Use: walking, hiking, heavy pack, winter mountaineering
Break-in Period: at least two months
Weight: 4.5 pounds
Price Paid: $300
My most comfortable pair of shoes. I bought these in 2005 and have worn them steadily since then. I have taken them hiking in tropical storms and up the Presidential Range in New Hampshire in January, carrying up to 70 pounds on my back. The support, fit, and construction are as good as I have found.
See my previous review of the Limmer Lightweight - the features are very similar; this has thicker, stiffer leather outers, fits higher on the ankle, and has a thicker sole than the lightweight.
these boots are very different from most hiking boots on the market today. Most hiking boots and shoes are lighter-weight, mixing leather and nylon, often with waterproof liners. Even most leather boots are not nearly as supportive or well-made as these boots, but they won't need to be replaced nearly as often, and they are much more secure with a heavy pack or on uneven trails.
a few thoughts about these boots:
-they are heavy, and the leather is unforgivingly stiff out of the box, so take the time to break them in gradually. Purchase them at least two months out from any significant hike, and having more time would be better. Be diligent about wearing them and applying shoe grease consistent with Limmer's guidelines.
-find a sock combination that works for you and stick with it, especially during the initial break-in. For me, a thin wicking liner under Smartwool mountaineering socks minimized blisters and has become the norm for winter and summer hikes.
-take care of the leather without using too much grease.
-for winter hiking, waterproof them before you head out, and strongly consider vapor barrier sock liners. once the leather outer or lining gets damp, they are very tough to dry out in cold weather.
-this is not a great boot to use with crampons. If you use them in winter, make absolutely certain you have a rock-solid fit with your crampon bindings. i have worn these for winter hikes, with vapor barrier socks and overboots, in really cold, awful weather. they did fine with snowshoe bindings, but i have had trouble with crampons popping off. i have switched to double boots for winter hiking and climbing.
Use: Rough trail w/heavy pack
Break-in Period: 20 miles
Weight: Me: 200 LBS, pack: 50 LBS+
Price Paid: $180
I bought my Limmer Standards in about 1985. They state they were made in Bavaria, West Germany. This comports with the fact that the reunification of Germany took place after my purchase.
I am 6' 2" tall and bought the boots for backpacking with a heavy pack -- 50 LBS+ -- in very rocky terrain in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado. The boots suited that purpose very well, providing an absolute sense of security and support to my feet and ankles in very bad terrain. While I have not used these boots extensively over the years, I have continued to use them for my occasional hiking and hunting activities.
I used them again last week for another long backpacking trip (6 days, 35 miles) under a heavy pack in the Weminuche Wilderness. On this trip the right front sole delaminated and flopped loosely from the boot on the right foot. I had actually been forewarned by Carl Limmer, when I called to purchase new shoelaces, that these boots had been known to delaminate after 20 years of life. Since my boots were 23 years old, I should have listened to his warning. I was very attached to the idea of using these prized boots on this prime trip however. In my view this was not a fault of my boots but rather a known and entirely reasonable limitation.
Everything else about the boots -- leather strength, stitching, etc. -- remained entirely sound. How many boots have you owned that are holding together after 23 years and take a real pounding? I simply tied the front of the sole onto the boot with nylon string -- a 5 minute repair -- which I replaced as needed about every day or every other day as the string frayed on the trail. This allowed me to complete the trip without any further trouble.
I have sent an email to Limmer to inquire about ordering a new pair. I'm completely sold on these boots. I love them and want a new pair so I can get them broken in before next summer when I intend to do some more backpacking.
I also want my old pair repaired and will continue to use them in limited uses (translate -- maybe not relying upon them at 12,000' 15 miles from the nearest road). I wonder how long the repaired boots will continue to serve me?
Materials: Full Grain Leather
Use: general backpacking w/moderately heavy pack
Break-in Period: One NOLS Instructors course
Weight: 4 lbs. 6 oz. per pair
Price Paid: $295
I cannot say enough good things about Limmers. My first pair were Standards, purchased new at the NOLS outfitting store in preparation for my Instructors course in 1993. I could not find a rental boot that fit, so I was forced to begin my course by wearing a new pair of boots into the field. I generally wear a size 9.5 hiking boot but the folks in outfitting sized me in a 10 and required the boot to fit over two pair of VERY thick socks. The boots worked great on the course and I suffered no blisters. They were the first hiking boot I have experienced that offered the support to carry a 85 lb. pack but were not rigid and stiff to wear. They feature a deep notch at the back of the ankle that relieves all pressure at that point, and offer the best heel fit I have ever experienced. I bought the boots after the course but with the sock combination that I normally wear, I found them too big. I also wanted a little lighter weight boot because I refuse to ever carry a NOLS type load again! I decided to purchase the "Lightweight" model.
The name Lightweight is not accurate in terms of the boot's durability. They are light compared to Limmer Standards, but are heavier duty than most backpacking boots on the market and are better made than any other brand of boot. I like the "rocker" sole that is used on the Lightweights better than the sole on the Standard and I like the lighter weight. I again ignored the Limmer instructions and wore the new Lightweights on a backpacking trip straight out of the box. They were superb and I suffered no blisters or discomfort of any kind. I don't believe that you could do that with any other brand of heavy-duty boot.
As far as choosing a particular model, I believe that you should:
Choose the Standards if you are of average build but carry a very heavy load (65 lbs and up), or are large and carry a medium to heavy load, and hike in really rugged terrain or often go off-trail.
Choose the Midweights if you are of average to large build, carry a medium to heavy load (45 to 75 lbs), and hike in really rugged terrain but generally stay on trails.
Choose the Lightweights if you are female, or a small-to-average built male, carry a average load (40 to 65 lbs.), and hike in rugged terrain but generally stay on trails.
I have been so impressed by Limmers that I purchased the Limmer "Walker" (a tyrolean walking shoe) and wear them all during the fall, winter and spring as my every day shoes.
You simply cannot purchase a better boot.
Break-in Period: very long
Price Paid: approx $360
I purchased my Standard Limmers this spring and initially thought that I had made a mistake. The boots were more uncomfortable than any boot I'd ever tried, but I decided to stick with the break-in. The people at Limmer recommend a long break-in prior to hiking. This is very sound advice.
During the course of several weeks, I walked around the house, then the yard and neighborhood. Being impatient, I then took the boots on several 15+ mile days in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. My duct tape and moleskin usage skyrocketed. Being stubborn as well as impatient, I continued to hike with the boots during most weekends throughout the summer.
Around Labor Day, I began to see significant signs of movement in the previously rock-hard leather and my foot-care supply usage began to diminish. After 4+ months, they were beginning to break in.
During my last visit to Limmer's facility in Intervale, I was informed that my boots were 60% broken-in.
During the last few years, I've hiked in running shoes and many other boots (Treksta, Asolo, Merrill etc). Upon arrival at the trailhead, I've always rushed to change my footwear. With the Limmers now conforming perfectly to my feet, I drive home wearing them.
I am very pleased with these boots and look forward to wearing them for many years. I would highly recommend them for hiking or as work boots, but they are not for those who desire instant gratification. If you would like a fantastic hiking boot next summer, start wearing your new Limmers now.
Use: trail work
Break-in Period: 1 solid trip
Weight: real heavy lbs. (real heavy kg)
Price Paid: $275
I recently retired my Standards after 5 years of trail work. During this time they stood up to days and weeks of dirt pushing, rock kicking, submersion in mud and water, getting knicked by pulaskis, a couple of close calls with chainsaws, and hiking on all manner of surfaces. The maintenance they received was negligible. Despite this, they have outlasted any other boot I have worn. My White's Smoke Jumpers are a close second, but the Limmers take it and are more comfortable to hike in.
Though I would agree with other reviewers that these boots get more comfortable the longer you wear them, I would never suggest them for backpacking. Go with a lightweight trail runner. However, as an outdoor work boot, they're my favorites.
Use: backpacking/heavy duty
Break-in Period: LOOOONG
Weight: 4.5 lbs
Price Paid: $160
First off this is not a mountaineering boot! This is a heavy or, if you like, super duty backpacking boot. After several weeks of pounding these unruly beasts into submisssion I must say they are the most comfortable boots in their class.
The reason I purchased these was because I have spent entirely too much on boots over the last five years. Nothing seems to last longer than 350 miles. These are name brand boots I am speaking of. Anyway this boot is old school, heavy and painfull during break-in but appear as though they might outlast me.
The fit makes up for the weight, yes they really do mold to your feet. During break-in I think the Limmer grease is great, but not as waterproof as Obernaufs which I now use due to living in the Pacific Northwest. This is what I consider a niche boot "works great for some people but not most". I don't give 5 stars to anything!
Materials: Full Grain Smooth-Out Leather
Use: Backpacking/Light Mountaineering
Break-in Period: 50 Miles
Weight: 4lb 12oz
Price Paid: $290
This comment is a review written as a response to comments about Limmer delamination in a prior review.
I read your review of the Limmer boots. I've been in Limmer stds for years and have tried all different kinds of boots. For a number of reasons, I always end up back in my Limmers. I could go on and on about my affection for the materials, design, and fit, and they would echo the highest praise of others. I have purchased an additional pair of Limmers for future use in case my unusual (10.5 W) size is not available.
Limmer's are truly outstanding -- clearly best in class -- but they are not perfect. The lower hook laces bend if used for really rough terrain and/or technical climbing and mountaineering. The solution is simple: to have Limmer or the local shoe guy put D-Rings for the lower eight hooks.
Overall, I think I'm a Limmer fan for life - though more a result of having worn at least a dozen other brands than as a matter of blind allegiance. They just work better, look better, and feel better. They are a premium product that can relied upon to function perfectly for very long periods of time under very adverse condition. From a sheer technical/design perspective, they are in my opinion the most effective general-purpose backpacking/mountaineering boot available. From a planning perspective, when you choose Limmers as mountain footwear, then your footwear becomes one less issue to worry about.
And given recent surges in the prices of comparable boots, they are hardly more costly, thus making them a superb value for the money. And aside for all that, they are works of art that say something about the wearer in terms of being elegant and distinctive.
As far as your comments about delamination issues, I cannot say for sure, but it *seems* like yours were not in fact delaminating from your description. You did not mention the vibram sole physically falling off from the rubber midsole, but simply said:
"...my big gripe is that they began to delaminate after only... get this, 200 miles. The delamination occurred in the sandwhiches of leather and rubber below the welt."
In a Norwegian welted boot, those "sandwiches" are THROUGH-STICHTED together and do not rely on glue. The leather edges of virtually 100% of this type of boot in field use (particulary in the wet) will appear to "delaminate" when small cracks appear between the layers. I fretted about the years ago with several other boots until I studied boot construction a bit.
The rubber midsole is the layer used to attach the outer vibram sole using a lamination process. The vibram sole is "laminated" to the rubber midsole only. And the rubber midsole is THROUGH-STICHTED as part of that "sandwich" you described. Thus, for the vibram sole to fall off, they would have to delaminate from the rubber midsole, not from crack in the sandwich. The sandwich is really a sewn stack of layers that could only separate by physically cutting the welt stitching away between the layers with knife.
In 25 years of hiking, I've seen hundreds if not thousands of Limmer boots and never seen a single sole falling off or even looking like it was starting to. Perhaps your issue was more one of misunderstanding the construction of the boot, thereby leading you to believe that the minute fissures between the leather in the midsoles were in any way a problem. Prior to Limmers, I had 2 pairs of Fabiano Mountain boots. I purchased the second pair when the vibram sole worn down to nil on the first set rather than resole a beat up old boot (that I loved). They developed these cracks in the first 200 miles too. And I wore the soles off both pairs over years with never the slightest delamination of the other sole. My Habler/Kastinger Superlight and Galibier Superguide moutaineering boots all did the same thing and never delaminated at the outer sole.
In summary, what I believe you were seeing was inconsequential delamination of through-stiched midsoles, as is common to most every boot of this construction. This not a problem. On the other hand, maybe the soles were physically falling off, in which case you have a real legitimate gripe and I support you.
One more point....Limmer boots are not particularly heavy compared to similar models. Unless you have a size 18 foot, they do not weigh 3.5 pounds each. Size 9 of the Limmer standard weighs 4 lbs and 12oz. Go to the REI boot section on their web page and you will find that Limmers are within ounces of similar boots designed for backpacking and light mountaineering. For example, the Asolo 650 weighs 4 lbs and 3 ozs, and is full of light padding and and made of very mediocre suede leather. Asolo's are a good product, but they are not Limmers!
Break-in Period: 4 weeks
Weight: 4.5 pounds
Price Paid: $335
These boots are like wearing bulldozers on your feet. They do take a long time before they break in. Three weeks of wearing them around the house. Then a few weeks outside. A trip up Mount Washinton with no pain and no blisters. They are now the most comfortable footwear I own. There was some pain when breaking them in. You have to follow the instructions given by the Limmer folk to break them in properly.
I went to the Limmer shop to buy mine. They do make custom boots. Mine are off the shelf.
Use: dayhikes, 2 week trips, Mt. Whitney, etc
Break-in Period: 2 to 4 weeks...start slowly
Price Paid: $28.50 and $495
I got my first pair of Limmer's custom made in 1965. They were made by the grandfather of Carl Limmer...who was there when I ordered a new pair in 1995...assuming that they would finally wear out. I have both pairs today. For me the best boot on the trail, very supportive, absolutely waterproof...bomb proof construction...have never suffered a foot injury/blister ever. I recommend them highly...especially if you backpack for 3 days or more and if trails are wet/rocky.
Break-in Period: Long time..
Weight: Nothing outside of the norm..
Price Paid: $335
I would honestly try to persuade anybody from buying a pair of Limmer Standards. They are German made on Limmer lasts and while I think the quality is there I didn't find the comfort to be even close to what one should expect. These long break-in periods Limmer speaks of in my opinion is maybe due to the lasts or something as I see no reason for a boot that's so well constructed to be so uncomfortable.
I ordered these boots after much research as the Vasque and Dolomite boots I'm used to have both turned into trash. I wanted something rugged and sturdy as I'm fairly hard on my boots. When I first opened the box I was VERY impressed however after putting them on I couldn't have walked to my mailbox in them. I've NEVER had this issue with any other foot product and my feet are fairly well built for out of the box boots and shoes. In any event, the right boot felt far worse and with my feet both measuring the same in the places these hurt I couldn't understand.
I called them up and this is when I got concerned! The man I spoke with at Limmer (not Karl) actually told me it was the “boot that didn't hurt he was concerned about”. I felt like I was in a Steve Martin cruel shoes story line and at that point decided to return them. My feeling was that if it was the boot that felt comfortable causing trouble it wasn't an issue I wanted Limmer to fix for me. I have since switched to the Meindl Guffort and in my view this is a far superior boot. Out of the box they fit me like a glove. As a matter of fact I put them on, walked 10 feet to the car and drove to do a 1-mile hike without any discomfort!
Break-in Period: 2-3 weeks
Weight: ? 3.5 pounds, not sure
Price Paid: $325
Very, very heavy boot. Even though it's mighty stiff, it is still pretty comfy. I wouldn't recommend to hike in it right out of the box though like some other people have done. I wore them around the house for limited times until they started to break in, which was only about 3 days before I felt them starting to give a little. They have so much support it's unreal. They are bombproof and it's really amazing how quickly they start to mold to your foot.
I can only ditto the other reviews. I have nothing bad to say. I can say that where I bought them, The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, N.Y., was extremely helpful in fitting me and giving me info in general. I was so frustrated after going to many different stores and having kids guess at what to tell me about boots. They were unable to give advice and good info on fit. When you are spending in excess of $200 for a boot, you really need someone to tell you the ins and outs. Especially if you may go tumbling down a mountain! I didn't get that until I spoke to Jeremy.
There are not many places that sell Limmers. You won't be displeased. They are well worth the investment. I love them so much I was thinking of putting myself on the custom waiting list. Jeremy, at the Mountaineer said I'd really have no need since the boots last around 15 years!
So far the boot is great. Will update after a few more trips.
Break-in Period: 100 miles
Weight: 5 lbs the pair
Price Paid: $280
I've used my Standards for about 200 miles and have fitted into them really well. The uppers are full leather, inside and out, so they will tend to mold to your foot and ankle structure over the break-in. One review talks about experiencing delamination between the sole and the upper, but I don't see how that could be possible, as they are stitched. After my 200 miles, I have one stitch, of which there are many, many, that is very slightly frayed. So I'm not sure I understand those comments. The uppers are like armor, and very protective in rocky terrain. I have suffered no foot injuries from banging and slipping. It is really the thickness of the leather and lack of seams that make them so strong and durable.
The only negative is that they do take a lot of break-in, but the end result is an excellent form fit. The most important point is to start with a pair that fits well per the last and volume. If you notice anything that doesn't feel right, return them and get the right size. I have no doubt that these will be the last boots I will buy. I have heard that resoling, which costs about $60, is necessary after 2,000 to 3,000 miles.
Use: rough trail w/ heavy pack - or not
Break-in Period: short
Weight: about 5 lbs
Price Paid: alot
I have used a variety of boots over the years, and nothing was ever quite right. My main heavy-use boots for hiking and scrambling in places where the boots better perform reliably, the NorthWest Territorries, Nunavut, Patagonia and Antarctica were my Scarpa SL's and Fabiano Rio's. especially if you're a clumsy zombie like me. Great boots, good support, but there was always a problem with the fit. Bad, old, tired, battered feet. I waited four years for these custom Limmers, hoping they'd give this tired old zombie a new lease on outdoor life; and I expected to be disappointed. I wasn't. Absolutely superb! The fit is incredible, the support unequalled and they actually feel lighter than my old boots, although they are a bit heavier. After two weeks of light use they were fairly well broken in! It isn't hype. These are by far the best boots I've ever used. Well worth the wait, and the price.
Use: off-trail, backpacking
Break-in Period: two months
Price Paid: $180
my first pair of limmers; first pair of heavy boots that fit and were not hand-me-downs. at size 9 these have been the only boot i've worn that did not give me a blister. not one. my break in period was still unfinished when i left for a month in some mountains- after the first five days they were considerably softer and began to shape themselves to my feet. a break in breeze after that; still no blisters then or now. some cracking in the midsole layers, but that will fix easily enough. great big beautiful boots!
Where to Buy
The Limmer Standard is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Or you may want to check for a dealer list or direct sales on the Limmer website.
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