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Waterproof and water resistant footwear
July 8, 2014
Sometimes the elements are against us. Heavy rain, snow or a puddle that turns out to be a little bit deeper than we imagined can all leave feet feeling wet and miserable. But when water is the problem, footwear that resists water is the solution.
Innolux boots being tested for water ingression (absorption) by being placed in a water-filled container for a specific amount of time.
Water-resistant and waterproof footwear comes in a surprisingly diverse collection of styles. It is not only casual boots (as pictured above) that can undergo the special process required to protect feet from water, water resistance and water-proofing techniques can also be applied to sandals, sneakers, casual shoes, as well as dress and formal shoes.
It is also important to understand the difference between "water resistant" and "waterproof." While both options may keep your feet dry in certain situations, there are important distinctions. Water resistant footwear will keep out some water but will not keep you dry in heavy rain, snow or deep water. Waterproof shoes, on the other hand, will keep water out completely and are often made with artificial fabrics such as rubber and plastic in order to achieve this.
Unlike waterproof shoes, water resistant footwear can be made of leather. One of the most popular material for creating water resistant shoes for the fashion-conscious is crazy horse leather, which is made by applying special oils to a buffed surface. This creates an appealing worn look and makes the leather resistant not only to water, but also to harsh conditions and scratches. Crazy horse leather shoes (or pull-up leather shoes) are widely used among brands such as Timberland in their water resistant boots.
In contrast, waterproof footwear must use synthetic materials, such as rubber, in the outsole, as well as rubber sheets and coated or laminated fabrics with waterproofing materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane (PU), silicone elastomer, fluoropolymers and wax. Neoprene rubber is also widely used as a waterproofing agent. This special synthetic rubber resists degradation and staining from the sun and other elements. It is also durable, maintaining its strength, flexibility and toughness.
With its focus on high production and quality assurance standards, Innolux is one of the few shoe manufacturers in Vietnam which has the materials and know-how to specialise in the manufacture of both water resistant and waterproof footwear.