Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Wet toes - all part of being a gardener

I had a question the other day, from Gasper ("Hi there!") asking if I ever had any success in my quest for waterproof boots.

Well, in short: "no."

I still get wet toesies, in fact this morning I abandoned work after just two hours, as my boots were soaking, and my socks were getting wet.

Call me old-fashioned, but I'm not prepared to work in wet socks! My old Nana used to say it would give you rheumatism - or gout, or would make your hair curl, one or the other.. it's also uncomfortable, and likely to lead to sore patches, so I just won't do it.

So what have I tried? *sigh*

I tried dubbin - useless and sticky.

Neatsfoot oil - useless and very expensive.

Candle wax - dead cheap, only worked for 20 mins. But surprisingly effective for those 20 minutes!

Vaseline - very cheap, not very effective, and apparently not very good for the leather.

Scotchguard - quite expensive, makes me drool for Pear Drops (which are quite hard to find, these days!) and doesn't seem to actually work.

Oh, and I tried buying Sketchers allegedly waterproof boots - above - and no, they were not waterproof, after about the first half dozen times of wearing them.

I even considered getting some Seakskinz waterproof socks: I'm not sure if that is really the answer, though, as I feel that it would be as bad as putting a plastic bag inside the boot, which is another tip from my Army buddy - and which is not recommended, as it makes your feet sweat so they get nearly as wet as they would without the bags.

So what does that leave?

I asked around my fellow PGG members, and got mixed answers: some people would swear by one particular brand, but others would say they'd tried them and they were useless, all of which was very annoying.

My minion, however, wears DMs (Doc Martens): and says they are totally waterproof.

Now, I have experience of DMs, from back when I was in my late 20s, and my calves still twinge when I think of them. It is not a good idea, dear reader, to go for a 6-mile walk in brand new rock-hard DMs. They kill you. Slowly. And painfully. Now that I'm a grown-up (allegedly!), I realise that they have to be carefully broken in, and I'm not quite sure if I'm prepared to go through the "3 months of blisters" that the internet suggests. Also, and I don't wish to sound like a skinflint here, they do cost in excess of £120 a pair. I normally pay around £50-£60 for my Wrangler leather boots, and that seems a bit steep, but ok considering they are for work, and I do spend 8 hours a day in them.

£120  does seem a bit much for something that is going to hurt me for months.... but my minion said I was looking at the wrong boot, the £120 is for what you might call "fashion" DMs, and that I should look again, for "work boots".

Which I did, and I've now ordered a pair of FS64 DMs, which are apparently the standard work boot, with steel toecaps and everything. They were a mere  £72 (*flinches*) but if they are truly waterproof, then they certainly will be worth it.

My minion kindly demonstrated how to "work" the area at the back of the heel before wearing them, to get a bit of flex in the leather, so I will make a point of doing that before subjecting my feet to them, and I'll report back in a month or so, to let you know how I am getting on!