On my Lands End to John O’Groats walk, I was using Inov8 Roclite 345 GTX boots. They have a Gore-Tex waterproof lining in them, but the lining failed to be water proof after about 300 miles. This happened at about the same distance in two previous pairs of boots with the same waterproof lining.
I mentioned this on my blog and, to my surprise, I received a message from Gore-Tex asking me to contact them.
Gore-Tex asked me to send my boots to their Repair and Test centre in Germany. They paid for this and had UPS pick my boots up from me. I had very little expectation of what they were going to do, as I had made it clear to Gore-Tex that despite the failure of the lining, I had carried on using the boots for another 900 miles! They looked like this:
To my surprise, a week or so later I received the following:
Dear Mr Webb,
Thank you for your patience as we reviewed your case. Hereby we would like to inform you that the damage to your shoes is not covered by our GTKYD promise.
But we as GORE want you to enjoy our products in the future. That is why we want to offer you a goodwill refund of your original purchase amount of GBP 139,50.
GORE-TEX Brand Services
I stand by my criticism of the length of time the Gore-Tex linings last, but I am extremely impressed with the efficient way Gore-Tex have handled this.
So I would suggest anyone wishing to buy waterproof boots, read Gore-Tex’s guarantee and then buy the boots from a reputable store. This means you will be able to return them for a refund or replacement if they start leaking. From my experience, Gore-Tex stands by their guarantee.
Other walking shoe/boot options with the Graphene soles and without the Gore-Tex lining are below.
Update Note: Inov-8 are updating their range all the time and adding Graphene soles to more and more of their shoes, so check the Inov-8 website for the best choice of foot wear for you.