How To Choose Rain Boots
Some people try to get away with wearing their regular shoes during the rainy season. But leaving your feet damp and cold can make you vulnerable to certain fungal infections. Women face an even higher risk or urinary tract infections when their feet are cold and wet regularly. For these reasons, it’s very important to wear the proper footwear for the elements. To encourage yourself to put on your rain boots, get a pair that will match most of your clothes. Also, know that you should buy rain boots half a size or one full size larger than you would normally buy boots. You want to have enough room in the leg area to tuck in thick pants.
If you do live in a particularly wet climate where one must wear rain boots every day, make sure yours have good arch support. Wearing shoes with poor or no arch support on a daily basis can lead to back problems. If you live in a city that gets so cold that ice forms on the sidewalks, leaving them slippery, it’s very important that your rain boots have a good tread on the bottom to prevent falls. Some even have a cozy fleece lining to keep your legs extra warm on the coldest days, as well as a tightening buckle on the side to prevent chilly air from getting in.
Some rain boots can feel so heavy that they slow down your gait, so consider a lightweight material, especially if your main form of transportation is your own feet. Pulling rain boots on and off can be exhausting, so get a pair with small handles or loops that make it easier to get them on. It’s no secret that feet can get rather smelly, so look for boots made from breathable material to prevent sweating. Some have the added benefit of odor resistant fabric on the inside.
How To Take Care Of And Enjoy Your Rain Boots
Rain boots are usually made from rubber, which certainly has its positive qualities, but is also very easy to spot any scratches or marks on. If you do get a scuff on your boots, simply drop a little bit of oil (olive oil will work) on them, and buff them out with a soft cloth. If you like your boots to stay shiny, try this secret trick; put some rubbing compounds for vehicles on them.
Rubber has one other downfall, if exposed to too much heat, its quality can degrade. So store your rain boots out of direct sunlight. You can even keep them inside of a large paper bag for extra protection. To help the leg areas keep their shape, stuff balled up socks, t-shirts or newspapers inside of them during off-seasons. As for your comfort, put on double or thick socks. This can prevent rain boots from sliding around when you walk and reduce the possibility of blisters.
Wear knee-high socks, or ones that at least meet the top of the rain boots. The friction of these shoes can easily pull ankle socks right off of your feet, leaving you nearly barefoot in your boots, exposing your feet to bacteria in the shoes. Socks with a strong, elastic grip will also stay on better. If you live in an area that is rainy and warm at the same time, you may be tempted to wear your rain boots with shorts or a dress. But don’t, because water can get inside of the boots.
The History Of Rain Boots
One often hears the term “Wellington” when people talk about rain boots. This was one of the very first names for this type of footwear. In the 19th century, the boots were primarily for military use. The British Empire hired a German troop of soldiers called the Hessians and as a gift, they gave the Duke of Wellington a pair of tall, tasseled leather boots. The Duke loved his boots so much that he wore them constantly, and they eventually came to be known as Wellingtons. The Duke, however, had his personal shoemaker make a few adjustments to the boots that we still see today, like removing the tassles and making the leg area more slender.
Wellingtons were not made from rubber until 1853 when Hiram Hutchinson received the patent for the vulcanization of natural rubber. Hutchinson didn’t create this technique, but rather he purchased the patent from Charles Goodyear who had been using it to make tires. Wellingtons quickly transformed from footwear for English royalty, to common farm gear. French farmers who worked in wet conditions began wearing them regularly in the fields. Farmers popularized this style of footwear in the more civilian areas, and soon enough, Wellingtons were very popular in urban areas around Europe.
By the 20th century, Wellingtons had taken the United States by storm. But Americans veered away from the traditional dark green hue that the British wore and started making rain boots in all sorts of colors and patterns. Americans mostly just refer to the shoes as rain boots now. Meanwhile, in South Africa, rain boots are often referred to as gumboots by the miners who wear them.