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A tale of many (vintage boots)

7:44 p.m. on September 20, 2011 (EDT)
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*******WARNING, If you do not like long drawn out stories of boots and sordid boot tales, please disregard this posting, this posting will contain many "words" and pictures, view at your own discretion************

 

 

A Tale of Many Boots, not unlike a “Tale of 2 cities” only different

My personal quest to find the perfect boots for my fat Hobbit like feet.

Once along time ago (35+ years) in a land far, far away (Denver/Boulder Colorado) I had a Pair of Lowa Boot’s, their name escapes me as I write this as it was well over 30 years ago. They were wonderful and I wore them as my daily boots for many years, about 5+/-. When I was at the Univ. of Colorado’s rec center while living in Boulder I left them in the locker room after playing some racket ball and by the time I went back they were long gone. I ended up going back to Denver, back to the same little boot shop where I had gotten my first pair of Lowa boots. The shop was owned by an old German Boot guy who came to America and opened his little boot shop on East Colfax in the bad part of town. I was now back at the shop which had been passed down to his son, kinda cool, a father son business. Luckily the same boot people who had been working there were still with the store. They did not have the same boots that I had and been in love with and, had fit me so very well, but they still had some that  were the next model up in that line of Lowa.  It is interesting to note, that back then, in the 70's, some manufactures keep the same modles of what worked for many, many years.  They were still selling the same models they just did not have the one I bought I my size in stock.  As I have always believed that you get what you pay for I bought the nicest boots in the store that I thought you could hike in. I'm know kida remembering that the salesman my have tried to talk me into a lower model at the time as these were climbing boots not hiking boots.  We thought they fit at the time but in fact I never have been able to get them to fit over the years. At first I thought they were just to wide in the heal, but I now realize that as a foot must flex so must the boot flex with the foot. Their great in the toe box area and into the arch but wider in the heal area. Even after 15 years I ended up finding the original sales person who sold me my second pair of boots in the first boot/mountaineering shop I walked into in downtown Denver, they say it’s a small world and sometimes it is.  I have a strange protrusion on the back of my fat little hobbit like feet and I thought that was the problem. I had the boots adjusted and thought I was golden as they felt great in the shop. I was wrong and should have had him do a proper fitting. I did not do that as that was more money than I though it was worth as I thought I had found the problem. It would have been money well spent. Lesson learned.

Here are the Lowa "Civettas" that I bought after my first pair of lowas were stolen from me.
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Jump forward to 2011 and I still have the Lowa boots that I had been trying to figure out on and off for the last 30+ years, and now have. I figured out that they were called the Civetta’s. They are in the same model line as the Lowa Triplex and are the next boot in the model line after the Triplex. I have finally come to the conclusion that they will never be hiking/backpacking boot. There are purely mountaineering boots as they have wood soles and do not flex at all.

I was in REI two weeks ago and went to the boot section where I heard a salesman answering some boot questions for a couple of young guys. After a number of thoughtful questions one of them asked “so, can these boots be resoled” the sales man replied “yes, yes they can but its really expensive to do as the soles are glued on and really by the time you need new soles it’s just better to buy a new pair of boots”. “What” I thought, more throw away stuff. As you probably know by now it’s sometimes hard for me to contain myself. So I interjected into the conversation that in the old days we had single piece leather boots and I had known some people who had their soles replaced up to 5 times and were still wearing the same boot’s. As so often happens, all their eyes glazed over. I could hear their thoughts. Wow, who would want to keep resoling a the same “old” (boring, ugly, leather boots) pair of boots when you “can” go and spend $250-$570 every other year or three and have the newest coolest boots (with all there pretty colors and everything) made. I sighed and walked away after having my feet measured again just to make sure nothing had changed. I’m still a solid size 9 EE.

So like everything else I do I’ve begun the quest and delved into boot knowledge. It is much the same as tent knowledge, backpack, backpacking/camping stove knowledge, etc. First off is the rich history of boot knowledge. As there was not a chance in Hades that I was going to buy disposable boots I decided that I would gather together some of the finest old school boots that I could find at the moment and see what I could do fit wise after much reading.  Nights of reading.  When I finally decided that I would sample some of the finest leaterboots evermade  I turned to Ebay.   I did set limits however. As the boots I looked at REI were in the $250-$570 range I figured I would give my self that amount to buy boots. More ore less I figured that I could by between 6-8 pairs  if I sayed in the price range of $35-$400.  I would like to find a light, med and heavy weight boots to meet my different wants and needs and desires. I decided that I would not spend more than $100 on any pair of boots and would try to keep it around $50 per pair. The other parameters were they had to be new or at least not broken in.

A month previous to going to REI I bought a pair of Pivitta Article 8’s from a Trailspace member for $50. Sounded promising but the fit was way wrong. Long enough but way, way to thin.


pivetta-8-s-1.jpg

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So these are out of the mix.

So it was on to EBay where I next I bid on a pair of what appears to be a model of Lowas called the “Alpspitz“, on Ebay. They are of unknown size as it appers Lowa did not like to mark some of their boots. They are believed to be size 9-10. Boots came and more boots came but not the Lowas. Two weeks later I emailed him to inquire, where he informed me he went away for 10 days and forgot to let anyone know. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

 

A week later I found these almost new “Lowa-Eiger-Hiebler-Triplex” boots on local Craigslist.  Further investigation tells me they are from the mid 70’s. Antiques now and the Big brother of in the same model line as my Lowa Civetta's.  Just like the Civetta's they are not acceptable for hiking/backpacking due ot the fact that the will not flex because of their wooden soles.
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Notice the original red laces.
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I know that I will most likely not use these but they were just to cool to let pass by.  IMHO these belong in a boot musume.

.

 

Then I found the unnamed Pivettas that are much like Pillowthreads Pivettas 5’s but a little different. They are size 10.5 AA.  If you know the model name of these boots please let me know.

Notice the original red laces with the boots. The newer round black and white laces are far better than the original red round laces.
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I went ahead and bought these a bit big as Pivetta’s seem to run so thin, and well, it‘s not like I was at REI and there was a selection of sizes, eh. These are really nice boots that have appeard to have been used very,very lightly and never used again. Brands new boots that appear to mostly have been worn inside as for as I could tell.  Notice how Pivetta does not use stitched welted soles but rather screws the soles on and I would guess glue as well.


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If you can see in the picture there are eight screws in the heal, six in the mid section and 3 in the toe area. Same with the Article Eight’s Pretty cool. We "will" examine the different soles of the differnet boots later.

So, the first night I had my new boots and no where to go. Well, as I learned the proper way to break in a pair of boots/shoes was to jsut start wearing around the house and I did.  I first tried a single pair of thin wools socks. Good for a few minutes but then much too loose. I kinda figured they woud be like this as I bought them half/full size larger to copensate for the thinness of the Pivetta line of boots. Next I tried a second pair of socks as pictured below. The thinner pair of socks are on the top of the thicker pair.


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I wore these boots for 9 Hrs doing things around the house and around the property doing chores, working in the garden and playing with my puppins. Any boots that can last 9 hrs on my feet makes it to round two..........


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I felt that with a little work these just might be good boot's, that might fit my fat little feet. They fit well but there were still to thin in the ball area. But not too thin, Just a little thin. So out come the cedar shoe/boot stretchers.Here they are in the closed position.
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These boot/shoe horns allow me to make a pair of shoes that don't fit me, fit me. I like these. Bought them from the Goodwill years ago and they allow me to by shoes that are my size(length) and stretch them out to fit my fat feet. These are in the closed or thin position.

These are in the open position, They also pivet in the middle so that one has a wide range of adustments, meaning any combonation of adjsutments regarding the top and bottom is possible.

Here they are all the way open.  Notice the one on the left where the bottom is more closed than the one on the right as well as the top being open widder than the one on the right.   You can get these for $7-15 on ebay. A very handy tool to have. As they often won't stay where I want them width wise I use shims to keep them in place.
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Here was/is the best way I can come up it to mark the problem areas of the front half of a boot.  I'm shure others have thought of this before me as it's so simple and works so well.  The Vibram soles allow the rubberbands many differnt fine adjustments and they will not move once buried in the sole of the boot.
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So,................................., the next day a pair of unknown model name Zamberlan’s, size,10,  arrived in the mail. (thanks for reminding me about them Jake W).  If anyone know the model name of this boot please let me know.
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These are really good looking brown boots of the shape that I am more accustom to.  The Itialian Zamberlan's are bigger and bulkier (being more like the Lowas) than the Itialian Pivetta's and the Fabiano's.
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Notice that there is very little wear to the toe and heal.  Very, very little use and not even close to being broken in.  I would guess there to be less than 5 miles if even that on these boots, much like the Pivetta's
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Notice the laces on them.  I believe these to be the original laces, Brown.  They are smaller modified oval shaped laces not round ayet not flat.  They work very well.

I decided that with these boots I would try the exact same socks that I had found sucess with when wearing the Pivetta's.  On went the socks.  I forgot how much preperation and adjusting of socks occures when prepeparing to put on and pair of old school leather hiking boots.  Then the lacing.  I forgot how much preperation there was in lacing/tightning/tying hiking boots like these, as well  as there are so many different styles and ways to actually lace the boots so as to fine tune the fit.  Where the Pivettas are more a shoe like boot, and they lace and tie just as quick as a good pair of leather shoes, the more bulky Itialian Zamberlan's laces take much more tightning, adjustments and final tying technique.
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When I finally got them all situated and tyed properly, It was like AUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, butter.  I had forgotten the feeling of feet my when surounded by this style of big bulky style of Hiking boots.  I forgotten the light sqeek of new leather that these make.  The sqeek is not like that of cheap shoes/palstic shoes or metal on backpacks but rather the nice low sounding squeek of fineleather being broken in.  It is a very pleasant sound.   It is much like the sound of new riding leathers the first time or two out.  These boots are really comfortable, really nice.  They are a heavier boot than the Pivitta's and I was unable to keep them on for now longer than 4 hrs.  It was not that they were uncomfortable, to the contrary, they still felt like butter after 4 hrs., but alas,  they were getting mighty warm.  These may be my cooler weather boots where as the Pivitta's, if they pass the final tests, may be my warmer weather boot's.  Im thinking the Fabiano's will be the same or very similar to the Pivetta's and I can't wait to find a pair. 

 

I picked up a pair Raichle’s of  Ebay that arrived today.  These are size 9 and I got them a little small,since it's not like I'm at REI and have much choice as to whats offerd,  to see if I could make a boot work with the least amount of wool socks.  Like a properly built tent needs proper ventilation  you have to properly vent boots if you wish to not to build up condensation in the form of sweat.   I do remember that before treating my boots they were much better able to transfer mositure then after waterproofing/treating.  In those days we used a beeswax paste and I still have a can of the paste from the the day.  The next innovation seemed to be a silicone paset.  I much prefered the beeswax paste as the silicone past sealed the boots and made them unable to transfer moisture in either directon, in or out.

 

More later.....................................................................

 

 

5:55 p.m. on September 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman- Those might be the older version of the Cervino model. Not too sure, take a look into it and see if you think they match. Glad to see someone else appreciating the build quiality of there boots (although I don't want them to get too popular to where they move production somewhere else cough china cough!).

 Did you get those pivettas off of ebay? I was actually emailing the previous owner back and forth but money is a little low so I had to pass. They look in great shape, even better then he described them.

11:48 p.m. on September 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Jake W said:

Apeman- Those might be the older version of the Cervino model. Not too sure, take a look into it and see if you think they match. Glad to see someone else appreciating the build quiality of there boots (although I don't want them to get too popular to where they move production somewhere else cough china cough!).

 Did you get those pivettas off of ebay? I was actually emailing the previous owner back and forth but money is a little low so I had to pass. They look in great shape, even better then he described them.

Hey Jake,  To which pair were you refering the, Pivetta's or the Zamberlan's?  I wasn't able to find anything on Google under either using the name Cervino.  I did in deed get the Pivetta's of of Ebay.  In fact other than the Lowa Triplex all the boots all the new boots I've picked up are of off Ebay.  I'm finding mint  leather hiking/backpacking boots from 10-30% of what they sold for in the 60's/70's and 80's.  I don't think you will have any problems finding any brand and model of boot if your willing to wait and keep looking.  Using the words Vintage, leather, hiking, backpacking, moutaineering and boots  in different variants I've found hundreds and hundreds of boots.  Then I also looked under brand names for the ones that slipped through.   Then by selective elimination of size, condition and name I've had to pare way down a bit, just a bit.  I mean reeeeeeally how many pairs of boots does a guy need after all?  It's my feeling that when these boots come up in the middle of winter they will even go for much less and or there will be a much better selection as most people do not think of buying hiking boots from now to spring for the most part.  Yes the Pivettas are nearly mint and have only I think been worn inside I believe.  Pretty much all of the boots I've picked up are in that  condition, save one pair and thay've been used just a little and still not even broken in.  I figure that 6-7 pairs should be enough and then I can play with them a bit.  I'd much rather try on boots at home than REI that's for sure.   Plus if you buy them now into winter and they don't fit you or you jsut don't like them you should be able to get your money back out of them in the spring/summer and or offer them up here at Trailspace.  Someone here might not have been looking at the same time as you and might really want them.  I don't think you'll have to worry about these boots becoming to popular.  It seems that most in America are on course for new everthing,  IMHO.

2:57 p.m. on September 22, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman: you really want to talk to overmywaders about Pivettas, and old boots in general. Luckily, he's dispensed quite a lot of information in forums over the years, and he's kept the same name across multiple forums, so you can just basically google his name...

Regarding the black Pivettas: in my barely educated opinion, without having seen the inside back seam, I think you have a pair of Eights there, apeman. The midsole is so thick as to look like the midsole on my eights (and your brown ones), and noticeably thicker than that on my Fives, even though yours do not have the upper eyelet hooks like my Eights (and yours) have. Also, the collar construction and the outer back seam looks more like my Eights (and yours) than my Fives. Then again, I remember reading that all Eights were made with rough-out leather...

Try sending a PM to overmywaders with your Pivetta query; if anyone will "know," he will.

8:35 p.m. on September 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman,

That is a fine looking pair of Pivetta "Eiger"s . Those were the favorite boot of Colin Fletcher ("The Complete Walker"). The Eiger is the sturdiest of the Pivetta's, above the Eight, and is black, smooth-out, and has eyelets only.

All Pivetta's I have seen have been Littleway stitched (aka Blake stitching) which is IMO the best method of fastening the upper to the midsole. The midsole is then fastened to the outer sole with both adhesive and brass screws. Thus the entire upper boot can be removed and the outersole replaced easily.

Littleway/Blake stitching protects all the stitching from exposure as well as giving a closer edge for rock work. It also fits to the foot faster than welts.


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Where they show the sole above it is the boot midsole the outersole is glued and screwed to that.

8:38 p.m. on September 22, 2011 (EDT)
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4:20 a.m. on September 23, 2011 (EDT)
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@overmywaders:  Thanks for naming my Pivetta's and the sole discription.  Learnin more and more everyday.   I do like them a lot.  Any idea what the Zamberlan's are name wise.  They are really nice boots as well.

@ Zeno Marx :  Did you ever gt those Pivetta Artical 8's?  Thanks for the link. good stuff.

1:43 p.m. on September 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Via Ebay I recently picked up a pair of Asolo Ridge boots as per the Backpacker article. These are lighter weight boots with a littleway welt, very nicely made with one piece uppers, etc.  I'll post photos when I have some time.  I did put a pair of shoe trees into the boots since they run a bit small for me and hopefully that will do the trick.

The tongue on one boot has a tendency to slide to the side.  Does anybody know a cure for this?  Back in the day Vasque used to put a small piece of velcro in the boot to prevent this.  I suppose a shoe repair service may be able to sew or glue a piece of velcro in the right place.

6:55 p.m. on September 26, 2011 (EDT)
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alan said:

Via Ebay I recently picked up a pair of Asolo Ridge boots as per the Backpacker article. These are lighter weight boots with a littleway welt, very nicely made with one piece uppers, etc.  I'll post photos when I have some time.  I did put a pair of shoe trees into the boots since they run a bit small for me and hopefully that will do the trick.

The tongue on one boot has a tendency to slide to the side.  Does anybody know a cure for this?  Back in the day Vasque used to put a small piece of velcro in the boot to prevent this.  I suppose a shoe repair service may be able to sew or glue a piece of velcro in the right place.

In regards to the stretching of your boots.  I do not know how tight they are on your feet,  but by lacing up the boots different tighter you will be able to reach different amounts of streatching. If needed you can lace them all tight and wrap some thick plactic around your shoe horns to get more of a streatch.

Regarding the tongue movement.  If the tongue cannot adjust itself into place while your are lacing up the boots you can rest assured that you will get a bad fit.  The only way I've seen to keep the tongue in place is with velcro, depending on the style of the boot.  Boots such as Pivettas and Fabianos which are shaped more like shoes don't seem to have this movement problem regarding the movemnt of the tongue during both the lacing up process and or movent of the tongue after the final lace up, also know as "tongue creep".  I remember having a number of different brands of boots in the day where I had this problem.  I find that tongue placement in these old school boots is very important, unlike more modern hiking/backpacking boots.    If the tongue moves at all once the boots are laced up, it will wreck the whole fit of the boot and some times rub the top of the foot raw.  I have found that with most old school leather boots the tongue needs  to be adjusted at various times during the lace up process.  Since it takes two hands to hold the laces, that makes it hard to also hold the tongue in place.  When the velcro is placed in the middle of the tongue then it is very hard to adjust the tongue when the velcro has pressure on it as the boot is being laced up.  I find that if the velcro is placed at the top of the tongue then the tongue can be adjusted during the lace up process all the way to the end and then the velcro can be secured at the top of the tongue in place within the final last loops of the lacing process.  I would take some sticky back velcro and experiment where on the tongue works best for you and then glue it on or have it sewn on, IMHO of cource. 

8:28 a.m. on September 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Alan,

How old is the Asolo Ridge? Back in 1992, the AFS Ridge was already a glued-on sole, not Littleway stitched.

The shifting tongue is a hassle. If you have the lateral space between the second hooks down when the boot is laced up tight, you might stitch a 3/8" wide strip of webbing vertically on the tongue with some space underneath. Then, when you lace the boot up, pass the laces under the strip. This will keep the boot tongue perfectly centered and prevent movement. Just an idea.

Reed

11:15 p.m. on October 1, 2011 (EDT)
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zamberlan-endlesscom-boots-mens-651-cerv

Apeman- This is the Zamberlan Cevino model I was referring to. My best guess is that you have an older model of the Cervino. Norweigan welt, d-rings and hooks, smooth out brown leather.

Description from Zamberlan of the new model Cervino:

Seasoned hikers and backpackers will appreciate the fine craftmanship and high-tech features of this Norwegian-welted hiking boot from Zamberlan. Tough on difficult terrain but comfortable on the feet, the boot features a durable one-piece upper construction with a waterproof breathable Gore-Tex® liner and a calf leather inner collar and tongue to help prevent blisters on those full contact areas of the foot and ankle. The Vibram® soles offer great grip and durability and are easily resolable.

There was one other older model I found a couple days ago that they could be and stupidly didn't remember the model name!

11:43 p.m. on October 1, 2011 (EDT)
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I know a good bit when it comes to boots in general but the Littleway stitch is uncharted territory for me...

Is it that uncommon in todays boots? My Scarpas utilize the Littleway stitch(at least that's what the little book says that comes with them.)

From what I have been/hearing its a good thing?

4:58 p.m. on October 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Littleway, aka Blake stitching - after the American inventor of the machine that made it possible - is a very good method. The Italians use Littleway on most top-quality shoes and boots. However, Littleway requires a special machine and special training because the operator cannot see the inside of the boot while stitching. http://www.nathellas.gr/site/index.php?t=klist&cat=MACHINES^FALAN-SEWING_MACHINES^FALAN_3000E&p=1

When you look at the handwork that goes into a Blake's (aka, Littleway, or McKays - Blake sold the patent to McKay) shoe you will appreciate the cost of a good Littleway over a glued boot. See the prices below (from the 1908 Congressional Record)


Blakes.jpg



10:59 p.m. on October 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Reed, I don't know the age of my Asolo Ridge boots.  The Backpacker article was from 1981, perhaps they switched shortly after the article was published.  I am not certain I can stretch the boots enough to make them fit.  Oddly enough I have a modern pair of Asolo boots in the same size and they fit very well.

5:23 a.m. on October 13, 2011 (EDT)
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So, now that I have my formating options back for the moment, lets continue with "A tale of many boots".

 

To continue the list of boots I'm interviewing here are some size 9 Rachial mountainiering boots.  These are big very well insulated boots.

Notice the seam across the front of the toe are on each boot.

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Notice if you will, the yellow insigne on the bottom of the sole.  I don't know if you can read it but it in fact does not read "Vibram".  The yellow insigne reads "Raichle" and if fact says "MADE IN SWITZERLAND".  If you go get a pair of your older boots with the Vibram soles and count the lugs on the sole and heal you will find that they are exactly the same as the Vibram soles except for the name.  Interesting.

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These are the wool socks that I found to be most comfortable with these boots.
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Notice the original red laces.
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Next came these beauties, More Rachial's.  These are perhaps the most unused new boots I have run across, ever.  I am loath to even trying them on and spoiling there splender with my sweaty feet.  Notice yet again the seam across the toe area.
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I just don't know if you can get any newer than this. 
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Notice the numbering on the sole.  If you can't read it, it has an 83 towards the toe of the boot.  Towards the bottom and along the heal it reads 27 1/2 and jsut beside it is a 5.  The same numbering is on the inside of the boot.

I cannot figure out what the 83 refers to.   Any one know?  Here is also a quandry.  I would think that 27 1/2 refers to Euro sizing yet the next number is a 5 wich I would think would refer to a American size 5.  American size five translates to a men's Euro 37 1/2 and a woman's 35 1/5.  Then I thought maybe the 5 refers to the UK sizing but this doesent jive with any of the other numbers either.  There is no insignie regarding the maker of the soles of these boots.  On the bottom of the heal is stamped GRD with BS directly below it.  Then in a stameped circle  are the 82 with 27 directly below it, both in the circle.  These boots measure 10 3/16 inside toe to heal and 3 1/2 inside across the ball.

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I bought these boots to be in contention with some of the other boots you will see so that I would have some lighter trail/day hiking boots.  Yet I don't think I can find it within me to put these on my feet.

 

 

Soon after, these Fabiano's came.  These were my first thought in a lighter one sock trail shoe.  They are a womans size 9 wich normally would traslate to a mens size 7-7 1/2.  With that being said none of these boots has any kind of standardization of sizing across the various brands of boots, Heck they don't even have any standardization of sizing within the brands themselves.  After much consideration and a number of emails I determined that these boots would fit me, though on the tight side. 
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I find that these boots look much like many of the Pivetta's I've seen, or do the Pivettas look like the Fabiano's?  They even have the same candy striped laces as my Eiger Pivettas.

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The soles are roccia block vibram soles.  I do not know the differences in the vibaram soles as of yet.
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I first tried the boots with a lite pair of wools socks.  Though they fit in the ball area the just didn't feel right in the toe and heal area. 
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Next I tried them with one pair of Med wool socks and found them to be ever so tight in the ball area but feeling just right in the toe and heal area after two trial runs.  It was time for my boot/shoe streatchers.   I tied the boots so that the streatchers went in snugly but not so they would streatch them too much.  After two days with the streatchers in they feel really nice now.

 

 

So after all this time, the Lowa's, which I had ordered 5 weeks previously and before any of the above boots arrives.  These are some nice boots and I believe they have never been used or worn except in the house.  These are not the same boots I had as a youth.  There are in the same model line as the boots that were stolen from but they are one model below the ones I had and was looking for.  Oh well their still nice boots.  And yet agian its those stock red laces.  As you can see on the inside side of the far boot there is a seam meaning that these are in fact not one piece leather boots.
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These are the Lowa Scouts in size 9.  They are actully designed to be a med. weight boot that breaks in very fast.
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These Vibram soles do not have a name unlike the other ones in the same Lowa line.  The Lowa Civetta's have a Monlagina Vibram while the Lowa Triplex's has the Monlagina Block Vibram Sole.
DSC04802.jpg

I have not had time to try these on.  As it appears that we have reached the rainy season it may be a while before I get to try these on and wear these outdoors as they are of the swade persuasion and have not been treated.  I don't want to treat them before I figure out if I'm going to keep them.  I feel that the  person who ends up with them and uses them should be the first to have the pleasure of treating them.

 

 

 

Here are the last of the boots that I bought to test at this time.  Another pair of Fabiano's.

FABIANO-brown-boots-1.jpg

Brown in Mens size 9.  It's funny but they are exactly the same size as the balck woman's  Fabiano's wiht the exception of being slightly wider in the ball area.
FABIANO-brown-boots-3.jpg

Stamping inside says "CALZATURIFICO THE ALPS- BY FABIANO - MADE IN ITALY".
FABIANO-brown-boots-2.jpg
They have different Vibram soles that the brown Fabiano's.  Where as the brown Fabiano's have Molagna block soles,  the balck one's have roccia block soles.  So many boots.....................so many soles.........what's a guy to do.
FABIANO-brown-boots-5.jpg

 

So this rounds out the boots that I bought for this little test of mine.  But learking in the closet are two pairs of boots that were hiding and will get a chance.

 

A pair of size  8 1/2 lowa Baniff's.
DSC04907.jpg

 

I've had these boots for a long time.  I've tried breaking them in many times but time and time again they just end up feeling not very good.  They made these boots really, really stiff and they just feel wrong.  I will however give them a second chance.
DSC04908.jpg

 

The soles, you guessed it.  Vibram
  DSC04909.jpg

 

 

Along with the Lowa Baniff's that were hiding in my closet were these One Sports.  These boots have a long and sordid history which I will get into another time.  I do not feel they are in the same league as all the above boots but since they are in my closet they might as well get a shot.
DSC04910.jpg


These boots are a size 8.  So now I have one pair of womans size 9 and the rest are men's boots from size 8 - 10 1/2.  All the boots fit correct as far a lenght goes.  Most fit in the ball area or will need just a bit of streatching, but not much.
DSC04911.jpg

 

Yes, Vibram soles again
DSC04912.jpg

 

 

 

So here is a collection of all the boots I bought and had in my closet with the exception of the pair of Brown Fabiano's.  The first part of the test will be pass/fail.  The ones that pass will go on to the next round.  Any that fail will get a second and third chance as it could just be the wrong sock combnation and or needing some streatching as well as just some good old fashion breaking in.
DSC04913.jpg

BOOT FUN!!!!

11:48 a.m. on October 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Sweet collection Brian. My uncle had those exact same One Sports you have pictured. Brought back quite a few memories for me. Thanks again. 

1:09 a.m. on October 14, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman said:


 

Notice the numbering on the sole.  If you can't read it, it has an 83 towards the toe of the boot.  Towards the bottom and along the heal it reads 27 1/2 and jsut beside it is a 5.  The same numbering is on the inside of the boot.

I cannot figure out what the 83 refers to.   Any one know?  Here is also a quandry.  I would think that 27 1/2 refers to Euro sizing yet the next number is a 5 wich I would think would refer to a American size 5.  American size five translates to a men's Euro 37 1/2 and a woman's 35 1/5.  Then I thought maybe the 5 refers to the UK sizing but this doesent jive with any of the other numbers either.  There is no insignie regarding the maker of the soles of these boots.  On the bottom of the heal is stamped GRD with BS directly below it.  Then in a stameped circle  are the 82 with 27 directly below it, both in the circle.  These boots measure 10 3/16 inside toe to heal and 3 1/2 inside across the ball.

DSC04805.jpg

I bought these boots to be in contention with some of the other boots you will see so that I would have some lighter trail/day hiking boots.  Yet I don't think I can find it within me to put these on my feet.


BOOT FUN!!!!

 

Dude, You have a Boot Fetish!  :D

I remember that my military boots had similar numbers on them when they were new.   From what I remember, it's been awhile.  The 83 it a hardness or toughness rating, the higher the number the harder the rubber.  I think the other number may be a location or date number, not an actual date but some type of code number.  I don't really remember.  It could also be a sizing but I don't think so.  Is the same number on the inside of the boot also?  I was not sure with your description, it sounds like it is just on the sole. 

I think the the two stamps are also manufacturing stamps, the GDR/BS is either the maker or a testing standard and the numbers are that then soles where made to those standards.  If you get what I am saying. 

Any way great bunch of boots, now you have two collection hobbies!! 

Ha Ha you probably have lots of "Collection" hobbies!!  :D

Wolfman

6:07 a.m. on October 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Just as the Raichles have the seam for the one-piece upper on the toe, the Lowas have it on the side. Both are, IIRC, one-piece upper with no back seam (except for liner, perhaps).

GDR stands for German Democratic Republic a.k.a., East Germany or DDR. BS may be for Sowjetische Besatzungszone (Soviet Zone) or a city designation.

Two big differences between the Fabiano and the Pivetta - welt vs Littleway construction and a thin leather rolled scree collar vs an integrated scree collar (IMO, the integrated collar is much better but more expensive to make).

Roccia uses a softer rubber than Montagna, otherwise, the lug pattern is the same. Vibram also often put the boot brand on the yellow tag, e.g., Made for Pivetta by Vibram.

9:38 a.m. on October 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Very nice collection indeed.  After my last try with the Asolo Ridge boots I think I am done trying to get a pair via ebay.  Maybe I'll get lucky at a thrift store.

5:00 p.m. on October 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Jake W  said:   "Apeman- This is the Zamberlan Cevino model I was referring to. My best guess is that you have an older model of the Cervino. Norweigan welt, d-rings and hooks, smooth out brown leather."

Hey Jake, Somehow I missed your post.  Thanks for the picture.  I think you may be right on the model of the Zamberlan boots.  The pair I have are an older non Gore-Tex version.  So far I find them to be the most comfortable boot but not by much with a close second being the Pivetta Eiger's.  I still have many boots to try.  The Zamberians are a very warm boot that I would have to reserve for cold weather backpacking while the Pivettas I would sue for warmer weater backpakcing. 

 

Wolfman said: "Dude, You have a Boot Fetish!  :D"  I more or less have a fasination for all gear camping/hiking/backpacking/mountaineering.  So I'm either a collector of gear or I have a gear fetish, not sure which of if it's both.  I will however be getting rid of any boots that do not fit.   As with anything else I do,  I don't want to be looking for boots for years and I don't want to travel to stores to try on boot's.   Ebay gives me the opportuity to have the store come to me.  I do not have to go home and think about the boots I get to try them under any and all conditions and then return them to Ebay if I don't like them.  

While I did much of my rechearch on Google, I tried to find out as much as I could regarding old school boots by listening to what others on Trailspace had liked and used like , Pillowtheread with Pivettas, Robert Rowe with Fabiano's, and Jake W with Zamberlan's, etc.  I wanted to  only sewn on welted soles as way to many times in my life I have had or heard tails of woe from premature boot/sole seperation.   I believe Robert Rowe had a pair of Lowa's do this and Tipi Walter with a pair of Limmer's while on a backpacking trip where he fixed them and the fix voided the warranty.  That would be a  deal breaker in my book.  I myself have had 6 pairs of the One Sports lose there soles (story later).  I have never myself heard nor seen a pair of welted boots loose there sole until the sole was completely worn thru after years and years of use and abuse and by that time it was time to replace the sole anyway.  With all that being said, there is not a chance in hadies that I was going to pay $250-$500 for a single pair of boots. 

While I was at REI for a few moments a couple of months ago I went to the boots section and saw what I felt to be utterly ridiculous prices especially when compaired to what I found on Ebay.  I did search the wall of really colorful boots and did not at the time see that there were any boots with welted soles.  Most if not all the boots on the wall uses Gore-tex and that right there is a deal breaker for me.  No Gore-tex in my boots.   While looking at REI on line it seems that the only ones they carry that have welted soles are two pairs of Zamberlan's the Zamberlan Nuvolao NW ($349) and the  Zamberlan 1025 Tofane NW GT RR ($449).  I spent an avarage of $70 per pair of boots.  Since I bought 7 pair of boots that put me in the $490 range for all the boots I bought.  That does not include shipping but I did not have to pay any sales tax so I'll consider that a wash.  So I paid basiclly the same money for 7 pairs of quality boots as REI wants for there most expensive pair of backpacking boot's.  Any of the boots that don't fit my I will sell this spring back on ebay to recoup some of my money.

alan said:  "Via Ebay I recently picked up a pair of Asolo Ridge boots as per the Backpacker article. These are lighter weight boots with a littleway welt, very nicely made with one piece uppers, etc.  I'll post photos when I have some time.  I did put a pair of shoe trees into the boots since they run a bit small for me and hopefully that will do the trick."

"After my last try with the Asolo Ridge boots I think I am done trying to get a pair via ebay.  Maybe I'll get lucky at a thrift store."

 

Alan, what sized are the Aslo boots and how much did you pay if I might ask?  How were they too tight, in the ball and or in the length?  Asolo was (is) one of the boots I was looking at when buying boots.  If you have the patience I would look for another pair of Asolo boots in another size lager if you think they will fit.  I myself have seen a few pairs of hiking boots at my local Goodwill stores but their either in really bad condition or never in the sizes that I need, usually both.

 

9:15 p.m. on October 15, 2011 (EDT)
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No problem Ape. I recieved my pivettas from pillowthread yesterday and did a full day in them today. Quite a stout little lady those boots are. Completly different category then my other Zamberlans. I think they are gonna end up wotking there way into my life quite nicely! The nuvoloa's are my next boot purchase, like you I love stuff on sale so I'll be looking for some used. Keep your eyes open for me! Glad the boots are working out for you, or at least if they aren't working out for you then you get to have some fun trying out what works and what doesn't!

11:21 p.m. on October 16, 2011 (EDT)
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I need to make some time and photograph and measure the boots.

10:46 p.m. on November 5, 2011 (EDT)
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and the beat goes on.

 

Gone from the fray are the currrent Raichle's.
DSC05079.jpg
The ones on the left were bought with the intention of having a one sock hiking boot/shoe. They are long enough but much to thin across the ball of my foot. I did not even try them on. As you can see from the pictures posted in my original post it appears to me that these have never had a foot in them. I could try and stretch them but it would be a shame to start messin with such nice new boots when there is a plethora of super cheap boots out there to be had. The Raichle's on the right just didn't work out. The are big heavy stiff mountaineering/backpacking boots that came up against stiff comp.  They just did not fit my feet as well as the other's in the pack, such as the Zamberlan’s, Lowa's, Pivetta's.   The best fitting so fare in that order.

 

Out with the old and in with the new.

 

 

Alico Summit's Size 10

DSC05070.jpg
Nice well constructed boots in the manner and wasy's of old school one piece leather boots, no Gort-tex, with welted soles
DSC05071.jpg
Besides being really nice looking, very well constructed boots with detail to fit & finish.  They recived high ratings and reviews from all that I read.  Someone here has a pair, gonzan I believe?


DSC05073.jpg
 

 

Also added were these

 

These are another Pair of Raichle's  The Montagan's size 9.   These were so silly cheap that  I could not pass up on Criags list. 
DSC05074.jpg
As with the Alico's these are in wonderful shap and may have never even seen trial.  Note that these fo not have the seam on the toe area as the older school Raichle’s do.

DSC05076.jpg
As with the Alicos these are new boots built on the frame work of the older school boots.  The just needs some breaking in.


DSC05077.jpg
Again, everything I read about these boots was positive.  They are big strong boots and much like the Alicos in fit and finish, heavier and stiffer bopth in the uppers and the sole.

 

On with the trial.

 

These are the brown Fabiano's in men's size 8.  I bought these to be a one sock hiking/shoe.  Upon trying them one they were much to tight as I would have expected.  So I laced them up and shoved the expanders in and let them sit by the woodstove for two days.  Tried them on and again they needed another streatch, so I tied the laces tighter and shoved the expanders in with a bit more force and let them sit for another two days by the woodstove.  That did it.  I'm still not sure about them but they fit with out being to constrictive now and only time will tell.  They are much stiffer in both the leather uppers and the sole than the black Fabiano's which are up next.

DSC04999.jpg

 

 

The black  Fabiano's womans size 9 which should translate to a mens size 7-7.5.  Or not.  Sizing means nothing when it comes to boots.  As with the brown Fabiano's, I bought these to be once sock hiking shoes.  They fit nice and I very much enjoy them.
DSC05081.jpg
My neighboor Rosie stops by for a chat and a snack break, we eat an apple together.

 

Just when I think I don't want seude outers on a boot due to the amount of maintance they require I try on the Lowa Scouts.  They fit like a golve.  So much so that I forgot I ahd them one.  As they arre untreated they breath really, really well even with two pairs of wool socks on, one light and one heavy pair.  I think I will keep these boots and use them as a dry hiking/backpacking boot and just not treat them.  In my experiance it's hard to get the right amount of treatment on a seude boot that keeps them water resistant and lets them breath.  My experiance with seude boots is that given enough time in the backcountry they will wet out much faster than factory tanned smooth side out boots such as the Pivetta Eigers that I have in my original as well as the above Fabiano's  .  This however will be my last pair of suede rough side out leather boots.
DSC05069.jpg

 

More later.

 

 

8:44 p.m. on November 25, 2011 (EST)
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No doubt you are one who takes their footwear seriously.  You mentioned very sternly that you will not have Gore-Tex in your boots, but made no mention as to your reasoning.  Is it purely a cost factor, or is there a performance issue?

Personally, if $400 gets me comfortable feet in the back country it's worth every penny.  

5:36 a.m. on November 26, 2011 (EST)
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aceinthecorner said:

No doubt you are one who takes their footwear seriously.  You mentioned very sternly that you will not have Gore-Tex in your boots, but made no mention as to your reasoning.  Is it purely a cost factor, or is there a performance issue?

Personally, if $400 gets me comfortable feet in the back country it's worth every penny.  

Personally I find that Gore-Tex has it’s many uses and I have a lot of Gore-Tex in much of my gear, mostly tents and bivys. I Truly believe that using Gore-Tex in boot’s and shoes is just sales gimmick as well as a money saver for boot makers. I find that my feet over heat and sweat so bad that they might as well just get wet in the first place. I find that the sweat from my feet permeates the Gore-Tex and makes it unless in very short order and that my boots become so stinky as to become unusable. I believe that the use of Gore-Tex makes it so that boots break in much quicker but in the end the boots breakdown much faster than traditional leather welted boots so that one has to keep running to the boot store to buy boots more often.

I also find that traditional leather boots without Gore-Tex cost more in the beginning than cheaply made boots with Gore-Tex but in the end can last a lifetime thereby being cheaper in the end if you prorate the cost over time. IMHO. The only good use I have found for Gore-Tex boots are for cold weather/wet motorcycle riding.

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