Less Toxic Waterproof Boots From Hi-Tec

Ion Mask Pure Power Hi Tec Shoes Splashed With Water Photo

Image via: Hi-Tec

If you've ever been hiking and stepped down to hear that splash and felt that momentary "oh crap" spasm when you realize you're about spend the rest of your hike walking around in waterlogged boots, only to realize that they're waterproof, (Hooray!), then you can appreciate the value of a good set of waterproofed boots. Well, Hi-Tec shoes has come up with a new space-aged technology that now makes even the environmental footprint of waterproofing something to cheer about. (Hip Hip Hooray!)To be honest, I had to watch their online video several times to get what they were saying, but with their animation and replay loop, I think I've got it. Unlike typical waterproofing methods where they use high temperatures (lots of energy) and really toxic chemicals (that have to be disposed of), Hi-Tec has come up with a new method that uses less of the energy, way fewer chemicals and takes about 3 minutes to complete.

Hi-Tec claims that not only are their boots as light and comfortable as other

waterproofed boots (and non-waterproofed boots) but also that they actually repel dirt and water while you are walking, keeping your boots cleaner. Since the system is nanometers thick, it doesn't affect the breathability or the weight of the shoe.

What is ion-mask?

Ion Mask Vacuum Chamber Hi-Tec Boots Photo
The system is called "ion-mask" and it actually works with a plasma to chemically alter the fabric to repel water and other liquids. In essence, they are rubber and the ground is glue and whatever touches them bounces off and sticks back onto the ground, so to speak. Working with the firm, P2i Ltd, they used technology originally created in the military to protect soldiers from chemical attack, the methods now protect your shoes (and feet) from aqueous attack. Special seams and materials don't have to be used for these shoes, as they would with typical waterproofed shoes. Instead, any pair of finished shoes can be set in the drying chamber, where a vacuum is created, a plasma is inserted to "activate the surface" and then a fluoro carbon is inserted to cover the surface of the shoe. The process uses fewer chemicals and takes place at room temperature, thus no need for the extra energy. Image via: Outdoors Magic

Added bonus is that the shoes themselves, thanks to the ion-mask technology, dry faster than normal shoes. For a runner, instead of absorbing all of that water and sweat, they just wick it away and repel it. In addition, shoes that are set out to dry over night have no problem.

Unveiled by throwing several pairs in a manta ray tank in the London Aquarium by Gadget Show host Jason Bradbury, the shoes are already off to a big, glitzy splash. The new, waterproof Hi-Tec shoes come in several styles from hiking shoes to boots to golf shoes to running shoes, to fit your needs. You can find them online now at Hi-Tec. :Hi-Tec Wet is Dry
More on Eco-Friendly Footwear
Product Review: Stumptown Trail Shoes by END Footwear
Product Review: El Naturalista Viandante Shoes
END Outdoor: Greener Footwear For the Long Run
Holiday Gift Guide for the Outdoors Enthusiast

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