Waterproof shoes and how to recognize a good walking shoe (Part 2)

eOn this article we discuss the following topics:

  1. Waterproof, water-repellent, water-proof or not?

      1.1. Hiking boots with waterproof membrane

      1.2. Advantages and disadvantages of waterproof walking shoes

      1.3. Water resistance versus Ventilation

  1. How do you recognize a good walking shoe? 10 tips

1. Waterproof, water-repellent or waterproof?

When buying shoes, it is often pointed out that a walking shoe should be waterproof, water repellent or water-proof. However, we are very clear herein, there are only two possibilities: a shoe is waterproof if it is not water-proof. Water repellent is not waterproof. This often creates expectations that are not fulfilled and can lead to misunderstandings.

There is a clear difference between waterproof and water resistant:

  • Water-proof means that there is no water will come in for a longer period of time. If you were to stand for a day in the water, inside the shoe remains -and therefore your feet- 100% dry.
  • Waterproof (= NOT water-proof) means that no water will come in during a short period. Just walk through the rain will not be a problem, but walking through wet grass or a longer time in wet conditions, you get your feet wet.

Water-repellent shoes we can never tell how long you keep your feet dry as this depends on many circumstances. With waterproof walking shoes, we can say that you always keep your feet dry ( even if the water from the top walk in your shoes …)

What do you choose? Waterproof? Not waterproof? This of course depends on what you are going to undertake. Use your walking shoes in the circumstances where it never rains then of course you can not buy a waterproof walking shoe. However, most of us live and use the shoes where it frequently rains. Thus you will quickly pick up waterproof walking shoes.


1.1.Walking shoes with waterproof membrane

The walking shoes are always made of materials which are not watertight, such as leather and plastic, or a combination of both. If you have walking shoe made of leather handles well, and the right quality, then some people experience this as foolproof. But then these people have never fallen into the conditions in which they have long walked in the rain. Water eventually go through this leather spills and falls with us so they are not waterproof as we have already discussed this above.

How do you get a walking shoe that is waterproof? Most manufacturers make this process by putting the membrane Gore-Tex® in their shoes. Gore-Tex is the most known and used membrane to get shoes 100% waterproof. This membrane is very special because it is not only waterproof but also very well ventilated.

The Gore-Tex is incorporated as a kind of sock in the interior of the shoe. The water can therefore be penetrate through the outer material (leather or plastic), but is stopped by the Gore-Tex sock.

If you buy a walking shoe with Gore-Tex then you know for sure that you always keep feet dry and that the shoe also happened properly ventilated.

Walking shoes with Gore-Tex are recognized that this is always mentioned on the shoe should be bought.

In addition to Gore-Tex are there other membranes or technologies that make a walking shoe waterproof. The brands are so still using eVent among others.

Incidentally, we advise you to keep walking boots with a waterproof membrane well and that you use the right tools.

1.2 The advantages and disadvantages of waterproof hiking

Based on the conditions you can specify the extent of its waterproof walking interest. Indeed, it is quite annoying when you walk in the rain and your feet wet. But if you never in the rain is why you’ll then need waterproof walking shoes? The question to ask yourself because there are both advantages and disadvantages sticking with waterproof hiking.



  • Always dry feet
  • Warmer feet (benefit in cooler conditions)
  • Good ventilation
  • Reduced risk of blisters (wet feet and socks provide quick blisters)


  • Less ventilation than a “not waterproof shoe”
  • Warmer feet (disadvantage in warmer conditions)
  • Higher purchase cost

1.3 Water resistance versus ventilation

The water resistance and the ventilation characteristics are important because the wearing comfort of shoes is highly dependent on the environment around the feet. To keep the feet dry we must stop water from outside, and disposed of the perspiration of the feet. At 8 hour walk between 100-150 ml fluid come into your shoes (men more than women).

Full water resistance, however, is not well with good ventilation because both properties conflicting demands is on the same material. It is therefore dependent on your purpose of use which attribute is more important and which material is therefore preferred. Therefore, sometimes there must be a compromise between the two to be closed. Ventilation sometimes less, but always dry feet or more ventilation and sometimes wet feet ?……It is your choice.

The techniques have expanded in recent years and nothing has ever gotten more breathable waterproof membranes. In particular, Gore-Tex and eVent walk at the very forefront in terms of development. But despite all the efforts, there will be a similar shoe without tanking usually always breathe better.

Less ventilation means in the line (and more for men than for women) rapidly transpiring and warm feet. Please realize that if you go walking in warmer conditions, then you will always keep feet warm with or without a waterproof membrane. Most people therefore opt for waterproof walking shoes and take the lesser ventilation for granted

2. How do you recognize a good walking shoe? 10 Tips

  • A good profile of the brand Vibram sole often, or Contra Grip
  • A special remedial and cushioning midsole
  • A shoe wraps nice off and follows the completion of your foot while walking
  • A loose insole so you can always use your personal insoles
  • A solid uppers. No use may be made of split leather or suede
  • An interior of leather, strong quick-drying plastic or a waterproof membrane such as Gore-Tex
  • A good heel and arch support
  • A good fit that closely matches your foot. He can not bend.
  • The right padding. Not too hard nor too soft, and in the right places.
  • A well lacing system that ensures that the shoes fit well.
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