User Review: Van Gorkom Women's Custom Hiking Boots
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $650
My Van Gorkom boots have failed to address the issues related to my narrow feet. I have had a very painful experience with them on multi-day backpacking trips. I am sorry to report that after several years of trying to make them work, I am giving up on them.
I purchased a pair of Van Gorkom custom boots in November 2005 after a long search to find hiking boots that would fit my narrow feet. In my experience, my Van Gorkom boots have worked fine for day hikes, but that is about all I can say in their favor. I have been very disappointed in them in several ways on multi-day backpacking trips:
I still get bad blisters on my heels.
I still get bruises on my toes.
When I try lacing the boots more tightly to avoid the above problems, it cuts off the circulation to my toes, which sometimes results in severe pain.
The elaborate and time-consuming maintenance regimen prescribed by Mr. Van Gorkom to alleviate these problems has not worked for me.
The insoles do not provide what I would consider adequate cushioning.
The boots are excessively heavy. I take a woman’s size 7 ½; my pair of Van Gorkom boots weighs about 3 ¾ pounds, about a pound more than the Vasque boots I am ordering as a replacement. A general rule of thumb is that an extra pound on your feet is roughly equivalent to five extra pounds on your back.
Even the hooks that hold the laces have been a disappointment. I try to lace my boots carefully, but find that the laces have a tendency to come off the hooks at inconvenient times (for instance, in the middle of a tricky stream crossing).
For all of these reasons, I am giving up on my Van Gorkom boots. In retrospect, I’m sorry that I put so much time and suffering into trying to make them work. I’m also sorry that I have to write such a negative review; I had truly hoped that these boots would offer a solution to at least some of my hiking footwear problems.