Is Gore-Tex Too Hot for Summer?

A pair of Nike Gore-Tex shoes, during winter (not summer).

We’ll take a guess and say you’ll probably roll your eyes after reading the following: now that summer has emerged from its sleep (the debatable part), one can’t help but wonder if a pair of Gore-Tex hiking shoes will prove to be too hot for it. In other words: are Gore-Tex simply too hot for summer? Well, you’re about to find out!

Maybe there are some of you that might ask: Okay, first of all, what exactly is Gore-Tex? Is that some brand or something? If you’re one of those curious folks, you’ll be happy to know that we’ll also answer these questions in the text you’ll find below. Besides, of course, discussing whether Gore-Tex’s just too hot for summer!

Most hikers would agree that using Gore-Tex boots during the summer months is completely fine. Even if they feel a bit warm, it’s still better than walking around with wet feet. However, if you’re hiking in tropical regions (Thailand) and your feet are prone to sweat a bit too much, you might want to choose another type of footwear. 

Simply reading just the preview won’t help you battle hot summer temperatures. Read the whole thing!

What is Gore-Tex?

First things first, know that it ain’t some kind of obscure fashion brand loved by horror fans or something. Let’s give you something of a standard definition: Gore-Tex is a type of waterproof, breathable fabric, invented by W. L. Gore & Associates (we already told Gore doesn’t stand for gore) back in 1969. Okay, so what’s so special about Gore-Tex? Well, the thing is: it can repel liquid water while, at the same time, enabling the water vapor to pass. The inventors of Gore-Tex had designed it to be a pretty lightweight fabric for the so-called all-weather use.

Whether or not that last sentence was completely true, we’ll figure out pretty soon. Anyway, here’s some boring info for die-hard fans:

  • Gore-Tex consists of PTFE (stretched polytetrafluoroethylene) or, as its more popular name reads, Teflon. 

Okay, not that that’s clear, let’s see if there’s some additional info we’d like to mention in this first section. Also, if you’re wondering what’s the main difference between Thinsulate and Gore-Tex, please click here.

What is Gore-Tex used for?

Once you’ve read the paragraph above, it’s fairly natural of you to ask: so, why are we mentioning Gore-Tex here, at Outdoor Is Home? Here’s the main reason:

  • Gore-Tex is mostly used in the outdoor equipment and sportswear manufacturing industry. Its properties make it an ideal fabric for these kinds of activities since the material’s waterproof, windproof, and highly breathable. For instance, Gore-Tex-lined boots will keep your feet dry, protected, and comfy, regardless of the conditions outside, whether you’re walking through a muddy terrain or hiking during wintertime. 

Alright, now that we’ve answered some basic Gore-Tex-related questions, it’s time to consider the main one: is Gore-Tex too hot for summer? Stay tuned!

A pair of Gore-Tex shoes during summer.

Is Gore-Tex too hot for summer?

They’re a pretty good piece of equipment for hiking in cold or moist places, but let’s see if Gore-Tex-lined boots are just too hot for summer. The thing is: if you were to browse online forums that revolve around hiking, you’d see that most folks choose to wear Gore-Tex boots all year round. We’ll further elaborate on that!

Most hikers would agree that even though Gore-Tex-lined boots can get a bit warm during the summer, especially if you’re used to hiking in places that experience pretty extreme weather during that season, they’re still their number one choice. As one of them noted: better a little warm than damp. 

However, there are some different opinions we’d like to point out. Some folks note that wearing Gore-Tex footwear in certain places such as Thailand or Mexico can be a bit troublesome during the hottest period of the year. Gore-Tex liners don’t let any of your sweat out. Therefore, if you’re used to having sweaty feet, there’s a good chance that your feet will become macerated, which is, you’ll agree, something that’s not good. Gore-Tex liners are breathable and they allow the sweat to exit as vapor, but sometimes it’s just not enough, some hikers add.

All in all: whether or not Gore-Tex-lined boots are too hot for the summer will depend on where exactly are you headed (tropical conditions or not) and what kind of activities you plan on doing. Also, knowing whether your feet tend to be too sweaty will also prove beneficial when figuring out whether to wear Gore-Tex-lined hiking boots.

Okay, now that we’ve seen whether Gore-Tex is too hot for summer, let’s consider some other questions related to our main subject for today.

Can Gore-Tex boots get wet inside?

As we’ve already said, Gore-Tex is a material that doesn’t allow any liquid to pass through. If you notice that your feet are wet after wearing Gore-Tex liners, that might signal something’s wrong. Here we’ll show you three scenarios in which this happens.

#1 The liners are damaged in this way or another

One of the reasons why your Gore-Tex boots might be wet inside is that the liner membrane itself is damaged in this way or another. It can happen because of footwear abuse by the user or a defect left by the manufacturer. It’s usually a small tear or puncture, but big enough to make your feet wet. However, this probably isn’t really the cause of your wet feet since it really takes a lot to harm the Gore-Tex membrane in your outdoor boots since it’s not exposed to the environment.

#2 The absence of breathability

Needless to say, the feet are one of the sweatiest places on your body. Come to think about it, the only sweatier place on your precious body is your armpit. Chances are that you’ll produce your “feet juice” (what an ugly syntagm!) faster than your Gore-Tex liners can allow it to simply pass through. Therefore, there’s a chance that if the surface of your Gore-Tex boots gets completely saturated with water (which is a common thing), the sweat will be trapped inside the boot. A single day’s hike worth of sweat will stay right where it came to be. 

#3 It might be your socks

The thing is: if you’re hiking for prolonged periods of time surrounded by heavy rain or snow, or you’re traversing through tall wet grass, there’s a good chance your socks will “invite” dampness into your shoes. How to handle this issue? Well, for instance, you can opt for rain pants that go all the way over your hiking boots, or obtain some waterproof gaiters that will prevent your boot tops and ankles from getting wet. Or, of course, you can wear ’em both at the same time.

However, that method we’ve shown you isn’t ideal. By wearing both items, you’ll form a so-called sweat box around your lower legs. Needless to say, that won’t feel so pleasant and it will enhance your interior moisture generation. Also, speaking of rain paints and everything, we’ve published an article about whether they can be altered.

Keeping your Gore-Tex boots in good shape

Wondering how to maintain your Gore-Tex boots and keep them in good shape? If that’s so, we’ve prepared a little guide on how to do it below.

Step #0: Gather ingredients

First of all, let’s how you just what exactly will you need for the procedure. Obtain these items:

  • Cloth or brush. 
  • Lukewarm water. 
  • Mild dish detergent.
  • Boot drier (not necessary)
  • Stain remover (not necessary). 
  • Water repellent Treatment (not necessary). 

Step #1: Shake the boots

Once you’ve got all the ingredients ready, it’s time you begin with the clean-up. First things first, remove the laces and afterward shake out all the sand, gravel, or dirt that might’ve found their way inside your boots. If you’re able to do it, death and shake out the footbed or the insole also.

Step #2: Where’s that brush?

Next up, you’ll want to utilize your trusty brush and remove the loose dirt. Afterward, use your cloth, liquid detergent, and lukewarm water combo on your shoe. If we’re talking leather shoes, please check the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s instructions. Strictly avoid:

  • using bleach. 
  • putting your boots in the washing machine. 

Step #3: It’s drying time

Once the washing part’s over, you’ll want to dry your shoes naturally at a moderate temperature, outside the path of direct sun. Also, avoid applying direct heat. Here’s our suggestion since it’s not good to let your boots stay wet for too long: use a convection-style boot dryer. 

Step #4: Re-apply the repellent

So, the boot is dry? Re-apply the durable water repellent, the so-called DWR. You’ll want to use a water-based restorative, that’s available as a pump spray. Avoid using any waterproofing waxes or greases. Because? Because they can have a negative effect on your Gore-Tex-lined footwear’s breathability.

For more tips on hiking footwear, check this page out.

A quick goodbye note

Okay, so that’s all there’s to say about the issue of Gore-Tex being too hot for the summer and all the related info. When you take into consideration the way we format articles here, that is. Anyway, for more tips and info on other outdoor-related subjects, pay a visit to our blog page.

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