During the colder/wetter months our farming community changes from their summer work boot to their gumboots. Gumboots are an essential item here in God’s Country because of our above average rainfall. They keep our feet and socks dry, however if they don’t fit properly or don’t provide enough support you may experience sore feet, ankles, knees and lower back. This is because the weight of the mud stuck to the bottom of the boot combined with the loose fitting nature of some boots, leads to the muscles, ligaments and joints working overtime to stabilise yourself.
This blog is designed to help you decide on better gumboots so that you can get the job done a lot more comfortably. Things to look for are:
Like any other shoe we want to have the rule of thumb – that means having the end of your longest approx your thumb’s width from the end of the shoe. If the boot is too long then your foot will slide up and down and even completely out if you’re stuck in some serious bog.
You do not want your foot to swim in the shoe, this places extra strain on your feet and further up the body. Make sure the width is right by ensuring the boot is snug and comfortable.
Good boots have a removable insole that can provide you with adequate support. In case it doesn’t, removing it will allow for enough room for your own orthotic to go in. It also provides versatility in sizing as it can create more room for a “hard to fit” foot.
Thinking about the terrain you work in will help you determine what “cut” boot is appropriate for you. If you’re only ever in damp areas or dew in the morning then you may not need the below knee gumboot, and in contrast if you’re working in heavy bog or areas with big puddles, then the ankle cut boot might be too short.
Some recommended gumboot brands:
It is important to note that poor gumboots might only be part of the problem, so if you’ve purchased a new pair of gumboots with the above features but, are still experiencing some sort of pain – it is essential to book an appointment with one of your excellent podiatrists here at Gen Health. Oh and don’t forget to bring in the shoes that you wear regularly… and yes even those dirty gumboots!