Foot powder and Gore-Tex

7:02 p.m. on December 13, 2009 (EST)
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130 forum posts

Just curious if anyone knows whether or not using foot powder will have an effect on a Gore-Tex membrane?

1:41 p.m. on December 14, 2009 (EST)
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Since I avoid gtx boots (largely because of the breathability problem), I have no first-hand experience to answer your question. However, consider the following -

foot powder helps reduce the amount of foot perspiration. Since sweaty feet is a major source of problems for gtx boots, foot powder should help.

OTOH, foot powder is basically "dusty" (i.e. fine powder), there is a good chance that it will clog the micropores of the gtx membrane, further reducing its already minimal breathability. Putting the foot powder directly on your bare feet, then putting on your wicking sock and then your insulating sock should help avoid this potential problem.

If you are going to try foot powder, I will recommend Zeasorb-AF. I have found that this works fairly well for me inside the plastic double mountaineering boots and plastic double telemark boots that I use on many of my expeditions and backcountry skiing. Obviously, the plastic shells do not breathe, so the only way the sweat gets out of the boot is by the wicking socks. I have tried other foot powders with much less success (Dr Scholls was a complete failure).

12:19 a.m. on December 16, 2009 (EST)
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747 forum posts

Just my $.02 worth. I have a pile of goretex outer clothes that I love. I have a pair of gortex lined boots because thats the way they came, not because I chose that. I don't think goretex boot liners work all that well, but you can't blame Gore, they don't make boots. I think all leather boots need some snow seal or silicone finish on the outer surface to prevent water from coming in but still lets moisture out. You should be able to walk through puddles and have the water roll off and not wet the surface. I think if the surface of the boot wets, then no liner will help and the goretex would then probably hinder the breathing rather than helping.

My old Kletter boots always seemed just right so of course you can't really find them anymore and if you do they call them crampon boots and they are almost too stif to hike in and really heavy. Another case of a great product type thats as rare as dinosaurs now.

Jim S

September 15, 2014
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