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Waterproof (Goretex) Boot Liners Review

Review Date - 16 November 2015

By Ren Withnell

In a previous post (The Trouble With My Boots) I explained my reticence at spending a fortune on waterproof motorcycle boots that may or may not be waterproof. It was also suggested in the comments on that page that I try Sealskinz waterproof socks. I have done this and found them sadly lacking in the level of waterproofness my motorcycling sometimes demands.

While groaning once more at my soggy wrinkled feet I took to the internet and after some time I stumbled upon the concept of "Goretex Boot Liners". If you search for these on a popular online auction website that sounds like Fleabay then you might be presented with quite a few options. I have plumped for the green type that are allegedly used by the military - mind you they all claim to be used by the military so go figure. 

A pair of green goretex boot liners, they look like big baby's bootees
These are the style I've purchased. Shexy...

My package arrived just as Storm Abigail was due to arrive and my chance to test these waterproof boot liners would not be long in coming. You order them by size and my size 9's were an acceptable if somewhat peculiar fit. I slipped them on over my socks then slipped my feet into my regular and not at all waterproof bike boots. With a considerable amount of doubt I set off into a deluge the likes of which Noah must have seen when he'd finished loading up his boat.

They are fairly thin, I was worried that they'd be too thick and make my boots tight. I'd say if you're boots are already tight then these will make things worse but if you're like me and like to run a little slack then you'll be fine. They claim to be Goretex, I have no real understanding of what Goretex looks or feels like and I am assuming the Goretex is within the layers of the material. They have taped seems and unlike the Sealskins there is no stretch or give in them. They are noticeable within my boots but they are not uncomfortable. 

After a ride of 25 miles through town, motorways, heavy constant rain and deliberately splashing through deep puddles I knew my boots would be at the stage where they could not get any wetter, I returned home. My feet felt a bit clammy, cold and wet. And yet, upon removal of my socks much to my surprise I found my sock 98% dry! Yes, these boot liners are almost...almost 100% waterproof. I had the slightest hint of wet where the seams on the bootliners are and nothing more. While not perfect you can, considering the purchase price of £19.99 for 2 pairs, colour me impressed.

A slightly damp line along the top of the sock after removing from the liner
Just a slight ingress. I can live with that for the price.

They are NOT perfect. A fully waterproof boot keeps the rain out allowing the toes inside to stay warm. The boot liners are closer to the toes so the cold water is closer too which means they are not as warm. I have had the pleasure of spending a whole 8 hours riding around in the rain then stopping at various cafes, bike shops and friend's houses and while my feet were dry they felt clammy and sometimes cold. They felt a "bit wet", however at the end of the day my socks were still almost dry. 

The other problem is that they stink! After a week now of constant rain or wet roads when I remove my boot the smell of wet dog is overwhelming. Goretex, if that is what they are, is breathable so sweat should evaporate and I must say the smell appears to be stronger OUTSIDE the boot liner and my socks themselves don't smell any worse than normal. Wet boots do smell anyway, I suspect this is an enhancing action from chemical reasons far beyond my knowledge. 

Am I happy? Would I recommend them? Yes. If you can afford quality Goretex waterproof motorcycle boots then these will be a more comfortable purchase, no doubt. If however you are perhaps an occasional rider who wants to pop these in with his "just in case" waterproof kit then they'll be great. If you're a poor "yoof" just starting out then these boot liners will be a great boon. If for practical reasons like myself you can't get a guarantee on your boots then these are an option. 

What will be the real clincher is how long they last. They are thin which worries me yet they seem well made which gives hope. For the princely sum of £20 for 2 pairs if I get 6 months and 10,000 miles of winter use out of them then I will be very satisfied. Remind me to tell you where I'm up to with them sometime in the middle of summer 2016 will you?

Reader's Comments

Tony said :-
Overboots? Oxford and Weise do some for about £18 - £20. Other brands are I am sure available :)

Not sure if they smell though :)
01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Tony. I already own and have reviewed the Oxford Overboots. Thay are effective and warm too as the boot stays dry within the overboot. However I am finding issues for myself.

I have to get a large size to accommodate the extra thick sole of my left boot. This means the right side flops around and is far too loose. Also I wear them out very quickly as the gear shift soon works its way through the material.

I am always looking for alternatives and I am always open to suggestions, so good call!
www.bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=633...
01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
Been looking also for a solution ,.. my wife and I both just ordered "Forma Adventure Waterproff boots", with the special sole and relative flexible build that allows using them for small trips up in the hills as well.

However with the extreme rain in Norway I am looking for some extra protection in the long run, waterproff clotes and shoes are only waterproff for a periode is my experience, if proff at all,.. no matter the price

We have been looking at the thin boot-rain-covers ass well in the shop, I don't trust them, I would destroy in less than an hour, and yes, no protection for the gear-pedal

I have got this idea to buy some normal relatively stiff rubber boots, cut out the sole, and slice it up on the back from heel to top, and the mount Velcro in this slice, and some rubber-bands going down under the boots to keep them in place, that the idea, don't know if its "waterproff", haha, :-)

www.fc-moto.de/epages/fcm.sf/de_DE/?ObjectID=18856383&ViewAction=ViewProduct...
01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hey Henrik. Once upon a time about 14 years ago I owned a pair of totally waterproof boots. They were made of rubber like Wellington Boots but style and strengthened like motorcycle boots. While I am sure they could never offer the superior protection of sturdy leather boots they were indeed totally and utterly waterproof.

They were cut off my feet when I had my accident. I have to this day never been able to source another pair, much to my frustration.

The problems with rubber are that it does get a bit sweaty and clammy inside the boot and rubber probably isn't as strong as leather. Still, I'd love to find another pair...
01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC
Tony said :-
Mmm. What about Yeti Gaiters? Designed for walkers and a bit more expensive perhaps.

http://www.armysurplusandtoys.com/YETI-GAITERS-BERGHAUS-ARMY-GORETEX-p/yeti-green-used.htm

There is always the foot in the plastic carrier bag in the boot option :)
01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
There is Thermo-boots ,.. I used them earlier fro winter-drive

Not much protection for toes and heel, but space enough to make a simple foarm-protection for the angle bones in each side

They sure are available as safety-boot also ,.. with a stiff nose


01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
"Once upon a time about 14 years ago I owned a pair of totally waterproof boots."

Derri-boots used to be a favourite amongst couriers and MZ riders (and possibly even both). And they still exist: http://www.derribootsdirect.com/ although protection would be minimal.

The best boots I ever had were a pair of Gold Tops that cost me an absolute fortune but never let water in. They lasted about 15 years before I regretfully let them go. A good substitute is the German Para boot - available here: http://www.anchorsupplies.com/ although they're a bit bulky, but at £20 or so worth a punt. An advantage of these is that they're good for walking around as well as riding. A disadvantage of visiting Anchor Supplies is that you're likely to come out having bought an armoured car.....

I did have a pair of Alt-Bergs which were beautifully made (you have to go to Richmond http://www.altberg.co.uk/ to be properly measured) but found them far too inflexible. Others however have liked them, indeed I sold my virtually unworn pair to a chap who was delighted with them.
01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Tony. Them Yeti Gaiters look like a substantial piece of kit don't they. I'd like to see them in the flesh and try them on. My concern is just like the overboots they'll move around quite a bit and the gear shift may well wear through them all too soon.

I've done the plastic bags in the boot thing. A packet of super cheap freezer bags did the job and make putting wet boots on nice and easy as my feet just slipped in. The problem is cold feet or sweaty feet! It does work though.

Henrik. Them Thermo boots look very similar to the rubber bike boots I owned with the thick rubber and the fluffy liner. As you say though protection in the event of a fall won't be as good as a proper bike boot. My other concern is there's no fastening so there's a risk they can fall off in a slide.

Ian, the bike boots I had were in fact NOT Derri boots! I've heard so so so many old skool bikers talk of the Derri boots but I come back to the point above, a lack of protection.

Sharon and I went all the way to Richmond to visit Altberg. Not only do they make the boots they will also put on the extra thick sole that I require at the factory. This, I hoped, would mean that they would guarantee the boot to be waterproof as they themselves had fitted the "lift" as it is called.

They charge a staggering £20 per extra 10mm of lift, making my boot cost an additional £80 on top of the £230 that the basic boot would cost. OK, fair enough as long as you guarantee they'll remain waterproof for a couple of years. Nope. No, the chap in the shop basically told me they don't actually guarantee waterproofing in any of their boots. We left feeling rather deflated.
01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC
said :-

14/02/2021 17:07:48 UTC

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