Friday, April 24, 2015

How Are Rubber Boots Made?

The Sole of the Boot

    The production of a rubber boot begins with creation of the sole or base. Because the sole receives the most impact and wear of the boot, it needs to be made of a special rubber. First, the rubber is created using a type of rubber fiber that comes in blocks. The blocks are placed into a rolling machine and compressed into thin sheets. Next, a series of chemicals are combined into a tray and weighed. If the mixture is not exact, the rubber will not be the correct strength and will wear too quickly. The mixture is then added to the compressed fiber sheets and run through another roller press. After the mix is combined with the sheet, a chemical reaction forces the fibers to become stronger and solidify into a solid rubber. Next, the rubber is pressed into sheets and cut into individual sections for the soles. The sheets are placed into a mold and compressed in an oven. The ending result is the base sole of the shoe.

Leg Section of the Boot

    To create the leg section of the boot, a thick rubber sheet is cut into the shape of the boot using a pattern. Once the section is cut, the rubber is run through a stitching machine to seal the rubber. To create a seamless seal, the rubber is turned inside out so that the seam does not show. Next, a craftsman begins to build the shell of the boot. First, an additional layer of rubber (similar to vinyl) is wrapped and pressed around the boot. This layer is used to seal the rubber and protect it. Once the seal is attached, a support layer is added around the base of the boot up to the ankle. This ensures that rubber does not fold while in use. In addition, a strip of rubber is run from the top of the boot to the base to create a solid back. Another series of bands are added to the top of the boot to secure the opening (mouth). Afterward, a tool is run around the various sections of the boot to ensure that all air pockets are removed and the seals are solid. Once this process is complete, the leg sections are placed into a large oven to heat the rubber shell.

Final Construction

    Once the boots are removed from the oven, the soles are attached using a strong adhesive. The boots are placed into another oven for a short period of time to cook the glue into place. After the glue is solid, the boots are removed from the assembly line to be packaged and shipped out to retail stores.

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