timberland boots london Attractive Waterproof Boots Are A Step In Right Direction
We all dream of a greeting card winter: Sitting cozily in front of a fireplace, toasty warm in our comfortable flannels, drink in hand, basking in the warmth of fellowship.
Wake up, pilgrims. Winter in Connecticut means wading through slush, battling freezing rain, standing in murky puddles in parking lots scraping our crusty windshields. And what’s getting really soaked while we do this? Our feet. Bean duck hunting boots combining rubber soles with leather tops, or rubber covers for your regular shoes. OK, your feet were dry, but then you had carry another pair of shoes in a plastic bag or have sweaty feet all day as you sat at your desk in a heated office. And a fashion statement rubber footgear was not.
But there are some new choices in the marketplace that use waterproof leather and water barriers inside the shoe. They look like normal shoes or boots, but they repel water and keep your feet dry. And you don’t have to drag another pair of shoes with you.
Waterproof, warm and fashionable. You can actually wear them all day and not look like a construction worker or ski trail groomer.
“We can’t tell you exactly how we do it,” says Sal Agati, senior vice president of product design for Bass Co. “But at the tannery we make the leather waterproof before we make the shoe.”
Leather is impregnated with waterproof material. Some shoes and boots then get additional protection with a Gore Tex membrane, a manmade material that blocks water molecules from entering but lets the smaller air molecules through and allows the foot to breathe. Other models add Thinsulate or other insulating material for warmth.
Before the new treated leathers, if you dared to wear regular leather in winter, that meant apply silicons and waxy treatments to repel rain and slush. They work, sort of. But they couldn’t prevent salt stains from setting a wavy line around the perimeter of your shiny leather shoes.
“If the customer has to do something to make it waterproof, then it’s not easy, is it?” Agati says. “The new leathers take away that chore.”
In the shoe world,
the urban street hiker look with clunky Doc Martens and a crossover shoe with the flexibility of a sneaker and the look of a hiking boot have been good sellers. This waterproofed leather al lows a more stylish, yet functional shoe or boot for winter wear.
“For two years my wife has been after me to find a comfortable, stylish, waterproof leather boot,” says Marc Bazilian, owner of Bazilians clothing store in West Hartford. “This year I pleased her.”
Bazilians is carrying waterproof shoes and boots by Timberland and Canada North, a Canadian shoe company.
“These are really popular,” says Marty DiTuccio, Bazilians shoe manager, standing by the dwindling pile of Canada North Tundra Black low boots that claim “Guaranteed Waterproof” on the box. Inside the boots is a shiny gold Mylar lining to reflect heat back into the foot, a foam insole for comfort, waterproof leather, sealed seams and thick soles.
The treated leather adds some cost to a shoe or boot. Prices for all manufacturers begin at about $70 and range up to $160.
“If you’ve had wet feet you know how miserable that can be,” DiTuccio says. “Anybody who spends any time outside in winter is probably willing to spend a little more.”
John Sargis, a letter carrier in Glastonbury, dons Gore Tex rain pants and rubber Bass boots with Thinsulate on rainy days. (Gore Tex is a membrane that repels water but allows skin to breathe.)
“I don’t put on all this gear while I’m sorting mail at the office. Some of the others do,” Sargis says. “But I figure if they can take a cigarette break, I can take a longjohn break.”
Some of his colleagues are trying the new waterproof leathers on their rounds.
“I don’t hear any complaints,” Sargis says. “It’s something I might try.”
Some of the new waterproof shoes use the same Gore Tex lining Sargis wears.
No one is suggesting that you wear these shoes and go trout fishing.
But for walking around on a rainy day, commuting to work or schlepping to the store,
the new leathers “will keep your feet warm and dry. I wouldn’t stand in a puddle but if you keep moving along you’ll be fine.”