2019 GORE-TEX Sneaker Roundup
Growing up, our mothers repeatedly reminded us to pack a jacket before heading out. With the changing climate, and its proclivity for extreme weather conditions, Sneaker Freaker’s advice is to always take a GORE-TEX with you. And it’s pretty hard to miss this year, as just about every major footwear brand has worked with W.L. Gore and Associates this year.
Our resident GORE-TEXpert, and leading George Costanza impersonator, has rounded up some of 2019’s best sneaker and apparel releases to use the water-resistant, yet breathable membrane. With this list, you’re just about guaranteed to stay dry.
Nike Air Force 1 GORE-TEX
This was 2019’s widest-reaching GORE-TEX sneaker release. Nike chose the veritable Air Force 1 silhouette to upgrade with the membrane, and we all knew about it from the heel embroidery, tongue label, and lining. The gum-soled Lows are the pick of the bunch for daily wearability, but the modded Highs are hardcore.
Supreme x Clarks Wallabee GORE-TEX
Revisiting the Wallabee for their long-standing Clarks collaborations, Supreme added GORE-TEX lining and Vibram ridged outsoles to the moc-toed suede cruisers. Given the choice of upper material, the GORE-TEX and likely DWR treatment is more a fail-safe if caught in the rain, rather than the first choice to wear in a downpour.
AFFIX WORKS x ASICS GEL-Kinsei GORE-TEX
AFFIX WORKS’ first two ASICS GEL-Kinsei collaborative colourways were already hot fire, and then the third edition with GORE-TEX came and stole the show. Nothing would rain on the parade, because that’s what the GORE-TEX is designed to prevent. The steel blue and tan palette was also rather intriguing.
Converse Chuck 70 GORE-TEX
The objectively superior 70s spec of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star got even better this year with GORE-TEX. It’s not the first time the silhouette has received the water-resistant upgrade, but there were some great drops this year. Aside from the inline edition, the Carhartt WIP colab and N.HOOLYWOOD Japan-only Addict version were also great.
BEAMS x ASICS GEL-Fujitrabuco 7 GORE-TEX
Japanese powerhouse BEAMS are no stranger to collaboration, nor GORE-TEX. The ASICS GEL-Fujitrabuco 7 is a trail-ready runner, dressed up in signature BEAMS grey, and upgraded with GORE-TEX. The translucent panels strip weight and reveal the membrane underneath, with its relatively over-the-top branding. Tough shoe – literally because of its plastic overlays.
New Balance Tokyo Design Studio R_C2 GORE-TEX
Consider Tokyo Design Studio to be New Balance’s experimental arm. And they certainly lived up to that expectation with the R_C2 silhouette as part of their ‘Reveal Concept’ series. Translucent side and toe panels revealed the GORE-TEX lining underneath, and the repeated logos made it very obvious that ‘it’s GORE-TEX’.
BEAMS x Clarks Desert Rock GORE-TEX
Another entry by both BEAMS and Clarks, the Desert Rock takes the classic Desert Boot silhouette and adds a sturdy commando tread sole, plus GORE-TEX. Following the same formula as the previous year’s Wallabee Boot entry, it’s a subtle update to a timeless silhouette. Coming in sand and black, it’s hard to go wrong.
adidas Stan Smith GORE-TEX
It’s not the first time the adidas Stan Smith has had GORE-TEX added to it, but this year’s release added GORE-TEX INFINIUM THERMIUM for true all-weather versatility. INFINIUM is GORE-TEX’s everyday-use membrane, often found in casual footwear. Thermium membrane lined the toe box of the Stan Smith to keep the front toasty, but the rest of the shoe breathable. The Terrex line was also quite good.
The North Face Japan Denim GORE-TEX INFINIUM Pack
In Japan, The North Face is designed and produced by Goldwin, who hold exclusive rights to TNF’s licence. Therefore, there are plenty of Japan-only goodies, like this pack that blends denim and GORE-TEX. Insane! Google Translate says it released at The North Face Kuredo Okayama store – this region is the home of Japanese denim.
ROMANCE x GORE C7 GORE-TEX SHAKEDRY
GORE Wear is W. L. Gore and Associates’ multidisciplinary apparel line. Until now, SHAKEDRY could only be made in black. Cycling brand ROMANCE changed that, by working out how to print directly onto the SHAKEDRY membrane. They’ve only made 200 uniquely printed GORE C7 jackets. Any sneakerhead cyclists reading?