How to Recycle Old Boots

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Many people have a hard time throwing away their old boots. Some people feel that boots, like those used for hiking on vacations, are just too sentimental to be discarded. Others think they're just too much of an investment financially to toss them cavalierly out. If you have never quite figured out how to recycle old boots, these ideas may surprise you.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft brush
  • Leather cleaner
  • Shoe polish
  • Buffing cloth
  • Paint
  • Dirt
  • Planters
  • Rocks or golf balls
  • Recycle your old boots into new boots. Use a soft brush to take off any dirt or mud. Clean them with soap made for leather, but don't soak them. Let them dry well and add some shoe polish in neutral or a matching color. Buff out a shine.

  • Paint your old boots for a completely new look. You can paint them all one color or paint designs or scenes on them.

  • Donate your cleaned boots to a good cause. A shelter for the homeless or any charity that serves the needs of the poor are both great choices.

  • Use old boots for planters. You can fill them with dirt and plants, or you can put a plant container inside the boot. If the planter is too short, use a wood block or fill the boot with sand or rocks. Then add your plant.

  • Wear old boots for dirty work in the yard or garden. They're still great for shoveling snow, for tilling up the garden, for cleaning out the fish pond, and any other wet or dirty job. You won't have to worry about your shoes getting ruined with a ratty old pair of boots to work in.

  • Fill an old boot with rocks, golf balls or anything that will weight it down. You can use this around the house as a doorstop. If you weigh down the bottom only, you can also use them as umbrella stands.

  • Set them up by the front door as decoys. If you're a woman living alone, use an old pair of men's boots by the front door so it looks like someone else lives there.

  • Use the boot parts for other things. Slip the leather tubes of the boots over your arms. They are great protection if you weld, work with hot glass, or do other rather risky jobs or crafts. You also can just use the leather in crafts projects by cutting the tubes into flat pieces.

Tips & Warnings

  • Learning to recondition boots is a great way to help out charitable organizations. Lots of people will give you their old boots to help others.
  • Don't get boots soaking wet if you're trying to salvage them to keep or donate. They can get all out of shape and discolored if they get too wet.
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