There is nothing better than spending time exploring the outdoors. Whether you want to go camping, hunting or hiking, you need the best gear to stay comfortable and protected.
An essential item of your gear is the pair of kicks that will help you with a solid grip on the terrain so that you can walk comfortably all day long.
A popular material used to manufacture outdoor boots is Gore Tex, which has immense benefits as it is highly durable and water resistant.
Should you buy outdoor shoes made using Gore Tex? Or how to choose the boots made using Gore Tex? Well, you will find all the solutions in this buyer’s guide.
The guide contains the info that you need to consider before investing in a pricey pair of Gore Tex outdoor boots.
Let’s get started:
Have you ever wondered about the reasons behind the immense popularity of Gore Tex? Here is the explanation you have been looking for. Before starting with the guide, it is essential to know what Gore Tex is and why you should buy outdoor boots made using this quality material.
In simple words, Gore Tex is a thick membrane or a layer that prevents the water from passing through it. The flexible membrane allows the vapours to pass through it so there will be no sweating if you wear boots made using Gore Tex.
Even if it rains, the material will resist the entrance of water, but the vapours present inside the boots will move out through the material. The membrane or the Gore Tex material is made using polytetrafluoroethylene in other words, Teflon.
The membrane is attached inside the shoes using strong glues and seams so that it prevents the water from seeping through the boots keeping your feet dry.
Gore Tex of the water and the windproof membrane is used for a plethora of purposes. The primary purpose of using Gore Tex is to manufacture outdoor boots.
Also, the material is seen in lightweight shells, ski jackets, and clothing. Many brands are using Gore Tex because of its numerous benefits and comfort that it offers.
Gore Tex is highly flexible and lightweight; that is why it is suitable for manufacturing hats, socks, gloves, and much more. A myriad of brands such as Nike, Timberland, and Columbia are using Gore Tex due to the benefits the material offers.
The membrane of Gore Tex is made using stretched polytetrafluoroethylene. The pores of the material are 20k times packed than water droplets, and that is the reason why water cannot seep through Gore Tex.
However, the pores of the material are bigger than vapours, so they pass through it, and there will be no sweating inside the boots.
Gore Tex is available in multiple options that differentiate on the basis of construction. The reason why you should know about the construction of the material is due to the fact that it will impact the performance of the boots.
The 2-layer Gore Tex is the basic membrane used to manufacture boots and other gear. The membrane lacks a lining, so it is thin and lightweight. However, when it comes to extreme water resistance, then the 2-layer membrane isn't that great.
The 3-layer Gore Tex material has a lining on both sides that makes the material durable but increases the weight as well. Prominent brands that manufacture excellent hiking and camping boots use 3-layer membrane due to its incredible water resistance.
Z-liner material is equal to 3-liner Gore Tex in terms of durability, but it is lightweight because of the fabric that floats between the inner and outer lining. You will only find a few options made using Z-liner Gore Tex because it is expensive.
The outer surface of the Gore Tex comes with DWR (durable water repellent) treatment that keeps the water away from your feet.
There are some irrefutable perks of wearing Gore Tex boots, and that's why thousands of hikers and campers love to wear these boots. Below we have mentioned some benefits that you should check before buying a pair of Gore Tex kicks.
Gore Tex is lightweight when compared to other waterproof materials used to manufacture waterproof boots. Wearing lightweight boots will give you more confidence and comfort. Moreover, you can cover more distance because of lightweight shoes.
The outdoor boots made using Gore Tex are highly water resistant as the material doesn't allow water to pass through it. Furthermore, the membrane comes with a water repellent coating that enhances the water resistance of the boots.
Boots made using Gore Tex are highly durable, and the material won't wear out easily. You can wear boots while hiking, camping or exploring the wilds as they are superb when it comes to durability.
Most water-resistant boots such as the kicks made using leather aren’t breathable as the material doesn’t allow the water to pass through it. But Gore Tex is breathable, and the boots will allow the vapours to pass through them.
The boots will not stink, and you will find them comfortable to wear, even on a sunny day.
Here is a list of some essential factors that will impact your choice of Gore Tex boots. The boots should be comfortable, lightweight, and durable, and you can only make the right choice with the help of this buyer's guide.
Keep a note of these factors and then decide a pair of boots for your tootsies.
First, off you should select the type of Gore Tex boots according to your requirements. If you are a hunter, you need different boots, whereas hikers need a specific pair that keeps their feet happy. Here are some common types of Gore Tex boots you will see in the market.
Backpacking boots made using Gore Tex have a high cut to keep you protected from water and other obstacles such as rocks. The outsole of these shoes is thick and absorbs the impacts effectively.
The boots are highly supportive and durable, so you will enjoy walking. You can wear backpacking boots for any type of travel on any type of terrain.
Day hiking boots made using Gore Tex have a medium-cut that is just below the ankle. If you want to go on a short trip, these boots should be your choice. The outsole of the shoes is flexible and offers ample support.
Furthermore, the shoes are easy to put on and off. If you want to travel with a light load, day hiking Gore Tex boots should be your choice.
Hiking boots or shoes made using Gore Tex has a low cut and are perfect for hiking. The shoes are lightweight and are good for covering longer distances without getting tired. You can even wear these shoes for camping because of the excellent water resistance.
Checking the uppers of the boots is important to determine the durability and breathability. Yes, all the Gore Tex boots will have lining wrapped around the shoes, but the upper material can be any including leather, and synthetics.
Nubuck is a type of full-grain leather that resembles suede. The material is highly durable and lasts longer. When you get boots made using nubuck leather that has Gore Tex lining then rest assured that the boots will prevent the entrance of water while keeping your feet happy.
Most of the Gore Tex boots are made using split-grain leather that uses nylon mesh for ultimate breathability. The inner side of the leather is smooth so you can expect excellent comfort when wearing these boots.
If you have a tight budget, then go for boots made using split-grain leather. However, the water resistance isn't that great as compared to nubuck leather boots.
Outdoor boots made using full-grain leather offer incredible resistance against water because of the Gore Tex lining. The boots will be heavy due to the leather, and the weight will be heavy, so get ready to experience some heaviness down there.
The boots are best for fishers, hikers, and other folks who are interested in high-impact activities.
Some Gore Tex lining boots have synthetic uppers. These materials include nylon, polyester, and other synthetic materials. If you need excellent breathability go for Gore Tex boots with synthetic uppers.
You should buy a pair of kicks that keep your feet happy, so it is indispensable to check the comfort. To determine the comfort of the boots, check the breathability and arch support. Yes, the Gore Tex boots you will be purchasing are waterproof, but it is important to ensure that the boots are comfortable as well.
Check the design of the boots to find out if it is rational or not. Boots that don't have a good design will be uncomfortable to wear.
You should check the weight of the boots so that they don’t put extra weight on your feet. Check every detail from the outsole to the midsole if you want to know how comfortable the boots are.
Lastly, go through customer reviews as it is the best way to determine if a pair of Gore Tex boots are comfortable or not.
Gore Tex boots come with different types of midsoles and that impacts the comfort of the boots. Depending on the purpose of why you need a pair of boots, you should select the midsole. Most folks go for stiff soles because the sole protects your feet from uneven surfaces, rocks, and tree roots.
The midsole should be good enough to offer ultimate comfort so that you can walk with ease. Further, the sole shouldn’t get crushed when you are walking and should remain as it is for longer so that the boots last longer.
Here are some common materials used to manufacture midsoles of Gore Tex boots.
If you need boots with a firm and durable midsole, go for midsoles made using polyurethane. Further, the midsoles are commonly found in mountaineering and backpacking boots.
Polyurethane midsoles are available in good-quality Gore Tex boots, so you should have a fair budget to buy these shoes.
EVA is a popular midsole that’s less expensive and lightweight. These midsoles are available in variable thicknesses, and you can buy the one that suits your requirements.
Every Gore Tex hiking boots pair has a plate that keeps your feet stable on all types of terrains. The plate is present between the outsole and the insole. The thickness and type of plate vary according to the model of the boots and the brand.
Check if the pair of kicks you are planning to buy has a plate, as those uneven rocks and roots can bruise your feet which can be excruciating.
Some boots may not have plates, but they should have shanks which are a durable insert that’s 3-5mm thick. The shank is present between the outsole and the insole to distribute the load evenly. The length of the shank depends on the model and the type of Gore Tex shoes you are going to buy.
The heel brake is the arch that keeps the heel higher from the frontal part of the boots. The reason why Gore Tex boots have heel brakes is because they help you with an ideal walking position that is necessary for hiking and running.
Furthermore, the boots with heel brakes protect you from sliding as you get a good grip on the ground.
The lug pattern is defined as the bumps on the outsole. The lugs will decide the grip of the boots, and that is why different Gore Tex boots have different lug patterns. Go for boots that have lugs with a wide pattern because they offer ultimate traction and you can shed the mud easily just by striking your feet on the ground.
Gore Tex has excellent insulation, but it depends on the upper material of the boot as well. Leather is a thick material that offers excellent insulation and retains the heat inside the boots so you will feel comfortable walking even in cold weather.
Check the quality of the Gore Tex lining to find out if the pair offers decent insulation or not. Lastly, check some customer reviews to determine the insulation offered by the boots.
The durability of the boots depends on multiple factors such as the material, type, and protection of the boots. Some Gore Tox boots come with a protective layer that protects the upper from getting damaged.
Inspect everything carefully from the outsole and the upper that has to withstand the harsh climate and other such factors. It is important to buy durable Gore Tex shoes so that the pair lasts longer and you don’t have to get a new pair after a few months.
Always buy branded boots so that you get the assurance of quality materials and premium Gore Tex lining. The type of material should depend on your purpose. Also, go through some customer reviews to find out more about the durability of the boots.
Hiking boots that have excellent insulation always suck at breathability. Bit this is not the case with Gore Tex boots. The boots offer good insulation and decent durability so you can wear these boots in all seasons without worrying about the discomfort.
When buying boots for hiking or hunting it is essential to check the breathability so that there is no or less sweating and you can keep wearing the boots for longer.
The upper of the boots should be light such as made using nubuck leather which is a breathable leather. Also, check the mesh vents that allow the vapours to pass out from the boots, but the water cannot seep through it.
The fit of the boots will impact its comfort. No matter how comfortable and durable the shoes are, if it doesn't offer a good fit, then there is no reason to buy the pair.
Before buying the Gore Tex boots, you should check the size chart to make sure that the pair you are buying will fit you comfortably.
Get a cloth tape and measure your foot, and note down the measurements. Do some workout and then measure the foot because the human foot tends to swell a bit when there is a good flow of blood.
Compare all the measurements with the size chart of the boots to decide if it is the right pair that you have been looking for.
A pro tip: When checking the size of the Gore Tex boots, make sure that there is some room for winter socks because they are thick. Sometimes you may need to wear winter socks so the shoes should be comfortable even with socks.
The color of the boots has a lot to do with its cleanliness. If you buy a pair that has a muddy color, then it won't get dirty easily. On the other hand, light colors will get dirty and need frequent cleaning.
Gore Tex boots are available in a myriad of color options so you can choose the right color as per your requirements.
The price of the boots depends on its material, brand, and other such factors. The best thing you can do before purchasing a pair of boots is making your budget. Determine the amount you are willing to spend and then look for boots so that you can get a good pair under your budget.
After selecting the best pair of GTX boots, you need to consider some accessories that you should buy with the boots.
The insoles are made using sensitive material and can get crushed or damaged with time. Furthermore, if they don't dry quickly, keep a pair of insoles with you so that you can replace them whenever required.
Get a good quality shoe cleaning kit to remove all the dust and dirt from the boots. Buy the cleaning kit that is specific for the material of the boots.
Keep some laces handy so that you can replace them if the existing laces get damaged.
A: Yes, it is definitely worth it to buy Gore Tex boots. You will get ultimate breathability, water resistance and insulation with the boots. Also, these shoes are durable and last longer.
A: It depends on how you are maintaining the shoes. If you keep the shoes soaked into water, then it is sure that they will get damaged. Keep the shoes as dry as possible and clean them whenever you get time.
A: Yes, you can wear socks with Gore Tex boots provided that you buy the right size. When buying a pair, look at the size chart and make sure that there is some extra space for your socks.
Now you can quickly select the best pair of Gore Tex boots with this buyer’s guide. Go through the guide and note down the factors listed here so that you can choose the right pair that is durable, comfortable, and good to wear.
The best way to shortlist perfect boots is by selecting 5-6 pairs and then comparing them based on the factors listed in the guide.
Never go for cheap boots as they aren’t durable and won't last that long. There are some popular brands in the market, such as Timberland, and Columbia that manufacture excellent GTX boots.
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