Footware: Waterproof AND breathable options. (1 Viewer)

trashswag86

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Ok, so I’ve most of my gear figured out, which wasn’t that hard for the most part, but I’ve gone back and forth on what footware would be best. I’ve got these nubuck Timberlands that I picked up from a thrift store for 30 bucks, and I *love* that classic look, but ultimately I’m not wanting to look good, I’m wanting to be as utilitarian and not miserable as I possibly can. The net tells me nubuck leather loses it’s waterproofing when dirty. I’m assuming that’s not a gross exageration to get me to buy nubuck leather cleaner, which would be a hassle and more weight and space than I wanna carry. Plus these boots are heavy. I did consider getting the same boot in full grain leather, but other than style I’m just not convinced that I need them. I’ve read stuff online that suggests that ankle support isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, that you can still hurt your ankles and the best method to avoid it is to stretch and strengthen them. I’ll leave it to you to investigate this point further, since it’s not my primary concern.

My main concern is moisture. So for awhile I tried to find a boot/shoe that was *both* highly breathable and waterproof. The Vasque Breeze III looks like it’s up there. It's nubuck and gore-tex mesh vents. But the durability doesn’t sound to be to good, plus I don’t want nubuck.
Something somewhat in this category, but with purportedly very good durability would be the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoe. It’s thinner material dries out faster than more rugged goretex hiking boots/shoes. (This one is still in my list of considerations -either with or without goretex)

Then I considered getting some gore-tex trail runners and a pair of hiking sandals. Like yeah, I would be packing my shoes on hot days. This is maybe not a bad idea if you’ve got some seriously lightweight trail runners.

I briefly considered jungle boots, but those would be death in cold and wet conditions, and probably really not that great even in warm and wet conditions.

Now, I’ve stumbled across waterproof socks! Never knew this was a thing. I’ve still yet to read enough reports to know what I think of these. They vary greatly in terms of durability, waterproofness, breathability, warmth, and comfort. So I’m wondering if I could just skip the waterproofing all together with the footware, get some 3 season boots or shoes, and have one or two pairs of these socks ready for the rain? Anybody got thoughts on these? Some of them are pretty spendy, but they'd let me be less picky with the shoes I end up with.

Here's a review on some different wp socks

Here's an opinion article on why you might skip boots for shoes
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

Jerrell

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Everyone's feet are different, but I bought some HI-TEC Gunnison II Mid Men's Waterproof Hiking Boots a couple months ago and they've held up well so far to desert life, urban walking, and multiple terrain type hikes. First boots I've ever had that didn't need to be broken in. Wear wool or wool hybrid socks.

(Looks like the boots are on sale right now too.)
 
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trashswag86

trashswag86

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Everyone's feet are different, but I bought some HI-TEC Gunnison II Mid Men's Waterproof Hiking Boots a couple months ago and they've held up well so far to desert life, urban walking, and multiple terrain type hikes. First boots I've ever had that didn't need to be broken in. Wear wool or wool hybrid socks.

(Looks like the boots are on sale right now too.)
That's true. Some people's feet sweat more.

What's the temps in that desert this time of year?
 
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trashswag86

trashswag86

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After reading a lot of reviews, I've decided to go with Rocky goretex socks. They're different from other waterproof socks in that they're made to go over your regular socks. They themselves have no cushioning or wicking. I'm reading that these plus mesh trail runners are a more breathable option than leather plus goretex. And they don't retain water, so drying out time should be swift. Plus non-wp trail runners are obviously gonna dry out faster than wp ones. Original price is 60, which I wouldn't have done, but on Amazon they're 35. One pair. Worth a shot. Found the sizing (in cm) on their website, cause these things don't stretch. (except on the top of the shock, so for width but not length)
I'm thinking I'll be able to wear them both with either my darn tough socks (good warmth without being to bulky) or over some thrift store nylon dress socks when the darn tough ones are to warm under them.
When/where it's real hot temps, I'll just go without waterproofing.

In addition to these, I've got some nylon gaitors and poncho, to fill out my rain gear.
I'll update this thread as soon as I get some use out of this stuff, and am able. April or May. And then again as different conditions warrant.
 
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roguetrader

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I had a pair of expensive waterproof socks given to me for Xmas one year, not long after I washed them on too high a temperature and they shrank like a crisp (potato chip) packet in a hot oven - so maybe be aware of that !

bootwise I've currently got the best waterproof & breathable boots I've ever had - and they were completely free at a homeless drop in centre I sometimes go to... they are leather / Goretex and made by the Italian company Zamberlan - I found them on line for £200 which is way above my usual price range but honestly if I had the money I'd buy a pair new coz they are incredibly comfy, hard wearing and still 99% waterproof after 18 months wear by me...
 

Older Than Dirt

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Expensive boots are one of (few) things worth spending serious money on.

For one thing, they are re-soleable unlike cheaper boots. It is possible to wear out the uppers of full-grain leather boots, but it ain't easy, and will take a very long time.

The USA-made Danners are the ones i wear. The first pair, Blackhawks, lasted me 11 years of hard use til i had to replace them after my feet got bigger (this is a thing that happens as you age). They're still in pretty good shape, waiting for my son's feet to grow. The "new" ones i bought in 2017 should last til i'm dead (or til my feet grow again).

Looks like the gummint is about to give us all free money. Spend $300 or so of yours on expensive boots. No one ever ODed or puked their guts out from spending $300 on boots.
 

DavyHex

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Got a pair of waterproof socks, but pretty much untested. Got a 'good' price, so picked up a pair. These are the two layer type; outer is a synthetic of some sort (thin) and the inner is a neoprene-like material (also thin). But two thins make a kinda thick sock and for my shape foot probably not going to work for long days of standing or hiking. My foot is wide in the forefoot/toe box and narrow in the ankle/heel. As said in comment above, they don't stretch much at all, so while they fit *mostly, the toes feel smashed together which drives me nuts. Weighing this against wet and cold... guess depends on the day and other factors. Got these with the idea I could be out on my bike with light, fast drying shoes but still keep dry-ish feet and reduce heat loss (especially when wet) from the constant breeze generated by cycling. Think they will be ok for this purpose, but don't think I could hike in them for long. One other thing, these are supposed to be air dried (no dryer). No idea what the durability of these are, but guessing it's likely on the shorter side.
 
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trashswag86

trashswag86

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Got a pair of waterproof socks, but pretty much untested. Got a 'good' price, so picked up a pair. These are the two layer type; outer is a synthetic of some sort (thin) and the inner is a neoprene-like material (also thin). But two thins make a kinda thick sock and for my shape foot probably not going to work for long days of standing or hiking. My foot is wide in the forefoot/toe box and narrow in the ankle/heel. As said in comment above, they don't stretch much at all, so while they fit *mostly, the toes feel smashed together which drives me nuts. Weighing this against wet and cold... guess depends on the day and other factors. Got these with the idea I could be out on my bike with light, fast drying shoes but still keep dry-ish feet and reduce heat loss (especially when wet) from the constant breeze generated by cycling. Think they will be ok for this purpose, but don't think I could hike in them for long. One other thing, these are supposed to be air dried (no dryer). No idea what the durability of these are, but guessing it's likely on the shorter side.
*High five!* Another potential wp-sock believer. The community will grow if we believe.✌

The Rocky goretex ones I'm getting reviewed as being extremely durable compared to other wp socks.
But yeah, sizing is tough with these. I got my pair. Size 10. I measured my feet in cm using an online ruler on my smartphone, but I done fucked up. They're mashing my tioes lengthwise.
I ordered a size 12 this time, to be sure. If anybody in OR or CA wants to try on and/or buy/trade for the size 10's I got, hit me up. List price is 60, or 70 (can't remember), I got em for 35. I'll let em go for 10 bucks, or for some naturally occurring mind agents.
 
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