Hard-working apparel makes farm life easy

Dairy Sept. 23, 2020

Skellerup has been manufacturing handmade, natural rubber gumboots for more than seven decades.

Rubber is a natural, renewable resource, which is flexible and naturally comfortable. All the components in Skellerup’s gumboots are prepared by hand and cut to the specific design shape and size for each gumboot.

Skellerup adds reinforcing areas (or zones) to its gumboots, and the premium comfort additions to its moulded soles have made its footwear popular.

There are 38 individual components and at least six rubber formulations in every gumboot. Those formulations include different levels of protection for the different support and wear zones. Every gumboot is leak tested and hand inspected before it is released.

Finding the right foothold

Daviesway’s Simon Shorland has been working in the farm service industry for 35 years.

“Quite a lot of people aren’t sure what the different gumboots are designed for,” he said. “It makes a huge difference to their working days if they get good information and make the right decision for their feet.”

There is no question for him that the premium all-round gumboot is the Quatro. He said once customers push their feet into the “Rolls Royce” of the range, they rarely want any other.

“I’ve had customers who have struggled to wear gumboots say the Quatro has changed their world,” he said. “It’s because of the phenomenal cushioning. They aren’t heavy – even though they may look it – and if you walk in mud, they don’t come off your feet. They fit snugly, but not tight; they have a great hold.”

The Quatro also features thermal properties ­– among other qualities – and a unique ankle-locking feature that negates heel slip. They are available in knee and short (calf) lengths, in addition to non-insulated cool and safety toe choices.

Mr Shorland said the Clutha gumboot is popular with irrigators and farmers involved in paddock work. It’s one of Skellerup’s biggest sellers with a lightweight design, 100% cotton canvas lining and in-built foam cushion innersole.

The 4 x 4 is for farm bikes, with additional rubber ribbing bands across the top of the foot and around the ankle for additional wear resistance.

The Perth is good for heavier, wet country. This timeless gumboot has multiple layers of rubber bonded to a hard-wearing 100% cotton canvas lining, with extra insole cushioning and rear kick-off lugs.

The Red Band is New Zealand’s most famous gumboot – as popular for use on-farm as it is for watching weekend sport.

The Farm Boot is another popular choice for an occasional gumboot with its medium weight with a generous fit.

Keeping warm and dry

When the iconic New Zealand lifestyle apparel brand Swanndri acquired the well-known Line 7 in 2018, it was a match made in outdoor clothing heaven – and the winner has been agriculture.

Line 7 made its name in nautical circles, where there is no greater test for working in extreme wet and cold weather. It clothed crews in the America's Cup, the Whitbread round-the-world yacht race and the Olympics and was the official clothing supplier of New Zealand's winning 1995 America's Cup team.

Its clothing remains synonymous with performance, superior technical construction, flexibility and comfort in extreme weather.

All of Line 7 fabrics in its Terrain Range have been purpose designed to suit the agricultural sector.

The Glacier Premium range is exceptionally breathable and light in weight. Its storm-proof design features innovative wind and waterproof fabric for wearer comfort in extreme conditions.

The Aqua Flex range is made from lightweight flexible fabric, which can stretch up to 150% of its normal size. It allows maximum ease of movement and is wind and waterproof, making it an excellent wet-weather all-rounder. The Station Green range is a great entry level choice for general use around the farm.

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