stubborn dirt.
8. Get Your Boots Re-Soled
Often you do not need a brand new pair of boots, just a new pair of soles. Take them to get re-soled if you notice the welting, that is the stitching attaching the sole to your boot, starting to come loose, or if the tread is worn out.
Both these forms of damaged soles can cause issues like moisture seeping in and making them unsafe for work, but once re-soled they are good to wear back on site once again. The small expense will save you from splashing out even more cash on new boots.
9. Buy A Second Pair
Ensure your boots always dry out properly and that the leather goes back into shape every time by having a second pair of boots. We know spending money on two pairs might sound counterproductive but alternating between the two pairs will make them last a lot longer, compared to if you wore each one every day.
10. Keep Up The Boot Maintenance
Now you know all these tips for making your work boots last longer, you need to put them into practice and stick at them. Clean them regularly, top up your conditioning and waterproofing treatments, and look after the soles. Get into this kind of work boot care routine and we promise they will repay you by lasting longer than any of your previous pairs.