Technological Revolution: EXTRAGUARD Upper Technology For Rugged Yet Durable Lightweight Safety Footwear

At A+A 2023, 12 manufacturers will showcase first styles and collections of safety footwear with innovative upper technology


GORE-TEX Professional (Gore), the specialist for technical functional textiles, will present the first commercial styles of GORE-TEX safety footwear with EXTRAGUARD upper technology at A+A 2023 together with 12 footwear partners, including Atlas, Elten, Haix and Steitz Secura. Their innovation: for the first time, this technology combines the advantages of leather and textile uppers in one upper. This technological breakthrough clears the way for robust, waterproof yet durably lightweight and comfortable safety footwear for use even in extreme weather conditions - the great response from manufacturers reflects the need in the market.

The Technical Launch of the EXTRAGUARD upper technology took place virtually at A+A 2021. GORE-TEX Professional and its footwear partners will present the innovative technology at A+A 2023 in Düsseldorf (October 24-27, 2023) at booth G60 in Hall 11.

GORE-TEX EXTRAGUARD safety footwear

The EXTRAGUARD upper technology consists of three layers: The outer layer is highly abrasion-resistant and robust, the functional second layer, is variable in thickness and is designed to protect the foot from impact and shock. The third, innovative construction inner layer can be sealed on the back with GORE® Seam Tape - which prevents moisture from penetrating the upper from the outside via the seams.

"Our upper innovation will benefit workers in construction and demolition, railroads, utilities or agriculture, as well as power and water utility workers, who want to rely on rugged, durable protective, yet lightweight and comfortable safety footwear for heavy and medium-duty jobs," explains Helmut Klug, Footwear Product Specialist at GORE-TEX Professional. "EXTRAGUARD upper technology is designed for the toughest working conditions and provides rugged and comfortable protection even after months of use or continuous exposure to demanding, wet working conditions."

GORE-TEX EXTRAGUARD safety footwear

Safety footwear remain durably dry and light

The upper material is 40 percent lighter than leather when dry - and remains permanently light even in wet conditions: it absorbs hardly any moisture from the outside even after prolonged use or if the water-repellent impregnation is lost, and thus changes its weight insignificantly. The 3-layer construction ensures that GORE-TEX safety footwear with EXTRAGUARD upper material construction remains lightweight even during heavy use in rain or snow, as well as protecting against sharp and falling objects, heat, and abrasion. Moisture from the outside penetrates to a maximum of the innovative construction inner layer and is kept out by it. Therefore, moisture does not form between the upper material and the interior waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX technology (bootie construction). This reduces potential heat loss and prevents cold bridges.

Fast re-drying, easy cleaning

Conventional uppers for safety footwear become soaked in a damp environment once the impregnation has been lost. This makes them heavy. Thanks to the low absorption of moisture in the upper material, the re-drying time of GORE-TEX EXTRAGUARD safety footwear is much faster compared to safety footwear made with conventional uppers. A GORE-TEX safety footwear with EXTRAGUARD technology does not need to be broken in; it fits comfortably right from the start. Even after extensive wear, no annoying wrinkles form. The color and shape remain unchanged. For care and cleaning, spraying with water is sufficient and specific care products are not necessary.

"By combining durable low weight, low water absorption and fast re-drying time in a robust three-layer upper technology, EXTRAGUARD footwear offers the highest level of comfort and protection," concludes Klug.


New standards also in terms of sustainability

EXTRAGUARD stands for a new generation of upper technologies for safety footwear that also sets new standards in terms of sustainability: Less chemicals and less water are used in the production of EXTRAGUARD upper technology compared to conventional uppers. CO2 emissions are significantly reduced. The face material is manufactured without chrome and supplied in consistent quality on rolls - this also significantly minimizes material consumption. Finally, the durability of EXTRAGUARD face material technology also contributes to a better eco-balance.

First styles and collections at A+A 2023

At A+A 2023 in Düsseldorf, Gore and the following 11 Gore footwear partners will present the firstcommercial styles of GORE-TEX safety footwear with the new EXTRAGUARD upper technology: Atlas, Elten, Fal, Grisport, Haix, Obuv, Robusta, Solid Gear, Steitz Secura, TS Corporation, Unikhan and Upower. This great response from well-known manufacturers illustrates the need in the market for safety footwear that is robust, waterproof  and at the same time permanently lightweight and comfortable.

Gore revolutionized the outerwear industry with waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX Fabric more than 40 years ago and remains a leading innovator of performance apparel. Gore fabrics products provide comfort and protection in challenging environments and in everyday life, enabling wearers to safely and confidently achieve and experience more. From hiking in downpours to defense operations and fighting fires, Gore’s deep understanding of consumer and industry needs drives development of products with meaningful performance advantages. gore-tex.com and goretexprofessional.com

GORE-TEX Extraguard Safety boot

GORE-TEX EXTRAGUARD Safety Footwear - Is light and stays light!


About Gore

W. L. Gore & Associates is a global materials science company dedicated to transforming industries and improving lives. Since 1958, Gore has solved complex technical challenges in demanding environments — from outer space to the world’s highest peaks to the inner workings of the human body. With more than 12,000 Associates and a strong, team-oriented culture, Gore generates annual revenues of $4.5 billion. gore.com