Water repellent… Water resistant… Waterproof… – what exactly do I need?
There are many different approaches to take when it comes to protection from the weather. These usually depend on what you’re planning to do and your budget.
The simplest version is a shoe with a water-repellent finish. In this type of footwear, a water-repellent treatment is applied directly to the footwear at the factory – this treatment is known as Durable Water Repellency or DWR for short. It prevents the upper material from absorbing water and keeps your feet dry, while allowing moisture to be wicked outward. But be careful – the performance of a DWR is limited, depending on the amount of water/moisture involved, your feet could become wet sooner or later. There are, however, certain advantages in terms of cost effectiveness and better breathability making this version a good choice for fair weather and summer footwear.
We only use our own Eco Finish waterproofing treatment for our footwear, which works without the use of environmentally harmful fluorocarbons (PFC). This offers you a certain degree of protection while at the same time helps protect the planet.
Waterproofing should be renewed or refreshed from time to time, and you can find all the information you need about this at Tips & Tricks.
You can find information on DWR and which harmful substances you should watch out for in our Sustainability Report.
All 100 % waterproof shoes are equipped with a fine membrane that blocks out moisture while at the same time is breathable enough to allow for moisture to be wicked out of the shoe.
The advantage is that waterproof footwear offers full protection, no matter what the weather. The disadvantage is that they’re slightly less breathable than footwear without a built-in membrane (e.g. textile or full leather shoes or boots).
Two different membranes are used in our shoes:
Ceplex is our long-standing, in-house membrane. We use it in our footwear as well as our apparel. It is permanently waterproof, highly breathable and windproof. It can withstand a water column of at least 15,000 mm (JIS L 1092 B).
In general, our membranes are 100 % free of environmentally harmful fluorocarbons (PFC). For our “green” version, we also use up to 25 % recycled or biobased materials for membrane production. This keeps you dry and protects the environment.
In addition to our own in-house membrane, we also use a high performance Sympatex® membrane in some of our shoes. 100 % waterproof with a water column of at least 45,000 mm, optimum breathability, and 100 % windproof, Sympatex® delivers outstanding performance, water protection and comfort in all weather conditions.
Sympatex® also offers many advantages when it comes to sustainability. The membrane for our footwear is made of 100 % recycled raw materials, is both PTFE-free and PFC-free, and is certified with bluesign®.
Even if the membrane keeps you 100 % dry, your shoes should occasionally be waterproofed to maintain full functionality. A wet, fully-soaked upper works like a barrier and considerably impairs the breathability of the membrane.