Born in Liverpool, England, Boote began working as an apprentice to a printer at the age of 10. He emigrated to Australia in 1889. That same year he married Mary Jane Paingdestre, and began working in Brisbane as a compositor. He was an inspired trade unionist and became involved in the Queensland labour movement, writing articles and propaganda from a socialist slant.
In 1894, the Australian Labour Federation posted Boote to Bundaberg as editor of the Bundaberg Guardian. In 1896 he moved to Gympie, where he established a paper called The Gympie Truth, and in 1902 became editor of The Worker in Brisbane. He was also the founding editor of The Queensland Worker (1902–11), and The Australian Worker (1914–43)
Boote was a friend and associate of Prime Ministers Andrew Fisher, James Scullin, and John Curtin. Boote died in Rose Bay, New South Wales.