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07 Breathable Linings in Hiking Boot


This article is from the Hiking Boots FAQ, by Chris Gilbert chris_gilbert@ntlworld.com with numerous contributions by others.

07 Breathable Linings in Hiking Boot

Many manufacturers these days offer at least one model of boot in
thier range which incorporates a breathable lining. The most common
lining is Goretex but there are others. Theoretically the lining
permits the foot to breathe while minimising the liklihood of wet
feet. In reality breathable linings offer minimal improvement on the
basic design of boots and make the care of the boot more complex.
All boot linings are prone to abrasion by the foot and breathable
linings are no different. The lining is thus unlikely to remain
intact physically for more than a fraction of the potential lifetime
of the boot structure. In fabric boots the lining can become clogged
with the fine dust that penetrates the nylon shell or even by spray-
based boot care products. Also, breathable fabrics work through
vapour pressure differential. A waterlogged outer shell is likely to
have a much higher vapour pressure than the inside of the boot
causing water to migrate *into* the boot eventually. Linings in leather
boots are likely to be more effective while they last but a well built
and looked after leather boot can offer all of the characteristics
offered by breathable liners while at the same time being infinitely
more robust. Many feel that it's a gimic aimed at parting the unwary
purchaser from thier readies but if the boot is only intended only for
occaisional, light use and is unlikely to be used so heavily so as to
threaten the physical integrity of the liner then it may be worth the
added expense.


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