Gore-Tex In Combat Boots: Ventilation and Comfort

Published by 
Al Roberts
Last updated: 
April 12, 2024

More than just a simple "feature"!

Many of you may remember the Nancy Sinatra hit song of 1966, "These Boots Were Made For Walking!" And those boots indeed helped Ms Sinatra walk to fame and fortune. However, today's combat boots are meant for more than just walking. They pack, within their designs, some powerful technology that only a few years ago would have been unheard of in such applications!

Combating wet feet

Combat boots today are designed to withstand any number of field conditions, and one of the most demanding needs of combatants is to keep their feet dry at all costs. Today, the use of Gore-tex in the construction of rugged combat boots helps with extreme waterproofing applications.

Whether it's a foot patrol, jungle deployment, or any other combat or non-combat situation, Gore-tex combat and tactical boots have exactly what it takes to deal with the environment they are used in. That's because they are made from specially engineered membrane and fabric that's:

  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Designed to ensure that your feet stay dry of external moisture
  • Built to allow moisture inside the boots (sweat etc.) to quickly evaporate

The end objective of using Gore-tex technology in combat boots is not just for medical reasons (dry feet are less appealing to bacteria and fungus!), but also for tactical reasons. After all, at the end of the day, a dry and comfortable soldier is a more efficient combatant than someone with wet feet!

What's all the hype about?

Gore-tex was initially patented by Bob Gore in 1980, when he used this unique technology in developing highly water resistant rain jackets. But since then, especially since Gore's patent on his invention has expired, Gore's pioneering work has been used for a multitude of applications, including for durable, waterproof footwear for combat situations.

So what makes Gore-tex combat boots so sought after by military, paramilitary and civilian law enforcers around the world? The answer: "Layers"

It's that simple, and yet that complicated!

Gore-tex boots are built from multiple layers of materials to ensure they deliver the ultimate in safety, comfort and durability.  Specifically, boots made using this unique technology:

  • Have an outer shell layer built from Gore-tex, which have microscopic pores that are even tinier than a water molecule. This design physically blocks moisture from entering the boot
  • Also allows wicking of internal moisture, through to the outer layer of the boot. This design ensures that such moisture, from within, is transported to the top layer and easily evaporates through the microscopic pores of the outer shell, leaving the foot dry
  • Have several other layers inside, which provide additional protection from moisture, while delivering a soft and comfortable feeling to the wearer
  • Are breathable, which means the feet inside the boot are no more likely to sweat or perspire any more than they would with other non-Gore-tex, non-waterproof foot gear

And that's what makes Gore-tex combat boots so unique!

All-purpose application

Least one is left with the impression that Gore-tex footwear is meant for situations where water might be a prominent factor in the environment - that's far from the truth. Today's Gore-tex technology is ideal for boots that are worn in any environment, including for use in deserts, rocky terrain, rain, snow, slush or even on urban and sub-urban settings.

By combining all the design elements discussed earlier, into a unified Gore-tex structure, manufacturers of combat boots are now able to deliver unparalleled waterproofing, safety and comfort for a diverse range of rugged applications. However, at the center of the design is the paramount need to keep feet dry.


  • Gore & Associates. 2014. Home. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.gore-tex.com/remote/Satellite/home. [Accessed 19 October 14]
  • Water proof ratings. 2014. Water proof ratings and breath ability guide. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.evo.com/waterproof-ratings-and-breathability-guide.aspx. [Accessed 19 October 14].
  • Go out doors. 2014. Guide to Gore tex. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/expert-advice/guide-to-gore-tex. [Accessed 19 October 14].

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