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How To Extend The Life Of Your Work Boots

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As the manager of our company's Mobile Safety Unit, I hear employees complain that their boots don't last that long. "My boots never last" or "I wish I could make a pair of boots last longer than six months". I feel your pain so in this blog I am going to give you some tips how you can extend the life of your work boots. 

Let's start off with the root of the problem: The reason the boots fall apart.

There are a few reasons why boots generally don't last long. Here are some of the more common reasons:

  • Environment 
  • Job
  • Boot Quality

The first one, environment, are the conditions that you find yourself in while you are wearing the boots. Chemical plant workers are constantly in nasty, boot-destroying chemicals all day long that eat away the materials of the boot, causing it to fall apart. The only way this can be controlled is to quit your job....generally, not an option for most people.

The job could fall into the above category but for the most part, means the types of tasks you do. For instance, carpenters are constantly on their hands and knees. This causes the toe of the boots to wear down and get that giant hole that shows that big hole in the toe of your sock. Again, the only way to fix this issue is to quit. Again, not an option.

The third, and probably the only factor you CAN control, is the quality of boot. Here is a little proverb for you: The cheaper the boot, the shorter its life span. It's a fact. Ever go to one of those big box stores and visit the shoe section? These are some of the most poorly constructed boots I have ever seen! Sure the boots only cost $30 but what are you getting in return? Several trips to that store to buy another pair. Fixing this problem is simple: buy better quality work boots.

So, here are my tips to longer lasting work boots.

  • Clean your boots on a regular basis. One of the worst things you can do to your boots is leave mud, dirt and grime on them. Over time, that mud starts to wear on the stitching, causing the boots to come apart. Fun Fact: Oil and Gas workers bring the most mud into our stores than any other profession. Once you have cleaned your boots, protect them with a good ole' massage using a boot oil of your choice. That oil will soak into the leather and keep it looking and feeling great.
  • Rotate your boots. It's a proven fact, if you use something everyday, over and over, it will eventually wear out and fall apart. So, if you have several pairs of boots lying around the house, rotate them. Wear a different pair everyday or every week. This by far, will extend the life of all your boots. TIP: In the event you do have multiple pairs of boots lying around your house, either in your closet or under your bed, get those bad boys out and start wearing them! Otherwise, the materials will start to deteriorate and fail. This is especially true with direct attach boots with a glued sole. If the boot isn't worn and broke in, that glue will break apart and the soles could fall off (I have seen this happen).
  • Buy a better pair. A good pair of work boots will last longer than some generic pair with cheap materials. You may save money but you sacrifice, quality, comfort and overall foot health by buying cheap. Some of the best brands are CarolinaTimberlandThorogoodJustin and Red Wing. Be sure you buy the best boot you can afford. Look at the stitching, the way the sole is attached to the boot, the quality of leather, etc. Made In America is definitely a way to go for great quality too!
  • Add bumpers. You don't want holes in your toes so put on some boot bumpers. Boot bumpers are glued onto the toes of boots to take the punishment of scuffing. This keeps your work boots from developing that large hole in the toe. 

By following these simple tips, you can extend the life of your boots which will save you some cash down the road.

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