Hi-Tec Gets Nano-Technology

Molecular level ion mask waterproofing treatment could revolutionise outdoor footwear.

Posted: 18 August 2008
by Jon

The big news from footwear specialists Hi-Tec is an innovative nanot-echnology waterproofing technology called Ion Mask which will be appearing in their range from this autumn, or pretty much now in fact.

Based on military technology, the treatment actually bonds to boot materials at a molecular level, coating the individual fibres of the boot with special hydrophobic molecules, so that water just beads and runs off, a bit like with a super-DWR.

Boot water torture chamber suggests ion mask works.

The whole boot is treated in a vacum chamber and the big pluses are that the treatment covers every fibre, not just the surface, it doesn't have any impact on breathability because the polymer coating is only molecules thick. You also save approximately 35 grammes per boot compared to a membrane and because it repels both dirt and water, boots stay lighter in use.

Because the treatment goes beyond just the surface material, it should be far more durable and abrasion resistant than a conventional DWR treatment and Ion Mask footwear is guaranteed for one year to back that up.

Out Shortly...

The first Ion Mask boots are appearing in the Hi Tec range alongside their eVent membrane boots right about now in the shape of the V-Lite Altitude Ultra WPi, a waterproof walking boot with full-grain leather uppers, Vibram outsole and V-lite design.

Most importantly though, the new boot and its women's specific sister, have been treated with Ion Mask. Both retail for £80.

If it does what it says on the can, Ion Mask could be exactly what outdoor footwear and even clothing has been waiting for. Fabric-based boots and shoes treated with Ion Mask appearing next spring 2009.

More information at www.hi-tec.com

Previous article
New Stuff From Inov8
Next article
Therm-a-Rest 2009 Preview Scoop!

Related Products

Discuss this story

But when you go to http://www.hi-tec.com/ion-mask/ , then click on 'ion-mask IN ACTION' then click on SEE THE PROOF, a little graphic comes up that says an 'ion mask shoe' is only waterproof for 180 minutes during a 'waterproof flex test'. (whatever that is).

Still, if it extends the waterproofness of leather by any decent amount it is probably a good thing.

Posted: 18/08/2008 at 18:12

The "little graphic" mentioned is independent proof and evidence that ion-mask technology, in test conditions, is as waterproof as a leading branded membrane tested for a period of 180 minutes. 

This test is an accepted industry standard used as a benchmark for waterproofing. This does not automatically mean the product fails after 180 mins of testing.

Posted: 27/08/2008 at 14:07

As I read the graphic Helen, it says that the 'penetration time' (y-axis) is 180 minutes for a 'sports shoe+ ion mask'. I can't see any other way of interpreting the graph other than after 3 hours in the flex-test, water penetrates. What else does a penetration time of 180 minutes mean?!

Are you connected with this product or company BTW?

Posted: 27/08/2008 at 14:31

See more comments...
Talkback: Hi-Tec Gets Nano-Technology

Sign up to our weekly newsletter
Sign up to our twitter feed