User Review: Van Gorkom Women's Custom Hiking Boots
Use: dayhikes, rough trails, long mountain hikes
Break-in Period: Felt good immediately
Price Paid: $565 USD
These are absolutely amazing boots! I have spent a fortune trying every type of boot made over the years and have had so many problems with all of the off-the-shelf ones, from bunion problems, to sore feet, to heel and ankle problems, as well as heel problems. Only recently have boot makers made an EE wide boot, which helped, but I also have a very high arch and a narrow heel so most of them slip up in back. If I lace the store boots tightly to keep the ankle part tighter, I end up with pain across the top of my foot.
To make a long story short, I found Van Gorkom Custom Hiking Boots on the web and knew I had found a solution. Considering the small fortune I had already wasted on buying boots that didn't fit, the cost of custom boots seemed like a bargain. I wasn't completely sure if the problems I had were foot-related or boot-related, but it seemed like a custom shoe might be the answer.
I sent away for a measuring kit, which came the next week. I measured my feet as instructed, sent the information back, and was told the boots would be complete in two months. Right on schedule as promised, I heard from Charlie to say he was now working on my boots.
Charlie has been very easy to work with. He called me several times to ask very good questions that determined some of the fine points of how he was designing the boots.
When the boots came I fell in love with them! Although I was worried that the weight might be too heavy, they fit so well they felt lighter than my lightweight store bought boots. The leather is beautiful, I hear it costs $200 just for the leather that goes into the boots.
I wore these boots around the house and everywhere, they are so comfortable I don't want to take them off. I have never owned a pair of shoes of any kind that felt this good! My only wish is that I could wear them everywhere.
I have also spent a fortune on orthotic insoles -- from a foot doctor, to a mold, to expensive kinds as well as the cheap ones. The custom orthotic Charlie Van Gorkom makes is incredible! I have never had one so comfortable and my feet have stopped hurting. I intend to wear them around the house and outside as well as on hikes, because just wearing them is making my foot pain go away and my feet feel more comfortable.
I was amazed to find out the Charlie Van Gorkom makes each pair of boots all by himself. They are hand made, and he spends 40 hours or more on just your pair of boots and the custom insole.
I will treasure these boots for years. I had stopped longer hikes because of foot and boot problems. I am now looking forward to hiking for miles because my feet will no longer hurt. In fact, these boots are so comfortable I feel my feet are growing stronger just by using them.
This is a wonderful way to support your outdoor activities and your feet.