There are plenty of hiking shoe collections from the big hitters, Adidas and Nike, that utilise Gore-Tex; the revolutionary, waterproof, breathable fabric used to create pretty much every hiking garment on the market.
Why Gore Tex? Lots of materials claim to be water-resistant, shower-proof, rain reflective – but most are never truly perfect at keeping us dry out in the wet wilds. Apart from Gore Tex. Gore Tex was created all the way back in 1969 by Bob Gore. Bob, like every other great discover in history, came across Gore Tex seemingly by accident when heating polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) which was used for hookup wires and coaxial cables at the time.
Instead of slowly stretching the heated material, the aggravated scientist had a moment of irritation akin to the anger that pops up in all of us at a frustratingly inanimate object failing to follow through with its function, and yanked the heated material as hard as he could. The result? Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) was created. A.K.A – Gore Tex.
Gore Tex was used in fabrics immediately but it wasn’t until 1982 that it was first implemented into the making of hiking boots. Fast forward 37-years later and you can find Nike collections utilising the famed material for their usual streetwear silos: Air Force 1 and the Nike Zoom Pegasus being the most notable additions.
It is true that the Nike Zoom Pegasus is seen more as a running trainer than a piece of streetwear, but with the running style sneakers becoming more a part of daily ware each and every day, its fair to say that the functionality is proving a hit alongside the fashion element.
The same can’t be said for the Air Force 1. Whilst its roots are in basketball, the low and mid top designs have become a staple of high street fashion. And we all want to keep up with the best sneaker releases, no matter the time or place. Unfortunately, that time and place tends to be wet, muddy and cold for many of us. Winter weather rapidly destroys our footwear; unless it can be made of sturdier stuff.
Gore Tex material has come a long way, now big brands can continue making their unique trainers using this water wicking material, so we can continue looking good during the sleet and the snow. With the water simply bouncing off, our kicks last longer and stay looking good for longer.