How To Proof Goretex Fabric Boots

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If you’ve recently read the article on how to give your boots an overhaul, or the previous on waterproofing leather boots and own fabric boots, then you’ll need to proof them slightly differently. This should take about 10 mins, plus drying time and is well worth the effort if you want your boots to keep your feet dry!

1 – The first step is always to get them clean. Remove every trace of mud, especially in the nooks and crannies, and remove any excess water. You need them wet to proof, but any water that’s pooled in the tongue is best tipped out. I use warm clean water only, with no detergents, and a non-stick sponge scourer to carefully remove dirt on the rand.

2 – Inspect for any signs of wear and tear. These boots only have a 100km or so on them, so they’re in good nick, but you may need to buy specialist laces for this sort of boot. Most fabric boots however tend to have standard laces. You can use Shoo Goo for some emergency repairs.

3 – You’ll need a specific proofer for fabric and goretex. We used the Nikwax Fabric and Leather proof which is simply applied liberally over the fabric and leather sections of your boot. Your boots need to be wet in order to do this, so if you’ve cleaned your boots after your last trip then you’ll need to soak them in clean water before doing this.

4 – Leave them for a few minutes before removing any excess proofer with a clean, dry cloth.

5 – Allow to dry and that’s it. They should now bead water rather than absorb it.

Repeat  as necessary. I’ve found that it’s more difficult to tell by appearance when to proof fabric boots than leather ones. They usually end up failing before being re-proofed, so I’m going to try and proof these every 100-120km in order to prevent that happening! My last pair of lightweight boots managed 750km, and are still fine for most walks.

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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