Resealing Gore-tex boots?
June 6, 2019 6:44 AM   Subscribe

My Gore-tex boots are no longer waterproof (2.5 years old.) Has anyone had luck "resealing" breathable boots and if so, how?
posted by gwint to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
(Oh, they are hiking boots, not like waders or anything)
posted by gwint at 6:45 AM on June 6

The goretex material is sewn into the boot and then the seams are taped. The tape can delaminate, or the material can crack, and then you have leaks.

If your boots are mostly leather, with a smaller number of exterior seams, then you can treat the leather, and put polyeurathane sealant on the seams. The most common area for leaks is where the leather meets the sole of the boot.

If your boots are more fabric with lots of different seams, then you've got problems.
posted by thenormshow at 7:01 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]

Ah, yes, it does appear there might be a tiny gap in a few of the seams between the leather and the rubber sole. So something like this would do the trick?
posted by gwint at 7:07 AM on June 6

Another thing that happens with Gore-Tex is "wet-out" - which is basically that the "pores" in the Gore-tex fabric get plugged (normally from skin cells and whatnot) and get blocked, so the garment is still waterproof, but the breathability is compromised. In this situation, the boots aren't actually leaking - the wet you're getting inside the garment in condensation, not moisture from the outside. If you're feeling dampness in one specific spot, that's a leak. If your whole foot is getting damp, that's probably wet-out.

Here's a great article about why you can still have wet feet in Gore-Tex boots. Notice also the part about your socks possibly wicking moisture from the outside.

With a rain jacket, the solution is generally to wash the item and maybe put on a fresh DWR outer coating, and all will be well. Cleaning boots can be harder.

Here is the official word from Gore on how to clean GTX hikers. You may also need to put a new DWR (durable water repellent) treatment on the outside, and directions for that vary widely depending on the treatment you use.
posted by anastasiav at 8:38 AM on June 6

That's the stuff. Work outdoors, and go all the way around that seam. To avoid drips, I'd do one section of the boot at a time, and wait for it to dry a bit before proceeding on.

Make sure the boots are clean and dry to start, and then do any other leather treatment after the polyurethane is dry.
posted by thenormshow at 8:41 AM on June 6

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