Every winter fisherman who has ever been on the ice will surely pose the question of proper equipment. And first of all it will concern shoes. Remembering the old days, when there was practically no choice, and coming to the store now, when you simply get lost at the sight of the presented products, you understand that progress does not stand still and you can’t do without a good consultant. If you do not trust the sincerity of such consultants, then I will offer some tips for choosing such shoes, based on personal experience.
Material and construction
First, let's figure out the material from which it is made. Most often these are rubber boots and EVA boots. Sometimes there are combined models, where the upper part is made of fabric or leather. They are not waterproof and are considered water repellent. That is, they can be in the water, but for a very short time. In my opinion, such shoes can only be used in severe frosts, and even then no one will give guarantees that, for example, water will not come out in the snow, but still it is necessary that the feet remain dry. Therefore, the best option is one-piece boots of a standard size.
Pros and cons of rubber and combination shoes
The advantage of rubber boots is their strength, but, in general, the pluses end there. Further, their shortcomings: firstly, they are very heavy, and some models of boots reach a weight of 4 or more kilograms; secondly, the rubber itself does not retain heat well, therefore, an insulating insert is required in almost any weather. Now on sale there are combination boots, the lower part of which is made of rubber, and the upper and inner ones are made of neoprene. They withstand very decent frosts without any additional inserts, but remain as heavy. Yes, and their price can not be called cheap. In addition to the liner in all rubber boots, an insole is required, otherwise the legs will freeze. There are good models with anti-slip soles, which allows you to not wear extra claws.
Eva, who “buried” many types of rubber boots
The second part of the boots, presented in stores, is made of EVA. In my opinion, this is now the best offer for the ratio of price to quality and the necessary characteristics. In appearance, models from different manufacturers are very similar to each other, and it’s quite difficult to figure out what their differences are. Meanwhile, there are differences. EVA – the material is soft and requires a significantly more careful attitude than rubber boots. Perhaps this is their only minus. But they have much more advantages. EVA material itself, or foamed rubber, holds heat very well and, by and large, is a bit of a thermos. Winter fishing boxes and boxes for the nozzle are now made from the same material, in which nothing freezes even in decent frosts. The temperature regime of such boots starts from -5 without inserts and up to -60 and even -80 with special insulation, stockings. The thermal conditions are also affected by the thickness of the sole; accordingly, the thicker it is, the greater the frost they withstand. Outwardly, EVA boots look very bulky and heavy, but in reality they weigh much less than rubber ones, and it is much more convenient to wear them.
When buying, be sure to pay attention to the block: it can be either narrow or wide. Accordingly, be sure to try on shoes before purchasing. The quality of the material is also of great importance, especially for cheap models. If you see deformations in places of bends, then this is an occasion to think about the quality of the material. Fortunately, many manufacturers of boots have grown into serious companies that are trying to control the quality of their products, and their average level is very high. At least, there have been no returns for quality in my memory for a long time. But there is one problem: for some manufacturers the size range does not always coincide, therefore, especially with remote ordering, be sure to ask the seller about the compliance of these parameters.
Now manufacturers began to add more fun to traditional green and black shoe colors, especially for female models. There are white, and blue, and even pink. And in men's models began to introduce new colors. Personally, I liked the white boots, I could not resist and bought myself a new pair, despite the fact that I already have five pairs of varied winter shoes. On some models, the manufacturer puts metal spikes, but this option has not received much distribution, since although they reduce sliding, it is insignificant.
Insertions and their role
No matter how warm the EVA material is, you still can’t do without special inserts. They perform two functions: additional warming and removal of excess moisture, which is released from the body during movement. They are available for different thermal conditions and for different technologies. And, of course, the thicker the insert, the greater the frost it is designed for. They are made of wool or felt. The outer part of the stockings is foil for better heat protection, however, for me this is not the most important indicator, since I did not notice the difference between simple but high-quality liners and foil during use. In addition, the studies and tests proved that the foil has a positive effect on heat reflection in the form of a study in the presence of an air gap of at least 10 cm.
Most models are equipped with an upper cuff, which, if tightened, prevents snow from entering the boots. It is partly a function, since I never used it as it was and preferred to pull pants on top, however, it does not exclude one another.