What To Do With Old Work Boots? (Try These 10 Upcycling Ideas)

Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by Sarah Jaffe

What to do with old work boots

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had a pair of work boots that you’ve worn for months, or even years, until they just can’t take it anymore. And it’s a tough decision to make – do you throw them away, or try to fix them?

The problem is that old work boots can be uncomfortable, and sometimes even dangerous to wear. They may not provide the support and protection you need on the job, and they can also be a tripping hazard.

Getting rid of old work boots can be a waste of money, especially if they’re still in relatively good condition. Plus, it’s not environmentally friendly to just throw them away.

So, what’s the solution? In this post, we’ll explore different options for repurposing or repairing your old work boots. I’ll also share my personal experience of what I do with mine, as I’ve kept a few of my old work boots and used them for different purposes like gardening, house cleaning, etc.

So, whether you’re looking to save money, be environmentally conscious, or just want to get more use out of your old work boots, keep reading to find out what you can do with them.

What can I do with my old work boots?

There are several options for repurposing or repairing your old work boots, such as using them for different purposes like gardening, house cleaning, or even donating them to a charity organization. You can also try to repair them and prolong their lifespan, or recycle them if they are no longer usable.

10 Ways to Give Your Old Work Boots a Second Life

Approximately 22.2 billion pairs of shoes are manufactured each year, which emphasizes the importance of reusing old work boots. The truth is, there are plenty of creative ways to put those well-worn boots to good use. Here are some ways to make old work boots useful again:

1. Recycle

Recycling old work boots

Recycling old work boots is an easy way to reduce the amount of material going into landfills, and a great way to help the environment. Depending on what material your work boots are made of, they can usually be recycled. Most work boots are made of rubber and plastic, which are both readily accepted by recycling centers.

If you are ready to recycle your old work boots, there are many recycling centers that will accept them. Some towns have local recycling centers that you can take them to, and if not, you can look for a recycling center in your area that accepts rubber and plastic materials.

Be sure to separate the rubber and plastic components of your old work boots when you take them to a recycling center. You can also search online for a recycling center near you like TerraCycle and Recyclenow

2. Repurpose Your Old Work Boots as Garden Shoes

Repurpose Your Old Work Boots as Garden Shoes

If your work boots are still in decent condition, you can turn them into garden shoes. Old work boots are perfect for protecting your feet when using a tiller or spade in the garden.

The rubber soles provide traction and the tough leather or fabric uppers can keep dirt and other debris from getting inside your shoes. You can even add mudguards to the outside of the boots for extra protection.

3. Give Your Old Work Boots a New Look

If you’d rather not wear your old boots outside, you can give them a brand-new look. Use fabric paint and stencils to create custom designs on the uppers. Or, try adding eyelet and lacing details for a more feminine look. Bring a fresh lease of life with some creative color and style.

4. Use Your Old Work Boots as Boot Planters

Use Your Old Work Boots as Boot Planters

Do you still have good working boots, but you have trouble wearing them? Why not turn them into boot planters? Fill them with potting soil, then add a few flowers or vegetables to make a unique planter. Place them on the porch or in the garden and enjoy the vibrant colors. 

5. Create a Birdhouse

Looking for a unique birdhouse for your garden? Use your old work boots as the foundation for your birdhouse. You can paint the boot in bright colors and use it to house your feathered friends.

6. Make a Boot Lamp

If you’re handy with tools, you can turn your boots into a lamp. Simply cut a hole in the top of the boot and insert a lightbulb. This is an easy way to create a unique lamp that will give your space a rustic feel.

7. Serve Up Your Favorite Beverages 

Using old work boots, create a beverage server. Fill the boot with your favorite drinks and pour them into glasses or mugs from the top of the boot. This is a great way to impress guests at your next party.

8. Upcycle Them into Art

If you’re an artist, you can use your old work boots as the base for a sculpture or painting. You could also add a few finishing touches to make them into a unique piece of art.

9. Donate them

Your donation can help those in need by providing shoes to those who cannot afford them. You can donate your old work boots to a local homeless shelter, a charity that supports veterans, or a charity that helps people in developing countries. 

You can also donate your boots to a charity that focuses on providing footwear to those in need around the world. Many of these charities have online donation sites so you can make a donation easily and securely. You can see Soles4Souls and samaritansfeet.org online for donations.

10. Sell them

Selling old work boots can be a great way to make some extra money. With new styles of work boots being released each year, there is always a demand for used work boots. To maximize your earnings, you should begin by cleaning and polishing your boots to make them look new. You may even consider replacing the laces or adding any other minor repairs to make them look more appealing. 

Once your boots are in tip-top condition, you can start trying to sell them. You can list them online on websites like eBay, or you can sell them locally. If you are selling locally, you may want to post an advertisement on classified websites such as Craigslist. You can also reach out to your network of friends and family to see if anyone is interested in buying the boots.


Old work boots don’t have to be thrown away – there are plenty of creative and practical ways to repurpose them. From making creative planters to fashioning them into an interesting décor piece, there are many options to explore. You can even donate them to a local charity or homeless shelter if they are still in good condition. With so many possibilities, it’s easy to find a new life for your old work boots.


What can I do with old work boots that are too worn out to donate?

There are several ways you can repurpose your worn-out work boots. You can use them to create planters or garden decorations, turn them into a birdhouse, or use them to craft outdoor decorations. You can also turn them into a doormat, a boot tray, or a shoe rack. Alternatively, you can cut the boots and use the material to create art or repurpose them into something new.

Is there any value in old work boots? 

Yes, there can be worth in old work boots, depending on the condition. Work boots that are well-made and still in good condition can be worth money as vintage items, or can be repurposed for a number of uses. However, boots that are in poor condition and beyond repair may not have much value.

How do I clean my old work boots before disposing of them?

Before disposing of old work boots, you should first remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated on them. You can do this by using a soft brush and some mild detergent. Once the dirt and debris are removed, you should rinse the boots with warm water and then let them air dry. Once they are completely dry, you can dispose of them.

How can I tell if my work boots are old enough to be replaced?

To determine if your boots need replacing, look for signs of wear and tear, such as worn out soles, broken or frayed laces, and any other signs of damage. If your boots have any of these signs, it is likely time to get a new pair. Additionally, if your work boots are more than a few years old and have been worn extensively, it may be time to consider replacing them.