Membrane materials have recently become incredibly popular among those who lead an active lifestyle. Among the most sought after membranes is Gore-Tex, which is manufactured by WL Gore and Associates. Do you know what is the secret of the popularity of this material? Let’s talk about everything in order.
A bit of history
With the invention of Teflon in 1959, the Gore spouses, who were chemists by training, began to experiment. Soon, their son Bob Gore began to work with them, who once made a mistake in one of the experiments. Its consequence was the emergence of an innovative material — the membrane, which turned out to be a wear-resistant, elastic and waterproof material. The invention was patented by WL Gore and Associates in 1970.
Gore-Tex Membrane Features
The membrane refers to porous materials created in the form of a very thin film with microscopic pores. They are so small that water cannot pass through them. In the design of the shoe, under the outer water-repellent material is the membrane itself, and then comes the lining fabric.
In membrane shoes, the feet will not get wet even in slushy weather and will “breathe”, i.e. under intense load, they will practically not sweat and overheat. These boots are resistant to getting wet, they are something between rubber and regular shoes.
It is worth considering such a feature of the material: it does not warm, but only saves heat. Shoes made of Gore-Tex membrane will be warm during active movement, therefore, for example, they are not suitable for children sitting in a stroller. But shoes with a membrane are perfect for tourism, sports and just walking. These shoes have a high level of wind protection, which allows it to effectively retain heat.
Types of Gore-Tex Membrane
The membrane comes in three varieties:
- Gore-Tex is a great option for everyday wear (skiing, hiking, etc.).
- Gore-Tex Pro — designed for extreme and long-term tourism, therefore it is especially resistant to moisture, wind and wear.
- Gore-Tex Active — characterized by increased ability to «breathe», it quickly removes steam and is lightweight.
Gore-Tex Membrane Care Instructions
It is very important to properly care for Gore-Tex shoes. This is a combined membrane that combines the qualities of porous and non-porous materials. It has the ability to simultaneously remove steam and moisture, therefore, immediately after returning home, shoes must be cleaned of dirt and dried. There are some simple guidelines:
- Do not dry near heat sources, as at temperatures above 50 ° C, the top layer may simply “melt”.
- Do not use a hard brush to avoid tearing the material. It is best to give preference to a soft sponge.
- Do not use powder products. The best option is liquid soap and gels, especially specialized ones.
With proper care, shoes with a membrane retain their properties for 10 years. Therefore, such shoes are a profitable purchase for those buyers who prefer a dynamic lifestyle and choose technological goods.