When it comes to durability, work safety boots can last anything between a couple of months and a few years. The better you treat, the longer they will last.
Obviously safety boots have been built to last, but some special care and maintenance every month and they could last longer.
Break In Gradually
If your boots are brand new, exercise patience when breaking them in. While some take only a day to be good to go, others need at least a week. If you try to rush the process you could cause yourself pain.
Water-Based DIY Waterproofing
If your safety boots are made from real leather and not suede, the next thing you need for them is waterproofing, if they don”t already have any. There is an easy and cheap procedure for waterproofing that is also very easy to stuff up.
The key is to limit having only waterproof products that are themselves water-based. This is a good idea for a number of reasons:
- Water-based products allow your boots and feet to breathe.
- They are safer as they don’t contain petroleum which can stretch leather.
- More effective
- Never attract dirt
- Regardless of the product you use, the best results are achieved with 3 coats. The first applied in the beginning, followed 2 weeks later by the second coat and a further 2 weeks later for the final coat.
If you don’t even bother cleaning them, event the toughest and most resilient boots will not last long. A quick scrub only takes a few minutes on a weekend and what do you get in return? A longer lifespan for your boots, that’s what.
All leathers apart from suede should be cleaned using a water-based cleaning agent with a nylon brush for leather and a pencil eraser for suede.
Conditioner is important as leather has a tendency to dehydrate easily. Dehydration is followed by cracks if you are not careful and things like scratches follow also.
There is no real amount of conditioner you could use to completely prevent scratches, therefore below you will find some tips to help you limit the damage.
- Following the instructions above, clean and condition the boot properly
- Smooth out the scratches using more conditioner
- Dab some white vinegar onto the scratch, compressing (or trying to) the part that’s lifted.
- Apply shoe polish.
- Following the directions above, clean and condition the boot properly
- Buff over the scratches with shoe polish.
- Cover entire boot in a nice liquid silicone finish. This matches accurately to the lacquer they used when the manufacturer first coated them.
- Remember and keep in mind that suede is much more delicate
- Use a pencil eraser to clean
- Buff at the scratch with a toothbrush to raise the grain
- Condition the scratch
Why You Should Consider Insoles
If you buy a decent pair of safety boots and then wear them day in day out for forty hours a week, the insoles will be the first part of the shoes to wear and tear and damage beyond repair. It isn’t some kind of design flaw, it is the natural result of something being stepped on repeatedly without letup or protection.
If and when it occurs you need to think about replacing the insoles before you go through the process of replacing the boot. Replacing the insole takes a lot less time to sort than finding a new pair of boots and it is also much cheaper.
If the soles in your pair of boots are thin, it would be wise to organise replacement insoles way ahead of there being any problem.
Wear Boots As They Were Intended To Be Worn
Although this should be common sense, it is worth highlighting here that if you were boots somewhere they are not designed for, you will have problems and it could ruin your boots.
If you chose the best pair of safety boots for particular work environments during the week, avoid wearing them in the exact opposite conditions over the weekend. If they are made out of suede, avoid water as best you can.
Hopefully the above article has given you some food for thought when it comes to how you should take care of safety boots. When you do make the effort and do these little things, they make a huge difference and mean you will have safety boots for an even longer time.