Friday, October 17, 2008

These boots were made for mucking

Neoprene boots: Do they make any sense at all? I just a bought a new pair of so-called "muck boots". I use these nine months on end and wear out a pair a year. An average life-span of two hundred days doesn't sound like much, but I imagine that's the most action most footwear sees. Think about it, if you jog twice a week all year, do you keep your running shoes for more than two years?
Sigh. Consumer angst.
Anyway, I keep going back to neoprene boots. Compared to any other footwear they keep your feet relatively dry. Compared to normal rubber boots they don't get cold as easily, and and as opposed to normal rubber boots they are quite easy to take off. They're not much good for really long trips, as they don't give all that much support and your feet will simmer in your own sweat, leading to all kinds of crazy fungi and loss of toenails. For short stints in wet terrain, though, they are almost impossible to beat.
Supposedly the two certain things in life are death and taxes, but I would add "wet feet". Do anything even mildly exiting outside of the Sahara, and you're feet are going to get wet. That goes for feet in neoprene boots too. But at least in these you get wet from the inside, and the neoprene insulates pretty well, down to minus five degrees centigrade in my experience.
My new pair has some hoity toity "Vibram" rubber soles, so maybe they'll last longer than my three last pairs.
Hermit's verdict: Good, if you're not going to live in them.

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