Footwear development /Production /Waterproof

How a Gore-Tex water-proof hiker is made.

Written by OPUS on 15 March, 2021

Travel, hiking, work or leisure, there are many reasons to want a waterproof shoe. But how do you make a shoe that keeps feet dry? At OPUS we offer several options, from a lasted membrane, to seam sealing or a bootie construction in Gore-Tex or similar fabrics. These are materials made from expanded phew, or, more chemically accurate, “expanded polytetrafluoroethylene”. Depending on the waterproofing level and physical properties of the footwear, you can make waterproof constructions using differing methods.

Although Gore-Tex is nowadays the best-known brand for waterproof constructions, there are of course several other brands that make similar materials. At OPUS we also use membrane materials such as Sympatex and Cosmo. These as well can be used to make the perfect waterproof shoe or boot.

Apart from the materials used, building a waterproof shoe also involves tape-sealing the bootie lining in a specific way. Furthermore, all upper and interlining materials used are non-wicking, and leather is hydrophobic.

We made a video showing the inside-out of our manufacturing process and testing a Gore-Tex waterproof hiking shoe. You can see a centrifugal test, in which the shoes are filled with water and spun at high speeds. The resulting pressure reveals any possible leaks.

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