We've used boot trays and water-hog mats on our farm and at home for years - it's a system that was never satisfying but worked well enough. We recently got a robot vacuum for our house and the automated daily cleaning made it obvious just how much of the general grit on the floor in the living spaces comes from our entryway - and with farm boots, you never know what might be in that grit. So I went looking for a buy-it-for-life boot and shoe solution for our entryway.
Most of the options on the market are some combination of flimsy and made of plastic. I don't imagine a plastic boot rack is going to have the service lifetime I'm looking for and it's doubtful that it will be recyclable at the end - plus who wants to look at something like that day in and day out? Flimsy metal or metal-and-wood options are attractive and made with reusable materials but will cost more than something heavy duty once you have to replace them a few times. Wood or bamboo racks might be good in some applications but we didn't want whatever is living on our boots to start living on and in our boot rack. I was beginning to think I'd be stuck with mats and trays when I came across Rakabot.
I was excited to see how many boxes it ticked: essentially all metal with published specs so I knew what level of quality to expect, a design that would keep the dirt off the floor and still let the boots dry, measurements that fit perfectly in our small space, and it's from a small company in nearby Canada.
Before my order shipped, I got a call from Rakabot checking that the product I had ordered would meet my needs and, after it arrived, I got another call checking that it had arrived without damage. The packaging was reinforced on the corners so there was no damage from shipping. The pieces unpacked and went together per the clear instructions - a specialized drill bit was included for the tricky connections on the back lip but patience was still required. Once in place and loaded, the shelf feels sturdy and looks surprisingly chic.
We've been using the rack for two weeks and it is clearly one of the best household purchases we've made in a long time. The caller had cautioned that we might only be able to fit 7 pairs of boots on the rack if they were large - honesty I appreciated - but we are comfortably fitting 8 pairs of boots on the rack and 4 pairs of short shoes on the floor underneath. The height between the racks is generous and the boots come out and go in easily. Our boots come out dry every time, the entryway is less cluttered, and there's a lot less dirt tracked into the living space. The air in our house is pretty dry and so we haven't had to empty the reservoirs under the shelves - the water evaporates before we need to. Some of the small rocks and bigger clods of dirt stay on the shelf instead of being washed down through the hole but the surface of shelves are smooth and durable and the debris easily swept off into a pan with a hand broom at the end of the week.
As a bonus: our robot vacuum fits under the lowest shelf so it can keep the WHOLE entryway clean now!
Based on the exchanges I had with customer service during the purchase process, I feel confident that if we had any issues down the road, Rakabot would not only make it right but would also address those issues in future versions.
Better in french but it ok ,not for assemblage