The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

December 17, 2014

Kamik Recycled and Recyclable Rain Boots

kamik-bootsSo, I have kind of a confession.  I waited until we had the biggest rainstorm in years to even think about buying rain boots.  I waited until my work shoes and socks were soaked through, and I was sloshing around the office all day, to ask myself, “I wonder if I can buy Kamik recycled rain boots here in the Bay Area.”  I’d already researched the boots for inclusion in my book.  I just hadn’t bothered to actually try them out.  Until now.

So, last Thursday evening, I found myself in Nordstrom at San Francisco Centre asking if there were any Kamik rain boots and basically getting laughed at for thinking any store in town would still have any rain boots left.  So I did something I’m not proud of.  I ordered them overnight from Amazon.  And they arrived the next day.

Kamiks are great but Amazon sucks

Okay, first let me tell you about the boots, and then let me explain why ordering from Amazon is not the best idea.

Most Kamik boots are made in either Canada or the U.S.A..  The Canadian factory, where my new boots were made, runs on hydroelectric power.  Here’s a video about all the steps the company has taken to reduce its environmental footprint.

kamik-boots-boxBut the boots are made from plastic, right?  Yes, they are.  But the black boots are made from recycled plastic — which is why I ordered plain black ones.  And most styles can be returned to Kamik at the end of their useful lives for recycling into more boots.  Make sure the boot style you are considering is on their Recyclable Boots list.  I chose the Olivia model.

Kamiks run small, which I read in the reviews on Amazon.com, so I ordered a size bigger than I normally would have.  They don’t fit perfectly — but I have oddly shaped feet with a very wide front foot and narrow ankles.  So my heels slide up and down a bit, but I’d rather that than boots that fit too tight.  I’m just happy that my feet are dry!  The other size issue is that they tend to fit somewhat tight on the calf.  People with muscular calves complained that they didn’t fit.  The size I bought do fit me, and I can even get my pant legs inside if I roll them tightly around my ankles before putting my legs in the boots.

If I hadn’t waited until the last minute to purchase boots, I wouldn’t have bought them from Amazon.com.  According to Green America, Amazon ranks very low in terms of environmental and social responsibility.  And they treat their workers pretty poorly.  Read Green America’s blog post about the problems with Amazon.com and finding better alternatives.  I think Amazon should pretty much be reserved as a last resort when you really need something and can’t get it any other way.  But I confess, I was impulsive, and my feet were cold.

 

 

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cocoricoucou

I only buy on amazon what I can’t find anywhere where I live but I admit I didn’t know it was that bad. I’ll try to find another online store before I buy on amazon next time.

For rain boots, is it better to buy recycled plastic or natural rubber? I always try to avoid buying recycled plastic when possible but I still didn’t find rain boots that fit my criteria (flat and flexible sole). Kamik boots don’t seem to fit either.

Beth Terry

I haven’t found any natural rubber boots that were also natural on the inside… they all seem to be lined with or contain some synthetic material. So I chose the ones that can be recycled at the end of their lives. But I don’t think there is a perfect answer.

cocoricoucou

I found some, I only remember Plueys and Aigle but maybe their “natural rubber” claim is not true if it’s not especially written “100% natural rubber”? I know for a fact that “rubber” is absolutely meaningless.

Tanya

Thank you so much for your investigative journalism! I always trust the products that you endorse and want to thank you for doing the research! :) After Thursday’s storm I also was thinking I needed to be outfitted in head to toe rain gear! I’ve also taken things to green citizen and am delighted to be able to get a sneak peak of behind the scenes and to know that they are truly a conscientious company.

Kay

My solution to the problem of rain boots not fitting my calves has been to cut the boots off to just below where my calves get too wide for them. I bought an almost-new pair from Goodwill to do this to last time. Those are some great sustainability features, though.

jeannie2

Beth!! I miss you! :) Nice new boots; how did you make it through East Bay weather all these years? LOL I bought mine immediately after moving here to go to Cal, 7 years ago! I wanted to recommend this brand/pair: https://www.rei.com/product/749159/baffin-enduro-rain-boots-mens?cm_mmc=cse_PLA-_-pla-_-7491590050&mr:trackingCode=F3C5B0F1-16C2-E111-8DC4-001B21631C34&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=pla&mr:ad=64530467440&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:filter=78920766640&msid=kuS7GxHJ_dc|pcrid|64530467440| When I bought mine 7 years ago from REI, they came with a tag that said they’ll recycle the boots for me if I mailed it to them (to Canada). And, they are made in Canada as well. For what I paid, I think $27, they were a great deal.

Beth Terry

Cool boots! Jeannie, I’ve had wet feet in the winter for 25 years!!! This latest rain storm was the last straw.