Hi/Lo Gore-tex shoes in the rain?



R

Robert

Guest
Hello,

I plan to do a bit of walking in England, rain and all. I plan to purchase a pair of good gore-tex
shoes for this. However, since I am new to this, I ask someone with experience --- does the height
of the shoe make a big difference? I would rather buy regular low-cut shoes, but I do not know how
much the pants cuff will keep the rain out of such shoes. Am I better off getting the mid-cut or
high boot-cut shoes?

Thank you.
 
P

Paul Saunders

Guest
Robert wrote:

> I plan to do a bit of walking in England, rain and all. I plan to purchase a pair of good gore-tex
> shoes for this.

Firstly, many are of the opinion that gore tex is unnecessary and on the whole I'd agree. A good
pair of boots properly treated with Nikwax or similar will keep your feet dry. However, I have found
that walking in rain for days on end, when the proofing wears off the leather does get saturated
with water and your feet do get a little damp, especially as the boots get older.

My experiences with Brasher gore-tex boots have been very good, my feet have never got wet, even
when the proofing has worn off. The downside with gore-tex boots is that they are more sweaty than
normal boots in dry weather.

Ideally therefore, I'd prefer gore-tex boots for extended wet weather, normal leather boots for more
general conditions and lightweight fabric boots for dry summer walking.

> However, since I am new to this, I ask someone with experience --- does the height of the shoe
> make a big difference? I would rather buy regular low-cut shoes, but I do not know how much the
> pants cuff will keep the rain out of such shoes. Am I better off getting the mid-cut or high boot-
> cut shoes?

The main problem here IMO is not so much rain getting in, but walking through boggy ground and
crossing streams. It's very easy to step in a bog that's more than a few inches deep and suddenly
you get a boot full of water. There's a lot of boggy ground in the hills and it's often difficult if
not impossible to avoid.

Likewise, small streams are numerous and often need to be crossed. Easy enough when dry but after a
bit of rain they fill up a lot. For this reason I prefer high cut boots. For many years I used a
pair of Dutch army boots that were perhaps 8 or 9 inches high. These enabled me to walk through bogs
and across streams with impunity. Not gore-tex either, and they only cost me £12. Normal walking
boots are cut much lower, more for style than practicality in rain IMO. I'd definitely recommend
high cut boots.

As for the problem of rain getting in, this is rarely a problem, provided you wear overtrousers (and
the bottom of the overtrousers covers the top of the boots). I once got caught in heavy rain with no
waterproofs and my feet got soaked. Several times I had to take them off to pour the water out, even
though they were laced up tightly. The reason was that my trousers and the top of my socks got
soaked in the rain and it just filtered down. With overtrousers this shouldn't happen (although
there was one occasion in particularly heavy rain when it did happen).

To be sure this doesn't happen your best bet is to wear gaiters. These cover the lower leg and the
top of the boot. Great for walking through long wet grass after the rain has stopped, and are even
sufficient to save your feet getting wet from the occasional immersion in bog if you remove your
foot quickly enough. In particularly heavy rain these can be worn underneath overtrousers.

Finally, you can buy gore-tex gaiters which fit around the edge of the boot and form a watertight
seal. These give full lower leg protection and you can even wade through streams with them, rather
like wearing wellingtons. You don't even need gore-tex boots for this since the whole boot is
covered. If you want to do this, first make sure that the boots you buy are useable with the
gaiters, they don't fit all boots. Never tried them myself, others could give more information
about those.

Happy rain walking!

Paul
--
http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk
http://www.photosig.com/go/users/userphotos?id=118749
 
M

Martin Richards

Guest
In message <[email protected]>, Paul Saunders <[email protected]> writes
>Robert wrote:
>
>> I plan to do a bit of walking in England, rain and all. I plan to purchase a pair of good gore-
>> tex shoes for this.
>
>
>The main problem here IMO is not so much rain getting in, but walking through boggy ground and
>crossing streams. It's very easy to step in a bog that's more than a few inches deep and suddenly
>you get a boot full of water. There's a lot of boggy ground in the hills and it's often difficult
>if not impossible to avoid.
>
>Likewise, small streams are numerous and often need to be crossed. Easy enough when dry but after a
>bit of rain they fill up a lot. For this reason I prefer high cut boots. For many years I used a
>pair of Dutch army boots that were perhaps 8 or 9 inches high. These enabled me to walk through
>bogs and across streams with impunity. Not gore-tex either, and they only cost me £12. Normal
>walking boots are cut much lower, more for style than practicality in rain IMO. I'd definitely
>recommend high cut boots.
There comes a stage when your feet get wet and then you give up caring. They're wet through - they
can't get any wetter - see it as an adventure not as a problem, as it means that you can just push
on without having to look where you put your feet (although there may be other reasons why you might
want to do that!)

--
Martin Richardson
216/284 Munros (34/34 'Furths')
217/89 Donalds 397/1552 Marilyns 439/439 Nuttalls
 
P

Paul Saunders

Guest
Martin Richardson wrote:

> There comes a stage when your feet get wet and then you give up caring. They're wet through - they
> can't get any wetter -

I know that opinions differ on this. Wet feet don't seem to bother some people, but they bother me.
On most of my trips I manage to keep them dry.

> see it as an adventure not as a problem, as it means that you can just push on without having to
> look where you put your feet

I see it as uncomfortable and unpleasant, but more than that I see it as a cause of blisters. I've
ended up with terrible blisters after walking a long way with wet feet, but if you don't find that a
problem then good for you.

Paul
--
http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk
http://www.photosig.com/go/users/userphotos?id=118749
 
J

John Goldfine

Guest
"Robert" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Hello,
>
> I plan to do a bit of walking in England, rain and all. I plan to purchase a pair of good gore-tex
> shoes for this. However, since I am new to this, I ask someone with experience --- does the height
> of the shoe make a big difference?

I don't have experience with walking shoes, but IMO high boots are a good idea, despite the extra
weight. Not much point having dry feet if your socks are soaking, and not likely your feet won't get
wet pretty quickly once the hosiery goes. How about wearing shoes but carrying gaiters in case you
want to cover up a bit?
 
A

Andyp

Guest
"Paul Saunders" <[email protected]> wrote

> I know that opinions differ on this. Wet feet don't seem to bother some people, but they bother
> me. On most of my trips I manage to keep them dry.

> I see it as uncomfortable and unpleasant, but more than that I see it as a cause of blisters. I've
> ended up with terrible blisters after walking a long way with wet feet, but if you don't find that
> a problem then good for you.

I don't get blisters but I've found some quite sore "Trenchfoot" kind of
effects after 3 or 4 days in a row of long walks with constantly wet feet.
On day walks it's easy to pick the appropriate footwear but it's a tough
compromise for longer backpacking trips when you don't know the weather or
the terrain. I'm still searching for the best "one size fits all" solution.

I've tried Gore-Tex boots, non Gore-Tex boots, trainers, trainers with Sealskins waterproof socks
and sandals. Sandals aren't very good for contouring slopes offpath, boots are unnecessarily heavy,
trainers lead to wet feet, my Sealskins socks lasted about a week till they leaked and were far less
comfortable than Gore-Tex lined boots so the last thing left to try out is Gore-Tex lined trainers.
 
N

Norman

Guest
On 5 Feb 2004 20:06:26 -0800, [email protected] (Robert) wrote:

>Hello,
>
>I plan to do a bit of walking in England, rain and all. I plan to purchase a pair of good gore-tex
>shoes for this. However, since I am new to this, I ask someone with experience --- does the height
>of the shoe make a big difference? I would rather buy regular low-cut shoes, but I do not know how
>much the pants cuff will keep the rain out of such shoes. Am I better off getting the mid-cut or
>high boot-cut shoes?
>
>Thank you.
I bought a pair of Goretex lined Army Pro Boots last Autumn after trying various walking boots over
the years and not finding any that were truly comfortable. I have to say that having now walked on
several occasions in all types of weather and terrain I can honestly declare the Pro Boots to be the
best boots I have worn. They have not let water in, are warm, dont make my feet sweat, are easy to
get on and off and to clean. They are not cheap though. Ebay has some for sale from time to time at
reduced prices. I have no hesitation in recommending them. Previous boots were made by New Balance (
worn out in two years), Meindl (too narrow) and Karrimor (best of the 3)

Norman
 
A

Andy Howell

Guest
I really think that Gore Tex is un-necessary, and this is born out of experience. My penultimate
pair of boots were Gore Tex lined and in hot weather they became very uncomfortable - the water
inside your boot has trouble getting out. Last summer, in the Pyrenees, I had more problems with
blisters than I can ever remember before. I have since moved to Scarpa boots without Gore Tex.

Once your feet are wet, they are wet! Most often water gets in from rain dripping down legs or from
treading in deep water.

Treat your boots regularly with Nikwax and buy a decent pair of gaters which will be effective in
keeping water running down into the top of your boots.

Mind you, there are times when you're just going to get wet. In the summer, walking in shorts, I got
caught in several torrential downpours and there was not much I could do about keeping my feet dry.

I haven't had this experience for a long time, but I can remember getting my feet completely water-
logged but found that - as the rain stopped - the warmth of my feet helped evaporate the water away
from the boots; this simply can't happen with Gore Tex?

--
Andy Howell Birmingham, UK
 
P

Paul Saunders

Guest
Andy Howell wrote:

> Once your feet are wet, they are wet!

I once had to wade through a river in winter and before doing so I took off my socks and put my
boots back on. After doing so I dried out my feet and boots as best I could, put my socks back on,
and my feet felt dry for the rest of the walk, in spite of water getting inside the boots. Handy to
have some newspaper to put inside the boots to help dry them out. Also handy to carry a spare pair
of dry socks in case your other pair gets wet for some reason.

Paul
--
http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk
http://www.photosig.com/go/users/userphotos?id=118749
 
G

Gordon

Guest
Paul Saunders <[email protected]> wrote
>Andy Howell wrote:
>
>> Once your feet are wet, they are wet!
>
>I once had to wade through a river in winter and before doing so I took off my socks and put my
>boots back on. After doing so I dried out my feet and boots as best I could, put my socks back on,
>and my feet felt dry for the rest of the walk, in spite of water getting inside the boots.

That's the best plan. We found out the hard way one winter when the stepping stones were well under
water in Chee Dale. We took boots and socks off and waded with bare feet, and after only a couple of
minutes our feet were numb. It was a relief to put dry socks and boots back on though....

> Handy to have some newspaper to put inside the boots to help dry them out. Also handy to carry a
> spare pair of dry socks in case your other pair gets wet for some reason.
>
>Paul
>--
>http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk
>http://www.photosig.com/go/users/userphotos?id=118749
>
>

--
Gordon
 
K

Kro

Guest
I've always worn boots so the weight doesn't bother me, what you don't know doesn't bother you. I've
had one pair of non-waterproof boots, and two pairs of waterproof boots including one pair with
Goretex. As I to go out in winter through boggy ground and then plod about in deep snow I want
Goretex, I find cold, dry feet infinitely preferable to cold, wet feet. Certainly more comfortable.
I also like the ankle support a boot gives you. I think if you were walking on low level paths then
a decent trainer is probably good enough. My pal has cut a hillwalk short because his feet got
soaked on boggy ground and started to "freeze" (his words) at height in poor conditions. He's since
gone for a waterproof boots. There's a few variables but no definitive answer I'm afraid. It's your
choice, however to try and find the ideal solution may be expensive!

KRO
 
G

Graham Gowland

Guest
Arguments about Gore-Tex aside, I find when I wear a low pair of 'shoes' or 'boots', I get
treated like I'm a novice - not a problem, but I always dress appropriately for the walk.
Sometime a low pair is fine, sometimes you need a high boot, however if you buy a 'high' boot it
will suit both needs....

Your boots/shoes will get wet, but they will dry off quickly and really not trouble you too much
either way, more important is the ankle protection - you don't want a broken ankle on the top of
Snowdon in Feb......

G

"Robert" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> Hello,
>
> I plan to do a bit of walking in England, rain and all. I plan to purchase a pair of good gore-tex
> shoes for this. However, since I am new to this, I ask someone with experience --- does the height
> of the shoe make a big difference? I would rather buy regular low-cut shoes, but I do not know how
> much the pants cuff will keep the rain out of such shoes. Am I better off getting the mid-cut or
> high boot-cut shoes?
>
> Thank you.

---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.580 / Virus Database: 367 - Release Date: 06/02/2004
 
M

Martin Richards

Guest
In message <[email protected]>, AndyP <[email protected]> writes
>"Graham Gowland" <[email protected]> wrote
>
>> Arguments about Gore-Tex aside, I find when I wear a low pair of 'shoes'
>or
>> 'boots', I get treated like I'm a novice
>
>When I wear trainers in the Scottish hills I get treated like a nutter. I don't speak Dutch but I
>expect it was something like "Hey, Helga come take a look at what this crazy British guy's got on
>his feet" in Camban bothy last summer. Trainers were definitely the wrong choice for the first week
>but definitely the right choice for the second week.
>
>
When I am out on the hills I try to avoid other people - particularly those who look like they may
be interested in my sartorial tastes.

--
Martin Richardson
216/284 Munros (34/34 'Furths')
217/89 Donalds 397/1552 Marilyns 439/439 Nuttalls
 
G

Gordon

Guest
Martin Richardson <[email protected]> wrote
>>
>When I am out on the hills I try to avoid other people - particularly those who look like they may
>be interested in my sartorial tastes.
>

Me too. I wouldn't like any of the urw clique to see me in my new red and yellow Berghaus Mera
Peak jacket.
--
Gordon
 
A

Andyp

Guest
"Graham Gowland" <[email protected]> wrote

> Arguments about Gore-Tex aside, I find when I wear a low pair of 'shoes'
or
> 'boots', I get treated like I'm a novice

When I wear trainers in the Scottish hills I get treated like a nutter. I don't speak Dutch but I
expect it was something like "Hey, Helga come take a look at what this crazy British guy's got on
his feet" in Camban bothy last summer. Trainers were definitely the wrong choice for the first week
but definitely the right choice for the second week.
 
P

Paul Rooney

Guest
On Mon, 9 Feb 2004 10:24:38 +0000, Gordon <[email protected]>
wrote:

>Martin Richardson <[email protected]> wrote
>>>
>>When I am out on the hills I try to avoid other people - particularly those who look like they may
>>be interested in my sartorial tastes.
>>
>
>Me too. I wouldn't like any of the urw clique to see me in my new red and yellow Berghaus Mera
>Peak jacket.

Er, what size are you, Gordon, and what are your walking plans this weekend?

--

Paul

My Lake District walking site (updated 29th September 2003):

http://paulrooney.netfirms.com
 
G

Gordon

Guest
Paul Rooney <[email protected]> wrote
>On Mon, 9 Feb 2004 10:24:38 +0000, Gordon <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>Martin Richardson <[email protected]> wrote
>>>>
>>>When I am out on the hills I try to avoid other people - particularly those who look like they
>>>may be interested in my sartorial tastes.
>>>
>>
>>Me too. I wouldn't like any of the urw clique to see me in my new red and yellow Berghaus Mera
>>Peak jacket.
>
>Er, what size are you, Gordon, and what are your walking plans this weekend?
>
I'm going to stay in, now!

Then I'll be bobbing and weaving, and will probably wear my old coat over the top.

PS: It might not be red.
--
Gordon
 
R

Richard Gosney

Guest
In Article <[email protected]>,"john goldfine"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>I don't have experience with walking shoes, but IMO high boots are a good idea, despite the
>extra weight.
>
Been looking at shoes vs. boots for while myself and one of my arguments for shoes was the weight
difference. I was therefore surprised to find how little the difference actually was between the
two. Take the Meindl Magic Low GTX for example, 1Kg a pair vs. 1.1Kg for the Magic Mid GTX
(according to the Blacks catalog sat here on my desk). I suppose most of the weight is in the sole
and not the cuff, so don't know why I found this such a revelation really. I canned the shoe idea as
a result and just wear my boots even if they do seem overkill for the situation.

Regards, Richard G.
 
A

Andyp

Guest
"Richard Gosney" <[email protected]> wrote

> Been looking at shoes vs. boots for while myself and one of my arguments
for
> shoes was the weight difference. I was therefore surprised to find how little the difference
> actually was between the two. Take the Meindl Magic Low GTX for example, 1Kg a pair vs. 1.1Kg
> for the Magic Mid GTX (according to the Blacks catalog sat here on my desk). I suppose most of
> the weight
is
> in the sole and not the cuff, so don't know why I found this such a revelation really. I canned
> the shoe idea as a result and just wear my
boots
> even if they do seem overkill for the situation.

An average pair of running shoes weighs about 650g. Approach shoes (are they still termed that?) are
neither one thing or the other as far as I can see. Not much of the protection advantage of boots
but not that much of a weight saving either. Weight saving on your feet is harder to quantify than
that in your rucksack anyway. I've always been happy to run the last bit of a long walk in boots if
my girlfriend's waiting to pick me up. It's more the "clumpy" feel I don't like.