The album received a metacritic score of 54, indicating mixed or average reviews. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic thought the title Old Boots, New Dirt reflected the album's content, saying that "Aldean's boots are getting a bit worn; he's no longer an upstart," nevertheless there were some freshness in the album, with modern electronics accentuating the singer's arena country songs. He judged the album's "casual, almost steely, assurance" made it one of Aldean's best. Chuck Dauphin of Billboard also thought the album was a mixture of the party songs Aldean is known for, but he "also shows a little bit more of an emotional and sensual side than listeners might be accustomed to". Jon Caramanica of The New York Times believed that Aldean had fully emerged as a "purveyor of love songs," and excelled at songs like "Show You Off" and "Tryin’ to Love Me".
Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone felt that the album had gone further into pop territory. Jim Casey of Country Weekly also noted the "R&B and pop overtones" of some of the songs. Casey also thought that apart from a few upbeat songs and a "hidden gem" of a song in "Two Night Town", the rest were "ho-hum mid-tempos and ballads that don’t move the meter much in either direction." Marc Hirsh of The Boston Globe considered the album to be "all ambition and no boldness, a solidly constructed modern country album without much in the way of inspiration."
The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. It is Aldean's second album to reach number one on the chart, following his 2012 album Night Train. The album was originally predicted to sell up to 400,000 in its first week in the US, however, it only sold 278,000 copies. On December 8 2014, the album was officially certified Platinum by the RIAA for shipping over 1 million copies. In July 2015, Old Boots, New Dirt reached its millionth sales mark in the United States. As of November 2016, the album has sold 1,150,200 copies in the US.