When it comes to staying safe and dry while hiking around, UltraDry and Gore-Tex are two popular options. Any active person who’s looking for waterproof shoes, boots, or other hiking gear has probably heard of them both, so here’s a quick comparison.
UltraDry vs. Gore-Tex: The UltraDry technology features a lining that has water-resistant properties that help to stay dry and comfortable for longer. Gore-Tex is designed with a membrane that prevents rain and water from getting in, while also allowing vapor and sweat to exit the gear. When compared, Gore-Tex is more expensive but also performs better and is more durable than the UltraDry technology.
Which Hiking Boot Brands Use UltraDry or Gore-Tex?
Both brands are incorporated into outdoor clothing suppliers’ hiking boots, so any clothing brand can use either technology. Red Wing Shoe Company, for example, in two different business lines, Vasque and Irish Setter, uses both. Both Red Wing divisions use UltraDry in some of its hiking boot models and Gore-Tex in some of its other hiking boots, showing no preference for one over the other.
Red Wing Shoe Company seems to be the dominant user of the UltraDry brand, but there are a few others such as Ever Boots, which sells only construction boots. In contrast, Gore-Tex is much more widely available in several hiking boot brands, such as Salomon, Arc’teryx, and Merrell.
Similarities Between UltraDry and Gore-Tex
Both products are used in hiking boots to render them waterproof, however, Gore-Tex is a much more longstanding and widely available brand, so if you like having a variety of choices among your brands, Gore-Tex would be much more easily available.
Differences Between UltraDry and Gore-Tex
There aren’t readily available detailed articles on the materials used in the application of UltraDry or Gore-Tex as applied to hiking boots, so we’ll turn to reviews by independent reviewers such as sporting magazines or hiking organizations.
A March 2019 article by TripSavvy, one of the top ten travel information websites in the world, listed the “9 Best Waterproof Hiking Boots.” UltraDry was selected in two of the brands, while Gore-Tex was chosen for four. (Three other waterproofing brands were chosen, one for each choice).
This review cited how well UltraDry repelled water, even in snow, and when dipped in water for a moment, the boots stayed dry.
As for the four Gore-Tex reviews, a Gore-Tex boot was selected as the number one hiking boot for all the outstanding nine candidates. Gore-Tex boots had seams sealed against water yet allowed sweat and water vapor to wick out. Like the mention of UltraDry, the article cited how the Gore-Tex fabric blocked water even when the boots were submerged.
Another comprehensive review is that of Hiking Daily, another popular website. Activity-specific, this website is written by several experienced hikers. This article, titled “25 Best Winter Hiking Boots for Men and Women (2021 Guide),” also compared UltraDry to Gore-Tex.
Of the 25 total selections (for all men’s and women’s boots), UltraDry nabbed six spots. In contrast, Gore-Tex scored four preferences. This article did not give heavily detailed descriptions of the features, more or less ticking off the positive attributes of each hiking boot model.
However, the article raved about one Vasque hiking boot model that used Gore-Tex material. Since Vasque is the primary sponsor behind UltraDry, the fact that the reviewers favored a Gore-Tex model over Vasque is quite revealing. For another Vasque model that used Gore-Tex, the article claimed, for the entire Vasque brand, that these boots were the premium winter boots built for performance.
Which is Better, UltraDry or Gore-Tex?
Both brands scored well. However, since Gore-Tex is more widely available, it would have the edge. As well, Gore-Tex has by far a more comprehensive warranty than does Vasque, which is the key supplier of UltraDry.