/ Gortex lined boots - Do any keep your feet DRY?
I've had a couple of pairs of Asolo fugitives which both leaked pretty quickly (few months). Salomon boots also seem to suffer the same issue.
I was wondering if anyone knew any manufacturers with a better track record for keeping your feet dry or are all mid weight membrane boots this bad?
Eventually, on a properly wet day, every pair of boots will let through, as will waterproof clothing. I think people expect miracles. If you want any level of breathability, then you loose absolute waterproofness. There are high degrees of water resistance, but if you bog trudge for a day you will get wet. Maybe I accept too low a level of performance, but this is my experience.
Personally I tend to prefer an unlined full leather boot; less sweaty and less to go wrong. With decent full grain leather, good stitching, a minimum of seams and some tlc on the part of the owner I've never had a problem with wet feet in an unlined boot. I can't say the same about every membrane-lined boot I've worn, which often seem to leak after a bit of wear and tear, or they make you hot and sticky - or both.
Scarpa SL Activ are my current favourite. Short review here: http://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/page.php?id=5431 they're not light; they're not cheap; but they're very well made, comfy (discalimer: for me), robust etc
It is obviously possible for membraned boots to keep your feet dry, since on one pair of boots I own, the left foot started getting wet after a couple of months, but the right foot still stays dry even after several years of use! Most frustrating.
I just wondered if some manufacturers have a better reputation, but possibly not.
Yeah, I'm toying with the idea of leather boots instead.
I believe goretex is guaranteed for the lifetime of the product so if its goretex and it leaks take it back.
My Altberg boots lasted about 3 years before I noticed any membrane leakage. Because they are decent leather I can still get them reasonably waterproof with Nikwax.
Having said that, I'd have preferred the option of getting the boots without membrane from the outset to reduce sweatiness.
One wonders how they could differentiate between failures due to problems with the membrane/workmanship, and failure due to not being looked after properly (eg. leaving grit in your boots, etc...).
I think I'm going to have a better look at leather boots, since i've yet to meet anyone who is happy with membrane boots - more of a begrudging acceptance, since they are cheaper and lighter.
I've had the same problem with Goretex membranes...they work for a few weeks then one boot starts to leak (they still keep rain out but are useless when immersed).
I used to use thicker style plastic bags from shops over my socks in the Alps.
They worked really well and were free. Feet were slightly moist but were certainly miles better than not using a liner. After all skiers wear plastic boots all day.
Obviously one could use Goretex liners but these are expensive and would probably also be prone to damage.
I've only found 2 boots that keep my feet dry - Nepal Extremes and wellies.
It frustrates me that it is impossible to buy a B0 or B1 equivalent of a Nepal Extreme, with a high rubber toe rand and reverse leather.
Membrane boots have the problems outlined above and lightweight leather boots always have an insufficiently high rubber rand and the leather the wrong way round. Once the shiny leather gets scuffed they will let water in once the leather wets out, which is in a short time if wading through bogs!
For wet summer use I favour a goretex sock inside a pair of inov8 315s, with a gaiter over the top. Keeps the feet dry and it's easy to seamgrip the goretex sock when it gets holed.
I love my SL Actives and can't see me going back to a goretex lined boot.
Not boots, but I do have a pair of old Scarpa approach shoes which are incredibly waterproof. Maybe I'm not doing enough wading to test them properly.
Try the Scarpa ascent tech GTX. Climbed Bryants Gully (the river scramble) and bashing across Kinder Scout in the rain, feet stayed dry all day. Obviously if the water comes in the top there is nothing you can do. Great light weight boots. On offer at Cotswolds.
My scarpa freney GTX have never leaked and are about 4 years old. I think the b3 sole helps as there is less flex in the boot to damage the goretex membrane.
I've got some light meindl fabric boots with a gore lining and, except when water goes in the top (pretty rare with gaiters), my feet stay nice and dry and have done so for the 4 years since I got them.
Much lighter than leather and less faff with wax etc.
I previously had some merrels from 1998 which were also gore lined and said the same about them until the sole wore out.
Others' experiences voiced don't tally with mine - I really rate a light pair of goretex lined boots for 3 season UK use.
I've a pair of Meidl Engadins, which are pretty close to what you describe. Not reversed leather, but B0/1 with a fairly high rand and no goretex. Not sure if they still stock them in the UK, though.
> Scarpa SL Activ are my current favourite. Short review here: http://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/page.php?id=5431 they're not light; they're not cheap; but they're very well made, comfy (discalimer: for me), robust etc
+1. I've never found membrane lined boots to last very long despite regular maintenance. I've have tried out membrane lined boots between leather boots and always go back to full leather without membrane which last so much longer.
I have used Scarpa SLs for over 20 yrs and am on now the activ which are the best version yet in my opinion. Well used and still as water resistance as new - got to keep maintaining the leather which will not suit everyone! Recently was trudging on wet hills and including two river crossings albeit with gaiters, with the second crossing running over 12 inches deep and still had dry feet at the end. The activ also seem to be more breathable than older versions, or it maybe just my imagination!
Worn full leather, bone dry feet. Meindle Borneo Gtx kept me dry for 4 yrs, two pairs of Salomons, on one pair the right boot gave up keeping water out after 4 walks. Scarpa ZG65 have been waterproof for about 5 years now even after the leather ripped on Cullin scree.
Horses for courses, Gtx only really works in certain conditions, if you get a wet cold day the breathability is virtually zero. In hot weather you can sweat half a litre into your boots. No hard and fast answer, but i have heard good things about wearing Gtx socks in unlined lightweight breathable boots as a combination.
Sorry, missed that part of your post. By mid weight I mean a boot that will take a flexible crampon if needs be (eg asolo fugitive) and is resonable at edging on neve. I like as light a boot as I can get away with, but if that means having wet feet 3 or 4 hours into a scottish day out, then it's not worth the compromise.
Are you basically saying that for uk year round walking, you'd go for a leather boot, also what TLC do you give your leather boots (that sounds slightly pervy!)
Might not be to your taste, but high topped boots like these will be drier than low cut boots if it's wet.
I really dislike fabric boots and will always go for full leather. Not noticed any lack of breathability compared to fabric.
> Are you basically saying that for uk year round walking, you'd go for a leather boot, also what TLC do you give your leather boots (that sounds slightly pervy!)
As I agreed with Dan I'll offer my point of view! Yes leather all year whether +24c (as I had in Scotland this year) to well below freezing. TLC for me is cleaning regularly (usually after every long walk unless multi day trip), proper airing and drying naturally, conditioning the leather regularly (and appropriately ie the right stuff and not too much or too little) to maintain suppleness, water resistance and breathability. Does not take long once you get into a routine (although the natural drying part can take up to a couple of days if the leather got really saturated).
NB. With full winter climbing boots I've always had lined models (do any other leather options exist?) and never had a problem with leakage or excessive condensation. I'd put this down to the boots' stiffness and general chunky construction helping protect the membrane from damage. Also high rands and solid build would in general keep water at bay even if there were no membrane, I'd think. As for condensation, if it's cold outside then the boots will breathe better.
As Somebody else said, i find all boots get soaked after a wet day.
when couple days walking/camping, subsequent days always put on Dry socks, then Carrier bags, then wet boots. As Pointed out feet get tad moist, but its a pleasant moist, and feet stay warm in really cold Conditions as well.
The membrane in my Salewa Mountain Trainer Mids just gave up this weekend, after ca. 6 months of reasonably heavy usage. Looks like I'll have to break the Sealskinz out until I can afford another pair of boots. I'll definitely be looking to buy some full-grain leather boots to replace them, been stung too many times by the promise of Gore-tex boots.
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