How Can a Breathable Fabric Overshoe Be Waterproof?

How Can a Breathable Fabric Overshoe Be Waterproof?

Our men's zip-up and slip-on shoe covers are made with a variety of materials, including rubber and a breathable fabric. They are waterproof shoe covers designed to keep out the rain, snow, dirt, and debris. That said, you might be curious as to how our products can be waterproof and still be breathable at the same time.

That is a legitimate question. We don't normally consider fabric a waterproof material. Well, we obviously can't reveal the secrets that make our waterproof shoe covers what they are. But we can explain how waterproof fabrics work. It will give you a good idea of the fundamental principles our design team relied on when designing our waterproof shoe covers for men.

Keeping the Water Out

First and foremost, our shoe covers are not the only fabric products marketed as being waterproof. For instance, people don't have to settle for rubber raincoats or plastic ponchos anymore. They can buy waterproof rain suits that are also made of fabric. When you're working with fabric, keeping water out is a matter of treating the fabric with another substance.

Most waterproof fabrics are treated with a synthetic material like polyurethane. This product creates a thin coating that essentially laminates the fabric. It is naturally repellent to water, causing it to bead up and run off. Yet the coating doesn't create a solid barrier. There are still microscopic holes in it. Water droplets are too big to fit through those holes.

Because the coating is basically a plastic, water is unable to spread out across its surface. Again, it beads up and runs off. Best of all, the coated fabric is still breathable thanks to a process known as moisture vapor transmission.

Letting the Moisture Out

The principle of moisture vapor transmission refers to allowing moisture underneath a material to still escape. This is achievable through those previously mentioned microscopic holes. As you perspire, the moisture under your rain suit or overshoes can still escape through the holes. The moisture can pass out, but the rain cannot seep in.

Know that while this technology works very well, it is not perfect. It takes time for perspiration to evaporate. It takes time for moisture to escape your rain suit or shoe covers. So if you are perspiring faster than the fabric can accommodate, your clothes will still get wet. It is just that the rain isn't making them wet. Your own body is.

This is generally not an issue for waterproof shoe covers. It is for rain suits, but most of us don't have a whole lot of problems with excessive perspiration in our feet. We can wear waterproof shoe covers over our dress shoes and not have to worry about getting to the office with wet socks.

When the Coating Fails

Waterproof fabrics don't necessarily remain waterproof forever. Remember, the coating used to treat fabrics ends up adhering to those fabrics as a laminate. And like any laminate, this one can begin to separate over time. You can actually see it with the naked eye.

When the laminate begins to fail, the fabric in question will no longer be waterproof. That's the point when you think about replacing your item. In terms of our waterproof overshoes, don't sweat it. They are designed and built to last. You will get many years of reliable service from them.

And now you know how a lightweight fabric can be breathable and waterproof at the same time. We invite you to put ours to the test with your next purchase of overshoes for men. Our products are the state-of-the-art in shoe covers.