Quick Guide – everything you need to know about GORE-TEX Shoes
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.
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.
What is Gore-Tex in Shoes and how does it work?
Gore-Tex is a waterproof and breathable membrane, which can be integrated into the layers of a shoe. In the footwear trade, waterproof lined shoes are referred to sometimes as ‘fully bagged’ because you literally have a waterproof bag surrounding your foot. A very simple plastic bag would be capable of keeping your foot dry, a bit like a welly boot, however what makes Gore Tex special is the breathability. By allowing water vapour from sweat to escape the shoe, footwear can be worn for longer periods and for sports or hiking for example, with relative comfort.
Whether you’re sat at a desk, running errands or working outside, Gore-Tex shoes perform better than many other waterproof alternatives, due to their highly breathable nature. Keeping your feet dry is key to conserving warmth and comfort and a lot of the moisture around the foot, can come from within (sweat from 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 rely on 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. A layer of Durable Water Repellent (DWR) will be applied to the outside of shoes to help displace surface water – but this often rubs off after a period of wear.
Are Gore-Tex Shoes Worth It?
Yes. From our experience in stores over many years, we have found that Gore Tex products are usually an excellent choice. The Gore Tex brand name is closely guarded and only the top shoe makers in the world use the material (and the branding). This means that regardless of the performance of the Gore fabric within – very often the footwear wrapped around Gore Tex is a higher performing design anyway.
In terms of the performance of the Gore Tex lining within footwear – we have encountered many cheaper alternatives over the years. There are many products that can rival Gore for pure waterproofing, however it is the breathability which justifies the higher price. Provided the shoes fit well and the price range is appropriate to their needs – our teams in stores champion Gore Tex products with confidence, knowing that our customers will generally get more comfort and enjoyment from them.
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 offer Gore-Tex?
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.
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.