When I was a fisherman and also working oyster farms, rubber boots were practically my only footwear. I even used to go to the pub in them at one stage (you’re right, it wasn’t a good look).
My full-time rubber boot days are long behind me as is the accompanying career and boozy, blurry lifestyle, but I did have occasion to purchase a pair recently for use out on my property from time to time.
The first thing that struck me is how much thinner rubber boots seem these days. When working the oyster farms, a solid rubber boot was a must, not just to keep the cold water out, but so that our feet and ankles weren’t ripped to shreds by the razor sharp oyster shells. I don’t think the pair I purchased would last that long out among the oysters.
Anyhow, my hazy rubber boot memories were revived after a recent email from GLT reader Tom who had the following to say:
“I recently ran across a website whose slogan is “Don’t Pitch It, Patch It!”. Being that I have done construction work for many years this makes sense to me. I have seen countless numbers of rubber boots (used when pouring concrete) just thrown away rather than repaired and reused. I’m fairly certain that rubber boots don’t degrade in a landfill very quickly. This company has made repairing the boot easy, just peel and stick. Every pair of boots that are patched is one less pair in a landfill. I wanted to pass the web site on to others that may be able to use it, the site can be found at rubberbootbandage.com.”
While some rubber boots are still made from rubber, others may be called that, but are made from PVC materials – not the most earth friendly stuff. Tom’s right, repairing boots is a great way to go; not just from a financial point of view but environmental. If you don’t use your boots all that often, repairing a hole here and there could see a pair last you a lifetime.
The kits are $12.95 for ten patches and that includes shipping in the USA (the company also ships overseas).
Back in the day (I swore I’d never use that term as I grew older), I seem to remember using bicycle puncture repair kits to help make my boots last longer; but I’m not sure if bike puncture kits will work on PVC.