/ Leather and goretex?
Years ago, I was told that goretex liners in leather boots were unnecessary and could even prevent the leather breathing, so I bought scarpa boots which had no gtx. Now even scarpa appear to put gtx in most of their leather boots.. Does anyone know why? Has the technology changed? Is there now some advantage? Is it just marketing, punters will buy more boots if they contain goretex. Interestingly their better walking boots (sl/manta) come without..
I once had trouble explaining to a customer that a non-water proof hat is more breathable than a gore-tex lined one..."but gore-tex is breathable, no?"
I suspect that, for a lot of people considering venturing in to the great outdoors, the fear of getting cold and wet is a major disincentive. Hence, something that is "guaranteed to keep you dry" will have a greater pull on their wallet.
I shall give them credit though, my feet have stayed dry in my gortex lined leather boots over the years and they have been through a lot! My old leather boots leaked quite often, as did some leather and "waterproof lined" (not goretex) boots I tried before.
I thought your thread title was about odd fetish mixes.
I have goretex lined trainers and I love them.
Customers certainly prefer the GTX from a retail point of view, and the scarpa leaflet does state that a leather boot with no liner is not waterproof. So therefore surely it cant be sold as waterproof? Although my SL's and mantas have kept me dryer than any fabric/goretex boot!
Technology wise there is a difference in the gluing process ive been led to believe by the reps. the liner is glued in key points with a leather boot, where as with a fabric boot, its glued throughout. This glue hinders how breathable the boot is.
May all be shite, but personally id take a none gtx well made boot, over lots of fabric gtx combinations which we get coming back though the door on a daily basis! To date ive not seen a pair of SL's or Mantas come back into the shop!
What the market demands is what I've always guessed. SLs and Mantas are not boots the casual walker would normally choose. They want dry feet, lighter weight, probably minimal maintenance also so goretex is one way of helping ensure that unless it's hot weather! Those that chose the likes of SL and Manta boots have different needs/criteria they want from a boot and are prepared to look after them to keep the waterproofing whilst having a boot fit for purpose?
I prefer non gtx boots as a personal preference, but do possess gtx lined footwear for certain circumstances. As for longetivity, I can't really compare. My original SLs did oh so long (24 yrs in total although not waterproof for all that time), current ones still waterproof after 4yrs, whilst all my gtx lined footwear has been fabric and given out in a few years or less. Don't know why though - more likely made to a cheaper budget was my guess, but could be down to the goretex which I find can be easily damaged.
In my experience:
- My Mantas are made of thick leather with few seams, no Goretex and are totally waterproof, whatever Scarpa say.
- My Meindl Lhostes are made of thinner leather with more seams and a Goretex lining. The lining failed after about 2 years, but regular leather treatment made them nearly-waterproof again (until the stitching started to fail after another two). I bought them 9 years ago, so technology might have improved.
In my opinion there is no point putting goretex in a boot like the manta, it's already waterproof. Lighter boots are less waterproof, so might benefit from a liner, but the liner will probably fail before the rest of the boot. For lightweight boots, made of canvas, Goretex or similar is probably a good way of being waterproof.
Adding a membrane will always reduce breathability compared to not having one, but I'm not sure the leather of anything but the lightest boots breathes enough for this to be an issue.
I think marketing has a lot to do with it too. I'd personally pick leather over gore+leather, but might consider gore+canvas for summer walking.
Whether a leather boot is intrinsically waterproof depends on the type of the leather - and particularly whether it is split or full-grain. A split leather is cheaper than full-grain but it is not waterproof and hence the need for goretex in many cases.
Haha! Brilliant.. Thanks for that.
To all; As I suspected its all marketing driven.. Interestingly Scarpa do make the delta and ranger as a non gtx option, but no one i can find stocks them. It's for my mother in law who doesn't want something as heavy as an SL, but does a LOT of miles. Maybe somewhere can order them in for her? Any good walking boot shops near Southampton? Pref. not a big chain, we like to support local places!
I've had a series of lined boots over the years all good quality and none have lasted above 12 months, they all break down in my experience. Scarpa SL is the way forward.
I think there brilliant if you limit your winter and just go out walking. Personally now I'd have mantas and a pair of lighter summer ones just because I've changed what I do in winter, and I don't think you can have a one boot does all approach.
RE waterproofness, the SLs have been my driest boots and I'm sold on the good leather boots, but they require good stitching (fair enough with SLs it's all at the heel) and good maintenance. How ever cheap leather boots with no liner would leak like a sieve, as it costs too much to make well!
I have just bought my first pair of goretex lined boots and they are certainly much sweatier than my old ones, however I do wonder if this is more due to with the Memory Foam round the ankle than an actual lack of breathability.
TBH I think the marketing department for Goretex have a lot to answer for regarding the lack of availability of non-lined boots as the buyer has been brainwashed into believing that unlined leather boots will leak like a pair of cotton plimsoles.
In reality the only times I have ever had leather boots wet out were in conditions where splashing up onto socks or sinking over the ankle had inevitably already resulted in wet feet long before the leather started to "fail".
In reply to minimike:
Not in womens models as "women just won't buy non-goetex boots" - perhaps if they actually made them Scarpa might find that we did!
TBH any good independant should be happy to special order you a pair if you know your size - Scarpa are usually very good to deal with.
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