Do you know how the GORE-TEX® membrane can be both waterproof and breathable - at the same time? And how we can use this amazing membrane to make both mountain boots, hunting boots and ski boots waterproof?

The GORE-TEX® film has microscopic pores - 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water but still 500 times larger than water  vapor. This allows moisture and sweat to pass through from the inside out, yet does not let water drops in. In this way, the membrane is completely waterproof, but permeable to moisture.

As one of the shoe manufacturers with the world's longest history of GORE-TEX® membrane in our shoes, we have a good knowledge of the functionality and many of the possibilities of using the the GORE-TEX® membrane in shoes. In order to continue creating comfortable quality shoes, we always want to work closely with the manufacturers, give feedback directly and get the latest knowledge. And that's exactly what we got when all the ALFA employees traveled to Gothenburg for GORE's theoretical courses and practical training.

ALFA employees tests different GORE-TEX® membranes and taping of seems
ALFA employees tests different GORE-TEX® membranes and taping of seems

In order to really explore the GORE-TEX® features, practical testing is necessary. A real test of whether GORE-TEX® is really waterproof and breathable came when we put on GORE-TEX® dry suits and jumped in the Kattegatt sea outside of Gothenburg a late autumn night. The temperature showed 15° in the air. The water temperature we do not want to know, but dry and comfortable we were.

That a waterproof material simultaneously can be breathable, can challange any logic. We really had to test this in several ways, and all the tests made it clear that the GORE-TEX® membrane was both breathable and waterproof.

GORE-TEX® is the waterproof membrane in a number of dry suits that are used, for example, in the North Sea. After a long bath in this GORE-TEX® in the Gothenburg archipelago we were still comletely.
GORE-TEX® is the waterproof membrane in a number of dry suits that are used, for example, in the North Sea. After a long bath in this GORE-TEX® in the Gothenburg archipelago we were still comletely.
What is the difference between waterproof materials? On one hand, Terje Størset has a plastic glove and the other a glove made of GORE-TEX® membrane (white glove). Both were fully waterproof, but w which one become sweathy and clammy inside after just a few minutes while the other was still dry?
What is the difference between waterproof materials? On one hand, Terje Størset has a plastic glove and the other a glove made of GORE-TEX® membrane (white glove). Both were fully waterproof, but w which one become sweathy and clammy inside after just a few minutes while the other was still dry?
At least 2% of all GORE-TEX® shoes produced are controlled in a centrifuge to ensure they are waterproof. Here GORE-TEX® quality controller Uwe shows how a non-waterproof shoe will leak in a centrifugal test.
At least 2% of all GORE-TEX® shoes produced are controlled in a centrifuge to ensure they are waterproof. Here GORE-TEX® quality controller Uwe shows how a non-waterproof shoe will leak in a centrifugal test.
There's a first time for everything. Floating with the ferries!
There's a first time for everything. Floating with the ferries!
To ensure that GORE-TEX® shoes are also waterproof during demanding use, the shoes are set to last 2 full days of walking under water in a machine. Now, that's an extreme test!
To ensure that GORE-TEX® shoes are also waterproof during demanding use, the shoes are set to last 2 full days of walking under water in a machine. Now, that's an extreme test!
To tape the seams on GORE-TEX® materials is true handcraft.
To tape the seams on GORE-TEX® materials is true handcraft.
If the outer materials draw water, it will eventually enter the shoe even if the membrane is waterproof. Therefore, the outer materials and laces used in GORE-TEX® shoes are always tested carefully before production to ensure they are non-wicking.
If the outer materials draw water, it will eventually enter the shoe even if the membrane is waterproof. Therefore, the outer materials and laces used in GORE-TEX® shoes are always tested carefully before production to ensure they are non-wicking.

After a couple of truly interesting days at GORE, everybody at ALFA is now full of inspiration to continue developing watherproof and breathable shoes that gives you a better outdoor experience for many years to come. 

Read more about GORE-TEX® technology in our technology section.