My choice (and my resulting rule in my kitchens) was um.. "greatly influenced" by an "experience" I had well over 25 years ago.
Back then, I was a buck 2nd yr apprentice. I remember heaving a 12 ltr pot over the sink to drain freshly cooked pasta into a collander. I slipped, and the pot spilled it's contents down my right side.
After recovering from the slip, my first action was to pull off my apron which was sopping wet with near-boiling water. My pants were soaked, and I had problems. I was wearing one of those "one-size-fits-all-hide-a-pregnant-elephant-in-your-pocket" pants, the kind were the pants-cuffs end just before your ankles. The apron had protected my waist and thigh fairly well, but below my knee, I could feel my skin start to blister. The worse hit part was my ankle, and I could feel my foot and sole start to blister as well. By the time I kicked off my shoe and started to peel off my sock, I was starting to consider that shaving my legs in the future might not be such a bad idea after all....
So 3rd degree burns might not sound like such a bad deal, but the big killer was the blisters on my foot--I could live (and work) with the blisters on my calf and upper ankle, but wearing socks and shoes on a fresh blister wasn't fun. The biggest thing was infection: It was pasta water that went through my blistered skin, nice starchy hot water, and treating the resulting infection took a lot longer than most other burns.
Full recovery though, 5 years later no scar, and the pink ring on my ankle finally disappeared.
Yeah long pants are a p.i.t.a, but they do provide some protection from spills. I knew that if I had worn pants with legs that came down to mid-shoe, I probably wouldn't have had such bad blisters and probably no infection.
It's something to think about......