Monday, September 5, 2016

Kicking Hippies or what to look for in rubber boots

I have spent a very significant portion of my life in knee high, rubber boots. Sure, there are some Alaskan fisherman that live in them, but I doubt that many people have walked around in rubber boots more than I have.
Growing up in the mountains of NC, black rubber boots were pretty much all we wore all summer long.
Working on dairy and hog operations in NZ and in Kentucky? Black rubber boots.
Field work in in irrigated crop fields. Rubber boots. 
In more recent years, CX races and Boundary Waters trips in October necessitated knee high boots, and my go to was the venerable Burley from Lacrosse. 
Fall is the best time to be in the BWCA. You just need some tall boots for the portages
I have been known to roll with boots to more formal occasions.

Pretty comfortable and plenty warm for MN winter use, The Burley is a great boot. My only gripe with it is that they are heavy and do not give you much traction.
 So it came a a big surprise to me this year when I bought a new pair of rubber boots that really blew me a away.

The Rutmaster RPM is the most comfortable boot I have ever worn. There are made from a Croc like material and have a raised mesh interior that keeps you cool. The biggest plus is how light these boots are. 
the mud stuck in the tread pushes them over the 3.5 lb mark.

Clean, they are less than 3.5 pounds for a pair. Thats half of what my Lacrosse Burleys weigh. When we are scouting irrigated fields we cover between 5-10 miles per day on foot.Light boots mean less hip and knee pain at the end of the day. The RPMs also have a pretty aggressive tread, so you are not sliding around in the mud.
My biggest gripe is that they are camo. 
They are on clearance at Gander Mountain store (not online :( ) for under $100 dollars.
I do not think that they will see much use during the depths of MN winter, but for covering big miles during the summer, fall portages in the BWCA or navigating a sewer tour, these are some pretty great shit kickers.