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Thread: NEED boot HELP,BIG time!

  1. #1
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    Default NEED boot HELP,BIG time!

    My son's a surveyor(ALOT of walking and water)and has gone through 4 different pair of boots(3 diff brands and all with goretex)in the last year that have all leaked. Not torn up,just leak. Any suggestions besides rubber boots? Sure would APPRECIATE it!

    til later

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I was a surveyor in remote Alaska for 8 years. I quit 15 years ago and Goretex back they wasn't what it is now, but I had the exact same issues your son has. I still have the same issues with my hunting boots with Goretex now. Even with Nikwax coating my expensive Meindell boots with goretex were soaked through in two days on Kodiak. I have yet to find a leather boot that is truely long term waterproof.

    Back in the day I had three pairs of boots/shoes. Knee high rubber boots that I wore 90% of the time, a pair of Danner leathers with Goretex for dryland work when it wasn't raining and a pair of cheap hightop basketball shoes. I wore the basketball shoes out in Western Alaska when working in swamps. They outlasted anything while being constantly soaked. Hip boots were never tall enough, chest waders were too hot, knee boots never worked either. I just wore polypro long johns, pants and socks that dried fast and a pair of basketball shoes. I just jumped right into the water and let everything drain out on the other side. I never got trench foot or anything like it because I dried my feet well every night in camp.

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    What gets me is,these boots are good for about a month and that's it. Everything was good with this last pair until yesterday while surveying in tall wet grass and within an hour he could wring out his socks. I've worked outdoors for the last 30yrs and never had a boot with goretex fail me. We're talking logging,heavy construction,power line r/w maintence and storm damage. Now one difference between my son and me is that his feet sweat ALOT,even in uninsulated boots,mine do VERY rarely. He is going to contact GoreTex and see if profuse sweating over time will damage the goretex fabric allowing it to leak. Anyways,THANKS for your reply and I called and told him,as you said, he may have to go with a rubber boot.

    til later

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    Default top down wicking

    I don't know if this will help but I had some similar frustrations. Turns out the moisture was wicking from the top down.

    When walking through wet grass and/or heavy rain - water would wick through my pants to the upper part of my sock. The water would warm from my body heat as it slowly worked its way down inside my boot. I never felt it wicking until my feet were wet... By the end of the day my synthetic pants were dry so I would be confused as to why my socks were wet.

    The boot never failed. Water wicked in from above.

    Does he wear rain pants? Gators?

    As for the sweating issue. Aresol (unscented) antiperspirant with wicking liners and quality socks... Worked great for me...

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    THANKS for the info,WinMag. I'll pass it on to him.

    til later

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    i guess as a surveyor you probably want waterproof boots. i have really enjoyed by Scarpa M3s. They are all leather and have no gortex or waterproof membrane. I hike, backpack, and hunt in these in Alaska. They get wet every now and then. I wear OR Croc gators with them when it is wet out. Any all leather boot with a gortex membrane will not breath well at all. The vapor once across the membrane, does not have enough pressure to breath through leather, unlike a synthetic outer material. this will just get your feet wet and stinky inside b/c of sweat. scarpa makes some good gortex fabric outer boots as well. good luck

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    The gator suggestion is a good one. One time I wore a pair of tight fitting fleece pants in a light rain. I was amazed how much water wicked down through my pants and socks into my boots.

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    If you really want to stay dry walking through wet grass, you can't beat gruden or helly hansen bibs, and xtra tough boots. With felt insoles xtra tuoughs are fairly comfortable, and you will stay dry so long as you don't sweat too much.

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    I bought these a couple of months ago and hunted in them and walked several miles in them along with hiking up shin high creeks with no problem and the boots felt great on my feet they also make an un-insulated version too http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...602028&hasJS=t

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    THANKS for the input,guys. I talked to him this evening and he says his boots have definitely leaked through. For now he bought a pair of Rocky Bearclaws and is going to use his waterproof gaiters with them but is still going to contact GoreTex. I'll keep y'all posted.

    til later

  11. #11

    Default Boots

    I have read a lot of positive things about boots with eVENT waterproof membrane being more breathable. Manufacturers include Keen and Kayland. Hi-tec also has some different technology called Ion-mask that is supposed to be a good water proof breathable product. It may be worth investigating.
    Good luck
    Dean

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    Default My experience

    I have had a terrible time in the past with getting water in my boots especially with the Gortex. The source of the water has been sweating and wicking from above.

    This year I went to a Mendle (sp?) boot. Wore boot socks but not of the wicking type. Used a pair of gators at the boot top UNDER the pants. Then of course the pants on top. This combination worked pretty good.

    On one occasion I wore a wicking underlayer under the pants and under the gators. Some water got in the boots. I tried it with a pair of net underlayer (a la Wiggys) that does not wick and what do you know, dry boots.

    Any product that is waterproof tends to keep water in about as well as it keeps it out - the problem with Gortex - so the trick is to keep the water our to start with.

    On a separate note; those boots are about the most comfort and support ever. And they got dry pretty well at night.

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    Right now we're leaning towards the cause of the leaks being that the boots were made in China because it's the only common factor. He's got a pair of Georgia work boots with gore-tex that he used for yrs in bridge construction and they never leaked. His new Bearclaws were made in the Dominican Republic. THANKS again,guys.

    til later

  14. #14
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    When canoe camping I wear boots designed for stocking foot waders and I wear seal skin socks. My feet stay dry, the boots dry out quickly since they are designed for water. This set up worked well for portaging, walking through swappy trails, getting out of the canoe in water etc. Don't know how it would be in day after day heavy hiking.
    Last edited by fishnngrinn; 10-02-2008 at 18:21. Reason: edit
    NRA Lifetime Member

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    Smile Gators

    Rubber bottom, leather top style boots (i.e., Hoffman, Schnees, Kennetrek, L.L. Bean) with waterproof gators. All the above mentioned have uninsulated versions for mild conditions as well as medium insulated and heavy insulated for colder conditions. I have had good luck personally with Outdoor Research gators.

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    seal skin socks work great, but boy do they really start to stink. you sweat easily in them (they are neoprene). for general walking around, they should work well. not sure how they would do with a lot of uphill/downhill (ie blister formation etc)

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    Let me welcome you to the quest for DRY FEET.

    XtraTuffs will keep your feet dry...duh...but the price you pay with barking dogs years down the line makes one wish there was a better way.

    Since your son is young and old age is for older people, XtraTuffs are still an option, here's a few thoughts

    Good wool is not 'scratchy'. We all know feet sweat...a lot. Moisture, sweat, in wool is driven from the heat source, the feet...they have I word for that but I can't spell it...that property makes wool the excellent insulator it is when wet, damp whatever.

    Juno tennies have no place for moisture/sweat to go, therefore felt insoles are a must, they absorb the sweat pushed from the sock by the heat of the foot. Get several pairs and swap 'em at noon if you must. Wool it's not just for winter anymore...Sierra Trading Post has great light weight wools socks, cheap.

    Goretex...A lot of high end outerwear has double layer Goretex. This double layer is placed in the shoulder area of jackets...right where the straps of the back pack rides. Goretex tends to leak at pressure points. Hence the need for the double layer. What garment is subjected to the most pressure...you got it...shoes.

    Goretex needs to be clean in order to work. Dirt and body oils make Goretex wick the moisture...in the wrong direction. Where do shoes spend their day? In the dirt! Wow! Two fer Two. These tidbits learned after the fact, kept me away from Goretex boots after my first pair, back in '86 failed so miserably.

    Until I had them rebuilt, my $350 nearly knee high leather West Coast Logger boots were very waterproof. Especially after I treated them with Loggers World Boot Oil and bees wax dissolved into turpentine. After they where rebuilt, they leaked thru the welt...no amount of goop would help.

    The Loggers World, I found at Tongass Trading Post in Ketchikan. Toilet bowl ring...the gasket that sits between the bowl and the sewer drain in the bathroom floor...well that's pure bees wax...get one without the plastic flange...take a chunk of bees wax and turpentine in a bowl your sweetie won't miss and let the turps dissolve the wax...be patient, it takes a bit. Turps is flamable so be careful if you try to speed things along with an application of heat.

    I mix the wax/turps solution about 50/50 with the Loggers World, brush it on and I'm good for three or four days of sunny Southeast AK forest and muskegs...makes a fine oil slick in your favorite salmon stream, too.

    Since I can't wear my caulks in bed, I'm now running a pair of Danner's w/ Goretex that I p/u @ Sportsman's for about $165+/-. American made to boot! (Try finding a non Goretex hiking boot). I also got the special "safe for Goretex" oil and wax. I believe that if a little is good, a lot is better. I had my doubts and still I'm surprised that the Danner's do a good job of keeping my tooties dry. They're equal to the task of keeping excess water in the boot whenever I drown my feet crossing a crotch deep slough.

    Lucky for me the de-watering instructions are written on the heel.

    As my handle implies I'm one of those surveyors, though in years past I've been known to arrange a party or two.
    Natural Selection begins with you!

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    Well,so far his Bearclaws are holding up and he's even been wearing them on the weekends. PC360,I told him about the gore-tex safe oil and wax and will even get some for myself(he's also a party chief although it's been just him and his robot lately!).
    I just cannot understand what's happened to boots lately! I worn gore-tex equipped boots ever since they came out(had the first pair ever seen around here)and I'm telling ya they were used in mud,concrete,diesel fuel,oil,nicked with chainsaws,whatever and NEVER had them leak. I'd clean them if they got caked with something but that was it. Gotta be the China thing.

    til later

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    UPDATE! The Bearclaws didn't make it either although they lasted the longest.. He's now wearing a pair of Georgia Loggers w/Goretex that were "Made in the USA". He bought two pair 5yrs ago while doing bridge work and wore the leather through in spots on one pair but they NEVER leaked. He got into surveying so didn't need a boot that heavy or with safety features so his search began for a suitable replacement. All of the different brand boots that he's tried have ended up leaking in less than 1yr and some in less than a month and none were made in this country. He finally decided to try his second pair of Georgias that were still new in the box. He called this past Tuesday to let me know he had been wading in ankle deep water(been raining ALOT)for the better part of two days with no leaks. Of course he wasn't surprised as his old ones had NEVER leaked and in fact he recently gave them to a new fellow worker who's on hard times and they still don't leak. I guess y'all can take this info for what it's worth. LOL

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