How Long Should Work Boots Last?
It's a valid question. After all, you should expect to replace work boots at certain intervals, just like you should expect to replace casual shoes, tires on your car or many other things that take wear over time.
How Long Can Quality Work Boots Last?
The truth is that it partially depends on wear, but it's also that if you buy the right pair...you should never actually have to totally replace them.
Let's build on that a little bit. You see, there's a big difference between quality work boots and a pair you might get at, say, a local "mart" store of some kind.
Work Boots Can Actually Last A Lifetime...If Made Right
Work boots can actually last a lifetime if they're actually made right. That sounds a little bit off, but there's more to boots than just buy one pair, wear them out, then get another.
If you're buying leather work boots from a store and don't really intend on investing much in them, then you probably expect a rather short lifespan. In that instance, they're a disposable item that you can just burn through, but there's a big difference between that kind of work boot and a pair of quality handmade leather work boots.
You see, leather boots that are actually well-made are built in a way that allows work boots to be repaired throughout their lifetime.
The sole is welted to the boot using a Goodyear welt, Blake stitch or McKay lockstitch. These welt methods allow for the stitching to be undone, a new sole attached, and the owner to continue to use the boot.
Inexpensive boots often have the sole merely glued on. Once the sole separates, it's done. You need a new pair.
Likewise, many store-bought boots can't be restitched if the vamp or heel comes away from the welt. Once it tears, it's over.
Custom work boots, on the other hand, are usually rebuildable. The maker can replace parts, restitch the boot together and voila - your boots are virtually like-new, ready for use again. Some break-in may be required, but you get more life from them.
Wear Depends On Usage On Your Work Boots
The more you use your work boots and the harder you use them, the shorter the interval between when you get them and when they need repair. It all depends on what you're doing in them.
If your job is general construction, putting up residential homes and buildings in typical residential areas, you could probably expect to get many years out of a pair of quality handmade work boots.
If you're a logger, maybe a few years, depending on the quality of construction and what job you do on the site. The yarder operator won't put the same kind of wear on their boots as, say, the choke setter or the actual tree feller.
Linemen can probably expect a few years between rebuilds, and maybe a year or two between resoling.
Wildland firefighters, of course, put the hardest wear on boots. Our customers have reported anywhere from one to three years of fire seasons between resoles or rebuilds, but we've also had some customers during the California fire outbreak needing a rebuild and re-sole every year as a matter of course, depending on their level of activity. And that's with our fire boots, which are widely held to be the best available.
How long you can expect your boots to last? That depends partially on what boots you buy...and what you do with them. What you can definitely expect is that a pair of Nick's Boots can be kept in working order for life with regular maintenance. This is why investing in a pair of quality leather boots is worth considering, especially compared to having to buy pair after pair of boots machine made in a factory overseas.