Gore Running Wear: There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather

Gore Running should be on your radar. Winter is coming, and nothing will protect you from the elements and keep you as dry and comfortable as Gore Running Wear. It’s one of the best kept secrets in the running world, but Gore has been a player in the running apparel industry since 1997. They have steadily grown their business in Europe and recently began selling direct to consumers in the United States at GoreApparel.

As members of the Gore Running Team at the upcoming Philadelphia Marathon, Tim, Katie, and I had a unique opportunity to tour the Gore factories and facilities in the beautiful state of Delaware last week. I was impressed by the passion and enthusiasm of every Gore employee that I met.

Elk Creek Gore

Outside the Elk Creek Facility

Gore Running Shoes

What do the Saucony Ride, Brooks Ghost, Brooks Adrenaline, ASICS Cumulus, ASICS GT 1000, and Saucony Xodus have in common? They’re all made with GORE-TEX® product materials. GORE-TEX® is tested and proven to be the most reliable waterproof material. Other companies claim to have water-resistant shoes, but use a spray coating that quickly rubs off the surface of the shoe.

GORE-TEX® keeps your feet warm and dry on wet, cold days. What’s more, GORE-TEX®  allows your feet to breathe. The water and cold are blocked, but the sweat escapes! This is really important considering the average marathon runner will sweat nearly 8 oz. of water from their feet alone during a race.

Kirk Christensen, GoreTex Running

Kirk Christensen, Gore Running associate

You can trust that if a shoe is made with GORE-TEX® it will be waterproof. The company stands behind every product made, even when it’s made by a partner company. As Gore associate Kirk Christensen explained to us, every shoe brand is rigorously tested and designed in partnership with GORE-TEX® to ensure the highest level of quality and craftsmanship.

Gore Running Wear

Although GORE-TEX® has traditionally been seen as an ingredient in other brand’s garments, the company decided to launch their own line of gear to meet the growing need for superior running wear. GORE-TEX® Active is a material specifically made for high aerobic activity. It ensures protection from the elements while allowing the body to breathe.

Gore Running Wear is engineered to be comfortable, functional, and durable. Each line of garments is specifically engineered to best meet the needs of runners. There are speciality lines for performance runners, ambitious runners, fitness runners, and trail runners.

Gore Running is a line of superior quality products made for everyday runners. As account manager Cindy Woods explained, people who want quality, reliability, and performance in their running apparel will enjoy Gore Running Wear. Every design element is carefully considered, down to the smallest detail.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Gore does more product testing and quality assurance testing than I ever imagined. Not only do they test their own products, but they also require their partners to conduct the same rigorous tests. Gore associate and (ahem) “booty-tester,” Donna showed us exactly how the tests are done.

Donna and the shoe testing machine

Gore associate Donna and the shoe testing machine

There are three tests or processes required by Gore that all partner factories must use to ensure quality and uphold the Gore-Tex® Waterproof Guarantee. The first is the seam sealing machine that ensures proper coverage along the seams of the booties. The second is the Booty Testing Machine (seriously). This involves inflating the booties and submerging them under water to look for air bubbles. The third test is the Centrifuge Test which involves spinning shoes full of water around at more than 30 times the force of gravity to test the water barrier.

We visited the factory at Elk Mills to speak with Gore associate and textile expert Louise. She walked us through the factory and showed us how Gore carefully selects textiles based on performance and design to match with the Gore-Tex® materials. In addition to running wear, the factory also makes bike wear, hazmat suits, police gear, fire turnout gear, and military fatigues.

gore visit

Tim and Gore associate Louise at textile factory

Tim, Katie and I took part in a Rain Room demonstration to better understand the waterproof testing of fabrics. Specifically, the test is used to determine if there is any water penetration through a given material after being drenched and sprayed with high-powered streams of water for hours on end.

Helpful Hint: Wash your Gore-Tex® jackets in a washing machine and throw them in the dryer to keep the water-repellent layer clean. Believe it or not, it’s perfectly safe and the dryer’s heat is beneficial to keeping the material in good condition.

Quality and Integrity

Throughout the visit, I heard the phrase “fit for use” over and over. I heard it in different locations and from every person we met. The commitment to designing and engineering the best product possible for a specific use is remarkable.

There are not many companies that inspire trust and brand loyalty, but Gore-Tex® has done that. If it says Gore-Tex® it’s a quality product. As a runner, it can be tough training outside in the nasty weather. Now, with my Gore Running gear, I’m looking forward to it.

Gore trip

Gore associate Paul, Katie, Tim, and me

You can check out my Gore Running teammates at:

Tim Jones

Katie McElroy

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