How to Get More Mileage From Your Safety Footwear - A Detailed Guide

How to Get More Mileage From Your Safety Footwear - A Detailed Guide

Protective footwear is an investment in our health and safety. They may be costlier than the regular boots, but it’s about spending your resources wisely. The best quality boots ensure the best quality materials, excellent construction, and long-lasting durability. Even so, the toughest boots succumb to harsh working conditions. This is the reason safety boots should be taken care of while on and off the job. We discuss the various ways you can take care of your safety boots.

Recommended Care & Maintenance

Safety Experts offer a few recommendations regarding the care and safety of safety footwear. With a little TLC, you can extend the life of the safety boots. Here are a few tips to extend the life of the footwear.

Regular Cleaning – A very small percentage of workers perform this daily ritual. It is the surest way of extending the life of the boot. What method of cleaning is used depends upon the material of the boot. It also depends on how dirty the boot is.

For example, a boot made of full-grained leather can be cleaned with a mild soap or detergent solution using a sponge or cloth. After a long day at work, rubber and neoprene footwear should be hosed down. They can be dipped in warm water and mild soap solution.

They can then be cleaned off using a rag or a brush. While wiping the boots dry check for signs of deterioration. If you detect deterioration, then repair the footwear. Such care improves the slip-resistance of the boots.

Regular Rotation – If your job requires you to walk around, lift, stand, and do other arduous tasks. It is recommended you buy another pair of boots.

Research indicates that a worker sweats up to 200 ml through the day. Couple this with the compression and impact the boots have to tolerate. These factors shorten the life of your boots. Besides the wear, the boots cause corns, blisters, and other discomforts.

When you circulate the boots, you give the other pair a chance to breathe. The washing and polishing give them a chance to recover.

Keep the Leather Supple – Most safety boots have a leather upper. Leather boots can be kept in a tip-top condition by applying shoe grease, oil, and a slew of polishes and moisturizing creams. This ensures that the upper does not dry and crack. This care is required because the upper is very important in maintaining a sturdy exterior. The care also prevents deterioration of the safety boots.

How to Get More Mileage From Your Safety Footwear - A Detailed Guide

Toe Tips & Heel – The wear of the boot depends on how the person sits, stands, and walks around. One particular area of wear is the heels and toes. The boots become worn in certain areas while looking like new in the others.

This wear is due to the stress on the area. When you walk up to a counter, furniture or console ensure you do not touch them with the foot. The motion of hitting the tip of the shoe and landing the foot scratches the boot and scrapes material off. When you sit on a chair or back into something, ensure the heel does not rub against it.

The scuffs and tears can be repaired by using a dyed polish. If your boot is black, use black polish. If brown, then use brown polish. This not only nourishes the material but also covered the scuffs. The boot not only looks new, but its life is also extended.

In case the boot is made of synthetic materials like nylon. A wipe down with a cloth, a brush-up, or a wash in a mild soap solution should do wonders.

Proper Storage – After you have cleaned and polished the safety boots. Do not leave them out to be trampled and stepped upon by people. Keep them in a proper box or a locker. If it is a metal locker, place a liner made of paper or plastic and then place the boots on their sole.

If the cabinet or locker is made of wood – it is great at wood absorbs moisture and odors. This prolongs the boot’s life. If the box, cabinet, or locker has slits or breathing holes, then your boots ventilate while not in use.

This ventilation dries the sweat, takes away the odors and various substances that may cause the deterioration of the material of the boot. Microbes on the skin that embed themselves in the boot may cause deterioration.

When the boots ventilate the moisture is removed killing the culture of microbes. The latest boots have antimicrobial linings that prevent such a buildup. These linings not only kill odor but are antiseptic.

You could also use a shoe tree to keep your boots safe. When the boots are stored properly. They do not accumulate dirt, dust, and other contaminants. Such care can enhance the performance, life, and comfort of the safety boot.


Why do some workers stuff newspaper in the boots?

Your feet sweat in the boot. If you do not have a dryer at hand. Wade up some newspaper and stuff it in the boot. Leave some room for air to circulate. Paper wicks moisture. Your boots will be fresh and dry with no damage.

Why keep safety work boots out of the boot or dicky of the automobile?

The boot of the automobile has extreme conditions like cold, damp, heat, etc. This breaks down the materials the boot is made of faster. Bring the boots indoors and keep them in a fair climate. Last but not least, let them breathe.

Can safety work boots be used for anything else?

It is recommended you make your work boots special. Wear them at work, take care of them after you’ve finished. Keep them in a ventilated box to prevent dirt, dust, or other contaminants from settling on them. Keep a pair of street footwear for that after-work drink at the local bar.

How does a proper posture and form help prolong the safety boot’s life?

Improper posture and form cause uneven wear and tear of the boot. The insole slants one way. The outsole wears unevenly. The heels are deformed too. Such wear & tear leads to pronation or supination. These conditions pronounce bad gait and wear of the boot.

How to know if you pronate or supinate?

If the outer part of the outsole is worn out – you are a supinator. If the inner part of the outsole is worn, then you are a pronator.

How does wearing a pair of socks prolong the boot’s life?

These socks wick moisture. When you remove your foot from the boot, the moisture absorbed in the socks leaves the boot. This prevents the breakdown of the shoe material due to organic acids in the sweat. This also prevents microbial growth, mildew, dampness, and odor to develop in the boot.


Going an extra mile in caring for the safety boots will prolong the life of your boots. Maintaining your boots will also make the boots more comfortable for you to enjoy their service. While you are working, you don’t want to be thinking of your feet. How uncomfortable they are, why they pinch? Or why does the foot land wrongly? Cleaning your boots, replacing worn insoles, repairing the outsole, etc will not only prolong the boots’ life. They will help your performance while keeping you in good health. After you purchase your boots, do not forget to take care of them. This care will bring you value for your money.

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