At Viking, we’ve been making rubber boots since the 1930s, and we’d like to think we’ve gotten pretty good at it.
While simple in design, crafting quality rubber boots is still an intricate process. Natural rubber must first be collected and processed. Various additives are then mixed with the rubber to get Viking’s unique rubber compound. Up to 40 parts and pieces are assembled by hand before being melted together, resulting in a whole boot and eventually landing right on your feet!
Hevea brasiliensis is the Latin name for the rubber tree. Its impressive properties have been known since the early 1700s, but it was the discovery of the vulcanization procedure in 1839 that led to the commercialized cultivation and harvesting of the rubber tree.
Natural rubber comes from the sap from a rubber tree, and it is harvested by making incisions in the bark of the tree and collecting the fluid in a process known as tapping. In liquid form, natural rubber is also known as latex, which is then refined into rubber for commercial processing.
Our goal has always been to deliver the best quality rubber boots, which is why our all-natural rubber boots are always PVC-Free. Rubber boot manufacturers may include PVC in products to reduce costs. This can ultimately lead to quality and comfort issues.
Not all waterproof rubber boots can stand the test of time. Adding PVC to rubber can cause cold cracking and lead to leakage over time.
PVC-blended rubber boots are often stiff and inflexible, made to be worn sized up, and offer little support. Natural rubber is more flexible than the PVC alternative, allowing for a more natural fit and better support throughout the day.
In selected styles of Viking rubber boots, you can find our unique rubber blend. We’ve blended natural rubber with less dense materials following the same process as our standard rubber boots. The result is a rubber boot, 30% lighter, with all the same features and quality you expect from our all-natural boots.
To extend the lifetime of your boots, we recommend storing them away from direct sunlight or artificial heat sources. When cleaning your boots, remove the insoles and wash them separately. Use lukewarm water and a clean cloth to wipe away any mud and dirt. Allow your boots to dry a room temperature setting away from artificial heat. When the shoes have dried, you may re-insert the sole. Do not store boots while damp, folded, or creased.
Occasionally, you may notice a white powdery «bloom» on your Viking rubber boots. During production, various additives are mixed with the rubber to get Viking’s unique rubber compound. In some cases, a chemical reaction causes a white powder to rise to the surface of the boot. This is a sign of high-quality, natural rubber and does not reduce the quality or the durability of your boots. To manage any «bloom» on your Viking boots, we recommend using Vikings rubber boot care spray to restore its normal surface and colour. This also helps prevent your boots from drying out and cracking.
If water ever finds its way into your boots, we have created removable insoles for faster drying and fresher boots. Selected styles include removable EVA midsoles for added support and ergonomic comfort.