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octobre 02, 2023
Waterproof boots are rightfully beloved for their ability to shield your feet from the discomfort of damp conditions. There is, however, a common concern that lingers among their wearers. Do waterproof boots make your feet sweat?
Outdoor enthusiasts and everyday wearers alike have wondered whether measures to keep their feet dry from rain, snow, and bodies of water come with the unintended consequence of sweat-soaked socks. The key to the answer lies in your boots’ balance between waterproofing and breathability.
In this deep dive, we'll explore the science behind sweaty feet, discuss the microclimate inside your boots, examine cutting-edge waterproofing technologies, and equip you with a practical plan for finding a pair of boots that will keep your feet dry in wet conditions but comfortable in any weather.
Foot sweat is a natural and necessary physiological process. The sweat glands in the feet are vital to the body's cooling system. Your feet are equipped with thousands of sweat glands that help regulate body temperature. When your body perceives an increase in temperature, these glands are called into action to produce sweat as a cooling mechanism.
There are a number of factors that can cause your feet to sweat excessively:
Understanding these factors helps shed light on why your feet might sweat more in certain situations. This is crucial when evaluating the impact of waterproof boots on your foot's microclimate.
The microclimate inside your boot is the environmental conditions immediately surrounding your feet while you're wearing boots. The proper microclimate makes all the difference between a pleasant hike and an grueling, blister-inducing slog. Proper temperature and humidity regulation are crucial to preventing moisture accumulation, which both causes discomfort and promotes fungal and bacterial growth.
Breathable waterproof boots rely on effectively wicking moisture away from the feet. This is done through the use of advanced fabrics and materials that keep the foot dry, drawing moisture away from the skin and allowing it to evaporate. The measure of how well a material repels water vapor without allowing actual liquid water to pass through is known as its vapor transmission rates (VTR).
VTR is typically measured in grams of water vapor that can pass through a square meter of material per 24 hours under controlled conditions. A higher VTR signifies that more moisture is allowed to escape without a drop in waterproofing. Generally, VTR values of between 5,000 and 25,000 g/m²/24h indicate superior breathability.
What materials are used to balance waterproofing and breathability? Gore-Tex is a breathable, waterproof membrane that allows water vapor to escape while repelling external moisture. Gore-Tex is a hallmark of waterproof footwear, including our Royal Canadian boots. Depending on the exterior material, many boot manufacturers also coat the exterior in a durable water repellent (DWR) to enhance the waterproofing capabilities of materials like leather or fabric. It causes water to bead up and roll off the surface, rather than soaking into the fabric.
Striking the balance between keeping water out and letting moisture escape is the ultimate challenge for any waterproof boot designer. The greatest designs are those that strike the proper balance between waterproofing and breathability in even the wettest conditions
The dryness and comfort for a person’s feet inside waterproof boots is influenced by several factors. Understanding these variables is crucial for effectively managing moisture and ensuring a pleasant outdoor experience.
Natural materials, like leather, are known for their breathability, allowing air to circulate and moisture to escape. However, different types of leather vary in their breathability, with full-grain leather offering superior breathability to other forms. Many synthetic materials used in waterproof boots incorporate materials that actively wick moisture away from your feet, though the technology is much more complex than natural materials.
In moisture management, some waterproof boots feature inner linings designed to manage moisture. Linings like Gore-Tex provide a barrier against external moisture while allowing internal moisture to escape. Meanwhile, certain boot designs incorporate ventilation features like mesh panels or breathable membranes to allow moisture to escape, though this comes with a sacrifice to the waterproofing. These designs are particularly effective in warm conditions or during strenuous activity.
Your choice of socks also plays a pivotal role in sweat management. Moisture-wicking socks made from materials manage sweat effectively. Cotton, on the other hand, traps moisture and should be avoided. Look for socks made of merino wool or synthetic blends with moisture-wicking properties and seamless construction.
Proper care of your boots helps prevent moisture buildup and maintain breathability. Regularly clean your boots to remove dirt and sweat residues, and ensure they’re thoroughly dry before wearing them again.
If they get wet, you’ll need to dry them before your next use. Avoid excessive heat sources like radiators, as they can damage the waterproofing. Instead, use a gentle airflow method, and place crumpled newspaper inside to absorb moisture.
Practicing good foot hygiene also reduces sweating and odor. Practices like daily washing and thorough drying, as well as applying foot powders, can help manage foot sweat and odor.
When choosing a pair of boots, consider the climate that you’ll be in and your anticipated activity level. The right choice will significantly enhance your foot comfort and overall experience.
In wet and rainy conditions, fully waterproof boots are often the best choice. However, in hot and dry climates, breathable boots with water-resistant properties are more practical. For light activities like walking in the rain or short hikes in wet conditions, choose waterproof boots. For strenuous activities like long-distance hiking or trail running, highly breathable, water-resistant boots are preferable.
There are instances when choosing water-resistant rather than fully waterproof boots is preferable. For example, in hot, dry weather, fully waterproof boots can trap heat and moisture, causing discomfort and bacterial buildup. In these climates, water-resistant boots that allow for better breathability are the wiser choice.
For quick outings or activities with minimal exposure to the elements, water-resistant boots offer sufficient protection without moisture buildup. When you might encounter both wet and dry conditions, water-resistant boots offer a nice compromise, providing moisture protection while allowing for better breathability.
octobre 02, 2023
octobre 02, 2023
The chill of winter beckons, and as you venture out to brave the elements, the right footwear becomes your trusted ally. From snowy trails to city streets, the choice between waterproof and water resistant boots plays a pivotal role in your journey. But, here lies the crux: while these terms often get interchanged, they serve distinct purposes, each with its own set of advantages. Delve into this guide as we demystify the differences, ensuring your next step is both dry and informed.
ROYAL CANADIAN COLLECTIVE
SINCE 2012 ROYAL CANADIAN IS PROUDLY CANADIAN OWNED AND OPERATED INTEGRATING THE TRUE NORTH SPIRIT INTO EVERY BOOT WE BUILD.