What Are GORE-TEX Shoes?
Gore-Tex shoes keep your feet dry…
Begg Shoes are based in Scotland, where we have lovely scenery but we get a lot of unpredictable weather. Independently run for over 150 years, we have a wealth of experience with the biggest brands in footwear. One of our most popular product ranges has been Gore-Tex shoes and we have written this guide to explain what they are, why they are popular and how you should look after them.
Our customers love Gore-Tex and in our experience they are more than just another waterproof shoe. Its a fantastic technology and can only be found in a selection of premium quality products, some of which we highlight for you to take a look at if you wish.
What is Gore-Tex in Shoes?
Gore-Tex shoes not only provide waterproofness but also breathability. During times of low and high activity, Gore-Tex allows sweat vapour to escape the shoe easily while simultaneously not allowing any water to get in – smart, huh?
Whether you’re sat at a desk, running errands or working outside, Gore-Tex shoes create heat release and comfort. Even if you’re moving from indoors to outdoors Gore-tex ensures that your feet are as sweat-free and fresh as possible. In the footwear trade, waterproof lined shoes are referred to sometimes as ‘fully bagged’ because you literally have a waterproof and breathable bag, surrounding your foot.
The waterproof bag around your foot represents one of the layers in construction, between your foot and the upper material – leather, or man-made more commonly today. It is a common misconception that waterproof shoes have some kind of surface treatment to help repell water – many of them do – however it is the waterproof bag that keep water entering through stitching holes for example.
Are GOre-Tex Shoes Waterproof?
In short, yes, Gore-Tex is guaranteed to keep you dry and this is the main reason Gore-Tex in footwear is so sought after. For years it was the only technology to claim 100% waterproofing and Gore-Tex have undertaken rigorous testing and development over many years to reach the highly dependable waterproof membrane we see today.
Waterproofing a shoe is technically the easy bit – after all a plastic bag could do the same for signficantly less cost. The key tio its value is in the breathable nature of the lining, which allows sweat molecules to escape, but locks those water droplets out.
Are Gore-Tex Shoes Worth It?
Gore-Tex conducts rigorous testing and constant research on their material. There are three stages of meticulous testing and these can have a major impact on the quality and usability of the end product.
Firstly, they test the material itself in the laboratory. This provides a stable starting point for developing and strengthening their products.
Secondly, they use human performance to refine the Gore-Tex product. This is imperative to designing usable products that not only sound great in theory but work in practice. Since Gore-Tex technology is used by brands offering goods to be used by real people, testing the product with a variety of people and activities is the best way to determine how the technology will respond.
Finally, Gore-Tex technology is trialled out in the field. Since Gore-Tex is designed for a whole range of active lifestyles and locations, testing the product in all elements and terrains is vital for ensuring that Gore-Tex is the best it can be.
Look out for the Gore-Tex label on the shoes on our website…
And it doesn’t end there. Gore-Tex footwear is tested using walking simulators and a water bath, whilst moisture sensors inside the shoe will alert to any dampness. A centrifugal test determines if any water droplets can make their way through the membrane. If they do, that product does not succeed in production.
Take a look at our selection of the Best Waterproof Boots to find even more styles to love.
How Do You Maintain Gore-Tex Shoes?
1. Keep them clean
Remove dirt and clean the upper with a cloth or brush and lukewarm water. Depending on the upper material which can be found on the care label, a special leather treatment may be recommended. Shake out any sand, gravel and dirt from inside the footwear, and brush off any dirt on the sole units. Remove the insoles in your shoes, if you can, and then wash these separately.
2. Gently dry your shoes
Dry your shoes naturally at moderate temperatures, and avoid direct heat which can be damaging to upper materials such as leather. Resist the temptation to put your boots next to a hot radiator, for example, they will bake to a crisp and but this is really bad for leather uppers. Convection style boot dryers work well as these will circulate air internally and dry quickly but gently.
3. Treat the upper
Follow the footwear manufacturer’s instructions for treating the external fabric and leather. Remember that the waterproof and breathable lining in the product must also be able to breathe through any treatment that you apply to the out material. For example, applying a heavy wax polish or dubbin to a Gore-Tex product will in all likelihood prevent the product from breathing naturally and negate some of the benefits of the waterproof lining.
We recommend you go easy on care products and polishes for leather uppers, apply a light coating and no more than you absolutely need. Shoe creams are more appropriate – as overuse of polish or dubbin has very often been the cause of wet fe
4. Remove stains
Follow the footwear manufacturer’s instructions, which will vary depending on the upper materials. Typically a warm, wet cloth is the most material appropriate solution but you may find a cleaning product for leather, for example, can speed up the process and give better results.
Which Shoe Brands Have Gore-Tex?
A German family-run business, Ara Shoes use the Gore-Tex technology in both their shoes and boots alike which perfectly alines to their motto of ‘We love fashion & function’. They aim to make their shoes modern yet timeless while also functional for everyday wear which is why we see them use Gore-Tex in everything from ankle boots to walking boots and slip-on on shoes.
Austrian shoe brand Legero aims to make shoes to match their tagline “my feet’s favorite shoe”. They make waterproof shoes with the Gore-Tex technology to suit any season, from waterproof trainers for spring and summer to waterproof boots for autumn and winter. They use Gore-Tex Surround which allows the shoes to be completely breathable, even throughout the shoe unit. Not only do they use leather but even their suede shoes and boots contain Gore-Tex so you don’t have to compromise on style even in extreme weather.
Hotter shoes are well known in the UK for their superb comfort and wider fittings. They have a wide range of styles from walking shoes to slippers, or boots to sandals, so there is something to suit every occasion. Hotter have a range of wide fit shoes suitable for those who prefer a roomier fit, and almost all of their shoes are made with leather uppers and linings for superb comfort all around. By using Gore-Tex technology, Hotter have ensured that they are offering the best comfort and practicality for their customers.
Danish shoe brand Ecco has been making shoes since 1963 and apply the Gore-Tex technology to both their women’s and men’s shoes. While they strive to create unique product, technology such as Gore-Tex brings a functional aspect to their shoes.
Undoubtedly their most iconic and recognisable Gore Tex style is the ever-popular the Ecco Track 25. This shoe has a loyal following among men seeking functional outdoor comfort. The range now includes outdoors shoes and even golf shoes. On our website you’ll find Ecco Gore-Tex in a wide range of styles incorporating the best of the range from trainers to walking shoes.
British brand Clarks are probably the most recognisable shoe brand here in the UK. Loved for their consistency, quality and value, Clarks manufacture shoes for all the family in a variety of width fittings to ensure that the nations shoes are well-fitted. From kids school shoes to women’s boots, men’s smart shoes to ladies trainers, there is something for every occasion. Our range of Clarks Gore-Tex includes both men’s and women’s shoes, perfect for exploring outdoors or commuting.
Austrian children’s shoe brand Superfit has over 70 years of experience making comfortable, flexible and breathable shoes perfect for little feet. They even teamed up with leading pediatricians to ensure that their shoes were the best they could be. The Gore-Tex technology is perfect for those little feet whether they be running around the playground, jumping in puddles or off on a weekend adventure.
Primigi has been creating children’s shoes since 1976. Famed for their Italian style alongside their technological advancements and material makes them a great choice. They also use Gore-Tex’s semi-permeable membrane allowing those little feet to stay protected while also breathing. From black leather to pink suede, they’re bound to have something for your little one.
Alternatives to Gore-Tex
Whilst Gore-Tex is considered the most-tested waterproof technology in the footwear industry, there are a few other Tex technologies which are guaranteed waterproof too. At Begg Shoes, we have a few different brands who have their own tried and tested waterproof membranes which also feature breathability.
Almost everyone has heard of Skechers. Loved for their memory foam footbeds and athletic styles, Skechers have recently been expanding their range to include outdoor shoes, boots and slippers which have proved VERY popular at Begg Shoes! They have also been using seam-sealed, waterproof technology to add a practical element to their styles and we are pleased to offer a selection of these styles.
By combining supple Italian leather with cushioned linings and footbeds, IMAC create superior comfortable shoes for excellent value for money. From comfort lacing shoes to waterproof boots, IMAC shoes are very popular with our customers and footwear experts for their superb comfort and support. IMACtex is very similar to Gore-Tex and is designed to keep water out whilst allowing heat to escape – so your feet are kept dry and comfortable whatever the weather!
Alpina are an exclusive brand to Begg Shoes, offering superb comfort, support and quality for excellent value for money. Often catering to a wider fit, Alpina shoes are made from premium materials with built-in support. AlpinaTex is a seam-sealed, waterproof membrane designed to keep your feet dry. Alpina shoes are almost always made with leather uppers making them breathable and allows for ‘give’ to offer the best fit for you.