/ How to test a pair of Goretex boots are waterproof.

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Garbhanach - on 05 Oct 2012
I bought a pair of goretex mountain boots which includes goretex insulation system and decided to test if they were waterproof, so I filled the bath with about four inches of water and submerged the boots so the water was up to the part where the foot meets the ankle which is well below the top of the boot so absolutely no water entered from the top of the boots

After about nine minutes of this I removed the boots and could feel some dampish spots I continued wearing the boots now out of the water and one boot continued to get wetter inside and when the inner sole liner was removed the underside was quite wet, with the sock feeling damp.

Does anyone know how goretex test boots. I

Is the test I did a fair way to establish whether the boot is waterproof or am I expecting too much.
Shearwater - on 05 Oct 2012
Seems like quite a lot of water to me. Are the boots new?

The way I'd test em for waterproofness would be to spend a few hours trotting around on some soggy moorland in the rain ;-)
gear boy on 05 Oct 2012
In reply to Garbhanach: the outer materials of the boot absorbed water, or water got into the boot, the liner may still be waterproof, you are feeling the effect of cold water inside the layers of the boot,

you have an insulated winter boot, at current temperatures, you will have started to get sweaty feet very quickly hence damp sock

if you want to test the gore tex, best way is start with a clean dry boot, remover footbeds and laces, angle boots by lifting heel, fifty shades of grey is about the best use for this book! pour water into boot until water is about 1 inch up the back of the heel of the boot, leave and look for wet appearing on the outside of the boot, leave for 24 hours max, if wet outside it will show, then it leaks, if not dry out boot carefully, and then use as prescribed, noticing how sweaty and damp your feet get in insulated gore tex boots!

gear boy on 05 Oct 2012
In reply to gear boy: friday evening sub note

No boot is waterproof as there is a big hole where you have to put your foot in!

this phrase also works by replacing the 2 key words with glove and hand!
Garbhanach - on 05 Oct 2012
In reply to gear boy:Cheers the sock that was in the wet boot was wet the other sock was just slightly dampish from sweat, so it was not a sweat problem.

Will try filling the boots with water.
Garbhanach - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to Garbhanach: Tried filling the boots with water for about five hours with no result and lost patience, the best test I have found so far is standing in the boots in a contaner with water and flexing the boots any leakages will be apparent or the water will collect in the bottom of the boot, plus you are not generating a lot of sweat standing still.

Wearing the boots on a hike will generate more sweat and also has the possibility of water entering the boot from the ankle opening.

There appears to be a lot of goretex boots about that either leak from bought or soon after, Merrel Moab goretex is another poor performer with many bad reviews http://www.buachaille.com/p3859-0-0/Lightweight-Hiking-Boots/Merrell-Moab-Mid-Gore-Tex.html
gethin_allen on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to Garbhanach: your test sounds fair to me, not far off what gore tex approved boot repair people would do if you returned them. To be sure that it is actually water ingress not just cold spots or sweat you could fill the boots with tissue paper and seal over the top with a plastic bag before flexing the boots with the goretex lined part submerged.
If you still detect a leak you should take them back ASAP to get them replaced before the winter starts when you want to use them.
captain paranoia - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Garbhanach:

> Tried filling the boots with water for about five hours

I've tested boots for leaks by filling with water before. Well, actually, what I was trying to do was soak the inners to remove all the salt from sweat (salt isn't good for leather). Unfortunately, this revealed some fairly sizeable holes where the boots had folds. It turned out to be an effective leak test. I'd have been happy if the boots stayed full for five hours; five minutes was more like it...
bouldery bits - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Garbhanach:

They aint waterproof, no boots are waterproof.

itsThere on 08 Oct 2012

also the big hole in the top of the boot wont help
brokenbanjo - on 08 Oct 2012
Goretex, or any lined boot, are terrible. At least with unlined boots they dry out, goretex ones stay wet for weeks.
CurlyStevo - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to brokenbanjo: ive dried gortex boots that got soaked inside over night before. stuff with paper a few times and then air dry.
Flinticus - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to Garbhanach:
I have had the same experience with Merrel Moabs but also my more solid goretex walking boots. One of my Asolo boots leaked pretty quickly after purchase. I have lost faith in goretex boots.
Garbhanach - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to Garbhanach: Thanks for the feed back guys, a wet inner boot in winter is more of pain than during the summer, the boot gets heavy and looses insulation, if you are staying somewhere where you can dry the boots out at night then it's less of a problem, trying to dry a wet goretex boot out is harder than one without the goretex especially if you are camping, bivvying or the like.
So I am considering getting a plain leather boot and trying Berghaus Yeti Pro Gaiters for those multi days away without drying facilities, heard they are hard to get on but this guy does it easy

Yes we know no boot is waterproof and it's got a big hole in it, but having paid a lot of money for a goretex winter boot I was expecting a better performance without leaks, having one wet foot that's hard to dryout isn't my idea of good gear.
In reply to Garbhanach: then again, you are not testing it in outdoor conditions. In your bath test, the boot is perpetually exposed to water, so it ain't surprising some gets through. when using a boot outdoors, boots aren't perpetually in water, gravity allows watet to run off etc. I don't think your bath test can be interpreted for outdoor (i.e. normal) use.
Garbhanach - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains: itsThere above supplied this link
Which shows the indoor tests they do on goretex boots, there is obviously something wrong when both boots had the same indoor test but one ended up with a whole lot more water in it.
If you are wearing outside and you get the leather and the insulation wet and water is also getting in then effectvely the boot goretex is constantly wet and in this case the water was collecting in the bottom of the boot about half an hour after the boot was removed from the water.
Pero - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Garbhanach: The key characterictic of Goretex is not that it's waterproof, but that it's relatively waterproof and breathable. An old-fashioned plastic mac would be far more waterproof than a Goretex jacket, but none of your sweat would escape and you'd end up getting wet from the inside.

A pair of treated leather boots is going to be far more waterproof than Goretex, but Goretex will be relatively waterproof and allow your feet to breathe - and, they will be much lighter.

So, I prefer my Goretex walking boots when it's not too wet and I get the right balance of waterproofness, lightness and comfort. If it's very wet or deep snow, then I would turn to 3-4 season leather boots.

gethin_allen on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Pero:
A pair of treated leather boots is going to be far more waterproof than Goretex, but Goretex will be relatively waterproof and allow your feet to breathe - and, they will be much lighter.

Goretex claim a hydrostatic head of 28,000 mm which is more waterproof that pretty much any leather unless treated with varnish.

They also guarantee their products will be "waterproof".

If it leaks it's defective so take it back (caveats for wear and tear).

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