When it comes to leather boots, choosing good quality material is essential. With that said, you're probably wondering how long your leather boots will last? Well, we've done plenty of research and have the answer for you. Let's discuss.
Generally, you can expect leather boots to last between five and ten years. However, the lifespan of your footwear will depend on a few key factors. These typically include:
- How often you're wearing your boots.
- The quality of your leather footwear.
- Upkeep (how often you clean/condition your shoes).
If you're in the market for leather boots, we will tell you exactly what you need to look for. We'll go in-depth about why materials matter, how to upkeep your shoes, and signs to look for to signal replacement.
How Does The Quality Of Leather Affect Its Lifespan?
Leather is a durable product. This was made abundantly clear in 2008 when archaeologists discovered a woman's moccasin in an Armenian cave that is believed to be 5,500 years old!
There are three main types of leather goods, Full grain, Top-grain, and genuine leather.
Full grain is considered the crème de la crème of leather. Only the highest quality animal skins can be made into full-grain leather. Full-grain comes from the hide's top layer and includes all the natural grain. This is the standard of high-quality leather.
Top grain is second best. Top grain still retains the natural grain but is taken from the outermost layer of the hide. Making it a much thinner product, meaning the product's longevity will be impacted slightly.
Genuine leather, while as the name implies is, leather is the lowest quality leather. Typically, this leather comprises several layers of low-quality animal skins bonded together and then treated or painted to look natural and uniform.
Don't expect genuine leather boots to last a lifetime; they'll probably last only around a year or so of regular use.
How Do You Clean And Maintain Leather Boots?
First, you'll want to remove any loose debris or dirt from your leather boots. You can wipe it down with a damp cloth or soft bristle brush. After this, you will want to follow these simple steps to maintain your leather boots for years to come!
- Clean the leather thoroughly with either a mild soap and water solution or a specified leather cleaner. Avoid aggressively scrubbing the leather as this can damage the fibers. Allow drying before the next step thoroughly.
- Apply a natural leather conditioner such as Bickmore leather conditioner. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application. Allow the boots to air dry thoroughly. Avoid drying in the sun or by a heater, which can cause fading and cracking in the leather.
- If unsatisfied with the finish, repeat steps until the desired sheen are reached.
View this leather cleaner on Amazon.
See this leather conditioner on Amazon.
Is Vaseline Good For Leather Boots?
Yes, you can use vaseline if you're in a bind and need to shine up your boots. It will soften and moisturize the leather. It can also reduce or even remove the appearance of scratches and scuff marks.
However, vaseline should only be used as a last resort. If used frequently as a leather conditioner, it can break down the strength of the leather fibers, shortening the leather's lifespan. It can also promote rot in leather.
What Are The Effects Of Wearing Worn Out Shoes?
Wearing worn-out shoes can be uncomfortable in many ways. Some of the common side effects of doing this include:
- Knee Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Back Pain
- Shin Splints
Additionally, some of these effects can become debilitating, interfering with everyday life. Not only can you suffer these effects of using worn-out shoes, but the more the sole and heel also wear down, the higher the risk of suffering a twisted ankle.
You will want to examine your boots routinely every six months to avoid these effects. You will also want to listen to your body and promptly replace footwear if any pain develops.
How Can You Tell Your Shoes Are Worn Out?
Even if your shoes appear in fine shape outwardly, this may not be the case. Again, you will want to examine your footwear every six months closely. The uppers of the shoes can last up to four times as long as the soles.
You will always want to start with the soles. This is typically the quickest part of the shoe to wear down. Normal wear will predominately be on the ball of the foot and the back of the heel.
Suppose you see flat spots or excessive wear anywhere other than the ball and heel areas you will want to replace them. High-quality boots can be resolved. If you wish to get your shoes re-soled, you will want to consult with a cobbler.
When looking at your shoes' upper and outer areas, you will want to inspect for any holes or tears. You will also want to make sure your sole isn't separating from the rest of the boot. Another good thing to inspect for is any cracks or hardened spots in the leather and any damage to the toe area.
How Do You Make Leather Boots Last Longer?
If you follow the steps above to clean and maintain your leather boots, you should be on track to keep your shoes around for years. If maybe you didn't purchase the highest quality boots, but you want to extend the life a bit, you can buy a protective rubber sole to add to your existing sole.
This adds durability skid protection and extends the life of the sole. Again, high-quality leather boots can be re-soled, theoretically allowing them to last a lifetime.
See these rubber soles on Amazon here.
Suppose you start to notice any fading or scuff marks be sure to add that leather conditioner or a leather cream onto the marks. This will help protect against any further damage.
For comfort, aftermarket insoles or inserts can be purchased. These can be better tailored to your feet than the manufacturer's insole. They can add support comfort and extend the longevity of the interiors of your boots.
There are three main types of insoles or inserts. They are support, sport, and cushion. You can also get varying volumes of insoles designed for specific activities such as hiking, biking, and running.
Another trick to maintaining your leather is removing salt stains right away. The quicker you remove the salt from your shoes, the better to prevent any staining.
Keep your taller boots in shape by using a boot tree. This can not only maintain the shape but prevent folds and cracking.
Check out these boot trees on Amazon.
The best preventatives to maintaining the longevity of your boots are to wipe them down after each wear with a dust bag. This ensures the shoes remain clean, then spray them with a protective spray before going out.
View this protective spray on Amazon.
How Long Should Dress Shoes Last?
Most dress shoes costing under $100 are designed to last around 6-12 months with regular usage. A more costly pair will generally last you 2-10 years. High-end dress shoes can last upwards of 10 years with proper care and maintenance.
How Long Does The Average Pair Of Shoes Last?
Footwear specialists recommend replacing your average everyday footwear every 8-12 months as a general rule even sooner if you notice any of the following.
- Upper and interior wear
- Outsole wear
- Loss of cushioning
- Foot fatigue
How Long Do Doc Martens Last?
Doc Martens are a popular leather boot brand. They're known for quality and claim to use the highest quality leather in their boots.
The manufacturer states that they expect their boots to last five to seven years. However, some boot owners claim their shoes are still going strong after 20 years!
Can You Re-Sole Doc Martens?
Doc Martens have a unique Goodyear welt heat-fused construction that welds the sole to the upper. Due to this re-soling, the shoe is tough for a cobbler.
Luckily there are a few options other than re-soling. Cobblers can build up the worn areas of the soles, add half rubber protect soles, or even add a thicker sole to the original one.
To Wrap Up
Even when initially investing, you may wonder if those leather boots you're eyeing are worth it? Our research has shown that a good quality pair of leather boots should last you a lifetime with a bit of love and care!
Made it to the end? Check out these related posts below!
Do Leather Boots Shrink Over Time?