“My Kingdom for a Pair of Boots!” The refrain is the same from people throughout the aquatics industry; our saltwater work environment is hell on footwear. Over the years, I have destroyed countless pairs of boots, and, while there are a few tricks to reducing the damage, it only serves to delay the inevitable. After seeing how saltwater and salt spray have dissolved concrete down to powder, it’s no wonder that my boots don’t fair much better.
I usually buy two pairs of boots, so I can rotate them every other day to let each pair dry out before wearing them again. I have tried out boots of every quality level, but it doesn’t matter – if they are $30 or $200, they all meet the same fate. Over time, the corrosive, high saline solution eats away the leather, metal and rubber. The salt is an equal opportunity destroyer. Oftentimes, my laces fuse with the metal they feed through, leaving most of the lower laces locked in position, a shoelace rigor mortis if you will. I am currently in the danger zone. I waited too long to buy new boots because I hate the breaking-in process,and I am making do with these rather comfortable, but quickly disintegrating, foot covers. They mostly do the job that they were intended for, but I fear that their end is near.