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GORE-TEX, long known as a hearty waterproofing technology, has become all the rage as a collaboration partner for major sneaker brands. Just look at the Hypebeast GORE-TEX tag page from the past few months.
Nike, Adidas, Converse and others are all getting in on the action with releases meant to winterize popular sneakers. And it makes sense: Why should these brands take a back seat to duck boots and galoshes when they can stay on people’s feet through the winter while keeping them looking fly and dry?
GORE-TEX material was invented in 1969 and quickly patented by its inventor, Wilbert L. Gore, who then licensed it out to manufacturing companies. In is early days, GORE-TEX was used on everything from medical equipment to construction materials to clothing. Its main benefit is that it allows water vapor to exit while preventing actual water from entering, thanks to the millions of tiny pores that dot the surface, too small for water droplets to pass, but large enough for vapor to exit. The brand’s information page explains everything you could ever want to know about the material.
Probably the most well known use of GORE-TEX to the common consumer is in high-quality rain jackets, allowing them to stay lightweight but still sturdy and waterproof. It’s also long been used in heavy-duty winter boots, including by Adidas, who began using it as one of the main components of their outdoor (hiking) footwear since it allowed them to keep their line lightweight but durable.
However, the breakthrough with regards to GORE-TEX and more fashion-forward streetwear arrived when Virgil Abloh released an OFF-WHITE and GORE-TEX collection. That was around this time last year. Now it would seem that every major sneaker brand has a GORE-TEX release, which if we’re being honest, makes total sense. Why not infuse sneakers with a practical, weather-proof fabric that will allow consumers to wear their favorite sneakers year round without fear of getting soggy socks?
Below are our favorite seven sneakers that feature GORE-TEX; pick one up before the winter slosh becomes a constant nuisance in your life.
Adidas Stan Smith GORE-TEX
This casual classic recently got a revamp and features GORE-TEX INFINUIM, a second product line from the brand that isn’t completely waterproof (it is water-resistant) but much better at temperature regulation and keeping you warm when it’s cold (and vice-versa). Given that this isn’t completely waterproof, it’s probably best to don this sneaker on days when the forecast doesn’t call for a wintry mix.
Nike Air Force 1 GORE-TEX
Another streetwear classic, this release comes in three separate colors and features a GORE-TEX inner sleeve with a textile/leather upper and rubber outsole perfect for gripping slippery streets.
Nike Air Force 1 Winter GORE-TEX
The high-top and more heavy-duty version, this shoe features the same GORE-TEX inner sleeve along with a zip and bungee closure system to make sure no errant snow falls down upon your poor ankles.
Chuck 70 GORE-TEX High Top
This features a completely GORE-TEX upper with moisture-wicking laces, making it a lightweight and weather-proof option. Also (obviously) features heavy GORE-TEX branding on the upper.
Winter GORE-TEX Chuck Taylor All Star
Same basic shoe but much sturdier and warmer, as it features a leather upper with GORE-TEX waterproofing and fleece liner to keep you warm in inclement weather. Also the monochrome look allows this to be worn in slightly more formal settings; use it in place of a duck boot.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail GORE-TEX
One of Nike’s best running shoes now lets you train outside during the colder, damper months without worrying about your feet falling off. It features a weatherized GORE-TEX upper with a heavy-duty traction pattern for running on uneven/icy terrain.
Asics GEL-Lyte MT G-TX
The description on this shoe says it’s “inspired by the mountains, designed for the streets,” and that’s exactly what it feels like. Waterproof GORE-TEX will help keep you dry as you trek around the city.
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