Blog, Safety Footwear, Security Footwear

Take Care Of Your Work Boots

If you take care of your work boots they’ll take care of you and your budget.

You wouldn’t let your car get to the point of being a beat-up mess just because you drive it every day. Why do the same with your work boots?

If you want extra wear time, you must take care of them.

Get some extra steps out of your safety and security footwear with these care tips.

Break In Those New Work Boots

Taking care of your work boots starts on the very first day. Breaking in your shoes before wearing them on the job site will help prevent tears in the lining and make them more comfortable when you go to work. Once you have broken them in, use a waterproofing spray to add an extra layer of protection. Using a waterproof spray creates an invisible waterproof barrier to help repel dirt and stains.

When breaking in your boots, try to avoid putting too much pressure on the seams or any stitching, as this could rip them open.

Wear your shoes around the house to break them in with just socks or thin cotton tights until they are soft enough for you. Afterward, wear them without socks or tights for half an hour each day until they feel comfortable enough for work.

After the break-in is complete, caring for work boots long-term will only require some regular maintenance.

Top Tip: We do not recommend keeping a new pair of boots stored away for too long (without being worn). Certain Polyurethane materials tend to break down over time and fall apart when you put them on some years later. So instead, perhaps you can start alternating a new pair of boots while taking the last steps in your older boots.

Waterproofing Your Work Boots

Once you’re 100% satisfied that your boots are broken-in properly, look at waterproofing them. Use a damp cloth to wet the shoes; then apply the waterproofing. Apply another coat of waterproofing spray or cream once a week for about a month, thoroughly cleaning them between each application. Check on the boot’s ability to be water-resistant periodically after that.

Avoid using chemical products when cleaning the shoes with a plastic or rubber-tipped brush before applying a specialised water-based waterproofing. Do NOT be tempted to oil your new work boots right away because petrol-based products can cause the leather to stretch and affect your fit.

Remember that work boots will never be 100% waterproof.  Wherever possible shoes should be kept dry, but waterproofing will help protect the shoe and the wearer from unavoidable splashes.

Care for your work boots by Keeping them Clean

Occasionally, you may need to strip any dirt or chemical buildup as it accumulates. Wipe all the dirt away with a clean cloth, and gently clean the boots until you have wiped everything away. Remember to clean the soles.

But let’s not forget the insides of the boots. Periodically, you’ll need to clean the insides; for that, you can use a low pH shampoo or interior boot cleaner. Wash the cleaner thoroughly, as you’ll need to remove the odours, salts, and acids from sweat, dead skin cells, and dirt. Use an odour spray to control smells.

Top Tip: According to Patient.Info “In a pair of feet there are normally about 250,000 sweat glands which typically produce about half a pint of perspiration a day. Sweat glands are more concentrated on the feet than in any other part of the body.” Consider investing in absorbent socks.

Keep Them Tied Up

One of the most common issues that can cause wear and tear are when boots aren’t tied up when wearing them. Do not let the boot laces hang loose, tie them up. If you don’t tie your shoes up, feet and ankles side around – this causes the lining to wear out prematurely. It also messes up the boots’ shape, which will start wearing unevenly.

Simple Care in Four-Steps

Different types of leather may require a different type of care. This simple four-step process will keep standard leather boots in excellent shape. Clean, Condition, Polish & Waterproof – if you follow this simple regimen for standard leather boots, your shoes will take care of themselves.

  • Clean – use a leather cleaner & cloth to wipe that dirt away gently.
  • Condition – after boots have dried, condition them using mink oil. You can apply this with a soft clean cloth, rubbing the oil in, especially at the seams, then allowing the boots to dry.
  • Polish – polish the leather using a soft cloth, and finish by buffing it in long circular strokes.
  • Weatherproof – protect your boots from wet conditions with a waterproofing product.

When protective footwear works as hard as you do – give it some care. All you need is a bit of time, and the maintenance will make your footwear go the extra mile. You’ll not only keep yourself looking professional on the job, but you’ll be saving money in the long run too.