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Waterproof Boots ???

Greetings All - now, jus' how important is it to have them thar "waterproof" 
boots.  Let's face it - in a downpour your feet are going to get wet.  Most 
streams that can't be "jumped" are probably going to be deep enough to be 
over your boot anyway.  (ok, sometimes i spend ridiculous amounts of time 
trying to find that strategic dry foot crossing point - the trailhead of 
Castle Ridge up Mt Jefferson comes to mind as there is almost an immediate 
non-bridged stream crossing).   Will most properly treated water resistant 
boots let you get away "dry-footed" with those quick couple steps to get 
across a stream ?  i usually try to avoid prolonged marshy areas whenever 

And there have got to be tradeoffs - true waterproof boots are likely 
heavier, don't breathe so they'll be hot and sweaty, and no doubt will cost 
more.   I've seen Goretex advertised as breathable and waterproof.  Anybody 
know if these "live up to their billing" ?   What types of leather are 
better, worse, or to be avoided.  i noticed that there are different 
waterproofing agents recommended say for the suede leather in the Osolo 
AFX530 and the shiny red leather of the Osolo Posiden.   Are seams, the 
leather itself, or the area where to sole connects to the leather the most 
critical part of "keeping your feet dry" ?

Does anyone think that practically any serious hiking boot when properly 
treated is reasonably water resistant and that boot selection should be made 
on other criteria such as comfort and Tread - Tread now there's another 
issue.  After slipping on a tree root and falling off Mt. Adams landing on 
my head, tread on the sole of the boot certainly has got to be an important 
safety issue.  Are there particular designs and materials in the 
construction of boot tread/sole that are worth being aware of  ?

greg nyce - AT Hiker from Downingtown, PA - getting closer to completing the 
AT in the Mid-Atlantic states with each passing hike