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#201309 - 07/01/18 03:19 AM DWR and Trail Runners
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 99
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Does anybody apply a DWR treatment to their trail runners?

My biggest concert with switching to trail runners for backpacking is the wet-feet issue. I recently got caught in a thunderstorm wearing my new Altras and though I had rain gear, my feet got completely soaked in just a few minutes. The shoes were still pretty wet the next day (indoors overnight at room temperature) so I put them on (with dry socks) and walked about five miles in mild overcast conditions, after which they were nearly dry. Or dry enough, anyway. This leads me to believe that "quick drying" is somewhat of a fallacy, at least under conditions other than sunny and warm.

So, I applied some Nikwax "Fabric and Leather Proofing" to them. I've used this with good results on my Keen Targhees (which also have a w/b membrane). I haven't had them in the rain yet, but the kitchen-sink test looks promising.

I have no problem with waterproof/breathable shoes...I've day hiked in 100 degree temps and backpacked in the 90's with Gore-Tex boots with no discomfort. Maybe my feet don't sweat a lot or something. However, I'm disinclined to lay out another $150 for the NeoShell version of the Altras.

I can honestly say I've never had wet feet wearing boots, other than from accidentally slipping and dunking my whole foot. I gather that if you hike day after day in pouring rain, boots will get soggy, but I've so far avoided that.
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#201342 - 07/05/18 01:48 PM Re: DWR and Trail Runners [Re: Bill Kennedy]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 37
Loc: Lakewood, CO
DWR won't really make your shoes waterproof, but it will probably help a bit. DWR makes the fabric absorb little/no water which will cause rain to bead up for awhile, but it will eventually wet out. Stepping into a puddle will still soak through.

It should decrease drying time, though, since the shoes won't hold as much water in total. Sorta like in the early 80's when we'd spray our blue jeans so the snow wouldn't stick and soak through (yeah, cotton and maybe acid-washed. Mistakes were made).

I had a similar experience a few years ago where my shoes got soaked before a cold night. I really didn't enjoy putting those semi-frozen shoes back on in the morning. I reacted to that by grabbing some of the Neoshell Lone Peaks (on closeout somewhere...). They do get warmer than other shoes, but I also have very dry feet so I don't have issues with blisters or sweating.

Super-dry feet are my super power. Great for hiking; not so great for fighting crime. wink


Edited by DustinV (07/05/18 01:58 PM)

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#201345 - 07/05/18 03:08 PM Re: DWR and Trail Runners [Re: DustinV]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 99
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Thanks. Good to hear the NeoShell Altras work, in case I decide to spring for them eventually.

I know the DWR won't keep out the pouring rain, but as you say, might help with light rain and splashes. I hadn't thought about it decreasing drying time, but I bet it would.

I remember spraying my jeans with Scotchguard, too smile
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