Ever Dreamed of Testing New Boots?

If you’ve ever dreamed of testing boots, here’s your chance. Gore, the makers of GORE-TEX, are calling for a six month wear trial of US Military personnel for an all new style of boots. The Altama APEX SBM boots feature a new Gore developed insulation material called GORE-TEX THERMIUM™ and also GORE-TEX Extended Comfort technology. Gore has contracted Hyve, an independent 3rd party innovation and market research company, to run and manage the trial.

While no compensation can be offered for participation, we know that most SSD readers visit this site out of an interest in new equipment.

It’s a rare opportunity to try out a new technology before it is widely available and to be able to provide feedback on how to improve it. And that’s the point of this opportunity, providing feedback. If you participate, you’ll have to do that several times throughout the trial. This is your chance to get your hands on these boots before anyone else.

This boot will integrate two Gore technologies most of you have never encountered until now. GORE-TEX Thermium™ is a new insulation combining Gore’s expertise in polytetrafluoroethylene and silica aerogel, the world’s lightest solid element and best solid thermal protector which was developed by NASA. Thermium is ultra-thin, low-bulk, and non-compressible resulting in a lower profile boot than you’d expect for cold weather. The insulation is thermally mapped to target only areas where needed: around the toes, since they become cold first.

In addition, these boots also feature GORE-TEX Extended Comfort technology. Like all GORE-TEX, these boots will keep your feet dry from external water, but they are engineered with the next generation of footwear laminate technology for warm conditions which has a breathability ~2x higher than the existing technology. More breathability means more sweat can evaporate through the laminate, and more evaporation means more heat loss and less clamminess.

Below is the information W.L Gore & Associates (Gore) has provided to us to share with potential testers:

Please note that only a limited number of boots will be made available for the wear test trial and not all potential participants filling an application for the boots may be selected to participate in the trial. If selected, you will be asked to provide written feedback about the boots and Gore will require that the boots be returned (at Gore’s cost) for additional laboratory testing after the trial period has ended. Participants will be asked to provide some basic information such as your name, contact information, boot size, and military function. Feel free to share this opportunity with other military members who might be interested in participating. The Official Rules and applicable terms related to this wear test trial are included in the Hyve sign-up page when registering. All information collected about the participants during the wear test trial will be subject to Hyve’s privacy policy, also included on the sign-up page.

So head on over to to sign up.

We here at SSD are not involved in the test in any way and are only providing this platform as a means to inform potential wear testers about the opportunity. Although WL Gore & Assoc is an advertiser on this website, we are not being compensated by them or the boot manufacturer Altama for announcing this opportunity.

8 Responses to “Ever Dreamed of Testing New Boots?”

  1. Mick says:

    We’ll see if I get selected with my 20% field time / 80% garrison time ratio lol.
    Signed, A Pogue

  2. iggy says:

    I’ve been involved in a few testing processes and I don’t concur this is the way to go about it. You get a bunch of disparate gear nuts, don’t pay them, and are left subject to their ability to provide details on a form (or worse, a blank sheet of paper). It’s useful for market opinion, and most data will be gleaned from the products when they’re sent back, but a lot gets left out resulting in people later wondering if stuff was really tested or not, because no, it wasn’t.
    A dedicated group with a control group, testing to threshold and chosen for their ability to provide feedback, sweetened with swag, BBQ’s and a group deal generates the best data. Next time you get gear that feels untested, this may be why.

    • SSD says:

      They can’t provide any compensation to the testers.

      • iggy says:

        Is that a fair competition thing, or some other industry-gov standard? I get that there’s a place for that, but it also has limitations and we all see the results. Maybe this isn’t the primary test at all and I’m missing some of the narrative (it does have a very small and seemingly short sample), if so I stand to be corrected.

        Not looking to stir, but having seen how some tests run (in very similar fields as this), excellent results can be gained in other ways. And it’s boots – really worth getting right.

        • Crackers says:

          Gov:Industry thing. Surprisingly there are a ton of regulations in T&E, it is as if bribery and compensation could be construed to impact reviews and thereby contracting decisions. Check out the “Test & Evaluation Guide” at some point when you want to voyage down that rabbit hole.

          • iggy says:

            Thanks for the response. I’d seen it all in larger tender trials but not at something this size or description.

  3. mudd says:

    you get what you pay for