/ Leather and goretex?

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minimike - on 31 Mar 2013
Hi,

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..

Any thoughts?
Cheers, mike
Ben Sharp - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to minimike: If you'd spent billions of dollars and decades telling people they need gore-tex lined underwear you'd probably see a lot more of it in the shops.

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?"
Martin W on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to minimike:

> Is it just marketing, punters will buy more boots if they contain goretex.

This.

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.
martinph78 on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to minimike: I'm starting to browse new/replacement boots at the moment and the only downside to my current boots is that my feet sweat a lot in them/they don't breath well. I am rying to decide on a fabric/gortex boot or just leather. As you say, pretty hard to find a leather boot without a lining.

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.
marsbar - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to minimike:

> Any thoughts?
>
I thought your thread title was about odd fetish mixes.

I have goretex lined trainers and I love them.
happy_c - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to minimike: Scarpa use both in their lower range, for example the ranger (and ranger gtx) and the delta (and delta gtx), but i don't think once you get into mountain range, they do the same. The SL and the Manta still come with no gtx.

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!
martinph78 on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to happy_c: How breathable do you think the SL's are? Thinking of them as an all year boot, using my Nepals for winter. I was put off buyng fabric boots as I just don't see them lasting for the use I give them.
Climbing Pieman on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to minimike:
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.
Climbing Pieman on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Martin1978:
> (In reply to happy_c) How breathable do you think the SL's are? Thinking of them as an all year boot, using my Nepals for winter. I was put off buyng fabric boots as I just don't see them lasting for the use I give them.
Great in my experience - SLs are my go to 3 season boot in wet or dry, hot or cold weather, and have been for the last 26 yrs of Scottish use. I've had more blisters in gtx lined footwear c/w leather or fabric only over the years and I put that down to the heat build up with the fabric/lining combo, whereas I have only had blisters in SLs due to damage (wore the lining away on one pair so was rubbing my heels directly on the inside of the leather!) or grit, etc, being in the boots, and no blisters in fabric only (though to put in perspective I never used them for hard demanding hill tasks).
Jack B on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to minimike:

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.
martinph78 on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Climbing Pieman: Thanks, will try a pair for size next week.
hexcentric - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to minimike:

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.
Climbing Pieman on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Martin1978:
> (In reply to Climbing Pieman) Thanks, will try a pair for size next week.
Just a thought as my SLs are the older version, enquire whether the new version which has memory foam I believe has changed the temp/breathability in use. It's just that I have memory foam footbeds in a pair of work boots for cushioning reasons and they are much warmer to wear with than without the memory foam, but as they are unlined leather anyway it's not a problem for breathing. Could be that new SLs will run warmer and will this affect the breathing directly or indirectly?
minimike - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to marsbar:

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!

Thanks all,
Mike
Rat know-all - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to minimike:
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.
martinph78 on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Climbing Pieman: Will try and find out, might get a look tomorrow if there are any in stock.
happy_c - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to minimike: SLs are brilliant for all year round, but only if you like a stiff boot, which for me I don't. I wear them for scrambles and when snow starts, I rarely do gullies, but have done a few in them.

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!
Jenny C on 01 Apr 2013
Leather isn't waterproof, but if well conditioned with wax/similar will in all but the very wettest of conditions keep water out all day. Eventually leather will "wet out" and this will happen much faster with the thinner leather used in cheaper/lightweight boots than in true mountain boots.

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:
> (In reply to marsbar)

> To all; As I suspected its all marketing driven.. Interestingly Scarpa do make the delta and ranger as a non gtx option.........

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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