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Good boots ain’t cheap, and cheap boots ain’t good…
No matter which industry you work in, the following is always true: you do the hard work, and your boots cop the punishment!
Unfortunately The mad scientists who are busy creating the newest work boot technology have not yet come up with a pair of immortal boots, so expect them to one day need replacing. If you want to delay the inevitable, you have to take care of your boots as if they were your first-born child.
I generally find that you can expect your boots to last between 1-3 years under rough conditions, depending on how hard your working, and how you treat them!
How do I treat my work boots the right way?
- Rinse mud and dirt off them daily- if you allow them to build up grime, they will start rotting fast
- Give them a proper clean/scrub once a month (we tell you how below)
- Waterproofing: apply a waterproofing cream, wax or spray once a month (after cleaning). Twice a month if your exposed to water daily. (TIP: splash some water onto your boots, if the water does not bead up, its time to waterproof again!)
- Storage- always store your boots in a well ventilated and dry area.
- Use a conditioning oil on your boots once they start getting old and cracking.
The no-nonsense guide to cleaning your work boots:
- Remove insoles and shoelaces
- Using your hand or a stiff brush, remove any large clumps of dirt or mud
- Grab a bowl and mix up some boot-cleaner and water. Use a stiff brush to give your boots a good firm scrub, removing all dirt in the process. (Alternatively you can use a little dish washing liquid, but avoid bar soaps and detergents as they will dry and crack your leather)
- Now, rinse off the excess soap under a tap, with clean, room temperature water
- Leave them to dry in a well ventilated area (so don’t just throw them into your car!). If you need to speed up the process, aim a fan at them and blast them with some air.
- Apply waterproofing cream, wax or spray before you use them again.
As time goes on the inevitable will start to happen and you will find your work boots will begin to age.
When they age they will start become dry and stiff, and cracks will start to appear. Don’t stress- you will get plenty of wear time out of them yet, so once this happens, its time to start using a leather conditioner.
Using a leather conditioner to maintain older boots
Put simply, leather is skin, dead skin, so as it ages, it must be cared for and moisturized, or conditioned.
Doing this will give it flexibility, and this will stop cracking and drying, meaning you will get plenty more yards out of your beloved work boots.
So once your boots start getting a little dry and cracked, start using a conditioner every 2 weeks, applying it the same way you would use a waterproofing wax (find out here).
If you follow the above steps, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get up to 3 years, or even more, out of your work boots. As we say, Good boots ain’t cheap- so take care of your investment and they will protect your feet for years to come.