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The Science of Waterproofing


MaximillianFox

3,831 views

People who know me, tend to know of my "obsession" with shoes. Sure I own a couple pairs (13+?), who doesn't like to buy shoes? Shoes can be a perfect representation of your personality. I take this idea to heart, and have my shoes say for me what I don't need to. But with such a pair of shoes, one must protect them, correct? Recently I ordered a pair of Supra TK Societys, one of my favorite shoes.

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Now, the black heel cover and Velcro straps are crafted using suede, a light leather with a napped finish. While a lovely material, this material has no reason existing where I live normally, as one minute it can be 70 and sunny and next it's 50 and rainy. Water destroys suede, discoloring it and ridding the material of its trademark napped finish. In order to combat such a problem I utilized Kiwi Waterproofing Spray for Suede products. After treating my shoes and pouring a cup of water on them, I touched them to notice that they were not wet at all. Where does this lead me? Into the actual science of waterproofing finally!

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(Practicing on old beaters so my new shoes aren't ruined! With waterproofing, practice does make perfect. I generally go with 3 coats, yet you can do as little as 2 or as a much as 5 in my opinion)

How does waterproofing work? Well so far, I believe I've come across a reasonable answer. Waterproofing spray is a mixture of chemicals, creating a nonpolar solution that when applied onto the suede, soak into the material and form a bond that prevents (to a degree) the adverse effects of getting suede shoes wet. As a result of spraying the shoe, you should get something like this:

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(The water just rolls right off, leaving no dark spot or wetness. Magic? Probably. But let's call it PHYSICS.)

Thanks to PHYSICS, I can enjoy my current life in a rainy town, while still being able to enjoy stylish clothing using suede.

- Credit to Suprafootwear.com for 1st photo, myself for the other 2

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