Learn how to modify your rubber work boots in order to make them suitable for up to minus -20 C (-4 F). If you work in a cold environment, it is important to keep your feet comfortable and in good condition. Cold feet can be uncomfortable. Perhaps this technique may be suitable for you.
I learned this technique from a trades person. This person had to work outside in -4 F (-20 C) for eight hours a day. The other trades people on the job wore expensive cold weather boots, which had lots of bulky insulation, but their feet were still cold. This person’s feet weren’t cold. He thinks this system works because it keeps all the heat and humidity in the boot. The key is to make sure that the boots fit loosely even when wearing the socks. Your feet get warm and then heat up the air inside the boot, which is contained. The wool sock is warm even when it is wet, as long as the wool is worn next to the skin. This is a natural property of wool, which is why some military clothing from the past was made of wool. Wool can be itchy next to the skin, but it is often worth paying the price to stay warm. Farmers often also use rubber boots in the winter, because they have to work in cold, wet and muddy environments.
However, the wool socks have a problem. They quickly wear out, sometimes lasting only a single day. This is why he wears a second layer of tough synthetic socks over the wool socks. This prolongs the life of the wool socks, which do the job and keep your feet warm.
My trades person friend wears coveralls over top of the boots. I substituted nylon wind pants, because they are lighter, more waterproof and I like them better. I found putting nylon wind pants over my jeans allows me to walk around in a cold and windy -4 F (-20 C) environment and stay comfortable. As soon as I took off the nylon wind pants, the wind quickly chilled me. Like the boots, nylon wind pants stop the wind chill and act like a tent around your legs. Your body head warms the air between the nylon pants and your skin, keeping you warm. Nylon wind pants made a big difference for me, keeping me warm despite the fact that they are very thin and have no lining.
These boots work all year round. In the summer, don`t use wool socks, but substitute a single pair of cotton socks. Apparently, these boots work up to -20 in the winter, but only if you are dressed warmly and don`t stop moving. Once you stop moving, your feet will no longer produce excess heat, and the nice warm humid air in your boots will quickly become cold and damp. Your feet will get cold. Only use this system when you are planning to be active all day long. If you are sitting around ice fishing, this system probably won`t work well.
There is one note of caution. If these boots are cut too short, the top will catch on the metal steps commonly found in factories, causing you to trip. This is why I make sure the boot is a little bit higher than the steps I am climbing on a regular basis. If there are no steps involved, you can probably cut the boots even lower than I did in the video, making them even more comfortable.
Rubber boots usually don’t come with insoles. I like to insert a high quality insole into the boot, in order to make the boot more comfortable for standing and walking. This can make a difference if you are wearing your boots many hours a day. There are many different brands of insoles. The insole should be cut to fit the boot. Another option is orthopedic insoles, which are even more comfortable. There are lots of consumer products which can be purchased at a store, however the orthopedic insole is a little bit more expensive.
This video is like a hack, which allows you to take rubber boots and use them in a very cold environment, even one in which there is mud, slush, snow and ice. It’s relatively cheap to do this. The result can be quite comfortable. The boots also allow you to move around freely, move in and out of warm and cold environments, like a factory, while staying warm and protecting your toes. This technique uses readily available materials and easy to follow instructions. These boots are also relatively cheap to modify. If you are in a non-work setting and do not require steel toed boots, then just substitute ordinary rubber boots without steel toes. They work just as well, and cost much less. They also have a lighter weight. The steel toe is just there for an industrial environment.
This system will not work well in deep snow, because the boots are cut too low. You can use synthetic socks other than polyester. Something high tech might be even better. However, polyester socks are readily available, tough, hard wearing and low cost.