How Do We Choose Our Selection Of Gore-Tex Boots?
Brand –A reputable brand is always a guarantee that you are getting a good quality product and not a cheap imitation. For this reason, we chose out the selection of Gore-Tex Boots from brands we know have a proven track record of manufacturing Gore-Tex Boots under strict quality control and that use great quality materials.
Quality – Whether the customer intends to wear Gore-Tex boots for work or recreation, the boots must perform as advertised. That means they must be of excellent quality. Quality is always a high priority when selecting these types of boots because they are intended to be worn under some intense conditions. Only a good quality pair of boots can protect feet and endure such conditions, so quality reassurance is crucial.
Reviews – We looked at reviews when choosing our selection of Gore-Tex Boots because consumers who have previously purchased these boots tend to be very honest with their appraisals. They also offer the most truthful and independent reviews without being influenced by the manufacturers. That makes reviews an important tool in determining the quality, performance, and features of the boots in our selection. Of course, there may also be a few points in the reviews that may not be all that positive. That too can be a good indication of how good a product is and how well it performs under a variety of conditions. Consumers are individuals and each will like or dislike different features. As long as most of the reviews are positive, then you can be sure the product is worth the purchase.
Design – There are a number of factors that go into designing Gore-Tex Boots. When Gore-Tex technology is incorporated in boots, that is an indication that the boots have been designed to be waterproof and repel water from dew on fields or from wet weather. Other design features will include comfort and purpose. The boots must live up to their intended purpose regardless of where they will be worn. That means they should perform well in all settings and under a variety of conditions. We also understand that Gore-Tex Boots won’t always be worn on mountain trails. The wearer may also wear them to work or play in urban areas and that means the visual design should also attract consumers.
Price – A good quality pair of Gore-Tex Boots will always cost more than an ordinary pair of street shoes. That doesn’t mean the price should be out of reach for the average consumer. We looked at including different price ranges for our selection of Gore-Tex Boots for the budget conscious to the high-end scale so that there is something for every budget.
Features To Look For In Gore-Tex Boots
Materials –There are a number of different materials used in the production of Gore-Tex Boots. The most obvious one is Gore-Tex. This wonder material is waterproof and breathable. It repels water on the outside of the boot, while simultaneously expelling moisture, or sweat from the inside of the boot. This means the foot stays dry no matter how long the boots are worn and under a variety of different conditions.
Midsoles should also be made of materials that provide a high level of cushioning to cradle the foot and offer superior comfort. One of the materials used to make the midsoles is EVA or Ethylene-vinyl acetate. This is a type of foam rubber that has proven to provide excellent cushioning for the foot.
The outside of Gore-Tex Boots should be used of strong, durable materials such as leather or synthetic mesh. Both of these should ensure the boots will not lose their shape and be resistant to scuffing. The soles should be made from strong durable rubber to provide exceptional grip on all types of terrain, yet still, offer some flexibility and stability.
Weight –You should always try to try on Gore-Tex Boots before buying them. When it comes to hiking boots, some people prefer solid, heavier boots, while others swear by lightweight boots. One thing worth considering is that if your boots are on the heavy side, they will start to feel even heavier after several hours of hiking. Heavier boots may feel more durable and stable, but many of the lightweight materials used in boots these days are just as durable and offer the same level of stability as their bulkier counterparts. It comes down to personal choice and you should choose what feels more comfortable for you.
Fit –A comfortable fit in any footwear is generally the most important part of any shoe. Hiking boots, in particular, need to have a high level of comfort. That means they must fit well. When you are looking at purchasing Gore-Tex Boots you should try them on at the end of the day and preferably with hiking socks. The boots should fit snugly without being tight. At the same time they should not be loose as this may cause your feet to become chaffed from rattling around in overlarge boots. When trying on Gore-Tex Boots, put them on and lace them up as you normally would. Walk around with them to see how they feel and fit.
Comfort – Considering where most people wear Gore-Tex Boots and for how long, comfort is every bit as important as the fit. Halfway up a mountain trail is the worst place to discover your boots are not as comfortable as you had hoped they would be. If you are wanting to purchase Gore-Tex Boots for hiking, then comfort will be high on your list of criteria. The insoles and midsoles should provide support and cushioning so that every step you make in your boots is a pleasure rather than pain.
Sole –The sole of your Gore-Tex Boots will very much be determined by the purpose you have chosen them for. Mountaineering boots tend to have heavier, harder soles as the wearer may need to carry heavier loads over rugged terrain. At times, they may also need the addition of crampons for better grip and stability on mountain trails. Lighter, softer soles are more for gentler hiking or for extended hikes. They offer less resistance for those that prefer a quick pace and are often more flexible making hikes a little easier. Hard or soft sole, the main feature should be grip and traction. You still need the stability and grip to get you safely over any mountain trail.
Lacing System –One of the best things to appear with the popularity of hiking boots is the Speed Lacing System. This system of lacing works by securing the ends of the laces in a toggle. You lace up your Gore-Tex Boots in your preferred manner and put the ends in the toggle. Next time you’re in a hurry to get moving, you simply pull on your boots, pull the Speed Lacing toggle and you’re ready to go.
Of course, there are also the conventional systems for lacing your boots. Most people prefer the figure eight configuration which is easy to loosen and tighten. And the laces are weaved through eyelets. The better quality eyelets are made from any type of rust-proof metal so they won’t break on you, when you least expect it.
Durability – When you consider what a pair of Gore-Tex Boots is put through, a key feature would have to be durability. These boots can really be put through their paces. They are used to climb some pretty rugged areas that include protruding tree roots and lots of rocks. Hiking enthusiasts generally like to hit the trails several times a month so the boots need to endure a lot of rigorous activity. Those who choose Gore-Tex Boots for work purposes like construction or excavation also need a durable pair of boots that they won’t need to replace too often. This is why Gore-Tex Boots are gaining popularity. They may cost a little more than ordinary boots, but they thanks to their durability, you’ll get plenty of wear out of them and you won’t need to replace them for quite some time.
Breathability –Hiking up a mountain trail takes a whole lot of stamina and energy. Expending that energy produces heat, and that heat usually results in sweat. While you’re doing all of this walking, your feet are snugly enclosed in your boots. That’s basically a sauna for your poor feet. If you’re not wearing Gore-Tex Hiking Boots, you’ll start to feel a soggy, uncomfortable heat in your boots in the early stages of your hike. That’s why Gore-Tex is such a popular material in the production of hiking shoes and boots. This fantastic breathable material is waterproof. This means water won’t get into your boots in any weather. But Gore-Tex is also breathable. While repelling water from the outside, Gore-Tex also wicks heat, sweat, and moisture away from the inside and expels it out of the boot. This breathability function results in your feet remaining relatively cooler and definitely drier than with any other type of footwear.
Waterproofing – Hikers and outdoor workers are constantly exposed to the elements. Quite often that means they will find themselves caught in the rain. While most people will run for cover when it starts to rain, it’s not always possible. Sometimes, you just have to keep going with your hike or your job. The last thing you want to face is cold, wet feet. That’s when you’ll really appreciate the waterproofing features in your Gore-Tex Boots. This awesome material will repel water and stop it from penetrating your boots. Your feet will stay dry and comfortable so you can keep going with your chosen activity.
Hiking Boot Categories
Not all hiking boots are the same. They feature different materials, thicknesses, and weight. It’s good to know which hiking boots categories are preferable for the type of activity you plan on wearing them for. Hiking boots generally fall under one of three categories – Lightweight, Midweight and Heavyweight.
Lightweight –Some hikers simple want a solid shoe that won’t weigh them down so they will opt for a lightweight hiking boot. The materials used in the construction of lightweight hiking boots are kept to a necessary minimum. The ankle collars are lower than traditional boots and they don’t offer much in terms of ankle support. These boots tend to be quite comfortable and usually dry fast, most likely due to the fact that they are not featuring so many materials. Unfortunately, these will most likely wear out faster than midweight and heavyweight hiking boots. Lightweight hiking boots are favored by seasoned hikers and those who tend to now want to carry too many supplies with them.
Midweight – These have a little more materials in the construction. The ankle collars are a little higher to offer a decent amount of ankle support and increased stability. The shanks and midsoles have a little more density and the upper layers of the boots are made from more durable materials and often feature waterproofing and breathability. Quite often, this material can be leather, synthetic mesh or a combination of the two. Midweight hiking boots are more traditional models for backpacking and hiking.
Heavyweight –As the category name suggests, this last one features heavyweight hiking boots. These babies are quite heavy in terms of footwear but their purpose is to endure the roughest terrain you can imagine. Their heaviness is often due to the different types of materials used in each layer of construction. Many of the outer layers of heavyweight boots are made from full grain leathers. They are a lot more durable than many other lighter boots and tend to be the ultimate boot when it comes to waterproofing. The midsoles focus more on support than cushioning, however, they are still quite comfortable. These are also the types of boots worn by construction workers or those who work in other outdoor vocations due to the superior way they support the ankle. This is also true for extreme hikers who simply need that extra level of support for their feet. Due to their solid construction, heavyweight boots tend to cost a little more and may require a little bit of time to break in before they can be worn for a longer length of time.
Gore-Tex Boots FAQ
Q: What is Gore-Tex?
Gore-Tex is a waterproof and breathable membrane used mainly in the production of sporting apparel. It is the registered trademark of W. L. Gore & Associates who invented this remarkable product in 1969. Gore-Tex membranes repel water while at the same time allowing vapor or sweat to be expelled or passed through the textile. It is the ultimate all-weather material which is why its popularity for use in sporting goods continues to rise.
Q: What does GTX mean?
A: GTX is simply an abbreviation or the acronym for Gore-Tex. Manufacturers of all types of Hiking Boots often use Gore-Tex as the lining for many of their boots. While many will use the original name for this waterproof and breathable membrane, some will use the acronym GTX instead.
Q: Who makes Gore-Tex Fabric?
A: Gore-Tex fabric is made by W.L. Gore & Associates which is an American multinational company that specializes in producing fluoropolymers, one of which is Gore-Tex. They are situated in Delaware, USA.
Q: Are there specific socks that should be used with my boots?
A: Technically speaking you can wear any socks you like with your Gore-Tex walking boots. However, to avoid chaffing and blistering on long hikes you really should invest in socks that have been specifically designed for hiking. A good pair of hiking socks come to a height of about mid-calf so that the entire foot and ankle are covered by the sock and no skin is exposed to rub against the inside of the boot. Hiking socks tend to be thicker than other socks, which is preferable in colder weather and for hiking at higher altitudes. Added cushioning is often added at the heel and the balls of the feet which tend to feel most of the impact of running or hiking. Most hiking socks are made from merino wool or synthetic fibers. The main aim is to keep the feet warm and adequately cushioned, but also, to wick sweat away from the feet so they remain dry. Like the boots, hiking socks should fit snugly, but not be tight to avoid cutting off circulation. If they are too loose they may bunch which can cause considerable discomfort.
Q: What’s the best way to clean my boots without damaging them?
A: To prolong the life of your Gore-Tex Boots you should look at cleaning them after every use. Leaving on dirt and debris can accelerate the deterioration process of the materials so it is important to diligently maintain a cleaning routine. There are a number of steps you should follow:
- Remove any excessive dirt and debris using a soft shoe brush. Pay particular attention to the lug pattern on the soles of your boots.
- Unlace your boots, removing the shoelaces completely.
- If the insole is removable, take that out and wash separately using a mild detergent and warm water.
- Using an old toothbrush, scrub out any dirt in the tiny crevices and grooves and along the stitching.
- Take a soft, damp cloth and some warm water with a mild detergent and wipe away any remaining dirt from the boots. Follow this with a clean cloth dipped in clean water only to rinse off any detergent residue.
- Allow them to dry completely away from direct sunlight.
- If your boots are made from leather, treat them with leather conditioner. Otherwise, you can spray them with a waterproofing agent that has been specially designed for protecting footwear.
- Store them in a cool, dry cupboard until the next time you need to wear them.
Q: I am hiking near to the sea, will salt water damage my boots?
A: Hiking near the sea is an awesome experience, especially along cliffs or rocks. However, sea water is salty and salt is notorious for causing damage. So what happens to Gore-Tex boots if they get wet in sea water? Will they be destroyed?
You’re right to be concerned because there is no doubt that long term exposure to salt water is not good for any type of footwear. However, there is no need to cut your seaside hiking trip short. The main thing to remember is to act fast, but by all means, finish your hike first and then follow these simple steps to get your boots back into shape.
- The very moment you return home, rinse off all the salt water from your boots. This is the most important step and you need to be very thorough.
- Let your boots dry completely, but never in direct sunlight. The sun may shrink or deform the shape of your boots, particularly if they are made of leather.
- Stuff the inside of your boots with socks or rags while they are drying so they maintain their shape.
- Once dry, apply a conditioner to your boots if they are made of leather.
One thing is for certain. Once you experience the superior features of waterproofing and breathability of Gore-Tex boots, you’ll find it impossible to settle for anything less. You will love the fact that this miracle membrane will keep your feet dry on mountain trails or any other surface or environment you can think of. Life is all about getting out there and experiencing nature with all its wild glory. You don’t want to be wearing shoes or boots that will distract you from your activities or the amazing landscape you happen to be exploring. Gore-Tex boots will take the right care of your feet so the only thing you will be thinking of will be the top of the mountain trail and the almighty view from the top.