They couldn’t take a lot of abuse but at $49.95 you could buy a new pair every year or so. I always traveled with two pair in case I got a puncture. I still have a pair of the hip boot version that still work after 25 years ..... I think I paid $29.95 for them.
Gore-Tex and comparable products are a great step forward in performance and
durability. However, one can slip into sticker shock over the todays prices. On the other hand they last a long time and are a value. How so? My wife bought me a pair of Simms Gore-Tex waders when they first came out some 20 years ago and I still have them. Yeah, they've got plenty of patchs but they still work as a back-up pair. The net cost figures out to be $18.75 per year of functional usage