Forum Index > Gear Talk > footwear: to go waterproofed(/resistant) or not
Previous :: Next Topic  

When hiking in the pnw during the shoulder seasons are your boots/shoes/whatever waterproof or not?
waterproof
56%
 56%  [ 13 ]
not waterproof
43%
 43%  [ 10 ]
Total Votes : 23

Author Message
mjaker
Member
Member


Joined: 20 Oct 2020
Posts: 2 | TRs

mjaker
  Top

Member
PostTue Oct 20, 2020 10:27 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
After about a decade of sloth I'm ready to get back on the trail! Realistically I'll be a weekend warrior with 1 or 2 multi-day outings a year.

While reading up on what's what I was surprised to read that waterproof footwear is NOT necessarily the gold standard anymore... I'm trying not to dismiss this idea out of hand but I'm having trouble finding info on what the locals are using these days.

I'm adding a poll to this post to get feedback on what y'all are wearing on your feet while backpacking in the rain.

Thanks,
jake
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 7565 | TRs
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
  Top

Snarky Member
PostTue Oct 20, 2020 10:51 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I got a pair of these last spring and have been very pleased

https://www.sierra.com/alico-made-in-italy-tahoe-hiking-boots-nubuck-for-men~p~760dn/?filterString=s~alico%2F

Treated with this

https://www.obenaufs.com/heavy-duty-leather-preservative-s/111.htm

FWIW:  Boots with Gore-Tex membranes are also waterproof -- but usually only for a while -- the gore-tex membrane breaks down much faster than the boot sole wears out -- so Gore-Tex boots will be leaking long before other parts of the boot are worn down.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
texasbb
Misplaced Texan



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 1033 | TRs
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
texasbb
  Top

Misplaced Texan
PostWed Oct 21, 2020 8:42 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Assumption:  You're talking about 3-season hiking, not winter.

The wetter it is outside, the less useful waterproof boots are.

If it's raining, without careful layering of waterproof gaiters and pants, boots are very likely to get wet inside even if the boot itself is perfectly waterproof.  Waterproof boots stop water from moving either direction, so once water gets in, they won't dry out for days.  Royal pain.

IMO, the primary benefit of waterproof boots is they keep dust and fine sand out (assuming you've covered the tops with some scree gaiters or something).  But dust is not a problem in the rain.

Disclaimer:  I can almost never find non-waterproof boots/shoes in my size, so I regularly violate my own advice.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
coldrain108
Thundering Herd



Joined: 05 Aug 2010
Posts: 1608 | TRs
Location: somewhere over the rainbow
coldrain108
  Top

Thundering Herd
PostWed Oct 21, 2020 9:07 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Randito wrote:
I got a pair of these last spring and have been very pleased

https://www.sierra.com/alico-made-in-italy-tahoe-hiking-boots-nubuck-for-men~p~760dn/?filterString=s~alico%2F

Treated with this

https://www.obenaufs.com/heavy-duty-leather-preservative-s/111.htm

FWIW:  Boots with Gore-Tex membranes are also waterproof -- but usually only for a while -- the gore-tex membrane breaks down much faster than the boot sole wears out -- so Gore-Tex boots will be leaking long before other parts of the boot are worn down.

I totally agree with this approach.  I'm 6 years into a pair of Alico leather (no GTX) boots slathered in Obenaufs.  My feet stay dry and comfortable.  I bought a second pair at the same time and am just now breaking in the back-ups.  The first pair are still good but it is time to prepare for the next ones. 

They fit great right out of the box.

--------------
"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch and do nothing"  - Albert Einstein
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
mjaker
Member
Member


Joined: 20 Oct 2020
Posts: 2 | TRs

mjaker
  Top

Member
PostWed Oct 21, 2020 11:42 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
texasbb wrote:
Waterproof boots stop water from moving either direction, so once water gets in, they won't dry out for days.  Royal pain.

Assuming the footware is soaked, how do you go about drying out your non-waterproof boots on a rainy multi-day hike and how long (in general) does it take?
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Cyclopath
Faster than light



Joined: 20 Mar 2012
Posts: 4643 | TRs
Location: Seattle
Cyclopath
  Top

Faster than light
PostWed Oct 21, 2020 3:28 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
If it's really rainy, your feet are going to get wet eventually.  My existence has been that waterproof shoes and boots don't stay that way for long.

I wear wool socks, and deal with it.  Dry shoes and socks in the car.  (Dry pants and shirt too if I need them.)

I'm not going backpacking if/where prolonged rain is likely.  In the winter I'm going to be on skis, not hiking.  Saying this to put my answer into perspective.

If you're willing to drive longer, you'll often find drier weather on the eastern slope.  I can't count the number of days it's rained from as far west as you can see to about 10 miles E of the pass.  That fact features heavily in people's footwear choices.   smile.gif   agree.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Chief Joseph
Member
Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 5636 | TRs
Location: What Verlot Forgot.
Chief Joseph
  Top

Member
PostWed Oct 21, 2020 3:44 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I have all leather boots and keep them treated with Obenaf's or Mink Oil. Another trick that I learned while trail riding in very wet conditions is to put in some thick wool insoles and wear heavy wool socks ( I have some Alpaka socks that are awesome). Those two things will soak up a lot of water, thus keeping your feet and the inside of your boots drier. I just picked up some Solomon high topped winter waterproof boots at a thrift store for less than 20 bucks in as new condition. They are a bit big which is good so more room for thick socks, insoles, and breath ability. I haven't worn them much so not sure how "Waterproof" they are yet. They are similar to these. https://www.backcountry.com/salomon-toundra-pro-cswp-boot-mens?skid=SAL00S8-BLA-S7&ti=UExQIEJyYW5kOlNhbG9tb24gTWVuJ3MgV2ludGVyIEJvb3RzICYgU2hvZXM6MTo0OjYxX2JjLW1lbnMtd2ludGVyLWJvb3RzLXNob2Vz

--------------
Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
texasbb
Misplaced Texan



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 1033 | TRs
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
texasbb
  Top

Misplaced Texan
PostWed Oct 21, 2020 4:00 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
mjaker wrote:
texasbb wrote:
Waterproof boots stop water from moving either direction, so once water gets in, they won't dry out for days.  Royal pain.

Assuming the footware is soaked, how do you go about drying out your non-waterproof boots on a rainy multi-day hike and how long (in general) does it take?

I'll pull the insoles out and squeeze what I can out of them, leave them out overnight, then put them back in the wet boots in the morning.  Rarely will a boot be completely dry after a rainy soaking until I get back home.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski
><((((>



Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 11415 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((>
PostThu Oct 22, 2020 3:03 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
here we go again:

> 1. leather boot (NO Gore-Tex)
+ 2. Obenauf's LP
+ 3. gaiters if it's really really wet.

= 4. dry feet.

this is not rocket science.

but thanks for reminding me that I need to dope up those cheapie Timberlands with another proper dose of Obenauf's before I go out after more chanterelles. up.gif

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Downhill
Member
Member


Joined: 30 Jul 2018
Posts: 242 | TRs
Location: Leavenworth
Downhill
  Top

Member
PostThu Oct 29, 2020 8:32 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Nope, I would never choose "waterproof" hiking shoes.  No shoe material will keep water out when hiking through rain-soaked, dew-soaked...... if it's wet, your feet will get wet regardless. 

There are three downfalls to "waterproof" shoes IMO:

1.   They ain't close to being anymore waterproof than any other shoe (marketing hype)
2.  They charge you more $$ for the fallacy of the claim of being waterproof.
3.  These shoes DON'T BREATH!!!   Your feel boil on hot summer days and your feet and your shoes will smell like 100 cats used them as litter boxes.

As Nancy Reagan said, "Just Say No To Waterproof Hiking Shoes!"
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Slide Alder Slayer
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2002
Posts: 1939 | TRs

Slide Alder Slayer
  Top

Member
PostSat Oct 31, 2020 12:14 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
There has always been a debate on this subject over the years on this forum based on individual experience. Some never had a problem and others never find a pair of waterproof footwear that have not leaked. Personally, I would not be surprised if the same boot has been used by both sides with different results.

My experience has been with silicone impregnated 2.7 to 3.1mm full grain leather non Gortex Scarpa boots going back more than a few years up to the modern La Sportiva GTX mixed terrain like the Evo Tech Leather and Nepal Evo, and Lowa Mountain Expert.

That being said I always clean and retreat at least after every two trips to maintain breathability; consequently, I have never had an issue with waterproofness.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Dante
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 2785 | TRs

Dante
  Top

Member
PostSun Nov 01, 2020 9:38 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Another vote for all full grain leather boots with Obenaufs or a similar boot treatment.

All of the Gore-Tex boots I have owned over the years began leaking way sooner than they should have (well before the sole or upper were worn out).  I use a variation of the Army's Multi-Component Boot System (MCBS).  See Infantry March - April 1989, pages 14 - 17 (pages 16 - 19 of the linked PDF).  From the inside out, it consists of liner socks, wool socks of a uniform thickness to provide padding and insulation, Rocky Gore-Tex socks (when required), boots with unlined leather uppers, and gaiters (if required).  The linked article also has some great advice on taking care of your feet.

For what it's worth, here are the components I currently use:

Injinji liner toesocks.  Before I started using these, I would often get a blister on my small toe where it rubbed against the next toe.

Woolpower Ullfrotte Original Socks.  Expensive, but worth it.  I like the heavy 800 g/m2 socks.

Norwegian M77 combat boots.  These fit me well and work great for most of my boot needs, but they aren't super stiff.  If I expect to be kicking steps in snow or going off trail on very steep terrain, I'll wear my old Limmers.  There is also an Estonian made version, which is cheaper.  The nice thing about the M77s is they are unpadded (except for a little fiberpile padding inside the tounge) and unlined, so they dry super fast if they get wet (e.g. fording a stream).

Rocky Gore-Tex Socks.  I own these, but have only used them a couple times and question their necessity.

OR Crocodile Gore-Tex Gaitors.  These rarely get used except for snowshoeing.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Cyclopath
Faster than light



Joined: 20 Mar 2012
Posts: 4643 | TRs
Location: Seattle
Cyclopath
  Top

Faster than light
PostTue Nov 03, 2020 1:11 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I pretty much only wear New Balance 840v4 these days and for the foreseeable future.  I'm still trying to get over tendinitis in my foot.  It doesn't bother me much, sometimes not at all, when I wear nothing but 840s.  If I wear other shoes (or let these wear out) I start getting more and more pain.  They aren't waterproof, obviously being right is more important than being "waterproof."

This is specific to me, and I'm sure no one in this thread has the same foot issue that those shoes help with.  But in a bigger sense I want to point out that there are a lot of important things in shoes, a lot of reasons people might be wise to choose footwear that isn't waterproof.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Gear Talk > footwear: to go waterproofed(/resistant) or not
  Happy Birthday i8seattle, MrDobalina907, olympichiker77!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy