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Slightly different boots question

Gore Tex or Not in Boots?

  • Gore Tex Lined Boots

    Votes: 4 100.0%
  • No Gore Tex

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Hi all - it seems like the answer to the "what type of boot/shoe" question is really what works best for the individual...however.. I'm curious to know what people think of Gore-Tex for boots? Seems to me it could get a bit sweaty with it, especially in leather boots (which i'll probably go for)...what does everyone else think?
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I wore Brasher Lightweight boots with Gortex liner when I walked my first camino on the Camino Frances in May June July 2002 and my feet were far too hot. There are however lots of opportunities to soak the feet and the irrigation water is flowing down canals and ditches from the mountains so it is beautifully cool!

I wore the same boots in November 2003 and they were just right at that time of year.

In the Spring of 2007 I intend to walk the Via de la Plata and have decided that the best solution for my feet is a pair of Mephisto non Goretex leather boots (medium weight) plus a pair of Mephisto walking sandals and to alternate them as circumstances dictate. From past experience I know that leather boots with plenty of dubbin worked into them are adequately waterproof.

Have been trying this combination out along the paths by the Thames in fairly warm weather and they both seem right.


Hi Martin,

I have walked the St Jean to Santiago leg twice, once in June, once in September. My take on footwear is while you might have a few wet days, gortex leather boots would probably be overkill. Breathability is more an issue than keeping your feet dry. I wore full boots the first time and cursed them much of the way. Blisters are usually caused by hot sweaty feet so the cooler the better! You should only have about 20 pounds, including water, on your back so ankle support isn't much of a problem. Nasty pointy rocks will be more of a problem if the Way is in the same condition as last year (across the meseta).

You will have a lot of long more or less flat (beautiful) days and only a few actual "hiking" days. A sturdier pair of trail runners or lightweight hikers like the Vasque Margas would be good. If waterproofing is a concern maybe check out the The North Face Ultra 103 Gore-Tex XCR shoes.

A pair of Tevas are also good for lounging and if you do end up with needing to let your feet rest from your normal shoes for a day. Be sure to go for a few long walks in them though to see where straps might rub and build up a few callouses if you can.

Buen camino!

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THank you for the comments guys! We're still planning to go with non gore-tex leather boots. I think Gore-tex is amazing stuff in clothing but not in boots, too much heat and not enough ventilation for gore tex to work properly.

I have considered the idea of getting just sturdy trail shoes but really we need something that will do us for our training walks (across the lake district) and hopefully for the inca trail too. Admittedly that will be hot but good strong boots are a must I'd say.

Thank you agian for the comments - however many reviews you read its always good to hear someones specific opinion directly.


Hi Martin

I've just come back from the Camino Frances. I took leather boots and found them horribly hot in the extreme conditions on the meseta (temps in the 40s were being reported). I don't get blisters normally but I gotr them in spades this time. It helped to only lace the lower part of the boot and let your feet pump air, but you need good friction free socks. I ended up buying a pair of trekking sandals and though I wouldn't want to walk long distances in them, it was great to put them on for a couple of spells during the day to let my feet recover.

I have no experience of gortex.
i'd second my strong preference for trekking shoes over boots (certainly from may to sept the weather and paths should be predominantly dry) - and there are better alternatives to goretex (waterproof socks such as sealskinz and just carrying socks and changing them when wet)
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I've got a pair of Gore-Tex boots. Yes, they're rather on the warm side (ahem!) but on the whole, they were ok. Obviously cooler is ideal.

If you do end up with boots, my advice would be to concentrate on getting yourself a decent pair of socks. I've used Bridgedales and Smartwool and I'd say without a shadow of a doubt that the Smartwools were better. They're 70% wool so wick sweat away nicely, they form well to your feet so they don't bunch up under your toes and cause blisters. Might be worth considering getting a couple of pairs of Coolmax type liner socks as well. Now I know you might think that these will only make your feet hotter, but actually they're rather good! Have a play and let us know what you think!

Buen Camino!
yea, non goretex is the way to go. id say goretex is a complete and utter waste (in its current condition.) Goretex is really a marketing strategy. buyer goes to store and asks salesman what he needs, saleman says you need goretex. buyer buys goretex and blows some odd $ on a piece of crap fabric. ive ranted enough about goretex garbage in other threads here. the only time, ONLY time, its ever any good is if you step into a puddle, or if crossing a stream you get a little splash on the shoe. other than that its pointless to wear it. even in clothing, its still pointless and rainsuits cost some god awful amount of money with goretex in them. just wear a trash bag (not so fashionable but works a hell of a lot better than any fancy pants goretex)

goretex is invented to get from your house to your car or your car to the office or to walk to the tube or bus etc.

if goretex is so wonderful why dont they add goretex liners to backpacks.

anyone out there ever have any good experience with the stuff?

i hiked 300 miles through vermont mts on the LT and i wish i never brought goretex boots. when it rained it would be about 4 miles before getting soaked through, thats using gators as well.

ill never buy anything goretex again. not to mention the crap breaks down faster than any other "waterproof" material.

hehe once water gets in your boot it never gets out and they never dry, well after 3 days of hiking they might dry out.



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