Leather Boots for Old Feet? What brand do you old timers like? In-House production only please!

1:37 p.m. on October 26, 2016 (EDT)
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So, I've come to a crossroad in my backpacking and hiking "career" and need new sturdy boots for backpacking. Many of you older hikers may have experienced the same things.  I'm 55 years old, 180 lb and been at it since I was 10 off and on.  I normally carry around a 40 lb pack. (Gotta love all the lightweight gear these days.)

All my old boots are now dead. <sniff sniff> Swiss made Vasques (my favorites) and old Red Wings.  They are now well beyond resoling with the uppers all torn up.  Production of boots has now changed from smaller companies/domestic production in American and Europe, with many of those smaller companies being gobbled up by corporate giants who sub out their production to China and other cheaper labor areas.  This has not fared well for boot quality IMO. Further, the recent trend has went away from proven leather designs to less expensive synthetic designs.  This appears to be a mistake IMO as well.  In the past 5 years, I've grown frustrated trying several brands of "imports", including 3-4 pairs of higher end ($200 and up) synthetic material boots... guess you can call them "Sneakerboots".  You may be a fan of these sneakerboots, but in my experience they are pathetic and die quickly under load in rocky conditions.  They give up their waterproofness fast and have to be retreated very often and just don't give good ankle support compared to a classic leather boot.  Yes, you have to break in a stiff leather boot, but after that, they are the best.  (I'm not from the instant gratification generation, so immediate break-in in not a big deal to me.)  Yes, you have to treat your leather boots too to keep the waterproofness, but it is MUCH easier to do than with synthetic boots.  Therefore, I'm going back to old school leather boots baby!  I'm done with sneakerboots.  I'm also done with boots from companies that subcontract their boot production to Pac-Rim. DONE.  D-U-N!  Vasque (who has the best fitting last for my foot) has unfortunately went the way of Chinese production and their new boots are only a mere shadow of what their original boot quality was.  Too bad.  A sad sad day.

So moving forward, I'm looking to some of you older experienced guys or gals that have went through the slow foot widening and other foot issues that come with the glory of the aging process.  Maybe you've been down this road and could recommend a couple brands of boots to look at.  I know it comes down to fit and I may have to resort to the order and ship back multiple times to find the right boot to start with.  Price is NOT the issue.  This is about getting a quality full LEATHER boot (no textile even in the tongue) with is waterproof and that fits well with a company that supports their product.

My needs - Wide fore foot needed ("E"-ish width required).  I have something called Morton's Neuroma in my right foot, so a tight ball and toe box area is OUT.  My heel width is normal and I have a "low volume" foot with a low arch, meaning my foot is not thick from top to bottom in the arch area.  (Usually a good foot bed takes up extra volume without compromising fit)  Plus I have quite long toes, putting my arch back maybe 5mm toward the heel more than the average Joe for the same shoe size.  (size 10 for the record)  And I have a couple torn ligaments in my ankles from skiing accidents.  That's some specific info, I know.  But I do know my feet after 45 years of hiking since I was a young boy scout and now wrestling foot issues in the last 10-15 years

So far, I'm considering Danner and Zamberlan.  Those are American and Italian companies with in-house production still in their home countries.  At least those two are left that I know of.  I used to like La Sportiva, but my feet are now too wide for them.

Any other contenders that anyone else knows of that makes at least an E width boot?

And before you say; Well, company X boots that I have are great, but they are made in China, but you should look at them anyway...  This is me going "LA LA LA" running away with my fingers in my ears lifting my knees high as I go.  I'm done with corporate giant companies and their cheapening tactics.  So don't waste your typing if you are about to suggest a brand that does not have some in-house production if that what you are about to suggest.

Thanks, Scotty

3:41 p.m. on October 26, 2016 (EDT)
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Scotty!

You can add Viberg to that list. Oh, and Nick's and White's.

3:45 p.m. on October 26, 2016 (EDT)
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My foot wear has changed many times since I started backpacking in the late 1970s. I started wearing the ole mountaineering chrome tanned, replacable vibram soled boots that weighed about 5 lbs , then went to the then newer lightweight nylon boots, then to low top ones, then to sneakers as my feet got hardened by 40 years of hiking long distance. Now I can wear just about anything on my 61 year old feet and they handle themselves well.

7:28 p.m. on October 26, 2016 (EDT)
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Have you looked at limmers?

9:10 a.m. on October 27, 2016 (EDT)
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Pillowthread - Viberg:  OK, maybe price IS an object.  $750 is getting to be off the charts.  Nick's & White's Custom looks reasonable for $250 less than Viberg.  Never considered a custom boot and maybe than can do something specific for my right foot's problem.  Something to explore.  Thanks.

GaryPalmer - Glad you feet are tough and God gave you a set that has taken you into your 60's with no problems.  I wish I were so blessed.  Not meaning to be rude, but that doesn't help me nor is it pertinent to my thread.

Jake W - No, I haven't looked at Limmers... yet.  Thanks.

10:05 a.m. on October 27, 2016 (EDT)
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Limmer is a great boot, but only made at the shop if you custom order. Retail boots are produced at a factory in Germany using the original lasts. Not sure where that fits into your rules.

The virgin boots are quite individual and I tried on four pair before finding the ones I purchased. Going to the shop in NH gives you your best bet for a good fitting if possible as other retailers are likely to have a more limited inventory and buying online would just be a crap shoot as far as fit. If you're making the trip call ahead to make sure they have what you are looking for in stock. Custom Limmers are probably more than you want to spend and have a long wait list last I heard.

12:34 p.m. on October 27, 2016 (EDT)
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Lonestranger - I've contacted Limmer this AM.  I've talked to Ken on the standard retail Limmer side and already sent him my sizing sketches.  What I like about them is their 1-piece upper that has the seam in the inside concave part of the boot instead of the backstrap like the Danners.  This is exactly how my old Vasque's were made and it allowed the back of the boot to flex more than one with a backstrap.  Not saying I've made a decsion to buy a Limmer boot, but its in the running for sure.

I also e-mailed back and forth with Pete Limmer on the custom side of Limmer boots.  They start at $750 for all weights and have an 18 MONTH lead time.  He is obviously not hurting for business.  Very expensive, but they are full on 1-piece upper customs.  If my foot conditions worsen, I may have to eventually go to a full custom.  Second mortgage maybe?  LOL

The Nick's and White's customs that Pillowthread mentioned do not use a 1-piece upper - a definite disadvantage in the wicking and leaking department, plus that's more stitching to break.  Admittedly I have not yet called them to see if they will do a 1-piece upper.  Their web site doesn't show a 1-piece version.

Scotty

12:45 p.m. on October 27, 2016 (EDT)
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Now that you mention it, I worked with a guy that was on his second pair of Limmer Lightweights after having the same thing happen to him...his old Vasques finally went.

Now mind you, he's a Forester, so that explains the advanced wear to the boots; point is, he said he found the Limmers far superior to the Vasques in terms of fit and quality.

Said he's keep buying them 'till the end of time if he could.

1:01 p.m. on October 27, 2016 (EDT)
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Vasques of old are NOT the same as the new Vasques.  They are not even in the same state, let alone ballpark.  Thank you Chinese manufacturing to meet a price point.  C'est La Vie.

What's funny about Limmer "Light weight" boots is that their weight is where most other manufacturer's heavy weight boots stop, in comparable heights (5"ish).  Case and point are the Danner Mountain Lights, which weight about the same as the Limmer Light weights.

1:03 p.m. on October 27, 2016 (EDT)
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Scott your intro sounds like me ( 55-180 lbs-40lb pack ) The differance entirely may be that I doit for a living. Full grain leather boots are the ticket for me . The quality of Italian makes a difference. There is no perfec tool yes they are heavy yes they breathe poorly yes they are expensive . Also yes they have great ankle support, yes they are almost indestructible. Yes they are water proof if you spend the time waterproofing them when they are newish. Most of all they are very comfortable weather on scree or trail. I am on my third part of Scarpa they last me an average of 5 yrs. Gortex boots 1yr. 

My 2 cents

Paul

1:25 p.m. on October 27, 2016 (EDT)
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Paul - Yep, I'm just a weekend warrior.  I get out with my wife, my oldest son and his wife, plus my younger sons and the boy scouts.  So I get to hit the trail maybe 12ish times per year, with only 4-5 of those trips being more than 2 nights on the trail.  I do spend a lot more time in the woods, as I live in the country on wooded property, but that's more logging work and maintenance on my and the neighbor's property than hiking.  I use cheapo boots from Tractor Supply for that work that have steel toes that I don't care if they get destroyed... and they do get trashed felling trees, bucking logs and burning brush.

Gortex synthetic boots - I'm surprised you get a year out of them!

5:01 p.m. on October 27, 2016 (EDT)
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I'll second (or third or fourth) Limmer boots.  I bought my pair of Limmer standards in 2005, bought a pair of the lightweight about 18 months later.  I wear both pair regularly; I resoled the standards a few years ago.  I use custom orthotics in them.  both are the stock models, made in Germany by Meindl.  both are full leather outers and full leather linings; both are in great shape, should be fine for many more years.  I do take care of them - clean them well with saddle soap and rags annually, then let them dry, then re-grease them as needed.  

My feet are E-width, and both pair of boots are in the wide size, a determination made in communications with the limmers after they looked at the tracing and measurements I sent them.  (PS - the company uses the same last for the standard and lightweight; the last for the mid-weight boots is different, at least that was the case when I bought my boots).  

the standard is a lot of boot.  the leather outers and midsole are relatively stiff and take a while to break in.  they are fairly heavy compared to most stock boots.  for most people and purposes, the lightweight is very sturdy but more forgiving, a good compromise.  that said, I really like the sturdier boot and wear them more often on the trails.  

I use these boots for hiking and trails.  in addition, i do a lot of walking to stay in shape, quite often on pavement.  I'm not a fan of the heavier boots for consistent walking on pavement, it can be a hard pounding on older feet (I was 39 and 41 when I bought the boots, I'm 50 now).  so for training on streets and sidewalks, I use disposable mid or low 'sneaker boots' or running shoes regularly.  typically, the midsoles and soles of the lighter-weight boots get worn out about every six months.  

6:20 p.m. on October 27, 2016 (EDT)
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Well a year in the Canadian Rockies of course is only 5 months of no snow then you switch to something insulting 

9:50 a.m. on October 28, 2016 (EDT)
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A historical note - Limmers have been quality boots for a long time.  I bought my first pair in 1958 - custom made to my measurements for $32 9a big deal for a starving student at the time.)  put them on right out of the box and started walking - never experienced so much as a hot spot.  Used them regularly for at least fifteen years.....

10:38 a.m. on October 28, 2016 (EDT)
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Thanks to all.  Super input.  Currently, I'm still looking at Limmers (long break in), as well as Asolo Powermatic Wides (slightly shorter break in but still considerable with nice modern features like pulley buckles).  Asolo doesn't have in-house production in Italy, but it's at least only a drive to Romania from Italy and they say they personally manage it, so they should keep the QC pretty tight.  Asolo and Limmers are completely different boot concepts mind you - old school VS modern.  I'd like to try the Scarpa's (a modern design that are more Asolo like) and have found a local place that reps Scarpa, however they don't stock any of the heavier boots.  :-(  They apparently haven't become popular in my area.  Powermatics seem to the the modern go-to around here.

Question for you Limmer owners - How wide does the top of the boot open up for drying between hikes?  Mind taking a picture from above of the strings taken completely loose and then splayed open?  That was one of the cool things about Danners (and my old Vasques) is that you could literally splay the boot wide open nearly down to the toe box for fast drying and very easy foot insertion.  You literally stepped in.  I could get to the campsite and literally open the boot up totally and it was completely dry in the morning in dry conditions.  I have very sweaty feet even in cold conditions unfortunately and often resort to vapor barrier socks and/or antiperspirant on my feet.  The downside of that tongue design like on the Danner's and my old Vasque's is that you have to get the tongue folded perfectly when you close the boot and broken in that way perfectly, else you'll get hot spots on the top of the foot.

9:45 p.m. on October 28, 2016 (EDT)
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I wouldn't say it opens up super wide, although I've never really paid much attention to that. There is a gusseted tongue so that would limit how far it'll go. I'll take a picture of mine tomorrow for ya. 

8:19 a.m. on October 31, 2016 (EDT)
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This past weekend, I spent some more time reading and then talking with a couple of my local outfitters that have "old timers" around that know the old boot designs, as well as the new designs.  In wider boot widths, it does seem to be coming down to the 4 boots mentioned here already, both in old school and new school designs.

Old school, similar to my old Vasques, resolable - Limmer and Danner

Modern designs, with GTX liners and pulley eyes, not resolable - Scarpa and Asolo

Guess it's time to start ordering and trying on boots.  It's gonna be a big pain in the lower hemisphere loading up my credit card and shipping them back and forth, but in the end, one of these bad boys should fit my feet well.  I have no doubt that all are heavy duty enough to withstand the off-trail task and still retain their waterproof-ness for many, many years.

I'm intrigued by custom Limmers, but who can wait 18 months for a pair of boots, plus the trip to NH to get them fitted?  So I guess those are out.

Scotty

9:16 a.m. on October 31, 2016 (EDT)
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Aside from my wonderful Limmers, I have had good experience with Vasque, especially their "Sundowner"model. This is partly becasue they were the official boot supplier to the NPS when I was working. I wore out a pair of Sundowners, but it took some time.  I still have an unused pair NIB that I bought just before I retired.

9:42 a.m. on October 31, 2016 (EDT)
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IMG_4242.jpg
Heres what mine (lightweights) look like opened up. 

8:46 a.m. on November 1, 2016 (EDT)
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hikermor - Vasques were always my "go to" brand as the last that their boots are made on fit my feet very well.  Prior to 10+ years ago, I wouldn't even consider another brand, but those days are now past.  I had a pair of Sundowners years ago and several other models.  I have now stopped using Vasque because of the Chinese production.  I had one pair of Vasques after they went to Chinese production and they lasted for just 1 year.  They wore out exceptionally fast and Vasque wouldn't stand behind them.  Their boot quality clearly went "downhill".  I've also read from those that had the original Sundowners that the new Chinese produced Sundowners are not the same.  That is one of several reasons I said I was done with boots produced in places where it has become clear it is merely a name on a boot only and the original company no longer controls quality or directly manages production, but only subcontracts production to a specification.  And when you subcontract to a minimum specification that is exactly what you get - a minimum specification product.  This appears to be the case with Vasque.  My opinion mind you.

Thanks Jake W - The Limmers appear to splay open reasonably well.  Limmer has recommended I try their standard weight boot.  Nothing like a 4.25 lb pair of boots to make a man out of you!  LOL

Scotty

10:13 a.m. on November 6, 2016 (EST)
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I dry leather boots that get soaked with crumpled newspaper stuffed inside to absorb must of the moisture, then let them air dry.  Has worked with every pair of leather boots I have owned.  

7:23 a.m. on November 7, 2016 (EST)
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I assume you are talking about drying them at home, because I don't know about you, but don't carry newspaper with me on a trail.  At home, I don't stuff anything inside for fear of forgetting and ending up with mold.  The newspaper technique is great, as long as you don't forget!  I ruined a set of mountaineering boots that way long ago.  An expensive error.  I do use cedar shoe trees on some boots & shoes, but only after drying most of the way. I don't normally use shoe trees/stuffing on a full shank heavy boot though, except when cleaning or treating.  At home, I usually remove the insole and lay the boots on their side with the opening facing a fan for a day.  After that, I leave them sit with the insoles pulled out in an area with good air flow (not a closet) for a week or so.  I have a spot in my bedroom a few feet from a HVAC vent that is "airy" but doesn't get direct HVAC that works well.

7:59 a.m. on November 8, 2016 (EST)
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Well, I've finally landed on a pair of boots.  In the end, I didn't go with the Limmers... for now.  The problem with them is that I'd have to ship back and forth on my own nickel until I decided on which one.  Maybe down the road I'll do this if the ones I decided on don't work out.  I'm sure it's a fantastic boot.

I just happened to find a very experienced guy about my age has about the same size feet as mine and he also doesn't wear Gortex lining boots.  He had a 4 year old pair of Asolo TPS 535's in 10 wide that he brought into the local store for me to try on.  They fit my feet perfectly, minus some weirdness from them being broken in to his foot.  They also showed no signs of separation of the outsole from the leather, which is always a concern with glued leather boots.  So I now have a pair of those on order in 10 wide.

I appreciate everyone's opinions.  It's always good to get different perspectives on gear, especially something as critical as boots.

Scotty

8:26 a.m. on November 8, 2016 (EST)
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The Limmers Standard really is a great boot, but I think you probably made a wise choice in this case. If you find yourself headed to NH to do some exploring in the Whites some day plan a stop at the shop for a fitting if you are still interested in them. Having made the trip there to buy mine I really think that is the best way to get the right boot for your feet. Intervale is just down the road from Crawford Notch so while you won't want to wear your new boots yet, there is access to some of the best of the Whites on either side of the highway. Great spot to visit even if you aren't boot shopping too :)

6:41 p.m. on November 8, 2016 (EST)
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if you get up there, go to my favorite post-trip haunt, Elvio's Pizza.  :)

6:16 a.m. on November 10, 2016 (EST)
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Well crap.  The store just called me and said that Asolo stopped making the TPS 535 in wide.  Only the Power Matic 200 is made in wide now.

Scotty

9:43 a.m. on November 11, 2016 (EST)
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you should check online.  backcountryedge appears to have what you want in stock, leftover 2015 boots:  https://www.backcountryedge.com/asolo-tps-520-gv.html?gclid=Cj0KEQiA9ZXBBRC29cPdu7yuvrQBEiQAhyQZ9A4CVWSBMSwDOqjiaZHqOEYhlsd-YcniWiRzD9dhKjQaAiF68P8HAQ#284=1725 

11:25 a.m. on November 11, 2016 (EST)
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That's the 520, not the 535, but it is now for naught anyway.  I just pulled the trigger in the Limmer standard.  It's a lot of boot and hopefully it will fit well.  Ken at Limmer has been very helpful and they have my foot measurements, so hopefully, the shipping back and forth will be at a minimum, if at all.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Scotty

11:45 a.m. on November 11, 2016 (EST)
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I think you made the right choice there. Hopefully the last fits your foot!

12:59 p.m. on November 11, 2016 (EST)
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Mainly worry about the length when you try the Standards on. Make sure your toes aren't cramped and your heel isn't lifting terribly. The rest of the boot will loosen as the leather softens, but the length will remain about the same. Plan on spending some time and effort breaking them in as well. You can soften the leather with grease and rush it, but if you take your time you'll get the creases right where they need to be for your feet.

Good luck with those Scotty. I'm still blown away with how good those boots feel on my feet whenever I put them on.

7:07 a.m. on November 12, 2016 (EST)
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Good advice Lonestranger.  I made the mistake many years ago of thinking that the slight heel lift I had in a pair of boots would "break in".  It never did.  Those boots made my heels/achiles bloody and I couldn't wear them... and they were pricey boots.  Lesson learned.

Scotty

9:30 a.m. on November 12, 2016 (EST)
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Limmer's fitting process is very good for order by mail/online.  Hope they work out.  The standard is the most comfortable boot/shoe I own.  

8:52 a.m. on November 14, 2016 (EST)
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Not to sound like a broken record but you are really going to enjoy those standards. They are a great boot and will last you a long time. I'll repeat what others have said and mention that the break in period is going to take a long time. But if you take it slow the time will pay off. The folks at Limmer are great to work with and they are going to want to make sure you are happy with their product. 

If you didn't already, make sure you order some of the grease they sell. It is their own formula and will keep your boots in great condition if used regularly. 

Even though you already made the order, I'm going to plug my review of the standards. Andrew F. also wrote a nice review that you can find at that same link.

7:11 a.m. on November 15, 2016 (EST)
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Jim51111,

Thanks for the link to your review.  I'm familiar with boot break-in.  I've owned older Vasque off-trail & La Sportiva light mountaineering boots, both of which took months of break-in.  I didn't think I'd EVER get the Makalu's (La Sportiva) broken in, which are now 20ish years old.  They are the older version that didn't have the rubber rand and a true 1-piece upper.  Those suckers hurt to break in and I had to do it a little bit at a time.  So I get it.  I'm not looking forward to it, but I get it.  I doubt they will be anywhere near as hard to break in as the Makalu's, which were the worst I ever experienced.

BTW - I still have the original Makalu's which the uppers are still in very good shape.  Dave Page has them at the moment for a resole.  They are a great strictly off-trail scrambling /glacier walking boot.


2016-11-02-10-51-00.jpg

I didn't order the grease yet, but I had planned on it once I'm sure they will work out.

Scotty

5:19 p.m. on November 15, 2016 (EST)
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Look at Miendel (Cabela's) and Lowe. Their boots are made in a variety of widths and are very durable, even more so than Danner.

Eric B.

BTW, if you get Gore-Tex lined boots do NOT use "grease" like SnowSeal, etc. Use a spray-on DWR made for leather. Wax/grease treatments will cut away down on breathability.

BREAK-IN ROUTINE-> Fill boots with warm water and let sit for 10 minutes. Empty boots and walk in them for 30 minutes minimum. Repeat if necessary then let boots dry.

This process is far faster than the "feet sweat" break-in method. 

7:12 a.m. on November 16, 2016 (EST)
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Limmer will tell you not to fill the boots with water.  From their website:

"There is an old army story that new boots should be filled with water until saturated, emptied out, and then worn until dry with the idea that the drying boot will mold itself to their feet. Considering the danger of shrinkage and stiffening, Limmer does not recommend this procedure.There may be some advantage in lightly dampened socks."

However, one could say that saturating the boots with water is pretty much like doing a long wet hike where they get fully wetted out.  And if a boot can't take that, they wouldn't be worth a hoot.

Scotty

7:55 p.m. on November 26, 2016 (EST)
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Well, I'm in over a week now on starting to break in the Limmer standards.  Quite a stout pair for sure.  They are just now starting to get the folds near the pinky toes, so still a very long way to go.  But so far, so good.

Scotty


2016-11-26-19-41-17.jpg

6:05 a.m. on November 27, 2016 (EST)
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With todays materiel and technology, lightweight is king in my realm.  Lifting the extra weight of heavy boots across a hike adds to the fatigue at the end the day for this 55 year old man.  The boots may not last as long, but they aren't nearly as expensive either.  I now wear KEEN, and get the Targhee II for $90 at GeenTop and the lighter Koven for a lot less.  The days of me wearing heavier boots than necessary are long past.

6:09 a.m. on November 27, 2016 (EST)
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Scott Myers said:

Limmer will tell you not to fill the boots with water.  From their website:

"There is an old army story that new boots should be filled with water until saturated, emptied out, and then worn until dry with the idea that the drying boot will mold itself to their feet. Considering the danger of shrinkage and stiffening, Limmer does not recommend this procedure.There may be some advantage in lightly dampened socks."

However, one could say that saturating the boots with water is pretty much like doing a long wet hike where they get fully wetted out.  And if a boot can't take that, they wouldn't be worth a hoot.

Scotty

Actually the old Army story (U.S. Army anyway) was to don and laced up your boots, then thoroughly soak them, then wear them until dry.  Been there.  Done that.  Under the supervision of a DI.  I never heard of or saw anyone filling their boots with water.

2:33 p.m. on November 29, 2016 (EST)
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My choice would be(today) a brand that probably only a few old timers like Bill S and myself would have experience with. Galibier made by Remy Richard Pontvert. They still make the Super Guide which is an excellent alpine boot. For a flexible soled boot, they make a Super Rando. I believe their Vercors is no longer made, but it would be a good heavy hiking boot and they might make you a pair. You will never need another pair of hiking boots. These are made on French lasts so expect the heel are to be rather narrow with a wide toe box. They are expensive.

6:37 a.m. on November 30, 2016 (EST)
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Erich,

Now those Superrando boots look almost identical to my old defunct Vasques.  The only problem... they apparently have no American representation... or at least none I could find easily.  So it appears to be all for naught.  No matter, I already have the Limmers.

Scotty

4:19 p.m. on November 30, 2016 (EST)
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They are sold by Pelle Line in Paramus New Jersey. You already have the Limmers, but you might think about the Galibiers if the Limmers don't work out. Their number is 201-845-3040. Orders take about two weeks.

6:14 p.m. on November 30, 2016 (EST)
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I still swear by the Pivettas and the old one-piece FG leather upper Vasques. I wear my Pivetta Eights almost every day. I bought the Pivetta Eights "new in box" on ebay six years ago for less than $50 and they fit me perfectly.

The one-piece FGL upper with leather lining is the best boot style, imo, for both comfort and durability. Few seams to leak and no GoreTex to make the feet sweat. Also, the Littleway construction allows for soles to be replaced easily.

9:09 a.m. on December 1, 2016 (EST)
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I appreciate the input Erich & Overmywaders, and no offence, but these suggestions are somewhat impractical.  The problem with all these mentions is availability and company support for working through fit issues.  If you read this entire thread from the top, I have some foot issues to deal with that are not in the mean of the bell curve of average feet.

Vasques - Heavy off-trail boots no longer made except Pac-Rim.  That's a non-starter.  This was always my go-to brand but quality has plummeted, which I believe is caused by subcontracted manufacture.  A sad, sad thing.

Pivetta - No longer made from what I can tell, so it falls into the same category as my old Vasques.  A dead duck.

Superrando's - Imported to the US on order only.  If there is a fit problem, it's quite the risk. Perhaps worth pursuing if the Limmer's dont' work out.

So far, the Limmer's are breaking in well to my feet.  Had them on over 6 hours yesterday before the stiff leather started bothering my feet.  My heels are now staying planted in the heel cup when I walk.  Could only wear them about 1.5 hours on day 1 and there was a tiny bit of heel lift on my left foot (smaller foot) due to the stiff upper.  Soon, I'll be taking them out for a day hike.  I probably need another couple weeks in them before I do that.  Those folds on the upper need to come a bit further before I do that.

Scotty

12:04 p.m. on December 1, 2016 (EST)
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Scott, while it is true that getting Galibiers are more difficult in the US than previously, I have always found their customer service to be top notch. What I will say, and some may not know this, is that all boots are made around last. The last vary in a number of different ways and custom boots for a person with different sized left and right feet may require a mismate, meaning that the last don't match. Finding a good fit with any boot depends on the lasts the company has. Some custom boot companies like Nick's, have hundreds of lasts. While the Galibiers may not be your cup of tea, I had suggested them because you mentioned you needed a wider toe box, which is common among French lasts. That and the fact that Galibier uses only Galluser leather in their boot line and the quality is superb.

11:39 a.m. on December 2, 2016 (EST)
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Here is a spreadsheet that I compiled years ago of FGL, Leather-lined boots http://overmywaders.com/OLDSCHOOLBOOTS59.htm
I
t is doubtless outdated but it might provide a starting point to anyone who is willing to do a little searching.

4:11 p.m. on December 2, 2016 (EST)
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great list! you could add a few....

Danner's Mountain Trail boots are still leather-lined - most of their other boots are lined with fabric.  an overlap design.  BUT, they have a gore tex liner.  boo.  not sure how thick the leather is, that info is hard to find.  I'm guessing from experience with the mountain light that they are more forgiving (not as robust or durable, coming at it from the other direction) than the ones below.  http://www.danner.com/mountain-trail.html

As noted above, Galibier is still in business in France, still making Super Guides and Superrandos.  if you're willing to take a gamble on fit and order from overseas.  Super Guides are brutes, leather at least 3.5 mm thick - thicker and probably less forgiving than Limmer's Standard, practically a mountaineering boot.  the Super Randos use leather more comparable to the Standard:  http://www.chaussure-paraboot.com/fr/11-montagne

Zamberlan has a line of welted boots - at least one of which, the Latemar, is fully leather-lined.  no gore tex.  2.8mm waxed leather, similar gauge to Limmer's lightweight (no idea if they are stiff or more forgiving, you would have to try them on):  http://www.zamberlanusa.com/catalog/?lang=en&pg=prod&idprod=205&idcat=3

meanwhile, a couple of photos of the limmer standard (above) and lightweight (below)
image.jpg





IMG_0932.jpg


11:48 a.m. on December 3, 2016 (EST)
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Andrew, just a minor correction. Super Guides are alpine mountaineering boots, period. I still own a pair and they are still being made because they perform in their designed function very well. They are not hiking boots. They are great for edging, take a crampon well. I also used them with Silvretta bindings, though that is hard on them. No one should buy them to hike in. They are the most comfortable boot I have ever owned, made without compromise and impeccable workmanship. No odd folds like I had with my several pairs of Vasques. Though the latter were good boots, they were substantial level of quality below Galibiers.

7:01 p.m. on February 23, 2017 (EST)
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A motorcycle wreck when I was in my teens left a wonky left foot and ankle.  I wear LLBean Cresta Hiker boots, currently at $240.00.  These are a bit heavy but protect my ankle on rocky trails.  As a 57 year old former Marine, a former runner and a loaded hiker these are just what I need.  I wish I could go with the lightweight boots and shoes but alas it is not for me.  I can lace the upper and lower differently giving me just the right support.

November 17, 2019
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