If your work means you’re frequently or always in water, mud or another wet environment, then you’ll need shoes or boots that keep your feet dry.
Of course, the first thing people think of are gum boots, but these are impractical for all day wear, ungainly, uncomfortable and don’t offer as much support as a dedicated work boot.
How much protection do you need
When you’re choosing your boot, you need to ask yourself how much time do you spend with your feet in water or damp conditions. If it’s most of the time, you’ll probably find that regular, but high-quality work boots will do just fine, as long as you keep them well-oiled, sealed or sprayed and let them dry out between uses (it may be wise to buy two or three pairs).
Rubber can be too waterproof
If you’re always in the water, then you’ll need to wear rubber boots, as no other material is as efficient at keeping out water. However, you may be worried about your feet getting sweaty, which is a problem with rubber – the impermeability works both ways – no water in, no sweat out.
By the end of the day, your feet are a hazard in themselves, especially if it’s hot! Thankfully, fabric technology has developed quite a bit in recent years and the inners of waterproof boots can absorb and wick away sweat before you become a pariah!
Protection against extreme temperatures
The other consideration is high or low temperatures. If you’re in cold water, then without decent insulation, your feet will become chilled and even numb. In high temperatures, they could become uncomfortably hot. Many waterproof or water-resistant boots now have dual-density inners for extra comfort, fit and insulation, preventing extremes of temperatures from reaching your toes!
Tough, rugged soles with extra grip
Wet environments can be slippery, and if you’re walking through mud or dirty water, there may be invisible hazards in the water, like pieces of glass or nails. You need protection from losing your footing and from puncture wounds, so make sure you choose a boot that offers all-round protection and security.