Winter can be hard on work boots. Workers across the country are currently subjecting their safety boots to the harshest conditions Canadian winter has to offer.
Since work boots are an essential personal protective equipment used by workers to protect their feet, the right care, as well as regular maintenance, is beneficial to:
- Increase the boot longevity
- Improve your comfort
- Reduce your cost in PPE!
Let’s dive into the few steps you should take when you come home from your workday. We know you’re tired, but it’s worth it to take the extra few minutes to make your work boots last.
When you come home, wipe your boots with a damp cloth to remove accumulated calcium. If you notice a considerable buildup of salt, you can apply a mild vinegar and water solution to dislodge the toughest dirt.
Be mindful of the amount of water used, especially if your boots are made of leather. Water could lead the leather to dry out and crack. If you used too much water while cleaning your boots, remove the insoles and fill them with a paper towel or newspaper to safely dry them.
An easy one! Store your work boots somewhere dry and at room temperature. Do not put them near a heater or furnace. Contrary to popular belief, this can dry out your boot too fast and cause the leather to become brittle and dry out.
Waxing and protection
Waxing is also a step that should not be neglected. A good waxing of your work boots will ensure leather hydration to prevent premature drying, cracking or deterioration.
There are many types of waxes on the market, and it is important to choose the right one adapted to your boot.
Refer to the table below or ask a specialist. For optimal wax application, ensure to coat the boot’s entire surface, including stitches and the junction between the upper and the sole. It is also recommended to remove the laces to apply the product adequately to the tongue.
|Grease or wax applied with a cloth or in spray form||Spray solution designed for this type of suede||“All-purpose” shoe protector|
When should I change work boots?
Many factors come into play. How you use them and how well maintained the boots are, are two primary factors.
If you work all week in an environment where damage could be done to the material, you should consider replacing your boots every 6 to 12 months. If your boots are damaged, you need to change them to ensure optimal protection.
What to look for:
- Breakage in the leather
- Cracks or holes in the material
- Exposed toe
- Broken heel
- Loose sole
- Always remove the insole to ensure it is thoroughly dried before the next use
- If your work boots are made of suede, brush first and treat with a water-resistant spray
- If your work boots are made of leather, polish and treat with a leather preservative
- Clean and maintain your boots regularly
- Check out our feet protection section on our blog for more free resources!
- Cleaning your boots with soap or solvent
- Force dry
- Leaving your boots near a heater
- Leaving your boots in direct sunlight
- Wearing your boots when they’re not fully dry
The secret to a longer-lasting work boot is the diligence of your maintenance!