tough as old boots

(as) tough as old boots

Having great strength of body, mind, or will; no susceptible to sickness or injury. My grandmother is tough as old boots—she lived through the Great Depression and raised four kids pretty much all on her own! That guy's tough as old boots; 400 consecutive games, and not even a sprained ankle.
See also: boot, old, tough

tough as old boots

BRITISH or

tough as nails

If someone is tough as old boots or tough as nails, they have a strong character and do not get upset easily. Barbara is tough as old boots and rules her husband with an iron hand. This man was a very friendly in a large group, but across a negotiating table was just tough as nails.
See also: boot, old, tough

tough as old boots

very sturdy or resilient.
Leather, of which boots are traditionally made, is notably strong and resistant to wear and tear. As tough as leather was in fact the earliest version of this phrase, although it has now been superseded by the current form.
1967 Listener This is no sweet old dolly…She is tough as old boots, working for a living.
See also: boot, old, tough

(as) tough as old ˈboots

(informal)
1 (of food) be very tough and difficult to chew: This steak’s as tough as old boots.
2 very strong and able to bear pain, criticism, etc. without complaining or giving up: Don’t worry, she’ll soon recover. She’s tough as old boots.
See also: boot, old, tough
References in periodicals archive ?
She is from Dublin though and is tough as old boots so she's sat up in bed, although she is on morphine and some strong antibiotics.
Tony Crossley, Rochdale VVVEDETTE was so tough Voler La Vedette was as tough as old boots on the track and this wonderful mare served her connections well.
LADY Gaga is as tough as old boots - and she's careful about the ones she puts on.
This shade-loving evergreen is as tough as old boots provided you don't place it in full sun.
Constance, my nine-year-old youngest daughter - a tough as old boots Chelsea supporter - and her friend thought the whole occasion a great laugh, particularly watching Lily Allen and the Arctic Monkeys performing on the vast Pyramid stage.
He ran a terrific race and he's as tough as old boots.
He was steered home by Kieren Fallon that day but as he is currently prohibited from riding in England, tough as old boots Mick Kinane steps in for the plum ride.