World’s Best Gumboots
Heading into winter from autumn in the Waikato, one of the most important types of footwear that we have are gumboots. Going into calving, it’s cold, it’s wet, you’re up to your knees in mud, you really need a good gumboot to make life a little bit easier. As the old saying from Fred Dagg goes: “if it weren’t for our gumboots where would we be?”
So, what makes a good gumboot and what’s the best sort of gumboot for you?
Hard to really answer that one because people’s foot types and shapes are different.
In the video is a fairly stereotypical type of gumboot, that is similar to the red band type of gumboot. Being a podiatrist and also being off a farm, one of the things that I’ve noticed is that they have this funny heel on them – it’s a narrower heel in through the back than the actual upper part of where the foot sits in the gumboot. So that inherently makes it a little bit unstable because your foot is hanging off the side of the boot so it doesn’t take a lot to stand on a stone or get a little bit off centre and you catch and roll your ankle.
I had a patient come in and was raving about another type of gumboot which is the Bekina gumboot. So this Bekina gumboot has a different feature in that the actual heel of the base of the gumboot is incorporated into the sole so that your foot actually sits down into the boot a little more, and that provides a more stable base for you to sit into and to function on. These ones also have a steel plate through them if you want a protective pair and they also have a good quality Neolon type lining that comes up through the top. So essentially, a good quality gumboot, that fits your foot well. Some of the skellerup type boots are a bit deeper in through.
I did find that with the Bekinas they were a little bit snug for me, but that eased up. What you will tend to find if you go for a more budget low quality boot is that the compartmentalised rubber base of the boot will wear quickly and will end up being like the other gumboot in the video. So it significantly compromises the life of the boot.
In summary; what we want is that the boot to be intrinsically stable so that you’re sitting down into it, we want it to be a good shape and a good representation of your foot, we want to have a removable insole because that helps with the smell in the middle of winter and it also helps keep it comfortable and have something to be able to take out and dry properly overnight, we want it to be a reasonably good quality because it will be durable, and we want the tread underneath and the length of the boot to be fit for purpose as far as how deep the mud is going to be.
So I hope those things will help with your selection of this winter’s gumboots.
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