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First Look: GORE-TEX Mesh Footbed, ‘Vents’ For Waterproof Shoes In 2015

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Note the “vents” above the sole on this GORETEX based shoe

The battle against sweaty feet continues. We got a scoop this week while in Germany, where W. L. Gore & Associates, the makers of GORETEX, unveiled a new footwear technology.

The company touts that its to-be-released tech, called GORETEX Surround, can move moisture away from the feet unlike anything on the market.

GORETEX has long been applied to shoes and boots to make them waterproof. Breathability could be better, however, with many of the available models.

Cut-away shoe with Surround construction

Surround offers a new kind of waterproof shoe with an “all-around breathable sole.” The company developed something it calls a Surround Spacer, which is a woven polyester or polyamide mesh insole. It is a spacer of sorts and allows air to pass beneath the GORETEX bootie insert.

Typically, a membrane bootie is fused to a shoe’s sole and offers no breathability. “The entire surface below the foot has never been targeted for breathability,” said Achim Loffler of Gore.

Surround “spacer” woven polyester mesh insole

In addition to the insole, hot, moist air can escape through venting areas out the sides of Surround shoes. GORE includes a new laminate on the bootie, too, making it stronger, the company cites.

We’ll report back on the feel of the added breathability once we test the shoes this month.

Gore has announced that many brands will adopt Surround in hiking shoes and boots, including La Sportiva, Mammut, Salewa, Scarpa, Treksta, Zamberlan, and other brands.

Look for shoes and boots featuring Surround to arrive in stores in summer 2015.

—T.C. Worley

View on a hike in Bayrischzell, where the Surround technology was unveiled to press this week

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