Walking for miles in hot environments, whether arid or humid, can be brutal for war fighters on the march. But it’s also serious business. Your typical leather combat boot designed for durability in rough terrains can cause excessive internal micro-climate overheating. The resulting chafing, blisters, fungi and bacterial infections can easily stop war fighters in their tracks. Literally.
Foot issues such as those have a serious, detrimental impact on mission success, especially in environments that are very hot. Add water or perspiration to the equation and you have a recipe for distress. At the same time, the US military may increasingly be called into action in hot climates. In a recent keynote address at the annual Eisenhower lunch at the AUSA show in Washington DC, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley stated that the US Army, through its strategic planning and review of global conditions, expects to see an increasing number of conflicts to occur in tropical regions in the years ahead.
Factoring all of this in, the scientists at W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) have developed a new boot technology designed for comfort and protection throughout potentially long missions that provides durable waterproofness, quick dry-out and high breathability in multiple climates.
Called GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Technology, this innovation lives up to its name in a number of key ways. For the military, it can offer lightweight comfort and protection in jungle or desert environments, and throughout most warm-to-temperate climates. The fact that it’s lighter than the typical leather combat boot means it also reduces leg and foot fatigue. A single boot for multiple seasons, GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear is also designed to provide lightweight comfort and protection for law enforcement patrol and tactical officers.
GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear is the world’s first functional military boot with a separate loose, single-wall lining that incorporates a GORE-TEX® membrane with a moisture-wicking inner layer. The lining also has a rugged, abrasion-resistant nylon outer layer.
Due to this boot’s unique single-wall construction, GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear not only protect feet from outside moisture, but from perspiration as well, by allowing moisture vapor to escape at a very high level. Additionally, the construction conducts heat away from the foot, which results in a cooler foot, even in very hot external temperatures. Meanwhile, laboratory tests prove that GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort boots retain 90% less water than traditional non-waterproof boots. In other words, it’s ideal for tropical settings.
Several brand partners including Belleville, Reebok and STC now sell footwear designed with GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Technology. You can learn more about this revolutionary boot technology here in the technology section of the Gore Military Fabrics Blog, on our website at goreprotectivefabrics.com.