Northern California showcases its residents a fair share of weather: rain, sleet, snow, wind, heat, hail. There is also a wide variety of terrain to tromp around in: farm, rivers, mountains, mud, basalt. Residents of this fertile land are hardworking, active folk who need their assets to do their job. One particular asset is the need for waterproof shoes, and for those shoes to really, really be waterproof.
Waterproof shoes are usually (but not limited to being) shoes with waterproof or water resistant uppers. This means that if a waterproof leathered shoe sunk ankle deep into the muck and mire of a ranch or riverbank, the socks will not be as dry as one would expect, or hope. That is because a shoe needs to have waterproof construction for a successful, moist free marsh-marching.
The construction of shoes and boots for waterproofing needs a few things for it to actually be waterproof:
-Gusseted tongue: this means the the tongue of the shoe is stitched together to the rest of the shoe. For example, if you were to put your finger in the space between the tongue of your shoe and the laces, and you can feel the footbed, it is not gusseted. If you cannot reach inside the shoe with your fingers because it is sewn together, it is gusseted. Water cannot reach inside your shoe through the tongue.
-Seam-sealed: The seams where the sole of your shoe meets the material that makes the shoe (the “upper”) can be stitched or sealed together. Some stitching is better than others, but a true waterproof shoe will be sealed together.
-Waterproof membrane: The upper of the shoe needs to be waterproof. Whether that means the leather is waterproof, or the synthetic material is, water should not be absorbed into the shoe. There are great care products that can assist your leather shoes’ resistance to water.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us! We have many waterproof and water resistant shoes (there is a difference!) to show you, and would be happy to explain further.