The Top 10 Ways to Make Work Boots Last Longer

man standing in construction boots

Work boots are a big investment for any employee. Workers in construction, mining, oil and gas, and other industrial fields count on quality footwear as a part of their protective clothing. Just as athletes put hundreds of hours into researching and selecting the perfect pair of shoes, those in industrial fields also need to focus on the care and maintenance of their shoes. Protect your feet with these tips for protecting your work boots.


1) Waterproof Your Shoes Immediately

Treat your work boots with a waterproofing spray immediately after buying. Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent and Scotchgard Outdoor Water Shield are both great options that offer superior protection. While most work boots are designed to take some abuse, this will give your footwear some extra protection against moisture from environmental and situational factors.


2) Always Undo the Shoelaces

It’s easy to kick off your shoes with the laces still in place, but this does little to protect your shoes. In fact, putting your foot back into a shoe that has already been laced will bend the heel collar, put stress on the lacing system, and pull on the stitching. This is one habit to break now to protect your shoes long-term.


3) Wash Shoes Periodically

Never put work boots in the washer or dryer, as this can destroy the integrity of the stitching, glue and other components that make your footwear so great to begin with. Instead, remove the laces from your shoes and place them in a bowl of warm, soapy water. Swish them around and rinse clean. Then, move on to your sneakers. Use a soft-bristled scrub brush, mild soap and cold water to restore your shoes to their former glory. Dry your shoes as quickly as possible after washing to keep your work boots in great shape for your next wear.


4) Dry Wet Shoes Immediately

Wet shoes are a breeding ground for mold, fungus and illness-causing bacteria. Whether your shoes are soaked from a recent wash or are just damp from a long day outdoors, it’s important to remove moisture as quickly as possible. Look for portable shoe or boot dryers that can travel with you or be stored in lockers. Larger boot dryers can be installed in the laundry room or mud room of the home for easy access. With this method, there is no need to remove the insole of your shoe before drying.


5) Alternate Shoes

Work boots are built for performance, but they can break down quickly if they are not rested. Switch between two or three pairs of shoes for best results. This will give each pair of shoes time to decompress between wears. When you switch between shoes, it’s also easier to tell when one pair has broken down so you can replace it and maintain the same level of comfort with each wear.


6) Proper Shoe Storage

Keep a shoe rack at home where your sneakers can easily be stored. Never leave work boots in a bag; lack of air flow contributes to odor-causing fungus and bacteria, which then impact the health of your feet.


7) Moisture-Wicking Socks

The socks you choose matter. Select moisture-wicking socks that draw wetness from your skin and release it into the air. This keeps both your feet – and your shoes – comfortable, even during long work days.


8) On-the-Go Care

Keep a backup plan in your bag at all times. We recommend either Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Durable or Jason Markk Quick Wipes for fast fixes. These are both durable cleaning options that can help prevent stains on the job. Remember to use these cleaners only on standard work boots. Materials such as suede or Nubuck require special care and should be treated accordingly.


9) Replace Work Boots Regularly

Watch your work boots for tears in the seams or areas that are worn down. Your boots protect you on the job, so it is critical to keep them in good condition without any thin areas in the fabric. Keep track of whether your shoes feel different or have worn down recently. This is a good indicator that you should replace your footwear.


10) Wear Shoes for their Intended Purpose

Shoes wear out after a certain number of miles, so it’s important to limit their use to where it will make the most impact. As tempting as it is, avoid wearing your comfortable work boots to the grocery store. This will help preserve your boots and avoid the need to replace your shoes prematurely.


At Williams Direct Dryers, our experts specialize in creating solutions for better lifestyles. We know better than anyone that it’s never too soon to start taking care of your shoes. With this advice on your side, you can enjoy better results during long days and maximize the lifespan of your footwear.