Heavy-duty work or play calls for heavy-duty boots. Fishing, hunting, field research, or farm work all involve walking around in wet, muddy, or seriously dirty conditions for long hours. Warm, waterproof boots are necessary, especially in cold weather. Muck Boot is an aptly named brand of waterproof, neoprene footgear. They come is various styles and are flexible enough to fit both wide and narrow feet. However, even the most durable boots sometimes fail and good boots cost money to replace. Learning to repair cracked, punctured, or otherwise damaged boots at home is a great way to protect an investment in good boots.
Repairing Muck Boots
Muck Boots are not always easy to repair. Sometimes the fix works, other times it does not. The best way to maximize the chance of the repair taking is to use a patch or a sealant recommended by the boot manufacturer and to use it correctly. If the repair does not work, contact the manufacturer, as they may be willing to either repair or replace the boot. However, the best option is always to treat good boots properly so they are less likely to get damaged in the first place.
Muck Boots by Any Other Name
Muck Boot is a specific brand, though some people use the phrase incorrectly to refer to any waterproof neoprene or rubber work boot. Of course, the same care and repair methods work equally well on any similar boot, yet it is worth keeping track of which brand a boot is. First, depending on the type of warranty the company offers, it might be willing to replace a damaged boot free.
To repair small holes and cracks use a liquid sealant. There are several different brands, includingShoe Goo and Aqua Seal. Be sure to follow the product's instructions, but typically the procedure is to clean the area thoroughly and let it dry before squirting the product into the hole. Make sure the product fills the hole or crack and spread out a thin layer of product in a circle around the hole as well. If the hole goes all the way through the boot then use a gloved finger at the back of the hole to keep the sealant from messing up the inside of the boot. Spread a layer in a circle around the hole on the inside of the boot, also. Let the sealant cure for a few days before using the boot again. The same sealants also work to reattach the sole of the boot if it starts to peel off.
For larger holes, use a boot patch kit. Ideally, use a kit produced by the boot manufacturer, but other brands or even bicycle tire patch kits sometimes work as well. Again, follow the product instructions. Typically, the procedure includes not only washing the boot before hand, but also sanding the surface around the hole lightly, to help the patch and glue stick properly. It is definitely worth it to try repairing a boot, but home repairs do not always work. If the first or even second repair fails, contact the company for a replacement or consult a professional shoe repair shop.
Waterproof Boot Care
Even better than repairing a boot, is not damaging it in the first place. Rubber and neoprene break down over time due to exposure to sunlight, dirt and corrosive materials, such as road salt or the animal urine equestrians encounter in horse bedding. To help the boots last longer, clean them regularly with mild soap and water. Use a silicone sealant after cleaning to help keep the material supple. If the boots have a zipper take extra care to clean and lubricate the zipper, since dirt and grit are the primary causes of zipper failure. Broken zippers are almost impossible to fix.
How to Buy Boot Repair Materials on eBay
eBay is a good place to buy waterproof boots, but it is also a good place to buy boot repair supplies, since the selection is so broad. To browse around, try a basic search with a very broad search term, such as rubber repair kit. Use the menu options to narrow down the results a bit, if necessary. To find something specific quickly, use the Advanced Search option. For any questions about a listing, go ahead and ask the seller. A good buying experience depends on a good relationship between buyer and seller. The seller's profile page features a convenient contact link, along with his or her feedback score, return policy and other policies, and any special deals he or she may offer. Some offer free shipping, for example.