If you work on your feet most of the time you know the value of first class footwear. This is especially true for those who work on construction sites where they typically encounter all manner of physical hazards and all types of weather. Without high-quality work boots in good condition it can be extremely difficult and downright unsafe and unhealthy for these vital workers to perform their jobs. Work boots however, are like anything else in that they wear down and eventually wear out. But at exactly what point do your boots go from “worn in” to “worn out”? It can be difficult to quantify but below we’ll provide a few tell-tale signs to look for that indicate it’s time to start shopping for new work boots for men.
When to Throw in the Towel on your Boots
The answer to the question “How often should work boots be replaced?” will depend on several factors including:
- The quality of the boot itself
- How often you wear them and
- The type of environment you typically wear them in.
Because of this the question cannot possibly have 1 all-encompassing answer and so whether or not it’s time to replace your work boots will be determined by what the boots themselves are telling you about their condition. Below are the kinds of telltale signs you should be looking for.
- Angling or Tilting – It’s crucial that your work boots support proper body alignment all the way up through the spine. When they are breaking down this is one of the first things to suffer. You can usually tell if your boots have reached the point where they’re no longer properly supportive by placing them on a flat surface and noting how they sit. If they tilt either to the left or right then they’re no longer supporting proper alignment and should be replaced.
- A Lack of Traction – Your work boots should help prevent accidents not cause them. But if they’ve lost traction they could very well wind up being the agent that causes you to have a serious accident on the job. Whether you work outside in the rain and snow or indoors in a warehouse or industrial complex where water is sometimes present on the floor wearing boots with slick soles can be worse than wearing no boots at all. If you find your boots have lost traction it’s time to consider replacing them.
- Sagging – Old boots often wind up sagging in the lower part of the shaft. Large wrinkles appear and the upper portion falls limply to one side or another. This indicates the leather has lost its structural cohesion and that your boots are no longer supplying support but rather being supported by you when you lace them up. Time for new ones.
- Leaking – A classic sign that your boots have given out and need to be replaced is when they begin to leak. There are myriad reasons why they might do so, from stitches coming loose to the sole separating from the upper to cracks caused by the leather drying out and cracks in the sole. If, during the course of your work day, you discover that your feet are wet inside your boots it’s time to buy a new pair.
To the tradesman or woman, work boots are as essential as any foundational tool like a drill or screwdriver. They enable one to perform at their best by providing them with a stable, dry, warm, safe platform to work from. If your work boots have seen better days don’t hesitate to replace them. If you don’t you could lay the groundwork for a serious injury.