Nothing lasts forever. No matter how expensive your work boots were, no matter how comfortable they happen to be, the time will come when they have to be replaced. But how do you know when you need new boots?
A general rule of thumb says that work boots should be replaced every eight to 12 months, but that should be taken as a guideline only. Everyone uses their boots differently. One person might safely get two years out of a pair of work boots, while someone else might wear through the same boots in six months. Here are some things to look for in your boots that will tell you it’s time for a new pair.
Wear and Tear
If any of the steel in your boots such as the toe caps or metatarsal guards are showing through, it’s time to replace the boots. If the boots are worn thin along the sides or the leather around the heels, it’s also time for new work boots. Keep an eye on the soles as well.
Cracks along the ball of the foot can lead to leaks or reduced electrical protection, while worn treads can lead to slips due to low traction. Separation or discolouration in the soles are also warning signs to look for in chemical-resistant boots. Wear and tear takes time to develop, so it’s a good idea to give your work boots a good check every so often.
Damage and Durability
Any dents, deep scratches, punctures or tears are a warning sign that your current boots’ days are numbered. While some boots can take several hits and still retain protection, others should be replaced as soon as they’ve taken a significant impact.
This is especially true of composite-toe boots. While they’re rated as good as steel for an initial impact, their protection is reduced significantly afterwards. Dents in or exposure of any steel protection should also lead to immediate replacement of your boots. If you work in an environment with significant safety hazards, it’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to damaged boots.
Are The Boots Starting to Feel Uncomfortable?
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but when boots become uncomfortable, it’s time to get new ones. It’s good advice for any footwear, but it’s especially important when it comes to safety boots. When they’ve worn to the point of becoming uncomfortable, it could be a sign that some of the safety features in the boots have also become compromised. While making your boots comfortable again may be a simple matter of changing the insole, it’s best to give your boots a thorough check to be sure.
Work boots are expensive, but it’s vital that they’re in good condition when you’re on the work site. The cost of new boots is nothing compared to the cost of an injury that might have been preventable. Take the time to check the condition of your boots, and keep these important tools in the best shape possible.