Taking a hike through snow or constructing roads through a rain forest are two very different actions, but they have at least one thing in common - waterproof boots are a necessity in order to make these activities as comfortable and safe as possible.
A construction worker or hiker knows how vital it is to keep the feet dry. However, many of us don't think about the consequences until we're in a situation that causes us to have to walk around with wet feet. Having wet feet for extended periods of time can cause:
- itchy, soft skin that can lead to blistering
- painful, cracking skin once the feet dry
- trench foot
Trench foot may sound silly, but it is actually a serious condition. Some symptoms of trench foot are numbness, tingling, heaviness, and pain when exposed to heat. If left untreated, trench foot can lead to gangrene, permanent nerve damage, an inability to walk, and even amputations.
Features of Waterproof Boots
Now that we know the dangers of having wet feet, let's see how we can keep our feet dry. Waterproof boots for men are among the most sought after category of clothing, having their distinct section in the most shoe and department stores. A good waterproof construction boot will include the following:
- breathable fibers
- waterproof sealant on seams
- treated leather
- extra inside layer
- gusseted tongue
Waterproof Boots Materials
A material that keeps water out is almost of no use if it keeps sweat in. Breathable fibers are a very important element in waterproof boots. Moisture-wicking polyester-based materials combined with one-way water-permeable fabrics have made it possible to keep water from getting inside while allowing sweat to evaporate out of the shoes.
Materials have to be stitched together, creating seams. The problem with seams is that they include tiny spaces that could allow water to enter the shoes. A waterproof sealant should be applied to these seams. The sealant will create a hard, rubbery texture and will prevent water from entering the shoes.
Leather is one of the most widely used materials for construction boots. Though it is great for warmth, leather has its disadvantages when it comes to facing wet environments. If it becomes wet, leather can shrink and eventually dry out and become cracked. It is important to make sure to purchase leather work boots that have been treated with a waterproof layer. An extra inner lining will also give the added security of dryness to waterproof boots.
The last thing a good waterproof boot will have is a gusseted tongue. The term "gusseted" refers to a sewing technique in which a triangular or diamond-shaped piece of fabric is inserted into a seam. The tongue should be sewn to the bottom and both sides of the boot to prevent water from splashing in the shoe.
Now that we know what to look for in good waterproof boots, we must utilize this knowledge if we're going to find ourselves in wet conditions and environments. Hard work and even hard play will go much smoother with the appropriate clothing.