Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Waterproof, or not!

It is quite certain that my old faithful footwear, the Hi-Tec Altitude IV, are not as waterproof as they used to be. This pair of walking shoes has lasted me since 2007.

They have been well-used: my companions on my hikes up the hills in the country, including Mount Kinabalu. They have also followed me on all of my overseas trips to Australia, China and New Zealand.

On two or three occasions, they even triggered off some false alarms at the airports' security check points because of the imbedded metal bars that are part of the soles' design but still I stood by the shoes. It reached a stage where, even before I reached the security counters, I would voluntarily remove the shoes -- sorry, MY shoes -- and placed them on the counter so that the security officers could check them till their hearts' content without them having to ask me first. But they must have seen this type of walking shoes a million and one times before, because once they realised the source of the false alarms, they let me through without any more trouble.

But for the third time in the last two weeks when I wore these shoes up the hills in Bukit Mertajam and Taiping, water had seeped into them during the rain. The rains weren't particularly heavy and despite me using an umbrella as well, I had come home with my socks soaking wet. Yes, my walking shoes are not what they used to be. They are still fine for fair weather use but no longer waterproof in the rain.

On the subject of waterproof, this is my latest companion for wet weather walking: the HyperGear waistpac.

I redeemed the waist pouch recently after curiosity got the better of me. It is waterproof up to a stage because once it is secured properly, rain water can be prevented from spilling into it. So far, it has managed to keep my wallet, camera and mobile telephone dry during those rainy day hikes up the hills.

But don't blame the manufacturer (or me) if you choose to ignore the warnings and your belongings get damaged after you decide to jump into the sea or the swimming pool with it. There are other more suitable products for those sort of activities.

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