Anyone else dislike Gore-Tex ?

8:26 p.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Visited my semi-local (Annapolis, MD) outdoor stores (Hudson Trail Oufitters and Eastern Mountain Sports ... about 1/2 mile from each other) yesterday.

Asked about non-Gore-Tex high-cut hiking-boots.   Preferably all-leather.

The sales people seemed non-plused.   They said they never had such a question, and would need to talk to the reps when they come back around.

I have several Gore-Tex equipped boots.   Although they do an OK job in keeping out water, they are hotter than Hades on warm, dry days.

Hate that !

In discussions with several thru-hikers on the AT, the consensus was / is that it is more practical to use non-Gore-Tex boots for dry / warm hiking, and carry along a pair of sandals for wading streams, and such.

The problem is -- it is difficult to find non-Gore-Tex boots.   I use a couple 'old-school' high-top leather boots, like Fabiano and Scarpa.   (LOVE what those Italians can do with leather !! )

When those wear-out (probably not anytime soon, given the quality and durability they have) ... what do I look for?

 

r2

9:11 p.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
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I have these, http://www.rei.com/product/694262 but you are correct, non gore tex boots keep getting harder to find.  Merrill Wilderness are non gore tex as are Limmers and Alico from Sierra Trading Post.  Otherwise you need to fly to europe.

10:46 p.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert cant say I hate them because I have 2 pairs I use.One for winter and one for jobsites. Both are Danners..Like you I have a size 9 and it's easy for me to replace said boots from a brother who has 4 pairs and has same shoe size..Hence free to me so I don't complain..But as you and Alan have said leather is in less demained her in the USA as opposed to old school in Europe.Still love leather boots tho..Pillowthread always finds great old boots. Just not my size..As for the "AT" I acually live right off the trail here and Trail runners and light weight breathable Boots or low cuts are the biggest preference do to the weather"Rain". I am actually hiking in trail runners starting next week on my thru..My outfitter said Monblonc trail runners, Merrils and Vasq are the biggest sellers here for thru hikers...I am at mile 720 on the trail...

12:50 a.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Its not that I dislike Gore-tex because I actually do like it. My biggest issue is how it is utilized. I do not like any type of waterproof membrane in a FGL boot. It just turns out to be a sweatbox for me. If it is a boot model that has a combination of leather and synthetic upper then I think it works great. I have a pair of Keen Pyrenees that has a Keen Dry membrane and these boots are sweat boxes. The same membrane is in my Keen Oregon PCTs and my feet breathe well and are not the least bit damp after a full day on the trail. So to me its all about application.

There are a few boots out there that do not utilize a membrane. Scarpa SLs, Merrell Wilderness, Lowa(Baffin I think,) Alicos, and a few others. Just look around. They are out there.

10:38 a.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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www.limmerboot.com.  saw you bought a pair that didn't size right; call them, get the instructions, trace & measure your feet, and get the right size, or take a trip to North Conway, NH and try them on.  they need to get broken in, but it's worth the effort.  the mid-weight is the same thickness of leather as the Merrell Wilderness; the lightweight has slightly more flex to it, and a mildly more forgiving midsole, but it's still a very robust boot. 

The Merrell would be my choice if you need to try them on, but they no longer make boots with a full leather lining, and the interior fabric has a tendency to get torn up over time. 

Limmer, Randy Merrell, and Charles Van Gorkum handmake boots if you have the time and the money.  a lot of money. 

11:56 a.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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www.limmerboot.com.  saw you bought a pair that didn't size right; call them, get the instructions, trace & measure your feet, and get the right size, or take a trip to North Conway, NH and try them on.  they need to get broken in, but it's worth the effort.  the mid-weight is the same thickness of leather as the Merrell Wilderness; the lightweight has slightly more flex to it, and a mildly more forgiving midsole, but it's still a very robust boot. 

The Merrell would be my choice if you need to try them on, but they no longer make boots with a full leather lining, and the interior fabric has a tendency to get torn up over time. 

Limmer, Randy Merrell, and Charles Van Gorkum handmake boots if you have the time and the money.  a lot of money. 

 

 

Thinking of hiking parts of the AT in New Hampshire in the near future.

Definitely will plan to stop by the Limmer works.  The money  will be the deciding factor.   I may (?) get lucky, and find an off-the-shelf pair that fit and  work fine.  Certainly should be less-expensive than a custom pair.  I don't have weird feet ... just a little wide in the toe-box area.   Wearing sandals (Chaco's) most of the warm / hot season doesn't help in keeping my feet from spreading.   They sure are comfortable, stable, and great on slippery rocks and such.

 

r2

12:10 p.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Wondering (?) 'bout the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme  boots.  

I am posting a topic with them as the subject.

 

r2

1:12 a.m. on April 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Nice too see some other members who don't find Gortex the greatest add-on too boots.........I too find them hot and always sweaty.

6:07 a.m. on April 18, 2011 (EDT)
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I recently visited (again) a couple regional outdoor-stores (EMS, Hudson Trail Outfitters).   I specifically asked for non-GoreTex high-cut boots.   The managers at both stores said they have never had such a request.

Hmmm ....

Yogi Robt

7:56 a.m. on April 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert- that seems kinda odd that they would say that. There are quite a few models out there that do not utilize a membrane. A few are mentioned in the above posts.

9:28 a.m. on April 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert- that seems kinda odd that they would say that. There are quite a few models out there that do not utilize a membrane. A few are mentioned in the above posts.

_______________________________________________________________

 Yes, I thought it odd, as well.  One manager said he would have to ask the rep, next visit.

I'm not impressed with some of the staff at these stores.   A few 'veteran' (but, part-time) staffers seem to know more than the youngish full-time managers.  

Probably another example of the "Peter Principle".   Also, these "chain" retailers evidently put much stock in the resume's of college-grad 'newbies' that don't really know 'squat'.  I can almost 'size 'em up' (judge them) by how they are dressed.   If I see a T-shirt on one, that has a RAP music-themed logo, I literally 'head for the hills' (if I can find them nearby).

I used to manage a few retail stores (surf / casual-clothing ... music stores), and know how "Assistant Managers" are utilized beyond their capabilities.  (the dreaded "Peter Principle" again).

Yogi Robt

4:50 p.m. on April 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Let's not go stereotyping people who listen to "rap" music as not knowing anything. If someone is relatively uneducated in the outdoors, technical clothing, footwear, etc, etc... has nothing to do with the type of music they listen to. Let's not go stereotyping any one type of person, let's judge an individual based on their actions.

5:23 p.m. on April 19, 2011 (EDT)
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A personal thing.  

I'm a professional musician of many years ... play many instruments ... many genres of MUSIC.   I Teach, perform, compose, record, buy / sell / trade / repair music instruments; am writing a book about a specific instrument.  I am known in the music-community ... around the world.

Those are my bona fides.   No apologies.

I DO judge these people, like-it-or-not.   I am NOT changing my views.

DEAL WITH IT.

Robert

7:21 p.m. on April 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Ok, I have to chime in here. Robert, I think the message that you are trying to convey is:

1-If working in a professional atmosphere by all means dress the part. It has alot to do with how potential customers take you as well as your advice. The first impression is the most important.

2- I as well agree with the fact that alot of outfitters(as well as other fields) hire college students w/o any prior experience or knowledge of the items they are selling or what they are intended to do specifically. I use to be a college student so I know(I had a few jobs that I didn't have a clue what was going on(one involved swing scaffolds) but I learned.)

I don't necessarily take it as a stereotypical statement. What genre of music one listens to has no affect upon whether or not I personally take a person seriously. How would I know if they dont tell me or advertise it anyways? Then again I don't know too many outfitters that let their employees where Rockawear shirts on their sales floor.

My main point is this. For my money I want to deal with someone that at least has an interest in the outdoors. If they don't take their job seriously(a good way to tell is dress attire or body language) why should I feel that their main concern is my satisfaction? Its a real killer for alot of businesses out there because that 1st impression may be the last time that potential customer steps foot in that place of business which in return kills the generated revenue. Word of mouth advertisement can promote a business or really tear it apart.

I have many times gone to outfitters and ended up giving some 20 something yr old a lesson in boot design, tent design, intended purposes, etc. I didn't mind though. They were quite interested and I don't mind helping anyone that wants help or info. Many have done it for me, many right here in the Trailspace community.

So in closing my ramble I just want to say play nice guys. We all have one common interest which is the outdoors. Let's just have a good time with it and learn from one another.

Now as far as gore-tex goes..... :)

7:10 a.m. on April 20, 2011 (EDT)
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"You have ONE chance to make a FIRST IMPRESSION."

Yogi Robt

12:13 a.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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First anti-Gore-Tex, then anti-Velcro.

Rob, are you a Luddite?

12:45 a.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm a SHAKER.   (That's a thinly-veiled joke.  Actually, I am a Quaker.  For real. )

Really, I'm not 'anti-' ... but, I am not of the attitude that 'the masses of outdoor-types' seem to be.   I have products with this stuff.   For the most part, they are OK.   Just OK.   Not " the greatest thing since sliced bread ", etc., etc.   I eat bagels.  NOT bread.

I can remember very clearly BEFORE Gore-Tex and Velcro.   I lived just down the street in Sag Harbor, Long Island, from a company called "Atlantis", that made superb foul-weather and sailing clothing, well-before Gore-Tex.   Still have a few pieces, and use them.

I prefer SNAPS over Velcro.   Personal.

Yogi Robt

12:56 a.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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OK "Friend". Just joking about the Luddite thing.

I must say that in the late '70s, when I first saw a dark brown canvas backpack on a laminated wooden frame with felt padded shoulder straps and waistbelt I wanted one for the craftsmanship alone. Can't remember the name. Just think if our pioneer forefathers had a nice pack like that.

Just think if we could go back to the mid 1800s and sell great down bags, good, light linen/cotton "oilskin" parkas and tents and many other imporved design items to the mountain men at their resupply in St. Louis.

Nowdays I still like GTX lined boots but really want an eVent parka. Heck, I'd buy eVent boots if someone besides Keen made them.

It is still nice to canoe in Canada in an all day drizzle wearing a felt hat that has been treated with many applications of Sno Seal so the water never soaks through. Natural materials like that can work very well.

Eric

1:26 a.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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OK "Friend". Just joking about the Luddite thing.

I must say that in the late '70s, when I first saw a dark brown canvas backpack on a laminated wooden frame with felt padded shoulder straps and waistbelt I wanted one for the craftsmanship alone. Can't remember the name. Just think if our pioneer forefathers had a nice pack like that.

Just think if we could go back to the mid 1800s and sell great down bags, good, light linen/cotton "oilskin" parkas and tents and many other imporved design items to the mountain men at their resupply in St. Louis.

Nowdays I still like GTX lined boots but really want an eVent parka. Heck, I'd buy eVent boots if someone besides Keen made them.

It is still nice to canoe in Canada in an all day drizzle wearing a felt hat that has been treated with many applications of Sno Seal so the water never soaks through. Natural materials like that can work very well.

Eric

I have 2 pairs of Keens(Pyrenees and Oregon PCTs) neither utilize Event. Keen has its own proprietary liners(Keen Dry.) Keen does not utilize Event in any of their footwear models.

As far as boots I know Hi-Tec utilizes it in the Cascadia XCM Event(fully synthetic $200), and the all leather Ranier($240)

I am gonna stick with what I have stated previously. Gore-tex or any other membrane in a FGL boot is overkill. They don't breathe. If ya just buy a quality unlined FGL boot and maintain it with conditioners like Obenhaufs, NikWax, etc your feet will be just as dry and they will breathe.

I do feel membranes have their place in footwear that are primarily synthetic or a combination of synthetic/leather upper. Definitely not full leather though. Just my personal preference.

10:19 a.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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This is getting off the original topic, but the wood/canvas external mentioned may have been a Segen Pack, made in Oregon back in the '70s.

http://www.oregonphotos.com/Oregon-Gear-Companies1.html

6:15 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Yogi Robt

This is getting off the original topic, but the wood/canvas external mentioned may have been a Segen Pack, made in Oregon back in the '70s.

http://www.oregonphotos.com/Oregon-Gear-Companies1.html

6:16 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Yogi Robt

This is getting off the original topic, but the wood/canvas external mentioned may have been a Segen Pack, made in Oregon back in the '70s.

http://www.oregonphotos.com/Oregon-Gear-Companies1.html

The "Trapper Nelson" packs were even PRE-1940s ...  I think (?).

9:54 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert;

What genra of music do you work in?  I am a musician myself and am quite curious!  Love to meet fellow music hounds out here.

10:12 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I am 'all over the place' with music.

Primarily, I am a horn player.   Fleugelhorn, Cornet, Trumpet.   Stylistically, probably 'smooth jazz'.   (Think Chris Botti).   Some 'hot / sizzlin' trumpet' (think Harry James).

I am a "TAPS"-Bugler.   Proud and active member of Bugles Across America.

Sometimes, I work with a Celtic / Irish-Roots jazz band ... playing Mandolin and Irish Bouzouki.

Also, guitar.  Sorta Jazzy.  Rock'n'Roll now bores me ...  I used to be a lead-guitar player in Rock bands.  I used to teach guitar.   Boring, also.

Yogi Robt

10:05 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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I dislike gore-tex in footwear. Gets a bit gamey after a while

I have Alico New Guides, all leather, and they smell nice and fresh even after a stressful day haha

2:46 p.m. on May 30, 2011 (EDT)
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After bad experiencies I avoid Gore Tex in footware like the plague.

Check out Meindl boots, http://www.meindl.de/english/ .  They are a top notch European manufacturer who produce much of their range in a non GT version.

Also, I called a well known boot manufacturer (not Meindl) about this issue.  Their remark was that when compared with a leather inner, GT makes a boot more uncomfortable, hotter and sweatier.  He said, however, that the market is being driven towards GT because most people buy their boots based on magazine and internet reviews that claim GT is an added bonus and an extra tick-box on the review and hence desirable.  He went on to say that they would be happy to supply a version of his companies boots without GT.

The other disadvantage of a GT liner is that, unlike leather,  they wear out very quickly.  If I were a cynic I might suggest that this is another reason they are pushed by the manufacturers - but fortunately I'm not so I wouldn't think that for a moment.

That said GT is great for clothing - all my ski gear is GT - but not my ski boots. Ever heard of GT in a ski boot.  Of course not.

Happy walking,

Peter.

10:38 a.m. on June 1, 2011 (EDT)
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for what it's worth, i'm listening to Krzysztof Komeda's 'Astigmatic' at the moment.  Must-have jazz from Poland. 

i'm currently in the middle of an interesting experiment, using two new pair of Treksta Evolution trail running shoes at the same time - one pair has gore tex, the other does not.  i liked the gore version so much that i went searching for (and found) the same pair without gore-tex, a returned but virtually not used pair for half price.  using a gore tex shoe in mid-atlantic sweatbox conditions didn't seem like a great idea. 

My feet definitely feel cooler in the non-gore shoe.  part of that is the membrane, part is design; the non-gore shoe has panels on either side of the foot that are perforated to allow better air circulation.  the gore version obviously doesn't have that. 

on the other hand, the gore tex shoe is welcome in the rain, damp grass, puddly-muddy trails. 

curiously, the shoes fit slightly differently, despite using the same last.  the gore tex membrane doesn't have as much 'give' or flexibility as the other shoe, so the fit is more firm and a little more snug.  as a result, the toe box of the non-gore shoe feels more roomy. 

 

 

6:25 p.m. on June 1, 2011 (EDT)
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UpandDown said:

After bad experiencies I avoid Gore Tex in footware like the plague.

Check out Meindl boots, http://www.meindl.de/english/ .  They are a top notch European manufacturer who produce much of their range in a non GT version.

Also, I called a well known boot manufacturer (not Meindl) about this issue.  Their remark was that when compared with a leather inner, GT makes a boot more uncomfortable, hotter and sweatier.  He said, however, that the market is being driven towards GT because most people buy their boots based on magazine and internet reviews that claim GT is an added bonus and an extra tick-box on the review and hence desirable.  He went on to say that they would be happy to supply a version of his companies boots without GT.

The other disadvantage of a GT liner is that, unlike leather,  they wear out very quickly.  If I were a cynic I might suggest that this is another reason they are pushed by the manufacturers - but fortunately I'm not so I wouldn't think that for a moment.

That said GT is great for clothing - all my ski gear is GT - but not my ski boots. Ever heard of GT in a ski boot.  Of course not.

Happy walking,

Peter.

 

Welcome aboard, Peter.

____________________________

I '2nd' your comment about 'avoiding Gore-Tex in footwear like the plague'.

I DO have several pairs ... and, very good ones ($$, and 'highly-rated' by those so-called "hiking, camping, b'packing" magazines.   Ha!  What a joke.).   I very seldom use them.  Maybe, in the "rainy season".

I would like to write them ("Letters to the Editors", etc.), but they would never publish them.    Much of the advertising revenue in these magazines is from shoe and boot manufacturers that "push" Gore-Tex-lined (or similar) products.   For these magazines to do so, would be like "killing the goose that laid the golden egg".

Cynical ?   Perhaps.   Do I give a rat's a**?  Hmmm ....

Gore-Tex and products of that ilk are OK for ski-wear and rain-shells, gaiters, etc.    Not much else.

___________________________

~ r2 ~

6:28 p.m. on June 1, 2011 (EDT)
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leadbelly2550 said:

   ...  the non-gore shoe has panels on either side of the foot that are perforated to allow better air circulation.  the gore version obviously doesn't have that. 

 

 

 These are also designed to be 'drain-holes', for  the inevitable water to exit.

My brother sent me a pair of Army-issued "jungle-boots", while in 'Nam.   They had these ... and worked very well.

_______

~r2~

6:37 a.m. on June 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for the welcome Robert.

As a geophysicist I spent many years working on oil exploration crews in various tropical counties.  In wet jungle conditions the boot of choice was an older version of the Palladium Pallabrouse http://www.palladiumboots.co.uk/shop/men/men-footwear/pallabrouse-dk-khaki-putty-02477-268.html . Almost a fashion brand and not expensive.  It is great in the wet.  It is canvas and has no padding so dries quickly.  Water would drain out of them in an instant - the older version had drain holes.  And no leather to rot.  We used to live in them and walk 10s Km every day.   We tried various army issue boots but they were never as good.  The were often over padded or had leather toes and heals - they took too long to dry so your feet suffered. Gore-Tex in this environment would be a disaster.

Another case of "less is more".

In the meantime I'm going to buy a pair of Meindl Salinas (the version without GT) and hopefully have cool feet on my summer walks.

Peter

7:15 a.m. on June 2, 2011 (EDT)
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What was/is the primary motivation to put Gore-Tex or similar in boots?

Answer: To lower costs while increasing prices. Hence, a double boost to manufacturers' profits.

How does Gore-Tex lower costs?

Answer: It permits the use of all the cutting room scraps. Sewing (labor) costs are low in the third world where most boots are made, so using more stitching and wasting less material cuts costs. By putting an inner, water-proof bootie on the boot, you can sell it as water-proof, despite adding all the external stitching that leaks and absorbs water.

Are there other reasons to use Gore-Tex?

Answer: The opportunity to use lots of external stitching that Gore-Tex provides, allows makers to make bright, highly-patterned boots (a.k.a., eye-candy) and change their design every six months. As well, all of the stitching provides wear-points, shortening the life of the boot. This is known as "planned obsolescence." People now believe that a good boot should only last a year.

The above are simply my personal conjectures, do with them as you will.

5:07 p.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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See next post.

5:08 p.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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UpandDown said:

Thanks for the welcome Robert.

As a geophysicist I spent many years working on oil exploration crews in various tropical counties.  In wet jungle conditions the boot of choice was an older version of the Palladium 

Pallabrouse http://www.palladiumboots.co.uk/shop/men/men-footwear/pallabrouse-dk-khaki-putty-02477-268.html . Almost a fashion brand and not expensive.  It is great in the wet.  It is canvas and has no padding so dries quickly.  Water would drain out of them in an instant - the older version had drain holes.  And no leather to rot.  We used to live in them and walk 10s Km every day.  

Peter

 

Peter ~~

Thanks for the reminder about these boots.   See my post (following your's, where you provided a link for the Israeli-Army sourced boots I have) over on the Post-Topic, about  "Lightening Up For The JMT -- Rx Please" , by Migolite.

All you other guys here, should read it.   These boots are AMAZING !  And ---  You just won't believe the price !

~r2~

You guys should read those posts,

5:40 p.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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i am not a big fan of gore tex boots but beg to differ, a little.  i would like to see more eVent-lined shoes, but i'm not sure it will make that much difference.

i'm willing to bet that none of the lightweight boots/trail shoes sold in the US today are made from "cutting room scraps."  these shoes are mass-produced, the pieces cut from sheets of leather, nylon, foam, fabric, or whatever other material is used.  mass-produced boots are less expensive to make because the process is mechanized, so it takes less hours of human attention to make them.  whereas old school leather boots require hours of skilled human attention and workmanship.  also, the materials used to make modern lightweight hiking boots are, for the most part, much less expensive nylon or split leather anyway, so the savings is in the use of less robust, less expensive materials.  a good piece of chrome tanned, full grain leather sufficient to make a good pair of leather hiking boots is undoubtedly more expensive.  ditto for stiff leather midsoles. 

for full grain welted leather boots, capable of being waterproofed (more or less), using less stitching and one piece of leather has very obvious benefits, one of which is that less holes in the leather means less opportunities for water to leak in.  when you make boots out of nylon and split grain leather, it's kind of beside the point whether you put more holes in the fabric by stitching it, because split grain and nylon are much more difficult to waterproof regardless. 

modern manufacturing doesn't necessarily mean the shoes have to be eye candy.  the treksta shoes i referred to above are drab green/slate gray for one pair, and slate gray/dark gray for the other.  pretty unobtrusive. 

anyone who has hiked in wet conditions can attest to the value of a boot that keeps water out, especially in cooler conditions.  i understand the jungle boot concept; the keen hydro guides i use have holes in the sole and the toe bumper.  but, this type of solution works fine for hot weather, not well at all in cooler/cold weather.  gore tex linings are a much better way to waterproof a modern lightweight hiking shoe than using an outer water repellant, as one would use nikwax, obenauf's, or some other liquid or paste with leather boots, or as some may do by spraying silicone or some other water repellent on the exterior of a boot.  yes, gore tex is a selling point, and yes, it is probably used to justify higher than necessary prices, but it really does work better than the alternatives.   

i definitely agree that modern lightweight hiking boots have a shorter lifespan than welted leather boots, for a number of reasons.  because everything is more lightweight, it all tends to get worn out faster.  EVA midsoles get compressed much faster than leather/rubber or polyurethane midsoles; cementing an upper to a soft midsole/sole has a much shorter lifespan than stitching and cementing a hard midsole to a leather boot.  nylon and split leather abrade much easier than full grain leather.  oh, and friction eventually wears micro-tears in gore tex booties, which can't be repaired or re-proofed, unlike full grain leather.  i have never had the exterior stitching fail on a lightweight hiking shoe more quickly than some other part of the shoe. 

on the plus side my gore tex trail runners are relatively inexpensive, extremely lightweight, comfortable without any break-in, and keep water, slush, and snow out very effectively.  i don't like them in very hot weather, but otherwise, they aren't bad at all, and they have become increasingly supportive over the years as the designs get refined.  i'll still opt for the limmer boots overall, but gore tex boots do have benefits.

9:26 p.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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What we have here, is a situation where Gore-Tex DOES provide a benefit in certain circumstances. 

I think we all agree on that.

HOWEVER; there is NO singular type of boot that "does it all" ... as the analogy of the Swiss-Army Knife might apply to illustrate.

Every tool incorporated in a Swiss-Army Knife is a "compromise".   Each tool is easily eclipsed in every way by a separate, singular tool, that performs but one function.

Or, use the analogy of automobiles ....   I love the Porsche; but, when there is a couple feet of snow, the Land-Rover does yeoman service.   My "Swiss-Army Knife" of the vehicles I have is a 30-yr old diesel truck, with no power-steering or A/C; the radio doesn't work ... and about 250,000 miles on the odo.   Reliable.  My 'daily-driver'.

I'm a musician.  There is NO "Swiss-Army Knife" of horns.  I use a Trumpet like the one Harry James played  (King Super-20) to get his sound on romantic ballads.  I have about a dozen of the horns Miles Davis played for Jazz (Martin Committee) ... my 'main-squeeze'.

Same with my guitars ... and my Mandolins.   Different guitar for Jazz; a different guitar for rock.   One Mando for Jazz ... another Mando for BlueGrass.

And so-on-and-so-on.   Yada-yada-yada ... etc.

I DO have Gore-Tex boots.  Several pairs.   I just don't like them.

My favorite boots are a couple pairs of Full-Grain Leather Fabiano's (non Gore-Tex).    The "newest" pair is 10 years old; the other pair is about 25 years old.   Still used regularly.

They are not the "Swiss-Army Knife" of boots for me ... but, they come close.

This coming November, the Gore-Tex boots will probably get some use.   Hopefully, I won't need them a great deal ....

_______________

         ~r2~



11:06 a.m. on June 4, 2011 (EDT)
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One size does not fit all. I understand that. For example, a pair of sneakers (I show my age) like the Treksta would be perfectly adequate for running along a bikepath and splashing through the occasional puddle -- even prolonged splashing in a particularly fine puddle. However, in the backcountry - and this is "The Backcountry Gear Blog" - the Treksta would be wreksta on the first scree field.

IMO, we should always provide for the worst while hoping for the best when we venture outside of the comfortable path. For me that means self-rescue, which also demands durable, good-quality clothing and footwear. It may be sunny and sultry at the bottom of the mountain, but at the top it could be blowing ice-crystals.

When hiking with a heavy pack, I don't want to bruise, twist, or break my ankles, so I would wear a boot with rigid sides with good padding. I also want to keep those feet dry, so I want a material that breathes. OTOH, if I was on an established trail and came to a mudpuddle, I wouldn't want to increase the damage to the trail by walking around it, so I want boots that are comfortable walking through mud. (GTX loses its breathability when dirty. Mud on the inside of a GTX bootie will start those feet sweating for sure.)

If we read the accounts on the Thru-hikers forums of the Appalachian Trail, seldom do they complete the trail with the same pair of lightweight boots they started with. IMO, it is foolish to deliberately put yourself in such a situation.

What GTX boot dealers fail to mention is the weight of their boot after the outer boot and foam is saturated. Sure, your foot stays dry, but the boot is a sponge. I'd rather have both boot and foot dry.

So, R2, I agree, GTX has its place. However, that is not the backcountry. : )

2:12 p.m. on June 4, 2011 (EDT)
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P.S. - In my last post I conflated GTX in footwear with lightweight footwear. Sorry, some good FGL boots also have GTX linings. Gilding the lily.

Obviously a good quality FGL boot with adequate support and stitched/glued/screwed soles seems perfectly fine for the backcountry. The additional GTX provides discomfort, but nobody said masochism is illegal.

9:18 p.m. on June 4, 2011 (EDT)
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overmywaders said:

P.S. - In my last post I conflated GTX in footwear with lightweight footwear. Sorry, some good FGL boots also have GTX linings. Gilding the lily.

Obviously a good quality FGL boot with adequate support and stitched/glued/screwed soles seems perfectly fine for the backcountry. The additional GTX provides discomfort, but nobody said masochism is illegal.

 

Heh-heh ... funny stuff, overmywaders.

______________________________

~r2~

11:41 p.m. on June 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Off topic:

R2

One of the MIDI input horns would be the Swiss army knife of horns. Not as good as the individual instruments but you can play what ever horn type you want to with it. (had a retired guy come by the shop and it's the "instrument" he used to play in his rock band or solo jazz).

On topic:

The section of Florida I live in is flat. It's very hot in the summer, kind of reminds you of an iron. I understand the need for waterproof/resistant shoes just never needed them.  Hot and sweaty in the summer is the norm, I don't care how much "breathablility" a shoe has, unless it's a sandal and then it's hot and sun burnt.

Somewhat off topic:

What idiot came up with the idea that a chest pocket's zipper should be vertical instead of horizontal? I was looking at some Stoic Merino Bliss shirts and the zip is down the side of the pocket.

BTW does anybody have any of the Merrell Ventilator shoes or something similar? I'm looking for a low not a mid one.

12:14 a.m. on June 7, 2011 (EDT)
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ocalacomputerguy ~~

Briefly, the MIDI horns lack in several areas; and to me, the foremost is the inability to nuance expression.

Also, tone.   There is no other horn on the planet that has the tone of a vintage Martin Committee.

I mostly play vintage Martin Committees ... the horn Miles Davis played.   I have several, from various eras of production.   They are in a class above all others, and are highly prized all over the world.   Chris Botti plays one.   Matter-of-fact, he has called me several times to "chat" about the horns.   Cool dude.

As a side-note, I would rather slit my wrists, or put my head in an oven, than play Trumpet in a Rock-band.   Or, a Salsa-band, for that matter.

That's why I play electric guitar.

___________________________________

~r2~

11:03 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I am not a fan or hater of Gortex, it has its usefulness. It just seems to be in everything needed or not. I have hunting/hiking boots that are Gortex lined and for 6 months of the year they keep my feet dry(late fall, winter, and early spring, are snow/rain months). My high mountain boots are an Italian boot that are leather inside and out. Treated, they keep my feet dry as well. When the temperature goes over 25*C nothing keeps my feet cool except sandals, and I don't like hiking in those (LOL). That being said, the Gortex is hotter and more sweaty than the all leather ones in hot conditions. Also, what I learned about Gortex is they can take a long time to dry when immersed (river, creek, or swamp crossings for example)and you can't just put them near a fire to dry. The leather ones you can (I don't mean unreasonably near the fire either). I usually carry older runners for crossings and change in and out of them, but I miss the actual jungle boots for this utility feature, just waid through and carry on. I guess Altama still makes them and I will break down and buy a pair; no Gortex. Anyways, Gortex can be a good thing but not always.

 

PS. Rap cannot be real music, its mainly a rythmic criminal chant of self confessed criminals. This is where my kids roll their eyes and say,"what ever dad." Eminem is no David Bowie, 50 cent is no David Brubeck, and good luck to the rest of the rap pack on being as memorable as the Beatles, Neil Young, Sound Garden, U2 or Cold Play. I say this mostly in tounge and cheek.

7:04 p.m. on June 23, 2011 (EDT)
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It's interesting that in Lowa's Task Force line they offer a Gore version of their Zephyr desert boot and a non-Gore version.

I live in Tucson, Arizona and have been wearing the non-Gore version and find it adequately cool- as cool as a boot can be in this heat. They are darn cooler than a Gore sock lined, full waterproof boot.

I like your idea of simply using sandals for wading.

Here's the boot I've been wearing:

http://www.lowaboots.com/catalog/ShowBoot.cfm?StockNum=3105350411&Category=8&Type=M

12:14 a.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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GTex sux.  Old technology that never was worth a hoot.  EVent rules... period.

Kayland boots and Rab raingear for me.

1:45 a.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Gore-Tex + Boots = Bad Juju

Yes, using Gore-tex can "make" a boot lighter, and Gore-tex linings have their place, namely in winter-suited footwear, but otherwise I agree, such a lining turns your boot into a swampy mess at best.

8:50 a.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Just bought a pair of Scarpa SL M3s. I have had it with membranes.


2011-06-21_14-55-04_985.jpg

After my last trip I don't care what membrane is in a boot. It won't be in mine. My feet got wet on day 2 and stayed wet the entire trip. It was all concentrated in the toe box area of both boots. I wore gaiters so I suppose that had something with the rest of the boot not wetting out. My feet were a wreck.

The retailer said they cannot do anything and I need to contact the manufacturer. The manufacturer is gonna give me full credit but I do not want anything they have to offer. Guess I will get my wife a pair of winter boots or something. Maybe $200 in socks lol.

I have faith that the Scarpas are gonna treat me better from prior experiences. I wish there were more companies that offered boots w/o membranes.

6:10 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Good choice, Rick.

Maybe you should "rant" a little to your retailer that sold you the Gore-Tex boots.

My local outdoor-store retailers think I'm some kind of "heretic" in slamming Gore-Tex.

_______________________________________

   Yogi Robt

6:41 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I did. It was outside of their 90 day return policy so I went directly to the manufacturer. They sent me a link for a warranty claim. It wasn't gore-tex but it was a membrane that had "guaranteed waterproof" all over the inner lining of the boot. These boots actually did keep my feet dry in some wet weather so I trusted them. They have a 2yr warranty on the liner.

It was the Keen Oregon PCT(Keen Dy liner.) I also had a lug detach from the boot all together. Granted the terrain was a little "rocky" but not as much as some places I have been. I dunno. I really liked the way they felt and the fact that they were lighter than what I was accustomed to from prior experiences. I thought that this would be a nice warmer climate boot that would still keep me dry. Man was I wrong. By day 2 there were bubbles coming out of the synthetic protions of the forefoot of both boots. The rest of the boot was pretty dry although I believe my OR Salamander gaiters had alot to do with that.  The initial water penetration was caused by wet grass. I should've bought stock in moleskin before I left.

I was half tempted to fire these hunks of crap off a gorge and wear my Tevas for the rest of the hike but LNT ethics kept me from doing so. :p

Swamp foot:
052.jpg

With gaiters:
066.jpg

Lug issue:
Keen-009.jpg

I am definitely satisfied with the Scarpas. I actually have had very good communications with the company rep with all the product inquiries that I have had. Very quick with the responses I recieved. I truly think I made a good choice. I have been breaking them in for close to a week now(just around the house)and I am very happy with this boot from what I have seen so far but its early so the jury is still out. Typically I steer clear of boots without a rand /toe cap but these things are pretty beefy. The reviews were pretty positive with the SL M3 and I believe that I will never go with anything else if it lives up to what I have heard. The rep told me that they have customers that are on their 6th resole and the boots won't die. They feel great which is the biggest thing in my book. Maybe I just got a bad pair of Keens but at $160 a pair I think they would at least keep my feet dry if nothing else. Never the less I am done with membranes in footwear.

Robert, I guess I may be very well "buying Italian" from now on.

7:44 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

I did. It was outside of their 90 day return policy so I went directly to the manufacturer. They sent me a link for a warranty claim. It wasn't gore-tex but it was a membrane that had "guaranteed waterproof" all over the inner lining of the boot. These boots actually did keep my feet dry in some wet weather so I trusted them. They have a 2yr warranty on the liner.

It was the Keen Oregon PCT(Keen Dy liner.) I also had a lug detach from the boot all together. Granted the terrain was a little "rocky" but not as much as some places I have been. I dunno. I really liked the way they felt and the fact that they were lighter than what I was accustomed to from prior experiences. I thought that this would be a nice warmer climate boot that would still keep me dry. Man was I wrong. By day 2 there were bubbles coming out of the synthetic protions of the forefoot of both boots. The rest of the boot was pretty dry although I believe my OR Salamander gaiters had alot to do with that.  The initial water penetration was caused by wet grass. I should've bought stock in moleskin before I left.

I was half tempted to fire these hunks of crap off a gorge and wear my Tevas for the rest of the hike but LNT ethics kept me from doing so. :p

Swamp foot:
052.jpg

With gaiters:
066.jpg

Lug issue:
Keen-009.jpg

I am definitely satisfied with the Scarpas. I actually have had very good communications with the company rep with all questions that I have had. I truly think I made a good choice. I have been breaking them in for close to a week now(just around the house)and I am very happy with this boot from what I have seen so far but its still early so the jury is still out. Typically I steer clear of boots without a rand /toe cap but these things are pretty beefy. The reviews were pretty positive with the SL M3 and I believe that I will never go with anything else if it lives up to what I have heard. The rep told me that they have customers that are on their 6th resole and the boots won't die. They feel great which is the biggest thing in my book. Maybe I just got a bad pair of Keens but at $160 a pair I think they would at least keep my feet dry if nothing else. Never the less I am done with membranes in footwear.

 Robert, I guess I may be very well "buying Italian" from now on.

 

Rick,

Are the Keens made in China ?

It's a shame we can't make great shoes and boots like the Italians.  I would prefer EVERYTHING I use to be "Made-in-the-USA".

We (here in USA) used to make very good shoes and boots, principally, in Massachusetts, where, coincidentally, Italian immigrants comprised much of the work-force in the shoe factories.

I have patronized a couple extraordinary leather and shoe-repair shops ("cobblers") over the years.   Owned and operated by Italians.  Hard to find them, these days.

BTW -- How much ($$) for the Scarpas ?   I have a pair (vintage, but look pretty good), and love 'em !

Keep us posted regarding your experience with those Scarpas, OK ?

_____________________________________________________

 Yogi Robt

8:07 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah the Keens are manufactured in China(no surprise huh?) I as well would buy American if I could find a good boot that would compete with the Italians. I do have a fondness for Danner boots though.

 Hell, my socks are made in the USA(Dahlgren.)

Cobbler wise I deal with Dave Page.

http://www.davepagecobbler.com/

I snagged the Scarpas up for $170/free ship while they were on sale at Moosejaw. They are normally $249. I just didn't think at that price for what I was getting I could pass them up. Luckily I got the last size of 46 BX they had. I thought I was gonna need a wide(BXX) but I got lucky. They feel like they were made for me. I think they are still on sale.

8:22 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Wow !

Great price!   Are you going to treat them (Sno-Seal, NiKWax, etc.) ?   A little early in the ownership period, to be thinking about that, I guess.

________________________________________________

  Yogi Robt

8:23 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Gore-Tex is advertized thusly:

Waterproof, windproof and breathable: The patented GORE-TEX® membrane makes garments durably waterproof, windproof and breathable so that you stay dry and comfortable.

from http://www.gore-tex.com/remote/Satellite/home

However, the standard definition of the adjective "waterproof" would be "impervious (impenetrable) to water".

Gore-Tex and the others of their ilk do nothing to make boots impervious to water; the boots still get soaked and heavy with water. Nor do they make the wearer impervious (impenetrable) to water. (Humans were actually designed generally impervious to water. The amount of water humans might absorb through the skin has not been proven to be reduced through the use of Gore-Tex.)

So what does Gore-Tex make waterproof? Only the inside layer of Gore-Tex, and that only for a while at the sacrifice of increased overall discomfort for the wearer.

8:41 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Ahhhhh I think I got it, so any membrane that states it is waterproof is accurate.... but once it is mixed with dirt(mud) it is no longer effective... I got it now. I am googling "wet mud proof boots" as we speak. :p

8:44 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

Wow !

Great price!   Are you going to treat them (Sno-Seal, NiKWax, etc.) ?   A little early in the ownership period, to be thinking about that, I guess.

________________________________________________

  Yogi Robt

 Actually, I treat all of my fgl boots with NikWax during the initial break-in period but not over doing it.

Scarpa recommended NikWax Aqueous. I typically only use what manufacturers recommend. I have heard of companies not covering warranty issues(such as delaminating) when using a non-recommended product. I have also heard that depending on what product is used there can be an issue with the whole resole process.

If I have an email from a company rep stating that they told me to use a certain product and I use that product it kinda covers my tail should any "red flags" arise. Hey, boots are expensive. I am not trying to spend $250-$300 yearly.  

10:07 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Amen to that Rick. At some point quantity seemed to overcome quality in many products, not only specific to outdoor gear. I have a pair of Zamberlans which I love, I've only had them a couple months and they feel like slippers, the leather is just starting to crease and I can't wait to see how long/ how comfortable they become.

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