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May 12, 2010

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SHE10 – Keep your toes out of the water

When specifying safety footwear for use outdoors, which would you prefer – a waterproof sock, or a waterproof boot?

This is the question being asked of visitors to Totectors stand at Safety & Health Expo, where the Northampton-based company is showcasing the OutDry® waterproofing technology. As explained to SHP on the stand by the company’s Rajal Dhanani, the OutDry membrane is applied to the whole of the inside of the boot/shoe upper, so water simply cannot penetrate it.

This is in contrast to other waterproof footwear, in which the membrane is in the form of a sock, or bootie, inside the shoe or boot. While this will not allow water to penetrate through to the foot, it does mean that water can get through the footwear itself, and remain there, thus increasing the weight of the shoe or boot, and potentially causing hygiene problems.

SHP was shown the centrifugal test, in which a Totectors boot featuring the OutDry lining, and another boot with a waterproof sock, were partially submerged in water and then spun at high speeds to increase the pressure of the liquid on the boots. Both examples were weighed before and after the test, to measure how much water they took on board. While the Totectors example increased in weight by just 4 per cent, the other boot increased by 50 per cent.

Said Dhanani: “OutDry guarantees no water penetration. It makes for a more hygienic, lighter boot or shoe, in which breathability is not compromised, which offers protection against wind and contamination by sand, dust, etc.”

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