How Long Will The Soles Last On Casual Boots?
A boot that's made the right way can always be resoled, but that also begs the question of how long the soles on casual boots are going to last. After all, soles on shoes are consumables in that they sustain wear and will eventually get worn down.
How long will that be?
The answer is...that it depends. For some people it's a year or two, for some people it's longer...and for some people, it's a lot sooner than that.
However, even if a person is wearing casual boots every day but isn't putting the same kind of stress on them that a pair of serious work boots worn by a person in a seriously hard job will...you can certainly expect a longer than normal life span.
How Fast Your Casual Boot Soles Last Depends Partially On Use
The biggest factor in how long your casual boots are going to last before needing a resole or even a rebuild comes down to how and how hard you use them.
Consider the following hypothetical.
A person gets a pair of boots, say something like an urban logger boot style. They work in an office job, don't walk long distances on pavement very often, lives in an apartment and therefore doesn't have much yard work to do, and winters in their region are generally more moist than wet, and not terribly harsh.
Now consider a second one.
A person gets a pair of boots that's a more casual style, but works in a light manufacturing capacity. They're on their feet most of the workday. After work, they like to hike mountain trails, they work in the yard on weekends, and winters in their area are wet and cold, with lots of snow.
The second hypothetical person is putting more miles on their boots, more wear on the boots and the soles, and at a far faster rate. The second person is therefore going to experience a faster rate of tread wear, and will need a resole (or even a rebuild) much sooner.
So it partially depends on how you use them.
Choice Of Boot Sole Also Makes An Impact
Another factor is the sole of your boots. Exactly what kind of sole you have will determine the rate at which they wear out, as well as usage.
A person who puts little stress on a pair of boots with a very hard-wearing sole - say a Vibram 100 - will take a very long time to wear the soles of their boots out.
A person who puts a lot of miles and wear on a softer sole, which loses material at a faster rate to abrasion, is going to find their soles wear out a lot faster.
So it depends partially on sole choice as well.
For instance, a Vibram 100 sole is a very hard and hardy sole, though it wears down a little faster when exposed to very hard surfaces like pavement or cement on a daily basis.
A Vibram V-bar, on the other hand, doesn't wear down as fast as there's far less material to actually be ground away.
A mini-lug sole is somewhere in the middle. While it has the hard lugs of the 100, they are lower profile, and therefore are going to last a little longer unless they are subjected to heavy use.
Wedge soles...depend on the type selected. Ripple soles tend to resist wear fairly well, but the classic Christy Creme sole is made of a rather soft rubber compared to other sole types. While it makes the boot very comfortable to wear, it also means they wear out faster with hard use.
Leather soles wear out quickly with hard use. However, with casual use only...they can last a year or two. Then again, this is for casual use; working use will accelerate the wear on your boot soles.
So it depends on how you use your boots...and what sole they have on them.
All Boot Soles Must Be Replaced Eventually
Unfortunately, there's no way to give a person a number on this issue; it depends on so many variables that it's almost pointless to even try.
Some of our customers go a few years between resoles. Some of our customers have their boots resoled every year due to hard use, especially wildland firefighters. While we build our firefighter boots to take serious punishment, boot soles only stand up to so much.
It's also the case that with longer and longer fire seasons, you need your gear to be ready before the next fire season.
People in some other trades report a few years on some soles, some a year or two. People who buy our casual boots tend to take a bit longer between needing a new boot sole. It depends on the wearer, the boot and the job they do.
But that being said, purchasing a quality pair of boots will ensure that not only can your boot be resoled or rebuilt, but that you have the same great footwear year in and year out, rather than having to buy a whole new pair every so often, which actually saves money in the long run.
And you get your feet into better boots in the bargain.