Give your old boots the boot

Put your safety and comfort at the top of the priority list with new boots.

While it may seem unnecessary to change boots that look like they’re still fine to wear, work boots don’t last forever. Boots that have been worn out over time will start to lose their protective qualities and safety experts warn that wearing worn-out boots with compromised safety features increases general foot ailments and can become a dangerous health hazard when working in high-risk environments.

According to Adrian Blandford, Global Work and Safety Range Manager of iconic Australian boot brand, Blundstone, Aussies tend to be a sentimental bunch when it comes to their boots, with many boot owners reluctant to give up the soles guarding their feet due to the nostalgic value they hold. “Feet are a critical factor in overall health as when they are out of alignment, so is the rest of the body.

With an unbelievable 100 plus tonnes of pressure put on feet daily, it’s important to wear well-maintained boots with cushioning and arch support to keep you safe and comfortable on site,” he says.

“Foot problems are often the result of neglect, lack of awareness and lack of proper care of footwear, so ensuring that you replace old, worn-out boots without delay is a simple way to avoid pain and damage to your feet, as well as other health issues including back ache and compromised circulation,” continues Blandford.

These five tell-tale signs are the best indicators of when it’s time to give your boots the boot:

  1. Wear and tear
    While some scuffs are manageable and the nature of many peoples’ jobs, it’s important this doesn’t get out of hand. As soon as any protective components, such as a steel, reinforced toe or a metatarsal guard begin to show, it’s time to replace your work boots. This is also true for treads and soles. If they’re significantly worn down or rubbed smooth then they’re not providing the required grip and protection. Once the structural integrity of a boot has been compromised to this extent, they will not be compliant to Australian standard AS 2210.3:2019, meaning you could be banned from a work site until the boots are replaced.
  2. Torn leather
    When leather begins to tear or crack, it can often lead to leakage and your boots should be replaced. What’s more, if the leather sags it could mean that the boot has lost its structural cohesion and therefore is no longer supporting your foot, which may result in compliance failure.
  3. Impacted boots
    Boots should be replaced if there’s any sign of significant impact or trauma. Depending on the safety boot, there will be signs to tell when a boot has suffered severe damage. Steel toed boots will dent inwards, however with composite materials, the internal structure can be damaged without any signs.
  4. Exposure to harmful substances
    If your line of work involves exposure to hazardous or corrosive chemicals and materials and you experience any sign of obvious wear and tear that could lead to leakage, you should change your work boots immediately to avoid any injuries or health issues.
  5. Discomfort
    Most quality boots come with a removable footbed, which is designed to be washable, breathable, and replaceable when necessary. Premium footbeds will provide arch support and cushioning so if your boots become less comfortable than normal, start by checking the condition of the footbed and replace if necessary. If a boot is causing your feet serious discomfort, then it’s not worth risking more serious damage and it’s best to replace them, as it’s important the boot does its job so you can do yours.

“To get the best out of your boots and prolong their life, cleaning your boots thoroughly following the manufacturer’s instructions to maintain the health of the boots and avoid deterioration and damage is important. Ensure when you buy your work boots that they are the right boot for your job and if possible, purchase two pairs so you can alternate and allow any moisture to dry out before wearing,” says Blandford.

Blundstone boots are proven to be hardwearing and fit for purpose. For boots built to protect, consider this classic style from their safety range:

Blundstone #984 – RRP: $229
• Stone water-resistant nubuck upper with zip and lace up
• Thermal regulating Bamboo lining
• Moulded TPU bump cap for added leather protection
• XRD® Technology
• Sizes: 3–15 Half sizes: 7.5–10.5
• Safety Standards:
o Standard AS 2210.3:2019
o Standard ASTM F2413-18 including EH (Clause 5.6)

All Blundstone boots are available online and in stores via select retailers throughout Australia and are backed by a 30-day comfort and six-month manufacturing guarantee.

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