The Ultimate Work Boot Maintenance Guide

October 29, 2019

The Ultimate Work Boot Maintenance Guide

No matter how much you spend on your work boots, you probably want to make the most of your investment. Properly maintaining your boots is crucial, not only for getting the most bang for your buck, but also for keeping you safe and comfortable while on the job. 

Underperforming boots can be dangerous to your health, making it more likely to incur work related accidents and can potentially cause knee and foot damage in the long run. 

Make sure they fit the first time around. Don’t fall into the trap of buying boots that don’t fit just because they’re on sale or those are the only sizes left. “I can make it work” can only go so far. Sure, there are tricks to make ill fitting boots a bit more comfortable, but that’s just one more thing to worry about in the long run. 

Treat them right from the start. If you have to over-tighten your laces to keep the boots comfortably on your feet, you’re setting yourself up for early repairs. When your laces are tied that tightly, day in and day out, they’re more likely to break from the tensions. It can cause the leather to crease and crack prematurely, in the wrong places. The leather is meant to flex in certain places to match your gait. Over-tightening makes that happen in the wrong places meaning discomfort with every step. 

On a similar note, be patient with the break in period. Most boots require 80-100 hours of breaking them in before they’re supple and fit perfectly to your feet. It’s important to not use any conditioners to soften the leather before then, otherwise you’ll end up with a sloppy fitting pair of boots.  

Clean and treat your boots regularly. We can’t stress it enough. The best way to lengthen the lifespan of your boots is to take good care of the leather. Your boots go through a lot, and while leather may be tough, its going to need some assistance on your part to last for as long as they’re supposed to. 

    • Clean them off after every use. Just brushing off excess dirt and debris with a brush or cloth is enough. You should do this daily to prevent build up over time. 

    • Deep clean at least once a month. This depends on how you wear them of course, but generally speaking you should be going in with water and leather cleaner to really scrub away any embedded debris in the nooks and crannies. We recommend doing this once a month. Note: Remember to NEVER dry your boots with heat, always air dry by leaving them in a dry, ventilated area. 
  • Condition your leather. Again this depends on how you’re wearing your boots and the type of conditioner you’ve opted to use. But deep cleaning and conditioning go hand in hand. You only ever want to condition your boots after a deep clean, so you can time them together, or at least every other deep clean. 

  • Keep up with waterproofing. Waterproofing is another way to help extend the lifespan of your boots and keep you comfortable when working through rain, snow, or whatever your job calls for. Be sure to follow the instructions provided with your waterproofer. And when applying, pay special attention to the welting and stitching. 

  • You’ll occasionally want to clean out the boot interior. This is something you can do as needed, usually to get rid of the inevitable odors. You can find boot interior cleaners or use a low pH shampoo to get the job done. Make sure to give yourself ample drying time, the last thing you want to do is use a boot with a wet interior. 

  • Cleaning tip: Use cedar shoe trees while cleaning, waterproofing, and drying your shoes to help retain shape, aid the drying process, and eliminate odors. 

    Change out your insoles. Every insole has a lifespan. Depending on the thickness and quality, you’ll want to switch them out whenever they get flat or don’t feel as supportive as they used to. This is important if you use them specifically for a foot condition or are in particular need of arch support. You may also need to change out the insoles as they’re a common culprit for odors. 

    Get a second pair of boots. This may be more expensive up front, but in the long run it’ll really help extend the lifespan of your boots. Giving your boots ample time to rest and dry off completely can make a big difference. If you’re using the same boots day in and day out, residual moisture from the previous workday can linger in the interior and exterior of the boot. Wearing them while wet makes them vulnerable to interior damage and fungi/bacteria growth on the inside - not to mention moist shoes are just not comfortable. 

    Long story short, there’s a lot you can do to help protect your investment. Just like maintaining a car, keeping up with your work boots maximizes all the reasons you bought them in the first place. They’re more comfortable, more supportive, and they also look better. 

    So it’s important to try your best to keep up with a regular maintenance routine. It may be the last thing on your mind when you get home from work, but it definitely pays off. 


    Learn more about the styles and features of EVER BOOTS products here.