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Wear | May 2023

Should you buy second-hand work boots?

Black boots on building site

Why cheap boots might not be the bargain you’re looking for

Good quality work boots will last a long time if you treat them right. So, it’s not uncommon (or surprising) to see second-hand Steel Blue work boots turning up in online marketplaces.

Everyone loves a bargain. But are you getting your money’s worth with second-hand safety boots?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of buying cheap work boots second-hand.

Are used work boots a good buy?

Whether you’re looking to save your pennies or pick up some as-new safety boots for a bargain, buying used can be tempting.

There are three reasons it might make sense to browse second-hand work boots:

1. Save money

Buying second-hand is cheaper than new. With the cost of living rising, and the pressure on to save wherever possible, cheap boots can be very tempting.  

2. Score a good deal on “like new” boots

Like buying a demo model car, you could pay less for lightly used work boots that are advertised as “like new”. 

3. Stop shoes going in the bin

Buying second-hand prevents safety boots from ending up in landfill. And if you can save money in the bargain, it’s a win-win.


These are certainly strong arguments for buying used work boots. 

But everything has its price. When it comes to second-hand safety boots and cheap workwear, it’s a lesson in ‘buyer beware’.

work boot safety standards explained

4 reasons why you shouldn’t buy second-hand work boots

1. Price doesn’t equal value

Used work boots won’t last as long as a new pair. Paying 20-30% less seems like a good deal until you realize you’re replacing your boots twice as fast.

Work boots are an investment, like buying good quality tools. Spending a little extra on the most comfortable work boots reduces your risk of strains, pain and long-term injury.

2. Slightly used is still used

Even “as-new” Steel Blue safety boots have likely been worn for over a month. Otherwise, the buyer would have returned them under our 60-day comfort guarantee.

Plus, there’s the questionable history and hygiene of working in someone else’s shoes. No thanks!

3. You’re out of luck if something breaks

Every new pair of Steel Blue work boots purchased from an authorized distributor comes with guarantees to ensure you’re not out of pocket if they’re not the most comfortable work boots you’ve ever worn.

By purchasing a pair of Steel Blue boots from your local Steel Blue distributor means you can benefit from our: 

steel blue black work boots

4. They’re not fitted to you

Steel Blue safety boots come in half-sizes for the perfect fit, with a range of fastening styles for all-day comfort.

When you buy from a registered retailer, you get the benefit of a custom fitting, including tailored advice on fastening, accessories, and boot care.

You also need to consider fit-for-purpose safety features for high-risk environments, like electrical hazard protection.

So, is buying used work boots worth it?

The short answer is no.

While you might save money in the near-term, second-hand safety boots can cost you dearly. And we don’t just mean the cost to replace them when they fall apart.

Spend the time to get correctly fitted work boots, support every step, and prevent musculoskeletal injury as you work. You’ll be grateful for the investment when you come home safe and healthy after a long day.

Visit a Steel Blue distributor to try the most comfortable work boots. 

Argyle Zip - Black
Heeler - Oak

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