When you buy a pair of new work boots it is very uncomfortable to go to work wearing those. The boots are too tight and they almost bite into your flesh, giving...
Work Boots Repair Tips - A Detailed Guide
In the course of a lifetime, we would walk an equivalent of two times around this planet, more so in our work boots. No wonder then, most people do not want to give their favorite work boots up when they get slightly worn out, due to their comfort, safety, and protection they have offered so far.
As a result, most of us are willing to make trips to boot repair shops in order to repair broken shanks, replace worn-out heels, or polish the scuffed leather.
Unfortunately, many shoe repair shops charge hundreds of dollars to repair work boots, depending of course, on the extent of the damage inflicted.
Often, it is better to buy a new pair of boots although we completely understand your attachment to your existing comfortable pair of work boots. After all, these warriors have served you so well for years – protected you from injuries, debris, slips, and falls. They have kept your feet warm on the coldest of days and even prevented rain, sleet, and snow from getting in.
If repairs are totally worth the service your boots have given you, then there are some easy work boots repair tips that can help you salvage the pair. This way, you can easily get a couple of years more out of the boots.
Here are some tips to help you salvage your work boots easily:
Easy Work Boot Repair Tips
Change their color
Always from lighter to darker. This is the easiest way to spruce up work boots. You can also ask repair shops to re-dress your boots if they are scuffed. These are the steps involved in changing boots’ color:
- Strip off the tanning treatments and glazes from the leather.
- Next, use leather polish to change the color.
Painting shoes yourself usually only temporarily covers stains and scuff marks.
Change the style of the boots
This is not a DIY process and can require some professional help. However, there are some ways you can change your boots style at home.
- Cut off or add straps
- Add steel or composite reinforcements. This is best done professionally if safety is at stake.
- Have pieces of leather appliqued on stains and scuff marks.
Add or remove heel inserts
You can also add or remove heel inserts to change the boot’s heel styling. Of course, this is best done professionally.
Be an alert consumer. Ask about different materials available in heels. These days, you have vinyl, rubber, leather, composite synthetics, etc.
Leather heels are about the same price as rubber heels although they may not last as much. If your work boots are low-heeled, you can use leather heels because they enhance the boot’s breathability.
Make the toe area spacious and roomy
If your boots are pinching you or, for some reason, the toe box area seems too narrow and restrictive, then you can get a cobbler to open or stretch the toe region for you. This process is an inexpensive way of salvaging tight work boots.
Simply add a matching piece of leather around the toe region to prevent your toes from getting squashed. You will then have to re-last the shoes to the soles.
Attach uppers to the soles
If the uppers are separated from the soles of the boots, apply glue to re-attach them. This task needs to be done carefully otherwise you might end up with smaller sized boots.
If there are large holes in the uppers, then you might want to revamp the entire upper from the seams to the soles. This task needs to be done very carefully. You also need to find uppers that are in the same color as the other boot.
In case of worn out uppers with large holes, it is best to buy new boots instead of repairing them.
Add in new eyelets
In case of laced work boots, you can simply buy eyelets and replace your existing ones. Work boot repair eyelets can be used for all kinds of work boots. They can be easily attached to the boots using a die-and-press, tubular rivet setters, or simply a hammer and a punch.
Use work boot repair kits
These days, you can buy work boot repair kits online. They help you add in new toe guards which can extend your boot’s life by nearly three times. They also repel water, grime, oil, chemicals, and other workplace hazards and protect your toes and metatarsal bones from falling objects, hot liquids, etc.
The best part is that these kits can work on all kinds of boots. They also include everything you need to restore your steel or composite toe boots.
If nothing works, buy a new pair
Boot repair requires skill and expertise. Never risk your safety by wearing boots with DIY repairs. This can compromise your safety at the workplace.
Always consult a professional shoemaker or cobbler and if possible go in for new pair of work boots.
Wear And Tear Preventive Tips For Work Boots
Polish them regularly
Polishing leather boots can add a shine and also condition the leather. High-quality boot polish also keeps the leather supple, resilient, and resistant to water.
You can also invest in black/brown shoe/boot cleaning kits that include brushes to keep your work boots in top condition.
Take care of wet boots
It is very important to completely dry out the boots after they are wet. Do not place them near heaters as that would cause warping and shrinking. Strong heat and wet boots is not a good combination.
Instead, insert old newspapers inside each boot. This will absorb all the moisture and help retain their shape.
Use boot guard polishes
Boot guard polishes can help you get more mileage out of your work boots. They protect the boots from damage, wear-and-tear, and also prevent moisture and water seepage inside the boots.
Boot guards are easy to use. You simply apply them as instructed along worn out seams. You can use them on materials like leather, vinyl, cordura, and even to exposed composite toe or steel toes.
To apply boot guard, use a reliable product like this one. Apply the first coat, brush it out to spread it well, and then let it dry for an hour or two. Next, apply the second coat and leave it to cure overnight.
Boot guards can help prevent cracking, peeling, and fading of the leather/synthetic work boots.
Use two pairs of boots alternatingly
If you have two pairs of boots, use them on alternate days. This will prevent wear and tear of one pair. This way, they will last much longer and also give the leather time to dry on its ‘off’ day.
Perspiration or sweat ruins work boots. If you have to work in hot weather all day, sprinkle dusting powder sparingly inside stockings or socks. If you wear boots without socks, then sprinkle the powder inside the boots. This will prevent sweat from damaging the leather. Take off your boots as soon as you get home.
Never force your feet inside laced boots
When wearing a pair of laced boots that you haven’t sufficiently loosened, never try to force your feet inside. This will permanently damage the stiff backs of the boots. Also, never take off boots without loosening the laces first.
FAQs On Work Boot Repair Tips
How can I repair cracks in the soles of my boots?
Clean the cracked surface with rubbing alcohol. You can use repair kits which come with rubber strips to attach to the cracked area.
Use strong shoe repair glue like this one – it can repair minor cracks that can remain impervious to heat, water, cold, etc.
How do I stop one side of my work boots from wearing down?
It is best to buy two pairs of work boots and use them on alternate days to prevent each pair from wearing down completely.
How can I extend the life of the soles of my work boots?
To extend the life of your work boots’ soles, have them reinforced with protective half-rubber sole layers. These can greatly increase the life of your boot’s soles.
How can I decide whether to buy new boots or get the old ones repaired?
Use the thumb rule: replace the item if repairs cost more than half the price of a new one.
There is no point endangering your safety. You must never compromise on your health with poor-quality worn-out boots. After all, it is your delicate metatarsal bones and toes which are at risk. You could also slip and fall on low-traction surfaces due to worn out soles which can cause fractures and other painful injuries.
You must always evaluate your work boots’ safety from time to time. Often, worn out boots no longer adhere to the safety standards laid down by OSHA and the Department of Labor. So, always replace worn out boots that are a safety risk.
DIY repairs on work boots, when done right, can extend the life of your boots by a couple of years. However, when it comes to extensive wear-and-tear, it is best to replace them. After all, although you might save money on buying new boots with DIY fixes, you might end up paying a lot more in the longer run, and not just in terms of money.
So it is best to know when to replace the work boots.
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