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 waterproofing treatment, Eco Finish. This water and stain resistant finish is applied to the outer fabric of your product so that water pearls up and runs right off – without the use of environmentally harmful fluorocarbons (PFCs). This protects you from the rain and keeps the planet clean. Regular reapplication is necessary for permanent waterproofing and stain resistance.
Our environmentally friendly, water-repellent Eco Finish finish does not contain any harmful fluorocarbons, but it needs proper care.
We recommend that you impregnate your weather protection clothing before intensive use and after every wash. Under Tips & Tricks you can find more information about this. If you need help, we also offer an waterproofing service .
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).
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.