Are High-End Waterproof Shoe Covers Worth the Investment?
It is obvious that you can go to your favorite mass retailer’s website and pick up a pair of cheap silicone overshoes for next to nothing. You can certainly get them for less than many of the high-end men’s waterproof shoe covers from well-known brands. The question you might be asking yourself is whether or not high-end products are worth the investment.
Manufacturer’s obviously thinking so. For instance, if they didn’t think high-quality shoe covers made from vulcanized rubber weren’t worth owning, they wouldn’t bother making them. Brands like GC Tech make high-end shoe covers because they believe they are worth every single penny.
Silicone vs. Vulcanized Rubber
For the record, the best shoe covers are made with vulcanized rubber rather than silicone. Silicone is a form of synthetic rubber with a few distinct properties. Note that rubber and silicone are elastomers – they exhibit the properties of elasticity. What makes them different is their atomic structures.
Rubber and silicone both make excellent materials for waterproof shoe covers for the simple fact that they possess excellent waterproofing properties. Assuming the integrity of the materials is not compromised, both rubber and silicone will keep water out. Given that this is the primary purpose for wearing waterproof overshoes, it is a draw between the two.
Tensile Strength and Durability
We begin to see the real differences between rubber and silicone when we look at tensile strength and durability. Given that silicone tends to be more elastic than non-vulcanized rubber, it also tends to have a higher tensile strength. In other words, it can endure more stretching before it breaks. Things are just the opposite when you introduce vulcanization.
Vulcanization is a method of curing natural and synthetic rubbers. The process forms cross-links between different sections of rubber’s polymer chains, making the material more rigid and durable. It turns out that vulcanized rubber has a higher tensile strength than straight silicone.
The end result is that vulcanized rubber shoe covers tend to be stronger than their silicone counterparts. When all other things are equal, vulcanized rubber will last longer. It will stand up to more daily wear, resist tears more easily, and be largely unaffected by temperature extremes.
Protecting Your Shoes Is Worth It
Paying more for genuine vulcanized rubber is absolutely worth it to some consumers. Why? Because protecting their shoes is worth it. They spend a considerable amount of money on dress shoes they can be proud to wear. They obviously want to protect their investment against the ravages of inclement weather and modern urban environments.
Perhaps being willing to spend more on dress shoes is indicative of your preference for quality. So it only makes sense that you would want the same kind of quality for your overshoes. Why spend more than $100 on a pair of dress shoes just to cover them with cheap silicone overshoes that cost less than $20?
Bottom line price isn’t everything. Still, the old adage that you get what you pay for is as true today as it has ever been. Cheaper consumer products frequently come with lower price points because they are cheaper to make. They are cheaper to make because manufacturers use lower quality materials while simultaneously being less concerned about craftsmanship. The other side of that coin is the more expensive materials and meticulous craftsmanship that go into making high-end products.
To wrap all of this up, it is worth investing in a good pair of men’s waterproof shoe covers. Spending a little more on a high-end product means ultimately spending less on new shoes.