There is nothing more uncomfortable than working, walking, hiking or participating in a sporting event with wet feet. Waterproofing your shoes and boots can be a major project, but luckily today there are many options in waterproof footwear thanks to innovations in waterproof materials. In this article, we will discuss some of these innovations and provide sound advice on choosing the right waterproof footwear to suit your needs. Read on to learn more.
Materials Used In Waterproof Footwear
Waterproof synthetic leather is a good option for people who like the look of leather but don’t like the upkeep necessary to make it waterproof. Modern synthetic leather presents a very convincing leather-like appearance and feel with the added attraction of durability and water resistance. In the past, imitation leather was inferior to the real thing. Today, it outshines leather in every way and is rugged enough for the construction of work and hiking boots and athletic footwear.
Gore-Tex is the go-to material for lining waterproof shoes and boots. It is also a component of many types of outdoor gear and wear. Gore-Tex is a durable synthetic fabric that is used to weatherproof all manner of outdoor wear. It has a micro-porous structure that allows good air circulation while blocking water and wind and retaining warmth. The company claims to be environmentally responsible in the manufacture of the product and provides data to back up their claim. – https://www.gore-tex.com/experience/responsibility/environmental
Rubber and/or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials are often used to manufacture the soles of waterproof footwear and to create galoshes and overshoes. Rubber materials protect against water and are more flexible and provide better traction indoors and outdoors. PVC materials provide protection against chemical spills and provide good indoor traction on wet floors.
Waterproof Footwear Options
There are a couple types of construction used to make shoes or boots waterproof.
1. In “full bootie construction” a sock-shaped waterproof membrane is built into the body of the shoe or boot.
2. In “seam-sealed construction” sections of waterproof membrane are taped together to perfectly fit the interior of the footwear. This makes the shoe or boot completely waterproof.
You can find waterproof footwear designed for use in the office, around town or in the wilderness. There is almost no limit to the choices available. Lots of high quality purveyors of footwear offer comfortable, fashionable waterproof shoes constructed using Gore-Tex and/or synthetic leather with safe, comfortable rubber soles.
While it’s true that some waterproof dress shoes are not quite as fancy looking as their non-waterproof counterparts, they are still nice looking enough as office wear and durable and water-resistant enough for a dry trip from your car, train or bus to your office. This makes it handy for people who don’t want to have to wear galoshes or carry extra shoes around on their commute.
If you work outdoors or are an avid hiker, you can easily find work or hiking boots that are durable, comfortable and keep snow, ice and water away from your feet and ankles. If you want to wear boots in an office setting, look for waterproof dress boots that can be worn appropriately with office attire. Dress boots are not quite as waterproof as heavy duty hiking or work boots because they tend to have smaller heels and more delicate soles. Still, a waterproof dress boot can offer you effective protection when walking through a wet parking lot or taking a rainy-day stroll on city streets.
How To Choose The Right Waterproof Footwear
Your purchase of high quality waterproof footwear may be something of an investment, so it only makes sense to research the types of shoes or boots you have in mind before plopping down your hard earned cash. Begin by looking online for types and brands that appeal to you. Take a trip to a good shoe store that employs a knowledgeable staff. Try on boots and shoes and ask questions. This first hand knowledge will help you make a good choice on the spot or online.
Naturally, you want nice looking footwear, but don’t be too swayed by appearance. Keep your purpose firmly in mind as you make your selection.
[su_list icon=”icon: dot-circle-o” icon_color=”#1f079e”]
- Chukka boots are nice, low-rise boots that can keep your feet and ankles dry. Note that not all chukka boots are waterproof. Read the label and check the materials to be certain before purchasing.
- Rain sneakers are good-looking and comfortable. This is a good choice if you need a shoe that will keep your feet dry as you walk along wet sidewalks. This is probably not the best choice if you need to navigate deep, muddy puddles.
- Galoshes or overshoes can be worn over all types of footwear. These PVC or rubber shoes or boots with non-skid soles protect your good shoes or boots and keep you safe from slipping in inclement weather.
- Duck boots are made of molded rubber on the sole and shoe, topped off with a leather upper. This style keeps your feet dry and protects your ankles and lower legs from splashes and general dampness.
- Rain boots with deeply grooved soles are a good choice if you must wade through puddles and/or walk on slick, wet pavement.
[/su_list]Once you’ve settled on a style, choose your shoes or boots carefully. Follow these steps to check for durability and high quality and get the most value for your dollar.
[su_list icon=”icon: check” icon_color=”#1f079e”]
- Feel the lining. It should be thick and soft in footwear other than galoshes.
- Check the heels and toes. Waterproof shoes and boots should have thick, rubber heels and toes.
- Look at the tongue of lace-up shoes. To be waterproof, the tongue should be connected to the shoe at the base and along both sides.
[/su_list]If you have to walk, work or hike outdoors in inclement weather, good waterproof footwear is a very wise investment. Choosing just the right shoes or boots can be challenging, but if you take your time to do your research and examine your choices carefully, you can be sure of making a purchase that will serve you well for a long time to come.