Gumboots aka Wellingtons/wellies are great for wading through wet and muddy spots (one of my earliest memories was the sheer delight of sploshing through puddles in what must have been thigh-high, way too large Gummy-boots). They keep water out. Ergo, they are good for things like smelly feet and foot-rot (ask a fish farmer to explain. And not while you are eating or if you have a sensitive stomach) as well as for small beasties (cardinal rule - always shake out your boots) if you leave them unattended, and, logically if they are going to keep water OUT, they also keep water in. Slosh-splart-splish. You can tell a fish farmer's house by the gumboots at the back door. The people of Flinders of course much more civilized than rof tof en onbeskof Ex-South African fishfarmers and wear redbacks instead (and regard people who wear gumboots as a little odd). But being well aquainted with mud, they ALSO leave them outside the back door. A front door is something you have to prove you have one, and sometimes they even open. Ours has been very useful for bringing firewood in without trotting through the house. I don't think it has actually been used for visitors. Only a townie wears shoes inside the house, and you can spot a city type even if he buys and fades a checked shirt and jeans, by the fact he will fall over the boots at the back door.
Of course you need a verandah over the back door... to keep the boots dry. We have that essential thing... only in the absolute torrential rain we had earlier today - at least an inch in about 20 minutes, said verandah... leaked. Just down one line...
Remember the bit about boots being good to keep water out and in? Well they did in pretty good because I'd parked them under that line. There was a lull in the rain and I wanted to dash out, bring more wood from the shed, and collect more herbs for the herbed brine (which needs to cool before going onto the olives). So I grabbed my boot, tipped to shake and poured water onto my socks. After some quiet and genteel remonstrations with the weather and the leak (which I assure you, gentle reader, could never have had any of those terms I heard corporals and rough seamen and rougher fish-wives using in my mis-spent youth) I ripped the wet sock off and hurtled off to grab James's boots where they had been plonked next to the wood-box, outside the front door. And my haste (it was beginning to spot with rain again) I did not obey the cardinal rule.
I thrust my bare foot into the boot.
And my bare foot was NOT alone in there.
For future reference, the little tree-frogs ALSO like you to remember the cardinal rule of boots.
Anyway, the frog and I both lived, although both of us were a little discomforted by the experience. I got the herbs, forgot the firewood. And we have now bottled 22 bottles of black olives and have run out of jars but not olives.