Some people hold on to their work boots until they’re near ready to fall off. There are many good reasons not too.
The most obvious reason is that every time you switch industries, your shoes or boots need to fit that industry’s dress code. So if you just switched from the restaurant business to the health care industry, it would be tough goings with those old restaurant shoes.
But if you’ve done similar work in many different industries over the years—say, carpentry and construction work—you can probably get away with wearing one set of worn-out work shoes for a much longer time before anything changes at your job site.
If your boots still have lots of life left in them but they’re starting to look a little worse for the wear, add some shoe polish and buff them up nicely. You’ll restore that nice shine and feel like you just got new boots.
A lot of people store their old work boots with high-heels in front, pointed side outwards – like a jam sandwich – and it does the trick. (Just make sure not to fill up too much space in there!) Your feet are one size bigger at the end of the day anyway so it helps if you take off your shoes first! And put something soft on top so they don’t get scratched or poked by sharp stuff.
Find a local charity that can use them
Ideally, you’ll want an organization that will get use out of them because otherwise it’s taking up space. The American Red Cross has a program where they are happy to provide scrubs or other types of clothing for medical personnel coming in from affected areas. Just contact the charity, explain the situation your children are in, and make sure they’re here to pick up the boots when they arrive because shipping would be too expensive.
What Should You do with Old Work Boots?
If one plans on donating their old work boots then there are a few things to take into consideration. Firstly, any organization that could use them should be contacted first before just throwing away the old work boots though many states have recycling programs for this type.
Sell them on Craigslist for a good price to someone who could use them
Re-purpose the boots into something different or into something that will save money. For example, use your old work boots as a mud catcher for the garden. The rubber grip on the bottom of them will collect and hold all sorts of dirt from being tracked inside your house, and it’s a lot cheaper than a mat! It may take some creativity, but you can put these to good use one last time.
You could also use them as makeshift ice skates, smash someone’s car window with them to help break through during an accident so you can rescue someone (couldn’t hurt!).
Give your old work boots to someone you know who needs new ones
If your boots don’t have any holes and you would like to keep them, wash them really well with soap and water. Use a stiff brush if necessary, such as an old toothbrush or one of the brushes on some leather cleaning kits.
Dry the boots off with a towel and liberally apply water sealant or boot protector–either product will work just fine for this purpose. Put the shoes upside-down on some paper towels and let it dry overnight.
If your boots do need replacing, try using some shoe polish to bring back that shine that had started to dull. Fill in cracks in shoe’s sole along heel seam–this is where most wear occurs on these types of shoes.
What you should do with old work boots varies by what type of boots they are. If the old ones are steel toe or other occupational safety boot, get them to a company that collects them and has a program for recycling them.
Other types of boots, such as hunting or hiking styles, should be donated to an appropriate organization that will redistribute them to people who need suitable footwear. Sometimes older friends and relatives living on a fixed budget benefit from this charitable service.
Throw away the old work boots if they are not worth anything and cannot be reused or sold
Old work boots are often just tossed out, but they can sometimes be recycled or resold. If you want to give your old work boots a new life, there are many nonprofits that would be more than happy to take them off your hands for free. Or if you’re looking for profit, sell your old shoes at a yard sale or via sites like eBay or Craigslist! You might even find someone else who needs them – maybe because theirs have recently broken down. Check out the link below for some shoe recycling charities in the US. When donating, also make sure to put on some sturdy gloves so as not to spread any germs!
Donate the old work boots to an organization that will reuse them for people in need of shoes, such as shelters and homeless populations
In case you can’t find a specific organization in your area, then call a local shoe store and ask if they have any need for used furniture. Spread the word to friends or post on social media that you’re donating some shoes. Chances are someone will be happy to take them off your hands!
It’s also worth reaffirming with potential recipients of old boots that they’ll get an opportunity to choose from various types of footwear, not just work boots. Some charities do make allowances for this sort of thing but it does depend on what kind of organization is receiving these donations.”
Donate the old work boots to an organization that will reuse them for people in need such as Habitat for Humanity or World Renew. These organizations can renovate and use your boots to build shelter, construct furniture and even build entire homes.
They’ll channel the energy you used every day while wearing those boots to help someone else no longer struggling with homelessness or fear of violence. You never know when a pair of quality shoes might be what saves someone’s life one day.
Fill them with potpourri to make a great DIY gift for the holidays
- Place the boots in a dry, warm place for several days to allow any expanding moisture to evaporate. Allow the boots room to return to their original shape.
- Next, take half of an old newspaper or other rough paper and put it on your work table. Then remove the upper corners of the bootlaces with scissors so that they can be pulled out easily.
- Put both hands inside each of the shoe openings and pull them apart as hard as you can until they are stretched until there is at least one inch of slack lace remaining outside each shoe’s opening.
- Remove your hands from inside each boot and then turn the two laces into full loops by holding one loose lace end in each hand, wrapping them together.
Cut off the top of an old boot and turn it into a planter for succulents or other small plants
What to do with old work boots varies based on what type of work your former footwear had. If they were steel toe, than it’s typically best to leave them where they are for another labourer. On the other hand, if your former boots were not steel-toed, you can donate them at any shoe drop-off location near you.
Another wonderful way to reuse an old boot is as a planter for succulent plants or other plants that pot small and thrive in shallow soil. This works great for people who grow plants from seeds indoors because it helps keep excess water off your flooring – something many personal gardeners know all too well! In order to make this reusable planter.
Use an old boot as a doorstop, or use two shoes together as one large door stop
My grandfather used this trick back in the day when he ran a school bus company. He would use old boots as door stops for the driver’s side doors of all of his buses. They gave off an unpleasant odor after time, but the chemical reaction between shoes and smoke is said to deter fires!
And smoke can be rather harmful so I am guessing this was actually pretty helpful at the time. Although no longer needed for their original purpose, these boots which were once part of my grandpa’s legacy are now just sort of around here – more testimonies than anything else – but they still hold on to that weird smell.
When should you throw away work boots?
When wearing boots often enough they start to feel uncomfortable, you should consider purchasing a new pair. In this day and age, the cost after all the time spent on making money in work boots is not worth buying a new pair.
If you never worn work shoes yet, when time comes to change occupation or take a vacation – in short in case of emergency situation – it’s better to buy an extra shoes in advance instead of throwing your old ones away.
And if there is no emergency then it’s better to look for some place where they can be repaired because usually repairing these kind of shoes is much more expensive that purchasing one from the shelves.
Can I return used work boots?
- Find out if your community has a recycling program
- If not, find a recycler that accepts boots
- Clean the boots thoroughly to remove any dirt or stains
- Cut off the laces and discard them in trash can – they are too short to recycle
- Remove all other hardware (such as metal eyelets) and put it in an appropriate container for recycling
- Put the boot on its side with soles facing up and cut along both sides of each sole using scissors or a sharp knife until you reach the heel
How do you recycle boots?
- Throw away boots with holes in them
- If the boot is still wearable, give it to someone who needs a new pair of shoes or boots
- Separate the materials and take them to your local recycling center
- Take old clothes and other items that you don’t want anymore to your local donation center
- Have a garage sale for all the things you don’t need any more and make some money while decluttering!
- Recycle metal cans by turning them into scrap metal at your nearest scrap yard
How long should a pair of work boots last?
- Work boots should last at least one year
- The average person spends about $200 on a new pair of work boots every 3 years
- You can extend the life of your work boots by taking care of them and not wearing them outside when it’s raining or snowing
- If you don’t take care of your work boots, they may start to leak and cause blisters
- When you’re buying a new pair of work boots, make sure they fit properly – too tight will cut off circulation and too loose will wear down quickly
- Before purchasing a new pair, check out reviews online for recommendations from people who have tried the product
How do you inspect work boots?
- Check the material – leather, suede, or fabric
- Look for a well-made outsole and heel
- Examine the stitching to see if it is tight and neat
- Check that seams are sewn straight with no loose threads or holes in them
- Measure your foot as you try on the boots to make sure they fit correctly – there should be about 1 inch of space between your toes and the front of the boot when standing up straight
- Make sure there’s enough toe room so that your toes don’t touch any part of the boot’s upper while walking around in it
Work boots can be used for gardening, light construction work, mowing the lawn, maintenance of the house/gardens. I know many people who have old work shoes or boots that are stiff with cement on them living in their dark closets because “they might need them one day.” A few years ago when my husband moved to another country for his job he was able to buy a pair of good shoes for about $10 there that fit really well and knew that if they wore out within 6 months then he would get another
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