The goal of the video campaign was to tout the company's latest waterproofing technology, which is explained in-depth in a nice interactive web site. According to the site, each pair of ion-mask treated shoes is placed in a special chamber, all the air is sucked out to create a vacuum, the machine generates a "plasma" to "activate the surface of the shoe," and then the chamber is "injected with a fluoro carbon (monomer) which fully penetrates every fiber of the shoe" and creates a hydrophobic layer "only nanometers thick." Or to sum it all up: "The plasma process enables polymers to infuse the shoes/boots on a microscopic scale."
As always, my take on this is the same as most outdoor gear technology: 90% marketing, 10% science. There may indeed be some advantages to the IonMask coating, but I would be surprised if it significantly outperformed anything else out there.
I'll leave it to consumers to determine how much reality is behind the hype—on all fronts.
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid