Brand new waterproof boots leaking

I bought a pair of these https://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/p/merrell-womens-vego-mid-leather-waterproof-boot-B2122720.html?colour=5509

They arrived on Tuesday and I wore them outside for the first time yesterday. It wasn’t raining but the grass was wet. My feet were completely soaked when I got home and the boots are still damp. They are advertised as waterproof (not ‘water-resistant’ or anything vague) so I thought they must be faulty but when I looked at the box, they have a quality control sticker on the inside, with the initials of whoever checked them so they must have been passed as perfect. 

Is there any way they could still be faulty despite passing quality control or is it just that none of these boots are truly waterproof? I don’t know if there’s any point replacing them if they are all the same. 
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  • comeandgocomeandgo Forumite
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    I've never heard of M select dry, my boots are gortex or AQ waterproof.  Did you wax them prior to using them?  Wet grass is the worst thing for boots, showers or puddles ok but continually walking in wet grass can leak through.  
    If it was my purchase, and I had waxed them and they still let water in I'd return them.
  • edited 23 July 2020 at 5:13PM
    ripplyukripplyuk Forumite
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    edited 23 July 2020 at 5:13PM
    comeandgo said:
    I've never heard of M select dry, my boots are gortex or AQ waterproof.  Did you wax them prior to using them?  Wet grass is the worst thing for boots, showers or puddles ok but continually walking in wet grass can leak through.  
    If it was my purchase, and I had waxed them and they still let water in I'd return them.
    No, I didn’t wax them. They’re brand new boots and I wouldn’t expect to have to proof them myself immediately. Normally I do it weekly with nikwax spray-on. I’ve never had a problem with other boots. Even my old Anatom’s are still fully waterproof, a year later. 

    I think I’ll return these and get a different brand, once they dry out! 
  • Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    Quality control would be a visual check, nothing else. If they're sold as waterproof but are not I'd return them.
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  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    I've owned dozens of hill walking boots over the years (mostly Scarpa, Meindl and Zamberlan) and I'd take any claim for a waterproof leather boot with a heap of salt.  In fact I'm surprised Cotswold advertise them as waterproof - unless they've satisfied themselves that they really are "waterproof".  Are there no obvious holes in the upper, or gaps between the upper and sole, or even holes or tears in what you can see of the lining?  Wet grass didn't get inside over the ankle cuff?

    And (please don't laugh or be offended!) it's not sweat or perspiration from your feet?  I've never worn, for example, Goretex-lined boots, but I know many people hate them and won't wear them because they make their feet too hot and sweaty.

    If they're advertised as waterproof I'd bring them back.
  • ripplyukripplyuk Forumite
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    @Manxman_in_exile No, it’s not sweat. I felt the cold water coming in as soon as I walked on the grass. The grass wasn’t high enough to drip in over my ankle, although the upper parts of these boots seemed more waterproof than the bottom (strangely!). There’s no tears or damage at all. Not that I can see anyway. I pulled the insoles out to have a look (and try to dry them out). 

    My Anatom boots are leather and 100% waterproof after a year of use, so it is possible 😁. I just don’t like them for other reasons. They’ve obviously been reproofed regularly but I expect to do that with any boots. 
  • edited 23 July 2020 at 7:30PM
    Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    edited 23 July 2020 at 7:30PM
    Strange that they should seem to leak immediately.

    Don't know if this is a good idea or not... but have you tried drying them out and then putting them in a bowl of shallow water?  Just a couple of inches - enough to get the upper wet above the welt, but not enough to get over the ankle cuff*.  Either there'll be an immediately obvious leak, or maybe some kitchen towel or something will make any slower seepage evident.  Put something in them to weight them down (without damage) so they don't float up, and check them every 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes.  Obviously you do not want to cause any damage.

    It might also be worth trying to find out what standard tests are used to determine waterproofness in boots.  I know they used to use the height of a head of water or something to test Goretex clothing, but I don't know about boots.

    I know the two magazines "Trail" and "The Great Outdoors" used to have equipment forums on their sites.  You could ask there.

    *And if they don't have bellows tongues you need to ensure water doesn't get under the tongues.

    EDIT:  Any problems around the lace hooks at the top?
  • ripplyukripplyuk Forumite
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    @Manxman_in_exile When I was wearing them, I could feel the water coming in all around them. Worst at the toes/ball of my foot. The tongues and ankle parts seem waterproof. It’s the leather that is the problem. I can’t see any issue with the lace hooks. I’m not sure if I should risk soaking them again as to return them, they must be dry. The leather is still damp and I’ve had to put them in a room with a dehumidifier on to try and speed things up. 

    It’s such a shame as I’ve tried at least half a dozen pairs of boots recently and these are the only ones that fit perfectly. With the lockdown, I had to use mail order and it cost money having to post all the other boots back. If these are simply faulty, then I’m happy to have another pair. I’m just worried that maybe the waterproofing on this particular brand/model is bad in general and a replacement pair will have the same problem. 
  • Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    Of the few pairs of walking shoes I've got with a similar waterproof liner It can feel as though water is getting in if its getting past the outer and onto the waterproof liner. It can feel as though your foot is in a plastic bag in cold water. Its possible in long grass water was going straight through the fabric tongue and running inside but on the outside of the liner.
    The liner is normally visible as its next to your sock, is it possible the water was getting over it which is why it became wet inside?
    If you tend to keep your boots for a long time I wouldn't rely on a waterproof liner, they tend to leak before the shoes are worn out.
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  • ripplyukripplyuk Forumite
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    @Norman_Castle The worst of the leakage was near the sole and around the toes. The insoles were dripping. The tongue and gussets at the side were still totally dry. They are a different material and water beads off them nicely. I’ve tried to clean them this morning and the leather soaks up water like a sponge so now it’s going to take another day to dry them out. 

    I can’t see a liner. Just the black synthetic lining. Could they have forgotten the waterproof liner? 
  • edited 24 July 2020 at 8:45AM
    Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    edited 24 July 2020 at 8:45AM
    In a pair of damaged North Face shoes the liner is white and between the outer and inner, its very thin. In a pair of Merrel shoes I can see the edge of thin white fabric where the inner and outer are stitched at the edge of the tongue. Its unlikely its been forgotten but it may not have been fitted properly. If you're sure they're leaking I'd definitely return them.
    From a review on your link, "Sole wasn’t finished properly, not fully glued to upper so on first use it resulted in very wet feet."


    I'm not a cat.
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