Finn Comfort Garmisch
Very expensive boots, but these could be what makes…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $245
Very expensive boots, but these could be what makes the difference for middle-aged feet.
- Extremely comfortable and supportive, especially for problem feet
- Very high-quality workmanship
- Replaceable footbeds
- Replaceable soles
- Steep price
A year ago I got back into backpacking after 20 years of a sedentary lifestyle. For the last three years of my two decades of slothfulness, I suffered from chronic plantar fasciitis. When I finally got over that, I had a renewed appreciation for well-functioning feet. I decided to put mine to good use by resuming regular hiking and backpacking trips.
A lot of research led me to these crazily expensive boots made by Finn Comfort, a German company that produces high-quality, hand-made shoes. The first thing I noticed about them is their extreme comfort. They felt so good that, if my feet hurt from plantar fasciitis, I would actually sleep in them — at home, not on the trail. Weird, I know.
The list price is $395, but you can get them for up to 30-35 percent off if you wait for a sale at an online merchant. I got mine at a big discount. I never thought I'd pay that much for shoes or any article of clothing, but it's the best money I've ever spent on footwear. I figure they cost the same as two or three visits to the orthopedist.
They're all smooth leather uppers, with an ample padded section around the ankle, making them very comfortable whatever the angle of your foot — striding, turning, or climbing up or down with a heavy pack. The tongue is similarly padded. The sole support is superb, as you'd expect from expensive shoes like this, and there's a reinforced, flexible toecap for added protection. The design is understated, not flashy; clearly the people who make these shoes actually wear them for the intended purpose.
The soles can be replaced if they ever need to be.
I normally would reserve hiking boots for hiking, especially with this much money invested in them, but I'm convinced these boots keep my feet in good shape and are durable enough to stand the daily wear. I've worn them practically every day for a year, around town, on evening walks, as well as in the mountains, and they show little-to-no wear. During that time I've replaced the cork-and-latex footbed once; the manufacturer recommends doing this annually.
Even when I'm sitting around watching the tube they feel better than no shoes at all. And — ask my wife — every now and then I still sleep in them.