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Blog > November 2011 > Boots 101

Boots 101

Boots 101

As the Holiday seasons fast approach, I am getting a lot of questions about these two membranes and what they do.

The basic use of both products is to serve as a breathable waterproof barrier inside apparel and footwear. The secondary use is insulation.

Another question I get asked is "Waterproof," and, "Product XYZ said it was waterproof and it leaks.” That is the keyword “leaks.” Waterproof products can, and often do, still leak. It simply means the material is not damaged by water. The question really should be, “Is it leak-proof?”

Most of the time, the follow-up question is why on our CruiserWorks™ boots, “Why don't we use either product?” The answer is one of philosophy and common sense. Animal hide, by natural design, is leak-proof. Any leaking comes from seams, cracks or poor leather-quality that is very porous and over-processed.

We use the highest-quality leather available, that is heavily treated and double, even triple, stitched with very thick threads and then seams are sealed. That keeps the water out, and each pair is tested for leaks during the QC.

Philosophically, using Gor-Tex™ or Sympatex™ is akin to putting a plastic bag around your foot. The outer material that should have prevented leaks has already failed, and the membrane lining is acting as a sponge. If you want to test it, get a piece of the raw membrane material, weigh it, and then put it in water, and weigh it again. The results are interesting.

While true that the membranes breathe, the membrane is not just drying itself, but is inhibited to do so, and it is relative to the ambient temperature, the materials it is next to, etc.

It also encourages perspiration, hot feet in the summer, leading to blisters and skin irritations. In the winter, once the membrane is engorged, it leads to cold feet. Drying a pair of boots can take a long time, even with a boot dryer. The lining acts as insulation also, good in the cold not so good on hot summer days.

Our belief is that insulation is best done by socks and varied based on ambient temperature

We, at CruiserWorks ™, use Kevlar™ as a added protective layer, that is relatively porous, not for insulation.

My best advice is:
1. Use organics. Nature designed hides to breathe and not leak. This includes
saddles, gloves, etc.
2. Insulation is best provided by liners, socks, or other materials to add versatility.
3. The exceptions I suggest are jackets and pants. All-leather riding jacket and pants, like a track suit, can be very costly. If using synthetics, look for good-quality seams and removable liners for 3-4 season use.
4. Take care of it. Visit our website and note we offer 4 leather care products for a reason. There are replacement oils to creams and polishes. The oils must be replaced as the leather is an organic. Make sure that products, if used on seats, don't contain Silicon. It is like putting Armor-All™ on motorcycle tires.

Motorcycle Gear

Bob Richter
General Manager

Posted: 11/18/2011 4:22:59 PM | with 0 comments

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