Monday, 29 March 2010

Waterpoof footwear and breathable fabrics

So, if Goretex and eVent are breathable does that mean when they are put in shoes they are just as breathable as in coats? Well, the membrane is as breathable but generally your feet will feel hotter than in a pair of non waterproof boots. The reason is quite simple, your feet generally get very hot and achy, especially after a long days walking and the boots do not have anywhere for the heat to go.

The only hole in your waterproof boots in filled with your foot and the hot air cannot escape from there. The waterproof membrane is breathable but there is soo many layers of padding, membrane, leather or fabric and plastic heel cups that its hard for the moisture vapour to escape.

So what are the best shoes to wear?

Well the first question we are asked is are these boots waterproof? Of course the boots which are waterproof are the ones which are less breathable than the ones which aren't. My recommendation is that if you need the guarantee that your feet stay dry then buy waterproof boots. Leather ones such as the Meindl Burma GTX are guaranteed waterproof and should you damage the Goretex in a few years time you can wax them with Sportwax or Nikwax and make them as waterproof as any other leather boot.

If you are going to a hot place and need some boots which are breathable (and want more support than sandals) then I suggest you a leather boot without a membrane or a lighter approach shoe such as a Merrell or Salomon.

Please let me know your experiences with boots.

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