Need replacement for LL Bean Speed Guide Boots

1:56 p.m. on May 19, 2006 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts

My LL Bean Gore-Tex Speed Guide hikers have begun to leak, although there is little evident wear inside or out. I called Bean, and they advised that if I send them back, they will issue a full refund, even though I bought them about 6 years ago. Unfortunately, Bean has discontinued the Speed Guide, the best hiking boots I have ever owned or seen. They have combination leather/Keptrotec uppers and are 8 inches high.

I ordered Bean's fabric/leather Gore-tex Cresta Hikers, but find them completely unsatisfactory and plan to send them back. I wear size 13, and the size 13 Cresta hikers are nearly an inch shorter than the size 13 Speed Guide hikers. Naturally, they don't fit, as there is insufficient toe room. Furthermore, the Cresta is only 7 inches high, and I greatly prefer an 8-inch high boot. It is feels heavier than the Speed Guide, even though the Speed Guide is considerably larger.

The Speed Guide was made for Bean in Italy, and I wonder if the company that made it still offers a similar boot. Does anyone know the name of the company that makes boots for Bean. In addition, can anyone recommend hiking boots that meet my needs:

1. Gore-tex.
2. 8-inches high at low point (back).
3. Size 13 (US) with plenty of toe room -- high foot at the toes but narrow heels. The Speed Guides were European size 47 1/2.
4. Fabric/leather uppers preferred for lighter weight and flexibility.

John

10:21 p.m. on May 23, 2006 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

I have a pair and they were my favorite boots for years until my toes widened due to gout and I can't wear them any more. They are a size 10. I can't bear to get rid of them because of the memories and I agree that they were great boots. I seem to remember the ad in the catalog saying that these boots were made by Vasque for LL Bean. You might want to try Vasque to see if they have something comparable. Good luck.
Dano

11:17 a.m. on May 24, 2006 (EDT)
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2 forum posts

Thanks for the information. Maybe the Speed Guides had to be dropped because Vasque stopped making boots in Italy.

From online searching, it appears that a good bet to replace the Speed Guides might be the Garmont Pillar GTX, which unfortunately are not available in North America. They come in half sizes to UK size 13, which would include UK 12½ (ie, 47½) and have a wider fit than Garmont boots other than the insulated Mountain Guide Karbo GTX, which also feature a "new wide/high volume fit" and are also not available in North America. (Does Garmont believe that Americans have smaller feet than Europeans?)

The details on the Pillar GTX from Garmont's website are as follows:

Pillar GTX
Upper: Microfiber plus Polyamide
Lining: Gore-Tex Sierra
Sole: Vibram Nepal
Size Range: 3-13 (UK) + ½ sizes
Weight: 855 gr (½ pair size 8 UK)
Applications: Light / fast mountaineering
Alpine travel
Competition climbing
Expedition shuttle boot

Award winning design pumped up for more ambitious mountain travel. Tech PU crampon inserts plus wider fit allowing for comfortable fit, even with thermal socks, extend the versatility of the original successful Tower.


John

November 22, 2014
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