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Can Work Boots Be Resoled?

Resoling work boots is a common practice to extend the life of your favorite footwear. This process involves removing the old outsole and replacing it with a new one, allowing your boots to maintain their durability and comfort. It’s important to understand when and how to resole your work boots, as well as the benefits and costs associated with this maintenance technique.

Not all work boots can be resoled, however, with many premium quality boots specifically designed for resoling, this process can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing an entirely new pair. Additionally, resoled boots offer the advantage of already being broken in and comfortable. It’s important to carefully consider which boots to resole and when, as well as to find the right cobbler or expert to perform the job.

Key Takeaways

  • Resoling work boots can extend their lifespan and maintain comfort
  • It’s crucial to know when your boots need resoling and find a skilled expert for the task
  • Resoling can be a cost-effective solution for preserving your favorite work boots

Understanding Resoling Work Boots

Basics of Resoling

Resoling is the process of replacing the worn-out soles of your work boots. It can extend the life of your boots and save you money in the long run. It’s like giving your favorite pair of boots a new start! To have your work boots resoled, you’ll want to take them to a professional cobbler who specializes in this type of repair.

Worn outsoles on work boots can be dangerous, as they lose their grip and become less effective in providing support and traction on various terrains. When you notice that your work boots’ tread is worn out or the outsole is damaged, it’s time to consider resoling.

Resoling Materials

The material used for resoling your work boots will largely depend on the original construction and the type of work you do. Most work boots have soles made from durable materials like rubber or polyurethane. These materials are tough and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, even the strongest materials will eventually break down.

Leather is another common material used in work boot soles, particularly for those working in construction or other heavy-duty jobs. Leather is naturally water-resistant and durable, making it an ideal choice for resoling.

Some popular brands for work boot resoling materials include Thorogood USA and Nicks Boots.

Resoling Methods

There are different methods used to resole work boots, and the best method for your boots will depend on the boot construction and the materials used. Some common resoling methods are:

  • Cementing: This method involves attaching the new outsole to the boot using a strong adhesive. It’s a quick and affordable option but may not be as long-lasting as other methods.
  • Stitching: Stitching the new outsole to the boot provides a stronger and longer-lasting bond. This method is typically used for higher-end boots and may be more expensive, but it extends the life of the boots considerably.
  • Welted construction: Boots with a welted construction have a strip of leather (called the welt) that runs along the seam between the upper and the outsole. Resoling a welted boot involves removing the old outsole, cleaning and preparing the welt, and then attaching the new outsole. This method is more time-consuming and costly, but it can be done multiple times, prolonging the lifespan of the boot.

Before choosing a resoling method, it’s essential to consult with a professional cobbler or the boot manufacturer to ensure the best possible outcome for your work boots.

When to Resole Work Boots

Signs of Wear and Tear

Resoling work boots becomes necessary when you notice signs of wear and tear on the soles. It’s essential to keep an eye on the condition of your boots to know when it’s time to resole them. Some common signs of worn down soles include:

  • Thinning of the outer sole material
  • Loss of traction or grip
  • Cracks or splits in the sole
  • Uneven wearing on one side of the sole

It’s worth mentioning that the timeframe for resoling depends on factors like the boot’s material, your work environment, and how often you wear them.

Inspecting Your Work Boots

To ensure your work boots remain safe and comfortable, it’s important to regularly inspect them. Here are some steps in inspecting your work boots:

  1. Examine the boot’s overall condition: Look for cracks, cuts, or tears in the upper part of the boot and on the sides.
  2. Check the stitching: Ensure the threads are still tight and not frayed or broken, as this may cause the sole to come loose eventually.
  3. Assess the sole thickness: Compare both soles to ensure they are wearing evenly and not excessively thin in any areas.
  4. Inspect the insoles and padding: Make sure they are still providing ample cushioning and support.

Benefits of Resoling Work Boots

Extended Lifespan

Resoling your work boots can significantly extend their lifespan. When the soles wear out, it doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of the boots are worn out too. By getting them resoled, you can keep using your favorite pair of boots for a longer time, saving you money in the long run.

Improved Comfort

One of the main reasons people choose to resole their work boots is because of the improved comfort. When you break in a pair of boots, they mold to the shape of your feet, providing maximum comfort. Resoling your work boots allows you to maintain that perfect fit and continue enjoying the comfort you’ve grown accustomed to.

Environment and Waste Reduction

Resoling work boots is also an eco-friendly choice, as it helps to reduce waste. By extending the life of your boots, you’re using fewer resources, like materials and manufacturing processes, that contribute to environmental pollution. In addition, resoling keeps boots out of landfills, which helps to reduce harmful waste.

In conclusion, resoling your work boots offers several benefits, such as extending the lifespan of your boots, improving comfort, and promoting waste reduction for a healthier environment. By taking advantage of these benefits, you’ll be making a smart investment and contributing to a greener planet.

Cost Considerations

Cost to Resole Work Boots

Resoling work boots can save you money if you have a good pair of boots that you want to keep. The cost of resoling usually ranges between $75 and $150. This cost depends on factors such as the cobbler’s skills, location, and the type or size of your boot.

Let’s break down the costs:

  • Cobbler’s Skills: High-quality work from a skilled cobbler may cost a bit more, but your boots will last longer and be more comfortable.
  • Location: Prices may be different if you live in an area with higher living costs or limited cobblers.
  • Type or Size of Boot: Some boots are more complex to resole, and bigger boots may need more materials, which can affect the cost.

Comparing Resoling and Replacement Costs

To figure out if resoling is cheaper, you should compare the cost of resoling with the cost of buying new boots. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Cost of New Boots: The price of new work boots can range from $50 to $200 or more, depending on the brand and quality.
  • Lifespan of Resoled Boots: A good resoling job can add a few years to your boots’ lifespan. If the cost of resoling is significantly less than buying new boots, it may be worth it.
  • Emotional Attachment: If you have a favorite pair of boots that fit you well, it might make sense to resole them instead of buying new ones.

Keep these points in mind when weighing the costs of resoling your work boots against buying a new pair. Remember, the best decision depends on the quality and condition of your current boots, as well as the costs involved.

Choosing the Right Cobbler or Expert

When looking to have your work boots resoled, it’s essential to find the right cobbler or expert to ensure the best possible result. This section will look at the factors to consider when choosing the right professional, like their qualifications and experience.


A good cobbler should have proper training, certification, or apprenticeship from a reputable institution. This helps ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to handle your work boots well, especially welting, which is crucial for work boot construction. To determine a cobbler’s qualifications, you could:

  • Ask about their education and training
  • Look for certification displayed at their shop or website
  • Check online reviews or forums for people’s experiences with the cobbler


In addition to qualifications, it’s essential to find a cobbler with experience, especially in handling work boots. Boots are made using a variety of materials, and different styles might require distinct approaches to resoling. An experienced cobbler should be able to assess your boots and recommend the best solution. Here are some ways to gauge a cobbler’s experience:

  • Ask about their years in the industry
  • Browse their portfolio of past work, either in-store or online
  • Look for testimonials from satisfied clients

Remember that finding the right cobbler or expert is crucial to bring your work boots back to life and extend their durability, so take the time to research and find the best professional for the job.

Work Boot Brands and Resoling

Red Wing

Red Wing is a popular work boot brand known for their durable and high-quality boots. Many of their boots are designed with Goodyear welt construction, which allows for easier resoling. When it’s time to resole your Red Wing boots, you can expect to spend around $100-150 for a professional job. Resoling your Red Wing boots not only saves money in the long run, but also prolongs the lifespan of the boots you already know and love.


Keen work boots are well-liked for their comfort and unique design. Some of their boots are made using welt construction or direct attach construction methods, allowing for resoling when needed. The cost of resoling Keen boots will vary depending on the construction type, with prices typically ranging from $85-150. By resoling your Keen work boots, you can extend their useful life and enjoy the familiar comfort of your broken-in boots.


Justin is a boot brand that produces a variety of styles, including work boots. Many Justin work boots are constructed with high-quality materials and techniques, such as Goodyear welt or storm welt construction, which makes resoling a viable option. The cost of resoling Justin boots is comparable to other brands, usually around $100-150. Preserving your favorite pair of Justin work boots through resoling can save you money compared to buying new boots every time they wear out.


Ariat is another popular work boot brand, known for their performance-oriented design and long-lasting materials. Some Ariat boots can be resoled, thanks to Goodyear welt, storm welt, or blake stitch construction methods. Resoling Ariat boots typically costs around $100-150, although prices may vary depending on factors like the specific model or local labor rates. Choosing to resole your Ariat work boots can be a cost-effective way to extend the life of your footwear and maintain the comfort they provide.

Caring for Your Resoled Work Boots

Break-in Period

After getting your work boots resoled, there’s a brief period where you need to break them in again. During this time, the newly replaced soles will adjust to your feet, and the boots might feel a bit stiff or uncomfortable. To help with the break-in process, wear your boots for short periods, gradually increasing the time each day. Popular brands like Red Wing recommend this method to ease into your resoled boots.

A few tips to speed up the break-in process:

  • Wear thick socks during the first few days
  • Massage leather conditioner onto the boots
  • Gently bend and flex the boots by hand

Maintenance Tips

Once your boots are comfortable, it’s essential to maintain them to ensure durability and prevent accidents. Here are some maintenance tips for your resoled work boots:

  1. Clean your boots regularly: Remove dirt and debris by wiping them down with a damp cloth. For stubborn stains, use a soft brush and a mild soap solution.
  2. Dry them properly: If your boots get wet, air dry them in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat sources, as extreme heat can damage the leather and glue holding the soles in place.
  3. Condition the leather: Apply leather conditioner every few months to keep the material supple and resistant to water or damage. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for a suitable product.
  4. Rotate your boots: Rotating between two or more pairs of boots gives each pair a chance to dry out and recover from daily wear.

Proper care of your resoled work boots is essential, whether you’re using them for heavy-duty jobs in the USA or weekend projects around the house. By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your work boots looking great and lasting longer.

Resoling Alternatives

If resoling your work boots is not an option or you’re looking for a quick fix, there are a few alternatives that can help extend the life of your boots and improve their performance. In this section, we’ll explore insoles and traction aids.


One easy and affordable way to improve the comfort and support of your work boots is by adding insoles. Insoles can be purchased in various materials, such as memory foam, gel, or cotton. They come in a range of sizes and can be trimmed to fit your boots perfectly.

Insoles can help with arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption, making them ideal for those who spend long hours on their feet. Some insoles even feature antimicrobial properties to help keep your boots smelling fresh.

To choose the right insole for your work boots, consider the following factors:

  • Your foot type (e.g., flat feet, high arches)
  • The type of support needed (e.g., cushioning, arch support)
  • The work environment (e.g., wet or dry conditions)

Traction Aids

Traction aids are another alternative to resoling your work boots when dealing with slippery surfaces or uneven terrain. These products attach to the bottom of your boots, providing extra grip and stability.

There are various types of traction aids available in the market, such as:

  • Rubber soles that stretch over your existing boot sole
  • Metal spikes that screw into the sole of your boots
  • Strap-on cleats with metal studs for added traction

When selecting traction aids for your work boots, consider the type of surface you’ll be walking on and the level of grip required. Keep in mind that some traction aids may not be suitable for all types of boots or work environments. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if a boot can be resoled?

To determine if your work boots can be resoled, inspect the upper (shoe leather) and the sole of your boot. If the upper has cracks, scuffs, or other damage, resoling might not be worth it. However, if the sole is worn down but still in good shape otherwise, then a resole might be the best option.

What’s the average cost for resoling work boots?

The cost to resole work boots depends on the boot’s construction and the type of sole required. Generally, resoling work boots can range from $50 to $100. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate and may vary based on your location and the cobbler’s expertise.

Where can I find boot resole services near me?

To find boot resole services in your area, you can start by searching online or asking for recommendations from friends or family. Some online platforms also provide directories of local cobblers and shoe repair shops. Make sure to read reviews and check their reputation before choosing a service provider.

Do all work boots support resoling?

Not all work boots are designed for resoling. Boots with a welted construction, where the sole is stitched to the upper, are more likely to be suitable for resoling than those with a cemented or glued construction, which can be more difficult to separate and reattach. Consult with your boot’s manufacturer or a professional cobbler to determine if your boots can be resoled.

What’s the process for resoling boots with Vibram?

Resoling boots with Vibram soles involves removing the old sole, cleaning the surface of the boot, applying adhesive, and attaching the new Vibram sole. A professional cobbler will ensure that the new sole is properly aligned, trimmed, and buffed to fit seamlessly with the existing upper. The process may vary slightly based on the boot’s construction.

Can I get a boot resole kit for DIY repairs?

Yes, there are boot resole kits available for those who want to try DIY repairs. These kits typically include adhesive, a new sole, and instructions for the resoling process. While resoling your boots yourself can save money, it may not result in the same quality and durability as a professional resole. If you’re unsure about DIY repairs, consult with a cobbler or consider investing in a professional resole service.

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