Fun fact: mankind has been protecting our shoes against the elements since the 19th century - long before GORE-TEX® or even vulcanised rubber existed. During these times, oils, grease and wax have been applied to fabrics such as linen or cotton. An example of this is a newspaper clipping dated to 1835: "The following method of making waterproof leather at a very small cost will be invariably successful. Take one pint of oil, two ounces of yellow wax, two ounces of turpentine, and one ounce of Burgundy resin, thoroughly melt it over a slow fire; rub new shoes and boots in the sun or at a distance from the fire with a sponge as they dry, until they are completely soaked. The leather becomes impervious to moisture, the shoes and boots last much longer, become soft and pliable, and are thus the most effective remedy against cold and frostbite."