The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Annual leaky boots

Waterproof boots

Another year, another pair of waterproof boots to be replaced. And each time, I start out with firm plans to make my new footware last longer. I'll only wear them in the muddiest parts of the farm, I promise. I'll definitely steer clear of briars and will wear the leaky pair instead if water isn't going to rise higher than my ankles.

Then I get lazy. Boots like this are so easy to pull on and off when you just need to dance through the muddy yard to pick some supper lettuce. Might as well wear them while doing my chores so I don't track in as much muck. And who knows when I might be called upon to wade across the creek.

Then, three hundred or six hundred or a thousand miles later, it's winter again and my boots have once again sprung a leak just when I need them most. Which is when my mother-in-law comes through and buys me new boots for Christmas even though I'd considered putting off the purchase for another month or two. Thanks, Rose Nell! My feet are dry and, this time, I'm really going to be careful so they'll go the distance. Except....

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Anna, I LOVE my Muckboots. I wear them so much my grandchildren refer to them as "grandma boots". But I find after many, many pairs, that their life expectancy (or rather, their water-proof life expectancy), is almost exactly one year. Don't mind, though. They're warm, comfortable, and the winter versions have great traction.

Comment by Julie Wed Dec 30 08:53:33 2015
Next summer set out the old pair for the summer, that way the "new' pair may make it two years. Sandpapering and then Sho-goo will make the summer boots more or less waterproof.
Comment by wewally Wed Dec 30 12:46:47 2015
I have boot envy. Need a new pair myself, only now must get insulated ones.
Comment by Deb Wed Dec 30 17:04:03 2015

Julie --- Now I feel better. At least I'm not the only one who goes through a pair of boots a year!

wewally --- I keep meaning to do use the old boots all summer...and then I forget. I can never seem to get the repairs to hold for even a week, though. Probably because mine always spring leaks at spots where the boot bend a lot.

Deb --- Maybe that's the solution. Get the cheapest, uninsulated kind and then I won't wear them so much. But these are so comfortable I can hike in them.... :-)

Comment by anna Wed Dec 30 17:07:34 2015

The leather boots that I use for motorcycling generally last me until the rubber soles wear out. Typically 4-5 years, I'd say.

They do require regular (more than once a year :-) ) cleaning and maintenance with grease or wax.

Of course my boots don't see as much muck as yours, but they see a fair bit of water at highway speeds.

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Dec 30 18:11:30 2015
Comment by Anonymous Thu Dec 31 01:50:00 2015
El Cheapo $25 boots last just as long as the Name Brand expensive ones. Save your money. Insulation is unneeded: the rubber itself is the best insulation. Use double sox and cut sole inserts out of newsprint. When you finally do get a hole in one, save the good one: future pairs may eventually provide a mate. Don't use them when digging-- the pounding on the shovel seems to stress them out rapidly. I agree-- they're so comfortable & convenient, I could wear them all day, every day. And I do.
Comment by doc Thu Dec 31 05:45:34 2015
I'm a big fan of Shoe Goo also. It won't last forever, but each application adds about 3-6 months of life to my boots. It only takes a few minutes to apply, and it seals up most holes, tears, and fixes separating soles.
Comment by TravisM Thu Dec 31 07:30:01 2015
You might have already seen it, but Herrick over at The Deliberate Agrarian has been looking for a sturdy rubber boot, too.
Comment by Jake Tue Jan 19 03:27:04 2016

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