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gortex in shoes
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Doug Hus
(Doug.H) - M

Locale: Ontario. Canada
gortex in shoes on 12/14/2011 06:03:15 MST Print View

Greetings, I'm looking for any general thoughts on having gortex lining in my (upcoming) new trail shoes.

-What is the good?
-what is the not so good?


Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Gortex in shoes on 12/14/2011 06:38:14 MST Print View

What's good:

Your feet will stay dry in you step in puddles, etc. that are below the tops of your shoes.

What's not so good:

If you have to step in water above your ankles, your feet will get wet and stay wet because the Gortex will hold the water in. I have an old pair of Hurricane Ridges that I keep primarily to remind me that Gortex, despite its advantages in other areas, is not suitable for hiking shoes, in out out.

Far better (and cheaper) during winter months, is a pair of grocery or newspaper bags, which you can rubber band to your calves for deep river crossings. In warmer months, use a pair of shoes that dry fast (like Vibrams or Propet Walkers), and just wade right in.

Just my two cents, but the one thing you need to protect above all when BPing is your feet. Gortex just doesn't do the job.


Edited by nerdboy52 on 12/14/2011 06:39:07 MST.

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
gore-tex in footwear on 12/14/2011 06:44:01 MST Print View

doug~ i formerly used montrails (with gore-tex) for both my AT and LT thru-hikes. if it weren't for the outstanding traction on my choice model, then i most definitely wouldn't have purchased a gore product. feet need to breathe, and my experience was the precise opposite-- though this too is the (b)east coast where moisture prevails, even in summer. my feet were constantly red, raw and tender. at every opportunity possible, i found myself needing to air them out. blisters failed to heal. while my trailmates with their gore-tex deprived models carried on in relative comfort, my feet took a beating to behold. never again! leslie

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Goretex in shoes on 12/14/2011 06:49:55 MST Print View

I'm in total agreement with Thomas. Deep water isn't the only thing. If its raining hard enough water will run down your leg into your shoes and soak them from the top down. I have had good luck using Goretex socks when I had to wade through spring snow. The good thing about them is I can take them off when I'm done with them. They don't last as long but for occasional us I like them better.

Edit - I just saw you're in Ontario. I believe Ontario can be like NY at times. Lots of rain for long periods, and lots of mud. Am I right? The downside of breathable trail runners in those conditions is that they let mud in as well as water. Maybe goretex socks are a good idea. Or maybe some Goretex boots with higher tops?

Edited by Cameron on 12/14/2011 06:53:53 MST.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Goretex in shoes on 12/14/2011 07:12:20 MST Print View

I like them for cold, dry dusty conditions like the beach and desert. Keeps the dust out. If water is around then I don't wear lined shoes for all the above reasons listed...

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
PS on 12/14/2011 08:00:33 MST Print View

Another thing is I have found gore-tex does not stay waterproof forever, especially in shoes/boots. So if you buy shoes/boots with goretex sewn into them you are eventually stuck with leaky goretex. Better to buy goretex socks that can easily be replaced.

Its really the same thing. If you compare goretex shoes/boots versus shoes without goretex, its just a bootie sewn into the shoe, why not just have removable, replaceable bootie...also known as a sock.

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
Gore Tex on 12/14/2011 08:52:57 MST Print View

I like to pair goretex lined shoes with gaiters in snow that exceeds 6" in depth. The goretex seems to handle some snow melt well, and help keep your feet warmer. I dont like gore for much else though.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 12/14/2011 08:56:33 MST Print View

Concur with all the above, including GoreTex socks. It turns your footwear into an adaptable modular system, like all the rest of your gear should be. Plus in the long run the GoreTex socks give more service because they're not getting battered by flexing and ground with abrasive trail grit with every step. You only have them on your feet when needed. Plus you get the option of GoreTex protection in any pair of shoes you like.

I'm surprised they're not more popular.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
high boots on 12/14/2011 10:04:46 MST Print View

IMO, a goretex lining is pointless in footwear that isn't 8" high or more. In a lower shoe, water coming over the top is inevitable and that expensive membrane is quickly rendered useless. A higher shoe and careful foot placement makes goretex lining in a boot very effective. Over many years, my old boots with goretex lining never once had water come in. However, boots like that are not UL. If you want dry feet without the weight penalty, goretex socks are the way to go.

Edit for clarity distinguishing boot liners from socks.

Edited by spelt on 12/14/2011 11:21:30 MST.

Nathan Lare
(cirque) - MLife
GoreTex Socks on 12/14/2011 10:11:33 MST Print View

Which GoreTex socks have people been using? Which ones should be avoided?

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Gortex socks on 12/14/2011 10:28:18 MST Print View

I'm curious about what people are using, as well. Took a quick look at the reviews online, and people seemed to not like them. They leak, let water in, are expensive, and hold in the sweat. I'll stick to my grocery bags until somebody shows me that Gore-Tex is worth the $30.00 - $60.00 price tag.


Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: GoreTex Socks on 12/14/2011 10:40:09 MST Print View

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: GoreTex Socks on 12/14/2011 10:50:04 MST Print View

(- Anna linked to Will's BPL review of GoreTex socks -)

Exactly. I figured everyone here had seen this. Dunno why we still have people saying GoreTex socks don't work. I got the Rocky brand ones from Cabela's long ago and they're the shiznit. If you look at some of Will's pics, you see that the GoreTex sock stays up much higher than the top of a trail running shoe. So it provides lots of hightop protection; you don't have to use them with 8" boots. Of course how well they stay up will be affected by how they fit you personally.

It's true that if you use these socks without WP/B pants in steady rain, eventually you will have water running down into them and then its a mess. But how different is that from using plastic bags that fill up with sweat in 10 minutes? Also if I'm going out in rough weather that will be at all cool (the same weather I bring GoreTex socks for), I will have my 7oz pair of Marmot PreCip pants which will overlap the socks. I've gone for days in nonstop rain with this combo and I stayed remarkably dry. If it's warm enough to not need the PreCip pants, it's warm enough not to bring the GoreTex socks.

Quote from Will's review:
"We wore the Rocky Gore-Tex Socks in non-waterproof trail runners (shown without a gaiter for the photo) for snow hiking and snowshoeing in temperatures down to about 20 °F. Our shoes got thoroughly wet but we hardly knew it because our feet stayed dry and warm. When we weighed our socks at home, there was little or no moisture in them. We were impressed!"

Try achieving that performance with bread bags.

I forgot to mention above another great feature of these socks: they allow you to separate the GoreTex from the shoe for much easier drying of both after a super gloppy day on the trail.

Edited by El_Canyon on 12/14/2011 11:00:41 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: GoreTex Socks on 12/14/2011 10:58:19 MST Print View

Will R did a 3 part series on winter footwear systems. One of his best in my opinion. Take a look at it. The Rocky GoreTex socks have worked out fine for me for snow work, but in winter you need to size up your shoes, meaning a dedicated winter shoe.

Overall I have been disappointed in GoreTex shoes, as mentioned by others. However I have a pair I sometimes wear for winter desert hiking where I expect cold, lots of loose sand, and limited precipitation. The material keeps out the sand. If I anticipate water crossings, puddles, etc. the GoreTex shoes stay at home.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Goretex Socks on 12/14/2011 10:59:28 MST Print View

I think mine were Sealskins or something like that. They were the cheapest I could find at REI. They do wear out a bit faster than normal Goretex. I think I heard 3 weeks of continues use somewhere. They also dont' stretch as much as normal socks so make sure they fit well. I wear them over a pair of smartwool socks. Good socks make any kind of goretex footwear much more enjoyable. Even if they leak a bit they are still going to help keep the mud and cold out better.
Again I usually like breathable trail runners but really muddy conditions are a bit different. I've seen some conditions that were just so nasty I would have got boots of some kind if I was going to spend a lot of time there.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Rockys on 12/14/2011 11:04:30 MST Print View

+1 for Rockys.
When the supply started drying up over here, i stockpiled a few pair.

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Rockys on 12/14/2011 11:21:02 MST Print View

+1 on Rockys

Keep my feet dry when other are cold and wet.

My only complaints:

Slightly narrow and constricting in the fore foot

Top of the sock around the ankle is inadequate. I.e if its raining and you are wearing shorts water will run down your legs and into the top of the socks, loose and non waterproof material.

I have been thinking about sewing a two inch band of neoprene in place of the flimsy fabric on top. Tighter stretchy fit, water proof seal.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re Rockys on 12/14/2011 11:25:36 MST Print View

"if its raining and you are wearing shorts water will run down your legs and into the top of the socks"

If it's warm enough to wear shorts, i woudn't be wearing my Rockys.

Edit. I find the top of the socks tight, but i've got walkers calves. ;)

Edited by MikefaeDundee on 12/14/2011 11:27:33 MST.

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Re Rockys on 12/14/2011 11:35:54 MST Print View

The time I was most thankful for my Rockys was when it was just above freezing in the smokies, raining, everyone got to camp with miserable cold wet feet, mine were only cold, granted I had pants on.

Yea I guess it is just I love hiking in shorts and not pants even when it is colder out. For the freedom of movement, but I want to keep my feet warm and dry. Rockies come close to accomplishing that. With some improvement I think they could be perfect.

Err by walkers calves do you mean kankles?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re Rockys on 12/14/2011 11:44:21 MST Print View

Clint, any issues with the narrowness? I just got a pair and noticed that they were a little snug around the balls of my feet. I'm most worried about blisters caused from cramped toes.