Thorogood X-Stream Waterproof Review [Testing the Membrane Liner]

Thorogood X-Stream Waterproof Liners are very popular, but what happens when you completely submerge them in water? Do they effectively hold out water?

In this article I want to explain how I tested my Thorogood X-Stream Liners to see if they were truly waterproof or not. To see results, you can scroll down or watch my video below where I test the waterproof liner on my Thorogood 1957 Boots:

Thorogood X-Stream Waterproof Testing

Submerging the Thorogood X-Stream Liner in a Water Tank

I bought the popular Thorogood 1957 Boots so I could test (among other things) the Thorogood X-Stream Waterproof™ membrane. This membrane is designed to be both waterproof and breathable.

Here is a look at the liner on my boots that I cut in half:


As you can see below, the tongue on these boots is gusseted up past the third-highest eyelet so that the waterproof membrane can be lined up to this height on the boot.

Here is a look at the tongue gusset:


To be both waterproof and breathable, these waterproof membranes have billions of tiny pores that are much smaller than a water droplet (so water can’t get in), but also larger than a water-vapor molecule (so your feet can breathe).

The problem with waterproof membranes is all it takes is one manufacturing error (like a needle or nail puncturing the material) for the membrane to fail. To test the effectiveness of this Thorogood waterproof membrane, I submerged my Thorogood 1957 Series Boots in a water tank (up to the second-lowest eyelet) for five minutes to see if this waterproof membrane would hold out water.

Here I am submerging these Thorogood 1957 Boots (to see video of this, watch my Thorogood X-Stream Waterproof Liner Review video at the top of the page):


My testing results were this: The Thorogood X-Stream Waterproof membrane passed this test and *did* hold out all water. In the photo below, you can see the tissues inside the boot were still dry after submerging.


However, there are other aspects of a work boot that affect how it performs in wet conditions. If you are interested in the Thorogood 1957 Boots, I tested the leather next.

Water Drip Testing

The membrane passed the submersion test. However, it’s not enough for a boot to just have a waterproof membrane. You also need the leather itself to be water-repellent.

If the leather is not water-repellent, then the leather will become soaked and water-logged in heavy rain (even if the membrane keeps your foot dry). And if water soaks through the leather, it can become trapped between the leather and that Thorogood X-Stream membrane (which means it will slowly dry in there and form musty, moldy odors).

How good is the Thorogood Briar Pitstop Leather on my 1957 Boots? I recently tried 11 different types of waterproof moc-toe boots. Out of those 11 boots, these Thorogood 1957 Boots were one of only two boots that actually had leather that repelled water effectively.

To test the leather, I drip-tested water onto these shoes to see if it would absorb or repel away. The leather on these boots repelled away the water and had no absorption. In the photo below, I tried to capture that:


This treated leather caused the water to repel off the boot without soaking into the leather. I would suggest you watch my Thorogood 1957 Series Boots Review video at the top of this page to see the actual video of the water repelling off the leather.

For comparison, below is a photo of a different brand of waterproof moc-toe boots that I tested. This other brand had leather that immediately began soaking in water when I drip tested it:


And below is another brand of popular waterproof moc-toe boots that had instant absorption:


This is a major benefit of these Thorogood 1957 Boots, especially if you are working in rainy conditions. The leather is very good at repelling water.

Here is a photo I took of these Thorogood 1957 Series Boots about 2 minutes after I poured the water:


As you can see, the leather has no visible absorption and remained dry. This is one of the biggest strengths of these boots in combination with that Thorogood X-Stream Waterproof Liner.

Testing the Laces

The laces are easy to overlook on boots. If you are buying waterproof boots, it certainly helps to have laces that are wax-coated to help prevent the laces from becoming water-logged.


To test the waterproofness of the laces on these Thorogood Moc Toe Waterproof Boots, I submerged the laces in a cup of water for five minutes.

My testing results were this: The laces did become slightly water-logged. However, the absorption was better than the laces on many other boots. Overall, these laces are “fine”, but if you work in extremely wet conditions, upgrading to wax-coated boot laces may be best.

In the photo below, I am squeezing the laces just after removing them from the water. You can see moisture shining from the laces in between my fingers (to see video of this, watch my Thorogood 1957 Boots Review video at the top of the page):


You can find waxed boot laces for about $15 on Amazon if you wish to upgrade these laces.

Thorogood X-Stream Waterproof Conclusion

I like these Thorogood boots so that I could submerge the waterproof membrane in water to see if it would effectively hold out water. My results were this: Yes, the Thorogod X-Stream Waterproof Liner held out water even when completely submerged.

This is where you can see Thorogood’s entire list of waterproof boots.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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