People all over the world need a good pair of wellies, but the problem is knowing what material works best for you. At first glance PVC and rubber look almost identical, but a closer look lets the differences shine out. These differences can have huge consequences for your welly wearing experience and should have close attention paid to it.
The real differences between the two materials can be felt rather than seen. PVC is a type of plastic incorporating vinyl groups. This makes it lighter than rubber and more affordable, but it comes with some stiffness in comparison to rubber too. It can be sharp and harsh at the edges, causing discomfort against skin. In addition, it is also less durable than rubber, which is to be expected. Some manufacturers occasionally incorporate rubber into the PVC to improve on these aspects while maintaining a lower price range.
Rubber is a near completely natural material, made from sap gathered from rubber trees in the tropics. It’s flexible and naturally comfortable, moving with you. This is why rubber is also used for desert boots, and is a prized material for other types of soles. The increased durability of such a material brings a long term value. While PVC is cheaper on the immediate purchase, it has been proven to fall apart more readily than rubber, meaning repairs and replacement push up the price over time.
This comparison can be seen in any application of rubber or pvc. This study on flooring, comparing rubber and a variety of vinyl based plastics as well as carpet, illuminates a stark difference over time where the most expensive rubber beats out all other competition in long term value. There are also articles on waterproof rubber roofing compared to PVC, showing similar advantages. It really seems quite evident that rubber is the better material. The cost for such items can often seem a bit intimidating, but if you want your wellies to last then there’s really only one choice.