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Waterproof shoes: the secrets of technology


Waterproof shoes: the secrets of technology

When describing autumn and winter shoes, manufacturers use two words that are close in meaning — “waterproof” and “waterproof”. These terms denote the degree of resistance of the upper material to wetting and the penetration of water into the product. What is the difference between «waterproof» and «waterproof» materials?

From the point of view of the exact sciences, there is no difference, since under high pressure water can seep through the structure of the material and even destroy it. Therefore, all materials can be considered “water resistant” only up to a certain load limit and for a limited period of time.

Therefore, to characterize the properties of products, manufacturers use the concepts of «water resistance» (water-resistance) and «waterproof» (waterproof) in their «household» meaning, implying the ability of materials not to pass water through themselves or not get wet under natural conditions. Sometimes manufacturers use the term «water-repellency» (water-repellent) as a synonym for the word «water-resistance». Only rubber shoes are absolutely impervious to water.

The water resistance of shoe upper materials is most often achieved by applying a layer of hydrophobic polymer based on Teflon or silicone to its surface. It creates a high surface tension that causes water to collect into drops and roll off the material without impregnating it.

Water resistance is achieved through the use of a membrane in the design of the shoe. A membrane is a multilayer tissue with microscopic pores. Depending on the type of membrane tissue, it can have 3 or more layers, but the principle of operation for all membranes is similar: micropores are so tiny that water in a liquid state cannot penetrate through them, but steam passes excellently. As a result, it turns out that a kind of microclimate is formed inside the membrane shoes, the feet do not freeze and do not sweat throughout the entire time of wearing. In shoes, membrane fabric in the form of a kind of stocking, taking into account the characteristics of a particular model, is placed between the outer and inner material, so it is impossible to visually determine its presence.


Most world-famous shoe companies use membrane materials from leading manufacturers such as WL Gore & Associates (USA), Simpatex Technologies (EU), Toray (Japan). Some shoe manufacturers independently develop and patent membranes based on the characteristics of their products. The Soho assortment includes shoes with a membrane in the collections of Clarks, Ara, Emu Australia.

The property of shoes to resist the penetration of moisture allows you to use a pair for a longer period. In addition, the technologies described above make shoes more versatile, which helps to optimize the number of pairs in the wardrobe. Please note that the use of high-quality membranes is guaranteed only by original brands, in particular, those presented in our store.


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