Waterproofing toes discussion

So, the latest experiment:

General observations:
1.  100% waterproofing the toes will leave feet smelly and sweaty like hands in latex gloves on a hot day.  Feet are meant to breathe, so let them. 
2.  Too much of anything between the toes could be uncomfortable and cause blisters. 

The method:
1.  Wash target pair of VFFs and hang to dry. 
2.  Mask off the upper half of the VFF material between the toes with painter's tape. 
3.  Apply Liquid Tape to the unmasked lower half of the material between the toes.
4.  Place material between the toes to prevent sticking. 

Specific observations:
1.  1 coat is as useful as none (I did 3). 
2.  Wax paper sounds like a good material to keep the toes from sticking together, but Liquid Tape bonds to the coating on wax paper. 
3.  Liquid Tape can pool in tight spaces. 
4.  Do this work outdoors in front of a fan or a gentle breeze. 
5.  Liquid Tape will not bond to the VFF sole making cleanup easier. 

What would I do differently next time:
1.  Plastic wrap or foil may be better options to prevent sticking.
2.  Work the toes in conjunction with the material to prevent sticking in order to squeeze out any excess Liquid Tape paying extra attention to the pit between toes. 

The results:
The VFF toes are now partially water resistant.  This means I no longer fear puddles and heel walk from the car to the office.  They are not 100% waterproof, so those puddles still add some moisture to my toes but it is gone in an hour or less.  I do not have to sit the VFFs behind my workstation and queue some processor intense activities for 3-4 hours to dry them while in the office. 

I would not do this to VFFs that I primarily used for running.  Water is helpful and refreshing there, just unwelcome in daily wear shoes. 

Sorry, no pictures, because I lack decent lighting and a macro focus to do so.  Basically the fabric between the toes is partially rubberized halfway up. 

How would I rate this mod?  2.5 stars out of 5.  Lots of work for mostly workable results.  There will be a minor reduction in air circulation around the toes which is why I only did half the fabric height.  That doesn't bother me, though it might some people.  Rain boots or overshoes may be a less time consuming option.  Overall it was a decent test for $4. 


  • You're like a scientist
  • on 1268335471:

    You're like a scientist

    Well as a scientist I approve of his methods! ;)
  • on 1268338094:

    on 1268335471:

    You're like a scientist

    Well as a scientist I approve of his methods! ;)

    Hear hear! ;D
  • What about using silicone water repellent/water proofing spray that people use on tents and leather?  That would keep the fabric breathable.  Anyone thought of that?  I'm wondering if it would make your feet smell silicony since the smell does linger for a while.
  • i have a can of waterproofing spray i bought a couple of days ago - about to try it out on an old pair.

    will update with results
  • I'm curious to find out how it goes.  I figure whatever waterproofing is used, it will have to be able to cope with repeated stretching.  If not, fabric fibers get exposed and will start wicking moisture inward. 
  • Any updates on a good spray? I live in the snow but have a Morton's Neuroma so vibram's are the only relief I get from the goddamn agony of regular shoes.

    Have been getting by with coating shoe goo between toe webbing to waterproof, it kind of works, but cements the toes together.
  • Usually I use Water based waterprofing sealant but it's more for walls and buildings. Just if you'll need it it can help you. Because if you don't use such things then no spray will help you when your house is full of water
  • I have a lot less pain when walking, I have a painful Morton's Neuroma, and these sneakers have made a significant difference in reducing that pain. and orthofeet shoes are comfortable! My feet may need a specialist, but I am happy with this purchase. I wear these to walk the dogs, exercise, or anytime nights and weekends. They look great and feel even better.
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