Life Hacks – Waterproofing Boots

You’ve been reading about how I’ve been shoveling the snow and doing other winter outdoor tasks, in my SafetyGirl boots. Last night I came home to about 6″ of snow in my driveway – maybe more. Whatever it was, my AWD with relatively new tires couldn’t make it. Of course my parents’ snow shovel broke in half, leaving me with only a push broom. Last post I think I said the broom was optimum for up to 4″ of snow. We had far more than that. By the time the sun went down I had only done a half-decent job on part of the driveway, and my boots and pant legs were soaked. It occurred to me then that I hadn’t waterproofed my boots.

My first pair of workboots was a beige pair my dad bought me in college when I started hiking. It was the second gift he ever picked out and purchased for me. They were hidden in his closet Christmas morning and after all the other gifts were open, he told me to go look in his closet for my final gift. Of course I saw the boots in the box in the corner, but I instead yelled down, “an old pair of your tennis shoes!! Thank you so much!” He laughed. “Do you know how hard it was to find construction boots in that size? I had to go to the boys’ section.” Back in the day, women didn’t wear construction boots, and petite women doubly didn’t wear clunky construction boots. “You know we have to waterproof those before you wear them. Even though the box says they are waterproof, that just means they sprayed a coating on them, and that coating eventually wears off – it’s the nature of the manufacturing process. You need to work it in by hand to really seal them.” He took his shoe kit down and together we rubbed in the waterproofing conditioner, then I buffed with a soft cloth. “Make sure you get good around those seams and the sole. That’s where water’ll get in.” After the first liberal coat, we set the boots in front of the register to melt the conditioner into the leather, then repeated the process the next day. “You’ll need to do this every year, before winter, if you want them to last.” I watched the boots turn a pristine, soft beige to a dark and smooth brown before I ever wore them. I was so disappointed that we had ruined my pretty boots just for the sake of keeping my feet dry.

20150127_044034In the 90’s a petite girl wearing mini construction boots was not the norm, and my dad got a kick of out it whenever he saw me in them. I wore those things everywhere for a long time, then when they started to show their age, I relegated them to hard work – hauling wood and shoveling in the winter, mowing and operating a stump grinder in the summer. Anyway, it took me fifteen years to kill those boots, and kill them I did. The toes were cut, the tongue was black where the laces had worn them smooth, the soles were no longer nubby. My then-husband told my dad before Christmas one year, “you better be the one to get her replacement boots. I have heard the story too many times to think I could ever replace them.” My dad got me a new pair of boots that Christmas, but he wrapped them and put them under the tree with the other gifts. They weren’t the cute, tiny boy version (by now they made small adult sizes for women). And we didn’t waterproof them together. I took them back home with the rest of my gifts, and they remained in the back of my closet. My husband and I didn’t hike, and I had a pair of old tennis shoes I used for shoveling and mowing. They are in the back of my closet, unwaterproofed, today.20150127_044259

These were my thoughts, taking all of a minute, after I was done sweeping my driveway last night. Before the snow started again in earnest, I headed off the hill to Andy’s for the night, in my pink boots. This morning, after I had the coffee on and Andy was in the shower, I took my bedside coconut oil (which is excellent for your skin) and rubbed the boots down quickly. Any stable solid fat or pliable wax will work in a pinch if you don’t  have boot waterproofer but you should use a proper conditioner as soon as you get a chance. I rubbed thick globs along the reinforced stitching and the crease where the leather upper meets the lug sole. I rubbed it in briefly with my hand and put them on for work today.

I inherited my dad’s shoe kit, and after I schedule this blog, I will add to my list of things to do tonight, “waterproof both pairs of boots.” 20150127_044453

Odd Winter Jobs

20150125_162347I didn’t see much of Andy over the weekend, and it was to be the last good spread before a nor’easter hit. One thing I learned from living in the snow belt is that, when you have a gravel driveway and the snow is less than 4″ deep, sweeping it with a push broom is the way to go. The rocks stay in the driveway and the snow that’s left isn’t polished to a slick surface. In preparation for the upcoming storm, I swept my driveway of the dusting that was there.

Also, with the higher temps, I decided my two litter boxes could use a good scrubbing. Nothing beats snow for this. I empty the boxes best I can, fill them with snow, scrub it around with the scooper, then dump it all out. No spillage, no hands in cold water, no gross stuff down the drain. Once inside the house, I spray them with Lys0l and wipe down well. After the boxes are thoroughly dry, I add new litter. With two litter boxes, it’s not imperative I rush through this, since the kitties always have somewhere to go! I like to do this exercise a couple times each winter.

For both these jobs, I wore my Safety Girl pink steel toed workboots. They come in tan and black also, and you can get them in soft toe. We’ve just added fleece lined boots in all these colors, too. At under $50, I am strongly considering adding the black ones to my overflowing shoe closet.

Caterpillar Women’s Steel Toe Work Boots

When you’re shopping for high-quality construction gear, you know that Caterpillar is a name you can always trust. If you’re looking for top-notch work boots, Safety Girl has an awesome selection of steel toe boots by trusted manufacturers, including Caterpillar. Check out a few of the great options available from Caterpillar at Safety Girl’s online store.

The Caterpillar Carlie Women’s Work Boot is an excellent steel toe boot for a variety of jobs. These boots will keep you comfortable on the job, even in rough and demanding situations. The Caterpillar Carlie Women’s Work Boot provides you with the assurance of safety with a steel toe to protect your feet from heavy falling or rolling objects and electrical hazard protection, as well. The boots feature a cushioned Ortholite insole, but the insole can also be removed to accommodate custom orthotics providing you with an ultimate, customized comfort. The boots also feature iTechnology, sport-inspired heel cups that provide your feet with increased mobility. These boots are available in chocolate brown in sizes 5 through 10. Order a pair today for just $93.99, a savings of over $21 off the list price.

The Caterpillar Active Alaska Women’s Work Boot is perfect for working in a variety of conditions and environments. This boot is sportier than your average steel toe work boot, with a leather upper and nylon mesh lining to give you support, flexibility and breathability, whether you’re working on a construction site or taking a rigorous hike in the woods. The boots also offer incredible durability with a rubber outsole that provides excellent traction and double-stitched seams throughout. The boot is suitable for wear in industrial environments, as well, with an electrical hazard rating and steel toe to protect your feet from heavy falling or rolling objects. These boots are available in black in sizes 5 though 11 for just $94.99, a savings of over $20 off the list price.

Nautilus Pull-On Steel Toe Work Shoes

Steel toe work shoes are a great footwear option for working women who need protection from heavy falling or rolling objects, but don’t need the extra weight of a boot. At Safety Girl’s online store, you’ll find a great selection of steel toe work shoes from trusted brands, including Nautilus pull-on work shoes. These shoes are incredibly comfortable, but will also keep your feet safe while on the job. Check out a few of the great styles available at Safety Girl’s website.

The Nautilus Steel Toe Pull-On SD Water Resistant shoes are an excellent steel toe footwear option for women looking for both safety and comfort. Specifically designed for women, these shoes feature a full-grain leather upper with a water resistant coating for maximum durability in all weather conditions. The shoes feature an anti-fatigue polyurethane insole and an EVA midsole to make an incredibly comfortable shoe that will keep you going all day long. The steel toe on these shoes meets ASTM safety specifications. Order a pair today in Brown Moss in sizes five through 12 (wide widths available) for just $75.50, a savings of almost $22 off the list price.

The Nautilus Alloy Lite Safety Toe Pull-On SD Water Resistant shoe is another excellent option for women looking for an easy-on-easy-off safety shoe. These shoes feature an ergonomically designed Alloy Lite safety toe cap that that meets ASTM safety standards and will keep your toes safe from heavy falling or rolling objects but also prevent your toes from cramping or rubbing. For comfort, the shoes include an anti-fatigue polyurethane insole and EVA midsole. These great shoes are available in navy blue in sizes 5 though 12 (wide widths available) for just $80.50, a savings of almost $24 off the list price.

Nautilus Steel Toe Athletic Shoes

Are you looking for an athletic style work shoe with a steel toe? Safety Girl has an excellent selection of steel toe athletic shoes at unbeatable prices. With a steel toe athletic shoe, you’ll have all the benefits of an athletic shoe, including mobility and comfort, with the added benefit of a steel toe to protect your feet from heavy falling or rolling objects. Check out just a few of the great steel toe athletic shoes available at Safety Girl’s online store.

The Women’s Nautilus Steel Toe Athletic Shoe SD 1360 in Gray offer both comfort and durability for working women. These shoes are ergonomically designed to keep you going all day long and include an anti-fatigue polyurethane insole and EVA midsole for comfort on the job. The shoes also keep your feet safe without compromising comfort with their lightweight Alloy Lite safety toe cap that prevents your toes from cramping or rubbing while meeting ASTM impact/compression standards. These shoes are available in gray in sizes 5 through 12 with wide widths available, too. Order yours today for just $74.99, a savings of $22 off the list price.

The Nautilus Steel Toe Athletic Shoe SD 1376 in Blue is another great choice for a steel toe athletic shoe. These shoes are sporty and comfortable and feature the same Alloy Lite safety toe (compliant with ASTM standards) as the Nautilus SD 1360 in Gray that keeps your toes safe from heavy objects but also allows them to move freely without cramping or rubbing. These shoes are also incredibly comfortable, with an anti-fatigue polyurethane insole and EVA midsole that will keep you going strong all day on the job. These shoe are available in blue in sizes 5 though 12 with wide widths available. Order a pair of these great shoes today for just $75.50, a savings of almost $22 off the list price.