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One reason why one-piece full-grain leather boots make sense

Those who like the old school FGL boots often mention the few seams as a positive element of the boots. This video provides an insight into seams...

One reason they are losing is favor is that they are heavy.

One reason they are losing is favor is that they are heavy.

I used to wear them all the time back in the 70s and 80s. I always bought Vasque brand mountaineering boots. Backpacked so many miles in 1980 I had them resoled 4 times that year. Had what was it called a Norwegian welt where the leather upper was stitched to the soles with no seams not even behind the heel. Had bright red laces.


You are thinking of Littleway construction. I wear a pair of Vasques from that era daily, they also have Littleway construction. The Norwegian welt has visible stitching all around the boot sole.

ppine, yes they are heavier than the modern boots made of fabric scraps. However, the glove leather lining wears for years, not like the fabric over Goretex. Since the FGL boots have the waterproofing on the outside, the boot doesn't get soaked through like a fabric boot, which must gain appreciable weight when wet. Also, with the FGL there is no need for hot smelly Goretex. You also never hear of someone with a good pair of FGL boots having them blow out on him in the middle of the AT. No planned obsolescence for FGL boots made to last. 

I miss those old boots. Are there any like them available today?

Good post by waders.  I tried on a pair of the old style boots recently when boot shopping. They were just like the ones described above, and made in Italy.  The workmanship was first class, and they provided great support. It would take awhile to break them in, but they would last a long time. They had the Norwegian welt and would be easy to resole.  The only thing that stopped me was that they were about 3 1/2 -4 pounds. 

thank you

I once had a pair of Vasques, maybe like Gary's, and maybe the model name was Mt Whitney? They were excellent boots. I believe I bought them in 74 and wore them often in through the 80's.

full grain leather boots with leather liners are still available.  try this:

i have two pair of their boots, both several years old.  resoled one pair last year.  all-leather linings.  stiffer than most of today's boots, but they will last much longer with normal care, and the leather eventually molds to your feet.  heavier than most of today's boots too.  i rotate between a number of pair of shoes, so i can tell, but i still like them and use them regularly. 

I still use a pair of FGL's for backpacking in the mountains.

Mine are Italian with leather lining.

Fantastic boots from a functional point of view.

I have found my feet do much better with a solid boot / sole when walking on rocks and / or going off trail.

The boots i have are Norwegian welt, I believe, and really excel in kicking steps into slick grassy slopes, or slopes with soft soil or loads of detritus.

Overall i just enjoy having boots that can withstand the environment I'm in, time and time again. I also just enjoy owning the craftsmanship of a FGL.


The FGL boots fit the setting. As the Bard said "I wouldn't solo Carnegie Hall with a plastic violin."

overmywaders said:


The FGL boots fit the setting. As the Bard said "I wouldn't solo Carnegie Hall with a plastic violin."

 Ha-ha, yes that's right.

Thats funny No boot has lasted the entire AT or everybody would be wearing it..I have a pair of old Raichels but like ppine said they weigh 4 pounds,...# season I wear trail runnners and my feet are happier...


You mean no modern cemented sole, Goretex-lined, fabric boot has lasted the entire AT. As many can narrate, a good FGL, leather-lined, stitched midsole, screwed-and-glued outsole, waffle-stomper can easily last the AT... if the hiker can. :) Colin Fletcher put a lot of hard miles on his Pivetta Eigers, the heaviest of the Pivettas, in some very hostile real estate, and they never blew out on him.

Actually, the AT is not the best place for boots such as Mike G. and others enjoy. Off-trail is a better test, for this is where the old-school boots excel. In Europe, the standard for 'trekking' boots is still FGL. The support and protection provided by trekking boots is greatly appreciated when trekking over ankle-twisting knobby rocks, sharp scree fields, or up shallow mossy streams.

November 25, 2020
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