Take a look at our handy guide and think about which footwear is right for your wet weather needs.

In the words of Gore-Tex themselves “the rain is a tyrant”. In the UK especially amongst other places, you will notice that even during Summer, there sure is a lot of water! If you’re a hillwalker you’ll certainly have seen for yourself what something as simple as morning dew can do to an unlined pair of walking shoes having likely soaked through in just a few steps. This is the say nothing of puddles, moorland bogs, shallow streams just too wide to hop over, and of course everybody’s favourite topic of conversation, the rain. But of course, we’re not the type to let a little wet put us off, so what is the solution? It’s obvious.

Waterproof-lined boots and shoes are the perfect solutions to our soggy climate, keeping your feet dry through miles and miles of good British sog. Of course Gore-Tex, certainly the world’s most highly recommended and beloved maker of durable waterproof technologies provides a superb technology and solution to those soggy days. In their own words “From mountain sports to days exploring cafes and galleries, GORE-TEX footwear is designed for a wide range of activities. With optimized breathability and GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY™ protection your feet stay dry and comfortable, all day, all year round.”

Amongst our expansive and varied range of footwear, we have loads of Gore-Tex lined options all designed to fill an intended terrain, foot shape, or activity perfect for all your hillwalking needs, but which is right for you? What could possibly be the difference between all this footwear when in fact all of it will keep your feet dry? Read on as we unpack just what makes a Gore-lined shoe so perfect for our climate and settle some differences in our vast Gore-lined footwear range.

Gore-Tex Linings

Undoubtedly a huge name in the outdoor industry, synonymous with hard wearing, technical and breathable waterproof garments and footwear. It is the original, waterproof but breathable fabric, repelling liquid water while allowing water vapour to pass through. Made of stretched polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) more commonly known as Teflon, it has also been found very useful outside of the outdoor gear world, including its use in space suits, preserving illuminated manuscripts and heart patches.

Gore-tex footwear is built in a very special way which ensures as high performance and protection for the foot and lining as possible. If we imagine a boot from the outside going in, gore footwear will have the following layers.

1. The upper material. This often takes the form of leather or another tough water resistant textile such as tight woven nylon. This is the layer on the outside of the boot and is always visible (unless its covered in mud). This layer is obviously the main armour of the shoe and protects your foot from the outside terrain. Though often treated with a water resistant wax when leather or spray otherwise, it is not completely waterproof and that is where your 2nd layer comes in, can you guess?
2. The Gore-Tex lining, sitting just beneath the outer layer is a fully laminated in specially footwear shaped sock constructed of Gore-Tex. This sock is your absolute protection from the wet and it does this job remarkably well while still allowing your feet to breath and not get too hot and damp from sweat. This is what makes Gore-Tex so much better than wearing a plastic bag in your boot. Gore-Tex keeps your dry and comfortable all day and thanks to its PTFE construction it remains very tough ensuring very reliable long term use. But just because it’s tough, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still protect it from the huge amount of abrasion which occurs while walking, that is where the next layer comes in.

3. The internal membrane/isolation layer. Sitting beneath the Gore-Tex liner sits an internal membrane that helps shield the lining from the natural abrasion which occurs inside the boot while walking. Avid hillwalkers can walk many many miles over the lifetime of a good walking boot, so it is very important that the lining is protected. In some models, you will also find this layer between the upper and Gore-Tex as well to really ensure very long-term durability.

4. The comfort lining. Of course, a good piece of walking footwear needs to be comfortable and that is where the comfort lining comes in, not only does it provide a good hold around the foot ensuring optimum performance but also it provides much-needed padding in venerable areas. Often this lining can come padded for optimal insulation, this is very necessary for cold weather conditions in order to keep the feet warm but another great use of the inner lining is that it wicks moisture away from the foot ensuring that it is also dry from sweat.

Every Gore-Tex lined boot comes with this same layer system in common. With all that is similar to our huge range of walking shoes and boots, what could possibly make them so different from each other?

Footwear for the right activity

Choosing footwear for the correct activity can certainly be a daunting task but we’re here to help. Here is a selection of Gore-Tex footwear that we feel covers many levels of UK Hillwalking.

The Scarpa Vortex GTX – Great for breathability and performance.

An absolutely superb walking shoe that is lightweight and very tough. You may prefer a walking shoe for lighter terrain and lighter weight. If you’re not looking for the ankle support of a boot and would rather let your foot breathe, this is an excellent option. This popular shoe really makes the most of its Gore-Tex liner’s ability to breathe by utilising foam mesh across the upper of the shoe which optimises breathability and comfort while the surrounding Nubuck (brushed leather for added breathability and scuff resistance) does a terrific job of protecting the foot and lining from the ground terrain. Of our walking shoe range, the Vortex GTX really stands out in its ability to tackle tough terrain with its outstandingly tough Vibram Dynatech sole whilst still remaining comfortable and lightweight.

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The Scarpa Mistral GTX – Great breathability and ankle support for 2-3 seasons.

This popular 2-3 season waterproof walking boot has been updated for 2018 without losing best qualities. The upper still features the 1.8mm suede leather with Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining for waterproof and breathable protection and a new additional lace lock for precise fit adjustment.

The New Energy 2 Vibram platform has an increased rubber content for added durability and a new PU midsole with “structured ribs” provides a more supportive and progressive flex with less hinge than the original. An additional felt layer enhances the bond between the outsole and midsole whilst contributing to a more supportive and durable chassis. Revised last with increased volume in the t-box equates to a more refined and comfortable fit. Perfect for occasional walkers or those buying their first pair of boots.

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The Meindl Meran GTX – Optimum Comfort and Ankle Support.

The Meindl Meran GTX walking boot is designed as part of the Comfort-Fit range for hikers with wider feet.
Perfect for those in search of a wider fit, the Comfort-fit last offers more space at the front of the foot, with no tapering, and a firm grip on the heel. The extra width gives more room for your toes, especially across the flex point. The footbed is wider and more supportive than standard footbeds, because it gives you more surface area to stand on. The shock absorber reduces the impact of each footstep, while a fleece covering and integrated pad supply even greater comfort.
The upper is made from waxed nubuck leather with a GORE-TEX lining adding to the boots comfort with good breathability for a leather boot, making the boot durable, as well as fully waterproof and protective in all conditions.
The Meran GTX is the ideal introductory boot for walking and trekking. Perfect for high alpine pastures, low mountain ranges and on maintained paths.

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The Meindl Kansas GTX – Superb protection from the elements.

The Meindl Men’s Kansas GTX is ideal for demanding hikes in the low-level mountains and easy trekking trips in the major mountain ranges of the world.
The 3-season Kansas GTX is made from waxed nubuck leather uppers which is your standard nubuck and a rubber toe-cap giving you protection across a wide variety of terrains. The boot has a GORE-TEX membrane for waterproofing, an Air-Active footbed to wick moisture away from the foot, a Digafix lacing system for the perfect hold, and excellent cushioning to provide day-long comfort.
The Meindl Multigrip sole tread has an open angle so that it self-cleans as you walk. The cleats at the front of the heel project forward, providing more bite and grip and the cleats in the centre of the sole make sure that the tread grips in all directions.
The Kansas GTX is a classic trekking boot. Perfect for lengthy walks and comfortable hikes in a gentle alpine landscape to demanding hikes in the mountains.

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The Scarpa Ranger GTX – Full grain leather, great protection and performance.

The Ranger’s has been a huge classic appealing to walkers and ramblers over many years. The new and updated Activ Fit is a fundamental update to the last (the shape the boot is built around), sole, footbed (insole) and overall design.

These four elements combine to give better straight-from-the-box comfort for the typical UK walker. Now featuring the BD last, which offers improved fit and increased performance while the Hi-Flex midsole offers the optimum balance of support and walking comfort and a Gore-Tex liner to help keep moisture out.

Like Ranger boots before, this one is a perfect companion to ramble and walk the paths and hills all across the UK, with a waterproof Gore-Tex lining, Vibram sole, and quality calf leather to ensure your feet are dry and comfortable.

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