Hi-Tec Walks on Water

Hi-Tec Liquid MountaineeringRemember the Hi-Tec Liquid Mountaineering video from a couple years ago?  While some have questioned the ethics around what was a very clever marketing campaign, the video now has over 12.5 million views on YouTube.  And while Liquid Mountaineering was a hoax, Hi-Tec products are not.  The V-Lite Infinity HPi, featured in the video, has become popular as a trail running, cross country, and adventure sports shoe.

Hi-Tec V-Lite Infinity HPiThe Hi-Tec V-Lite Infinity HPi has three main features that make it a decent trail running shoe.  It’s lightweight at 320 grams.  It’s got a Dual Density Vibram Outsole that provides support and stability on changing terrain.  And it’s been treated with a waterproofing technology that was the whole point of the Liquid Mountaineering video in the first place.

The treatment used on the V-Lite Infinity is P2i’s ion-mask hydrophobic technology.  This ion-mask waterproofing technology creates polymer chains that bind with the shoe at the molecular level.  It’s almost like a thin film, 1,000 times thinner than the human hair, covering the shoe to repel water, yet retaining breathability.  The ion-mask repels dirt, as well, helping guard against stains.

Besides the V-Lite Infinity HPi, Hi-Tec has a full range of footwear for the Outdoors, including sandals, walking and hiking boots, through to winter snow boots.  Hi-Tec also has a line of sport-related footwear ranging from running to court shoes.  Hi-Tec actually got its start in the UK back in 1974 with a shoe specifically aimed at the fast growing game of Squash.  Its association with Squash continues to this day, with Hi-Tec in Australia sponsoring the 2012 Australian Open Squash Championships held in Canberra in August.

Hi-Tec at ISPO Munich 2012A pair of Hi-Tec Ascent performance hiking boots, bought back in 2005, were my first choice at the time for non-technical climbs, such as Mt. Fuji in Japan or Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia.  I needed a tough, waterproof, yet comfortable boot that could handle gravel, rocks and scree in both dry and wet conditions.  The Hi-Tec Ascent was built with a Dual Density Vibram Outsole and another superior waterproofing technology, GE’s eVent.  While I retired the pair from hiking and climbing, I still wear the boots around my country property in the Yarra Ranges of Victoria when I’m pulling out scrub, bracken and debris from the eucalypt trees.  With the exception of looking somewhat worn, the boots are still going strong.

Hi-Tec footwear can be found fairly easily in Australia at retailers such as Anaconda, Ray’s Outdoors and Kelly’s BasecampWild Earth currently has the Hi-Tec V-Lite Infinity HPi on sale for A$100 until December 31, 2012.  In New Zealand, Hi-Tec is distributed by footwear specialists, the Denstock Corporation, and available at numerous retailers, such as Rebel Sport.

Don Jurries

Featured Photo: Hi-Tec Media Images; Don Jurries

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