Thanks. I missed baggywinkles in my original considerations. Nice recap, Sailorman.
I think I'll order what I started to before I thought about it: the common rubber boots. (It's called a synthetic rubber, not plastic as I referred to - but I did discover some chintzy "real" plastic ones for only $9). Depending on how they hold up, I'll consider the Edison leather when mast comes down.
To complete the thread, following are the rubber, polyester, (taken from Defender web site) and leather boots (SailNet):
Charlie Lincoln • Cathlamet, WA • Islander 28 #108