Testing GORE-TEX Footwear
Every new GORE-TEX Footwear prototype is put through its paces in rigorous tests in the Gore testing labs. Not only is the GORE-TEX Footwear style tested, but the entire system of outer material, insulation, membrane and lining has to prove its excellence under the toughest conditions. Only when a shoe fulfills the high quality and performance standards of GORE-TEX products, is it cleared for production.
The Walking Simulator
The Walking Simulator tests the waterproof performance of GORE-TEX footwear. Test shoes are placed on flexible foot forms equipped with moisture sensors that are subject up to 200,000 steps in a water bath. If moisture enters the shoe, the testing stops and the sensor indicates the source of the leak. The shoe or boot must then be modified and submitted for another round of testing, to prove that they meet the rigorous GORE-TEX footwear standards.
The Wicking Test
The GORE-TEX lining isn't the only component in footwear that ensures durable waterproofness. Materials used in the upper must also be non-wicking to prevent water from being transported into the shoe or boot over the GORE-TEX lining. That's why we test all upper components from the shoe's leather and foam to the stitching and laces to ensure that the whole shoe or boot meets the waterproof performance standards.
The Centrifugal Tester
Boots filled with water are spun at high speeds. The resulting pressure forces water through even the smallest of holes to discover leaks. These tests are performed at every Gore certified factory.
The Comfort Test
Breathability is not only a feature of the GORE-TEX membrane. All materials used, from the lining through to the outer material, contribute to the high breathability and climate comfort of GORE-TEX Footwear. In the Comfort Test the entire shoe is tested for breathability which ensures that all components are working together to deliver climate comfort in the intended use.
GORE-TEX Footwear Technologies