6:10 a.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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I would imagine (?) many here are somewhat aware of my predilection for NOT being one of LBJ's "Silent Majority".

No one ever accused me of being shy.

Several months ago, I mentioned in a thread here, about my experiences with outdoor gear retailers NOT carrying / offering full-grain leather hiking boots WITHOUT Gore-Tex liners.

There are two in my area (Annapolis, MD).

I discussed the issue with the managers at EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) and Hudson Trail Outfitters.   The EMS people blew me off.   The Hudson Trail Outfitter guys listened to me with interest.   At the time, I was returning from a day-hike in the C & O Canal Nat'l Trail, and I had boots with me.  I went out to the Vanagon and brought in my Fabiano's and Scarpa's, to show them. 

Aside from a few jokes about the "clunkiness" and weight, they recognized the quality of the boots.

Yesterday, I visited both stores.   Of the two, I was pleasantly surprised when one of the guys at Hudson Trail Outfitters recognized me and wanted to show me the new offerings in the boot / shoe department.

He indicated my earlier comments made an impact ... and the store is now taking on the Scarpa line and is also going to be stocking FLG boots from another manufacturer,  WITHOUT Gore-Tex liners.

Sometimes ... it pays to be vocal in our frustrations ....

BTW -- If you visit the Annapolis Hudson Trail Outfitters, ask for Wayne or Rob.   Two VERY knowledgeable and "stand-up" guys.

It is a pleasure doing business there.



7:27 a.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Richard Nixon

9:00 a.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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O00ooops !!

You're right, Mike.   I erred.   Nixon did have more to do with the phrase ....

I'm not old enough to remember ....


9:47 a.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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My feet love the Scrarpa line of boots.Good to hear that some may listen to our needs since we do buy their products.

10:00 a.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Yes ... I was VERY pleased to hear about the Scarpa's ....

Also, this lad, Wayne, I mentioned ... is VERY sharp when it comes to listening to customers.

He recalled my mentioning the lack of wide-widths being available in what the store stocked.   He happened to have a shoe customer at the same time we were having this conversation, that required a wide-width boot.

The guy said he had "Hobbit Feet".   Wayne remarked that more-and-more customer's required the wider sizes, and he is seeing to it that they stock more, now.


10:30 a.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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R2 -

I'm really surprised that EMS blew you off. That is disappointing, since I have used their services very frequently here in Southern Maine, and have always loved their customer service.

Maybe you should let a manager or someone else know that since being blown off, another company listened and carried what you were looking for, so they will get your money.

11:05 a.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Yes,  iClimb ... I was surprised ... and disappointed by EMS.

They have a couple VERY fine and knowledgeable  salespeople (two young women), but they have had some turn-over in staff, of late.

Not sure if at management-level.

I will try them again.  Perhaps, I shall ask to speak to the manager.

I am not bad-mouthing EMS.   I DO like the store, and their inventory.  I am a "frequent-flyer" (preferred customer) with them.  Many purchases with good warranty and return policy.   The in-house EMS-branded products are excellent quality and moderate prices.


12:47 p.m. on August 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Talking to a mom and pop style outfitter can easily get items added to the shelves. However, talking to a chain like EMS or REI is almost wasted breath. The in store staff/manager has little control of what items are carried in store, as this is dictated by the corporate office for the appropiate season and area.

That being said, EMS carries quite a few leather boots that don't have goretex. They only carry a small selection in EMS stores due to the typical small size of EMS stores(at least the ones I have been to). A quick look at their website and I see at least 3 leather boots that don't have goretex. The brands i see they carry that have non gortex , leather models are La Sportiva and Scarpa.

Buying from EMS and REI is great due to their awesome return policies, but they are also a business and unlike a small local outfitter they are driven by sales and that means catering to the masses and the current trends in the marketplace. And for footwear that just so happens to be goretex products.

I tend to only buy big ticket items from places like REI and EMS due to return policy, all of the small items i buy routinely i buy from local places.

June 19, 2018
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