A new upper material has been developed that combines the advantages of leather with those of textile upper materials. The new innovative 3-layer footwear upper technology called Extraguard has been launched by Gore-Tex Professional, the business unit of technical oriented fabrics from W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. (Gore), Newark, DE/USA.
Typically, safety footwear which is waterproof and robust is usually heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Conversely, lightweight, breathable footwear does not necessarily provide the correct protection during heavy duties. With the Extraguard technology, when dry, the upper material is 40% lighter than leather and it stays light even when working in rain. The vegan upper material is chromium-free and delivered on rolls in consistent quality. This results in less production waste.
The Extraguard upper technology consists of 3-layers. The outer layer is highly abrasion-resistant and robust. The second (functional) layer can be varied in thickness according to end use and protects the foot from shock. The third (inner) layer is the low water absorption construction. It is then sealed with Gore Seam Tape and, together with a Gore-Tex lining (inner bootie construction), is integrated into a safety boot. Seam sealing prevents moisture from making its way into the boot through the seams. With the inner bootie in place, the footwear remains waterproof and feet stay dry, even if the surface layer of the upper has been damaged.
Extraguard does not have to be broken in, and even after long periods of wear the material does not wrinkle, is color fast and resistant to chemicals.