/ Testing Gore Tex Boots

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spartafan 05 Jan 2020

Hi,

I have a pair of Meindl Merans GTX and have used the recommended products from Meindl to waterproof them.

I used the Meindl waterproof spray and sports wax but it still feels if they are still letting in water.

I wear Bridgedale cool max liners and a summit sock when walking and when it's not raining everything is good but when it starts raining and I am pounding over the Rannoch Moor etc, they feel as if they are letting in water.

What is the best way to test them to see before returning them to the shop as they have 2 months left in the warranty.

Regards

Alza

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pass and peak 05 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

Your primary protection on a boot like those is the leather outer's rather than the goretex, so you should concentrate on keeping the leather as proofed as possible, especially around the stitching as its not a one piece upper! Now yes, with a Goretex lined boot you can stand in a river all day and not get wet feet, however trudging for miles across wet bog and the Goretex will suffer at all the points where the boot bends simply due to the hydrolic pressure generated. As their still under warranty I would check to see what Meindl recommend as their go to waterproofing product and use that liberally, retest and see what their like before sending them back. FWIF, I've found Meindl customer service to be excellent in the past!   

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Sharp 05 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

The easiest way to tell is how it feels when you're walking (although not conclusive), if it feels like a cold trickle of water they're definitely leaking, if your feet are squelching and there's puddles of water inside your boot at the end of the day they're probably leaking, if one is noticably wetter than the other then it's probably leaking. I'm not saying they're not leaking if it's not like that but there's also the possibility that it's sweat build up which is exacerbated by the outers wetting out and reducing breathability. IIRC the bridgedale rep told us that on a day's walking your feet will sweat about a coke cans worth of liquid - although reps are full of bs so who knows if that's true or not!

Having said all that you've obviously been wearing them for a while if they only have 2 months warranty left so something must have changed. Perhaps the leather is not holding the applied treatment as well as it did when it was new or maybe the GTX liner has broken down. It's hard to say without seeing them but once I've waxed my boots they keep the water out for a couple of days max (no GTX liner) before they need it again, often they're leaking a bit by the end of the day. The sport wax is good but it is quite thin, best to apply it to warm dry leather and let it soak in then buff it off and repeat with thin applications till you have built a good shiny layer up. There's quite a lot of stitching on the Merans, make sure you're pushing the wax into all the stiches and where the leather meets. An old tooth brush can be quite good for this. You might see the wax sucked into the place where the leather meets if the boots are warm and it's not been applied enough in the past. The water should bead up and roll off it for most of the day.

The other place leather boots often leak is where the sole meets the leather, the bottom of the gtx liner can also get damaged in the shoe with grit getting under the insole and combined with the sole pulling away can be an area where water gets in. Sikaflex or other PU adhesive fixes this quite well but if they're in warranty you may as well take them back.

Post edited at 08:07
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girlymonkey 05 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

Goretex boots slow down the ingress of water, but they are not going to stop it. If you cross Rannoch moor in the rain then your feet will get wet. Goretex works if it is clean and sweat free, neither of these are possible with footwear.

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angry pirate 05 Jan 2020
In reply to pass and peak:

The definitive test is to make sure they are dry then fill them with water making sure you don't go over the top of the goretex liner and watch for wet patches appearing on the outside of the boot.

I have a poor track record with goretex boots, often only getting one day out of them before the membrane fails so I tend to stick with leather or Scarpa Outdry boots.

Dry feet so far!

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olddirtydoggy 05 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

Its no new issue with Goretex boots. We've just had 5 days pounding over wet moorland in Scotland where our boots have not had a chance to fully dry out every night. On the last day my B2 rated boots did feel a bit damp inside on the front left. Now these boots are new so should I expect them to take a hammering like this? Thinking reasonably, I can accept that eventually these boots are going to give in when moorland water is running over the boot every day for hours. If however this was happening on day one then I'd be taking them back.

A poster above mentioned leather boots. I understand Scarpa SL's perform quite well without a membrane if you look after them.

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spartafan 05 Jan 2020

Thanks all for the replies.

I have filled the boot of water to just below the Gore Tex membrane and there is water seeping through the stitching at the side of the toe box.

Do you think putting wax on the stitching would seal it?

Cheers

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olddirtydoggy 05 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

The problem is, wax won't fix the breach in the Goretex lining. Id take them back.

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Prof. Outdoors 05 Jan 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Agree with you regarding expectations of Goretex boots. Yes, goretex membrane is waterproof when new, yes it is breathable when clean. A goretex mebrane in a boot is under pressure from your foot, being scrunched and folded in the action of walking and is in a really harsh environment.

Good luck to the OP. I would return them but to be honest it would not surprise me if the replacements eventually went the same way. Not a criticism of Meindl, just the way GORE project themselves as the solution to stating warm and dry.

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gethin_allen 05 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

I'd you still need to determine if they are leaking, stuff them with a load of blue tissue (kimwipe, wypall type stuff) and submerge in bowl of water. Flex the boot a fair bit and then after a while soaking see if the paper is wet. The blue roll is better than other tissue because it's easy to see where it's wet.

If the boots are otherwise well maintained and in good condition you should take them back. If they are battered and haven't been off your feet since you left the shop then maybe take the hit. But they aren't cheap and goretex should last a good while if not abused.

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oldie 05 Jan 2020
In reply to Prof. Outdoors:

> Agree with you regarding expectations of Goretex boots. Yes, goretex membrane is waterproof when new, yes it is breathable when clean. A goretex mebrane in a boot is under pressure from your foot, being scrunched and folded in the action of walking and is in a really harsh environment. <

In my limited experience I've had flexible (B1) goretex boots which appear to have worked for at most a few days but then presumably the goretex has split/separated in some way and they leak (the fact that one boot leaked before the other might also indicate a split as opposed to an overall increase in penetration). Stiffer B2 boots have lasted much longer presumably due to less flexing. As you may be implying perhaps the sandwiched goretex adhering or just next to stiffer material is liable to split in more flexible boots.

Incidentally if goretex bcomes less breathable when dirty wouldn't it be more waterproof even if more sweaty?  FWIW I sometimes use medium weight plastic bags over my socks, even if water gets in I find the sweaty dampness in the socks preferable to cold at least in the short term (and wonder if goretex socks can actually work much better though I haven't tried them).

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GHawksworth 05 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

Reading the full thread, they're leaking. Take them back. Once the Goretex has ruptured, that's it. No wax will solve it.

It's a problem many modern "leather" boots have as they're stitched here there and everywhere making them entirely at the mercy of the Gore Tex.

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angry pirate 05 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

It may well do but as they are still under warranty I'd get them back to the retailer asap. Gore membranes wear really quickly in footwear so I reckon that getting a year out of them is probably a win anyway.

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spartafan 05 Jan 2020

Thanks for the responses

I have attached a photo to show where the water is leaking from.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/dbpage.php?id=338131

You think the Gore Tex is defo faulty?

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Basemetal 06 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

Looks like it. You could send the retailer the pic with your complaint

Post edited at 00:34
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spartafan 06 Jan 2020

Thanks everybody.

I have sent an email to the retailer with some pictures explaining what has happened.

Will wait and see what the reply is.

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Lurking Dave 07 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

Goretex (and every other type of membrane) is doomed to failure in footwear, a single grain of sand between the membrane and outer / membrane and inner and it will be shredded.

IIRC, many years ago the guarantee for Goretex footwear was measured in days of use, 20 or 30?

LD

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Billhook 07 Jan 2020
In reply to spartafan:

I noticed from the photo you have that your boots have stitching in a place where your boot flexes.

 I'm not surprised they leak as the joint is subject to strain everytime you walk.  Its obvious that this has impacted on the Goretex  perhaps even the Goretex was also stitched through aswell.

 Next time you choose a boot its definitely best to spend a little or a lot more and get a pair without any stitching  around the lower half of the boot except where the one piece of leather is joined at the heel area.   

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DubyaJamesDubya 07 Jan 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Goretex boots slow down the ingress of water, but they are not going to stop it. If you cross Rannoch moor in the rain then your feet will get wet. Goretex works if it is clean and sweat free, neither of these are possible with footwear.

Have to disagree. Went out last year in torrential rain and crossing waterlogged fields for circa 8hrs. My feet were bone dry by the end of the day.

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spartafan 15:28 Thu

Quick update - Returned the boots and the retailer tested them and they where faulty.

I had only done about 50 miles in them since new,abit disappointed as they are a good wide fitting boot.

Got my money back and now the search starts for a wide fitting boot...again.

Thanks all.

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gethin_allen 15:47 Thu
In reply to spartafan:

Scarpa do a wide fit in some styles.

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In reply to spartafan:

> Quick update - Returned the boots and the retailer tested them and they where faulty.

> I had only done about 50 miles in them since new,abit disappointed as they are a good wide fitting boot.

> Got my money back and now the search starts for a wide fitting boot...again.

> Thanks all.

Good luck! The Mammut ones I've got have proved good so far (3 years or so)

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