User Review: Van Gorkom Men's Custom Hiking Boots
Use: long day hikes/granite
Break-in Period: Still at it
Price Paid: ~$500 U.S.
I sent the e-mail I've copied below to Charlie Van Gorkom a couple days ago following a recent hike on the Mt. Whitney trail. Up to that hike I had been wearing Danner boots, pretty expensive, pretty light, and pretty hard on my feet. I'd always lose toenails and develop blisters galore. Most likely it's my feet and not the Danners but that didn't ease the pain.
I began surfing for custom boots and came upon the Van Gorkom site, became convinced that Mr. Van Gorkom could fit my feet, and ultimately wound up with a pair of his hikers. During the process I e-mailed an early difficulty I was having and, whoa!, Mr. Van Gorkom CALLED me a little later THAT EVENING to make sure all was well. Pretty good customer service. The email below pretty much sums up my overall impressions, in case you're wondering what sort of shop that Van Gorkom guy is running.
-July 24 -
Hello again, Mr. Van Gorkom.
July 22 has come and gone and I'm standing here with ten toenails and no blisters and I marvel how well my Van Gorkoms performed on this year's Mt. Whitney hike! They got beat up, dirty, wet, twisted and scuffed and through it all, for hours without end, my feet remained unscathed. Thank you, thank you. And my concern with weight was unfounded. Yes, the Van Gorkoms are heavy by any standard but not once in seventeen hours was I conscious of the weight of my boots (that's not to say that it wasn't great taking them off at the end of the day!). These boots are going with me wherever the trails take me from now on. Well done, Mr. Van Gorkom.
Keep up the good work!