Reviewers Paid: $225.00-$350.00
|Average weight per pair||
This all-leather hiking boot is comfortable, stable, durable, yet not super-heavy. I love it as an all-around hiking boot. It is well-suited for any kind of walking but particularly at home on bumpy trails and toting a backpack. Highly recommended.
- Extremely well made and durable
- All-leather boot waterproofs well and very supportive
- Not too heavy
I first reviewed these boots within six months of purchasing them in 2007. This follows up with a great deal more information and experience. I still believe today, as I did back then, that this is one of the best hiking boots available, provided you like all-leather boots.
BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOTS
Weighed after seven years of regular use, the pair weighs 3 pounds, 9 ounces on a hand scale. This is a full grain leather boot that is fully lined with leather. The outer leather is 2.8 mm, which is robust but more forgiving than the heaviest leather boots out there. In thickness, the leather is comparable to the Asolo TPS 520/535, or some of the heavier Scarpa all-leather boots, and slightly lighter than Merrell's Wilderness, but not as stiff or supportive as Limmer's Standard, most Galibier all-leather hiking boots.
The leather upper/body of the boot is stitched to the midsole, Norwegian welt (leather upper is stitched down to the midsole with the stitching visible). It laces up in the center and has a padded, gusseted tongue (a gusset is a piece of leather attached to the tongue to keep debris and moisture out). Vibram sole that is somewhat less aggressive than the old standard montagna block.
The photo below shows how the tongue is attached to the boot with pieces of leather to keep stuff out. Also, note the hook and eye lacing — the bottom three are round metal loops, the hook above that is a locking hook that prevents the laces from loosening up, and the top 2 hooks are more the normal variety.
Another interesting part of this boot is the very minimal outer stitching. The leather body of the boot is one piece, with one seam, the one you see below that's on the instep. That helps with waterproofing and durability. You can also see the padded collar around your ankle, pretty typical for most leather boots.
Finally, you can see that between the sole and the boot, there is some very firm foam. As opposed to a full rubber midsole, this makes the boots a little less stiff. The boots have a shank, a stiff piece of nylon along the midsole. Again, not as stiff and inflexible as a steel shank.
Better view of how the boot laces up.
The sole is not as aggressive and deep as some. This has quite a bit of wear. Doesn't need to be resoled yet.
The photo below shows what a Norwegian welt looks like up close. A couple rows of stitching that attach the leather upper directly to a black rubber midsole. As you can see, the firm but slightly cushioned brown rubber runs nearly the length of the boot.
The way the boot is made contributes to how comfortable they are. Because the heel doesn't have a rigid back, it feels more rounded inside and tends to keep your heel seated. The toe area is rounded — not sleek by any definition, but plenty of room for your toes to wiggle, even when the laces are hauled tight.
Limmer sells stock boots that are made in Germany and makes custom boots in the U.S. These are the regular ones. Because the only place you can buy these is the Limmer store in New Hampshire or online, the company provides detailed instructions about how to measure your feet before they recommend a size.
You put on the socks you normally use, trace the outline of your foot on a piece of paper, then use a tape measure to provide the circumference of your foot at several different places. I have bought two pairs of boots from them using this method, and it worked well both times. They could see from the measurements that I needed a wide as opposed to a regular, for example.
BREAKING THEM IN
Though it says "lightweight," the boot is comparable to some fairly sturdy leather boots. And like any firm leather boot, you need to spend some time breaking them in. Again, follow Limmer Boot's instructions, use their boot grease, and take your time. This is not a boot you should buy a week before a big trip, because it's stiffer than most.
As a means of comparison, however, the Limmer Standard is significantly stiffer, fits higher on your ankle, and requires more break-in. I have had success wearing them to work at first, then graduating to short hikes, then taking them for longer hikes. With steady wear, they will break in after a month or two without blistering your feet.
Once the boots are broken in, they form to your feet, provide outstanding support, have a great sole, and are a pleasure to wear. They are, with the heavier Limmers, the most comfortable shoes I own, hiking or not. Easily stable enough for long treks with 50+ pounds on your back.
I have used these for walking and hiking for seven years — in the rain, in the snow, four season, on countless day hikes and many backpacking trips. Worn with good merino wool socks, I haven't blistered in them for years. Occasionally, if I don't grease them for a while, they will let some moisture in if i'm on a really wet trail or hiking in the rain.
Considering how much I have used them (I do rotate them with other boots, and the Limmer Standards are what I reach for on the really rugged hikes and trips), they are in great shape. At this point, they have formed to my fit and fit, if not like a glove, close to it.
Use: day hikes through heavy pack
Break-in Period: depends on use, but take the time to do it right.
Weight: 3-4 pounds per pair
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $265
Out of the box these are beautiful boots. Their quality construction is immediately evident. But they are not for people with wide feet
- Excellent construction
- Very high quality
- Not for wide feet
- Limited sole life
Taking these out of the box you'll be amazed at the quality of the materials and construction. They look like they should be on display in a boot museum. It was love at first sight for me. This disillusionment came later.
I bought these for dayhiking, mostly on rough trails, and for backpacking. I’ve generally had trouble finding boots that fit. I have a wide forefoot, maybe E width but not EE, and a narrow heel. I’ve learned that all-leather boots in a medium width will eventually (a few weeks) break in to fit my forefoot comfortably, and are narrow enough to keep my heel secure.
I described my fitting concerns to Limmer, and they sent boots a half size longer than my normal size. They were tight in the forefoot, but I assumed they would eventually conform.
Making a long story shorter, it’s now eighteen months later and the boots have approximately 350 miles on them. They’re wearable, but still not comfortable. I’m still limiting my time with them to no more than four hours at a stretch. To make matters worse, the soles are getting very thin near the toes and they should probably be resoled soon.
Otherwise, my initial impressions of quality have been borne out. The stitching is solid, as are the lacing hooks. I like the fact that there’s no so-called waterproof-breathable membrane, and assume the boots are cooler for that reason. I don’t get much chance here in Arizona to test the waterproofness. The leather is holding up well, except on the tops of the toes, which are quite scuffed; I speculate that this is due to the extra length — I must be dragging the toes across rocks occasionally. The soles are appropriately grippy.
In summary, these are fine boots, but they’re not for people with wide feet. You should also be concerned if your hiking involves rough trails, or be ready for frequent resoling.
Finally, a bit about me: 6’, 155 lb., 74 years old.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $325
Trust your gut instinct. If you think they're too tight, don't buy them despite what they say about the break-in process. There's no turning back once you try to start breaking them in and you'll be out a lot of money and some toenails to boot.
- They look spiffy and pretentious
- Poor customer service
- No warranty
- Narrow toe box
- Long break-in
Advertised as the best hiking boot of all time, and it very well could be, as long as the fit is right. I went to the shop in Intervale and had my feet measured. I have been backpacking for almost 20 years and have always worn size 11 boots. I was told that I looked more like a 10 1/2 and I would want the boots to be snug at first since they will stretch with use.
After essentially being told that I didn't know what I was talking about, I figured I'd trust the guys who have made a living making boots for people and I reluctantly went with the 10 1/2. I should have gone with my gut instinct.
Limmer's return policy is that once you wear the boots outside, you're SOL. When I first started wearing the boots indoors, they felt tight, but I was told they would stretch and mold to my feet once the break-in process began, so I assumed they would be fine. After all, Limmers are notorious for long, painful, break-in periods. I greased them frequently and carried on.
After a few weeks of wearing them indoors I started taking them outside. After about an hour my toes would be in an almost unbearable amount of pain, the toe box just feels unnecessarily narrow. I persisted, however, waiting for the boots to stretch and the comfort I was promised. No luck.
I eventually contacted Limmer with my concerns and was told that since I had worn them outside, there was no hope for any sort of monetary compensation or exchange, but I could send them in and they could stretch them for me. I had to pay 40 dollars for round-trip shipping to do this. Their tone was pretty condescending. They ignored many of my concerns and just told me that I was wrong and should have sent them back immediately after trying them on.
They took 3 1/2 weeks to stretch the boots and get them back to me. The width is a little more bearable but the length is not. I'm still losing toenails, and the stiff leather interior has not even begun to become soft or mold to my feet. I still stand to say that they are the most uncomfortable things I've ever put on my feet.
For the amount of money and time spent on these boots, I expected a little more on the customer service end. I understand they are a relatively small company, but you can win over a lot of unhappy customers with a solid warranty policy and a positive attitude.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $326
Very comfortable. Feels light while still being supportive. Great customer service. Good for backpacking for lighter people with moderate loads (~40-60 pounds).
- Full leather construction
- Ability to be resoled
Once broken in, the Limmer Lightweights have been the most comfortable boots that I've worn for backpacking. They do take a while to break in (~50-100 miles) and Limmer recommends wearing them around for daily walking to help the break in process.
Even though they are called lightweights, they are just as supportive as other backpacking boots that I've worn. With the rocker soles, they feel much lighter when moving along on a trail.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $315
These are not the custom masterpieces that have made Limmer boots the best in the world. They are very well made, but are imported from Germany. If they fit, then you're going to love them. If they don't fit, then you're SOL.
- Exquisitely made
- Highly water resistant
- Very protective
- Not custom made
- Great only if they fit
- Far from cheap
I hike almost daily in a pair of Limmer boots that I had custom made for me 35 years ago, and they're still going strong. The off-the-shelf Limmer boots being reviewed here are not made by Limmer, they are imported from Germany under his close supervision. I know this from speaking with Peter Limmer (the son) two years ago when I purchased two pair of these imports: one pair for myself and one for my son.
They are lightweight and exquisitely constructed but, since they're not custom made, the fit has something to be desired. I could not break my pair in — even after 100 plus miles — and eventually returned them for a prorated credit. On the other hand, my son's boots initially fit and broke in very well and are still comfortable after a few years of use.
If you want genuine Limmer boots that are custom made for your feet, then you just have to bite the bullet and spend. You also have to be willing to go to Intervale, N.H., and have them measure you in person. Additionally, you must be willing to wait for these masterpieces to be built for you.
The last time I had my boots resoled I opted for the lighter weight and softer sole (more grip but wears more quickly). It reduced the weight of each boot considerably, yet was still acceptable for day-hiking with a light pack.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $350
These boots are sturdy and have a great fit. The break-in period is much reduced compared to Limmer Standards.
- Can be resoled
- Haven't found any yet
I bought these boots three weeks ago to replace a pair of regular hiking boots. At the time of purchase I was sick of paying quite a bit of money for boots that needed replacing every 1 1/2 years. While on vacation in N.H. I stopped by the Limmer barn and had Ken talk me through the various models, size my feet and recommend a Limmer lightweight to me.
The entire purchase took about an hour during which I walked around in the new boots, was asked specific questions about fit etc. I also got a long lecture on how to break them in and grease 'em up. According to Ken's advice I wore them inside the house for a few days, then all-day at work, and finally on a two-mile hike around the block.
On that hike I developed a hot spot on my heel, but I kept wearing them again for an hour the next day and for half (I carried my old bots as a back up) of a five-mile hike on the AT the following day. The next day my heels and the boots had made their peace and I wore them all day for over five miles.
The following week I took them on a hike across the Presidential Range and these boots are probably the most comfortable boots I ever owned. So, after a week they fit like a glove. They are very sturdy, a pleasure to wear on sharp boulders, and kept my ankle from rolling at least twice.
Two notes on fit:
- I bought the stock option rather than the custom-made boot, but they were properly sized in the store and felt "just right" from the start. The numerical size seemed small. I ended up with size 10 1/2 - usually I have an 11 1/2. I recommend visiting them in their store.
- They seem a bit softer than Standard Limmers, so the break-in period was probably much shorter.
Source: bought it new
Best hiking boot.
- One piece upper
- Leather lining
- Norwegian welt
These boots are far superior to any of the high tech crap (aka low manufacturing cost boots).
One of the only remaining leather lined boots. All those high tech synthetic wicking linings are BS. Your feet will overheat and the boot will stink.
With the Limmers your feet stay comfortable and the boots never stink.
Construction is best.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $265
The longer I've had them the more I love them. Nothing compares.
I've been at least a thousand miles in my Limmer Lightweights. They're scarred up pretty good, and been re-soled. But I wouldn't trust any other boot now.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $275
I just received my new Limmer Light Weights. Honestly, I did a lot of research before purchasing. I don't consider myself an avid backpacker but that will change soon.
I tried on many boots from REI, Campmor including Danner. I just wasn't sold on the whole made in China experience. I wanted a boot that would be tough, durable and could be re soled by a cobbler.
I wasn't trying to make a fashion statement (I see where J Crew is now trying to sell the Danners). I just wanted something that would last for a very long time and that would mold to my foot. I wanted a boot that years from now I could look at them and say "man, we've been on some adventures together!"
I emailed Limmer, received an order form, sizing sheet. I took all my measurements, tried to follow the directions as best I could with the drawing the outlines of my feet. Mailed it back to them. What did I do!?
Well, they arrived and I have to say they are the nicest boots I've ever had. They're tough, durable and just down right awesome. I'm following the directions that was sent in the package. Wearing them indoors first and I can't wait to bust them out on the trails. I foresee me having these boots for a very long time.
I'm not trying to knock Danner, I just felt the fit was a little sloppy. When I saw them being sold in a local J Crew store that was a turnoff for me. Thanks, Limmer.
Price Paid: $300
I purchased these at Kittery Trading Post at the beginning of last year. I've used them on every hike since then, probably putting 200 miles on them. There is nothing wrong with them yet, just the usual scuff marks. I coat them with the Limmer mink oil before each hike to keep them in good condition and waterproof. I chose to break these in with a hike instead of wearing them around for a while before. I soaked my feet in a river before I started hiking, because I heard that this makes them mold to your feet. I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but I didn't get one blister that hike or any of the rest I've done with these. They fit perfectly and keep my feet protected well. I couldn't be happier with these boots and expect to get great mileage out of them. Thanks, Limmer!
Use: Dayhikes to extended weekend excursions
Break-in Period: None, right out of the box to the mountain.
Weight: I think 2.5
Price Paid: $260
This is only the third pair of boots I have ever purchased. I through-hiked the AT in 1979, and just got done with a 6-week trip with my 10-year-old twins, ending at Katahdin. Although my base weight is around 12 lbs, we left Monson with a 47-pound load on my back, base, water, and food for three for eight days.
I knew before I finished this trip that my boots needed replacing, and I'd already decided that when the time came I'd put those 13-year-old six-pounders aside for winter, and get myself a pair of Limmer Light-Weight's for three-season use.
Walked into Ragged Mtn (Intervale, N.H., right down the road from Limmer), tried on the Light-Weight, walked 10 feet and exclaimed "Sold!"
Holy Cow. I thought my feet were happy before. Now I know what the "Limmer Lovefest" is all about.
Materials: 2.6mm Nubuck leather, glove leather lined, Norweigian welt.
Use: Rough trail w/heavy pack
Weight: 3.5 pounds at size 9, my size 12s would be more.
Price Paid: $250
I cannot say enough good things about Limmers. My first pair were Standards, purchased new at the NOLS outfitting store in preparation for my Instructors course in 1993. I could not find a rental boot that fit, so I was forced to begin my course by wearing a new pair of boots into the field. I generally wear a size 9.5 hiking boot but the folks in outfitting sized me in a 10 and required the boot to fit over two pair of VERY thick socks. The boots worked great on the course and I suffered no blisters. They were the first hiking boot I have experienced that offered the support to carry a 85 lb. pack but were not rigid and stiff to wear. They feature a deep notch at the back of the ankle that relieves all pressure at that point, and offer the best heel fit I have ever experienced. I bought the boots after the course but with the sock combination that I normally wear, I found them too big. I also wanted a little lighter weight boot because I refuse to ever carry a NOLS type load again! I decided to purchase the "Lightweight" model.
The name Lightweight is not accurate in terms of the boot's durability. They are light compared to Limmer Standards, but are heavier duty than most backpacking boots on the market and are better made than any other brand of boot. I like the "rocker" sole that is used on the Lightweights better than the sole on the Standard and I like the lighter weight. I again ignored the Limmer instructions and wore the new Lightweights on a backpacking trip straight out of the box. They were superb and I suffered no blisters or discomfort of any kind. I don't believe that you could do that with any other brand of heavy-duty boot.
As far as choosing a particular model, I believe that you should:
Choose the Standards if you are of average build but carry a very heavy load (65 lbs and up), or are large and carry a medium to heavy load, and hike in really rugged terrain or often go off-trail.
Choose the Midweights if you are of average to large build, carry a medium to heavy load (45 to 75 lbs), and hike in really rugged terrain but generally stay on trails.
Choose the Lightweights if you are female, or a small-to-average built male, carry a average load (40 to 65 lbs.), and hike in rugged terrain but generally stay on trails.
I have been so impressed by Limmers that I purchased the Limmer "Walker" (a tyrolean walking shoe) and wear them all during the fall, winter and spring as my every day shoes.
You simply cannot purchase a better boot.
Materials: Full Grain Leather
Use: general backpacking w/moderately heavy pack
Break-in Period: One NOLS Instructors course
Weight: 3 lbs. 5 oz. per pair
Price Paid: $245
Purchased these boots last fall and they are without a doubt, the last pair of leather boots I will ever buy. (OK - maybe the last pair for the next 15 years). The heel lockup is perfect, the stiffness of the boot just right, and the overall comfort is excellent. You can't go wrong with these boots. If you can make the trip to Intervale to make your purchase, it is well worth the time. Ken and Peter really deliver on customer service and making sure you leave with the right boots and fit.
HINT: Although these are sold as "off the shelf" boots, the leather treatment process completed in Germany is still completed by hand. This results in slightly different fits within the same size. Make sure you try on at least 2-3 different pairs. (once you find your size)
Break-in Period: 3 weeks
Weight: 3lbs 9 oz (size 9)
Price Paid: $235
I recently purchased a pair of limmer lightweights and find them to be the most comfortable, best constructed boot i have yet owned. The design and craftsmanship are unequaled in my limited experience (vasque sundowner, tecnica shasta tcy, asolo, dunham). The fit is incredible as the heal pocket is designed to snug around your achilles tendon and lock down the heal itself, and as Karl Limmer told me himself, "it's amazing what 50 cents worth of foam rubber can do, I'm always surprised that my competitors don't copy it." These boots are thick nubuck leather outers with a glove lined leather interior, waterproof without the GD Gortex. These are very substantial boots, however, the name lightweight is relative to the Limmer standard boot. At my boot size, 13W, these boots weight 2 lbs. 1 oz per boot. I also tried a pair of the mid-weights for a comparison, they weighed 2 lbs. 7 oz. per boot, a little heavier, but a more substantial boot all around, beautiful full grain leather with a heavier outsole, truly a work of art. I opted for the lightweights only because of the weight, my intended use is dayhiking/weekend backpacking, but if i spent more time on the trail i would have bought the midweights.
I'll admit that limmers product is expensive but i hope that just when these boots are broken in i won't have to dispose of them because the sole is worn out, like all of the others i've owned. will post an update in the future. btw i bought the limmer boots because i originally bought the limmer oxford shoe several months ago...they are the most comfortable shoe i own (including several pairs of allen-edmonds), with a very wide toe box and impeccable construction...they are the reason i bought the boots! also, I spent over 3 hours (3 calls) on the phone with Karl Limmer himself talking boots, fit, care...you won't find that at vasque or any where else...these guys are really good!
Materials: nubuck leather with glove leather lining
Use: weekend hikes
Break-in Period: 20 miles
Weight: 2 lbs. 1 oz. per boot
Price Paid: $250
hard to find as not many dealers. best boots ive ever worn in 25 years of tramping. well worth the effort to find. i bought mine at the factory in intervale, nh. though called "lightweight" these are really a heavier duty boot suitable to rough trails with a load (at least for me at 145 lbs). just a fantastic boot. worth every penny. sewn welt which means that they are resolable.
Use: rough trail
Break-in Period: minimal
Weight: 3lbs 5oz
Price Paid: $235
The name of these boots is a definite oxymoron. In fact, they are a great mid to heavy backpacking boot. If you haven't experienced how Limmer makes these puppies, I can give a brief description.
Cut from a single piece of leather, the outside is assembled using one 2-3 inch seam on the inside of the instep area. This is done using six strips if stitching. The heel has a pocket that will not allow blisters to form due to the lack of stitching and/or seams. Sort of like 4-wheel drive leather gloves for your feet. Inside, the softest cowhide cradles the foot. It creates a "custom fit" by curving and shaping around all bone bumps. No footbed is needed because of the natural leather one already in the boot. Although, I was a bit leery about not using my usual superfeet ortho, Limmer has successfully created the perfect footbed that is now forming a comfy shelter surrounding my feet.
After 3 days of constant wear around the office (maybe 10 miles of actual walking), I was ready for a break-in trip. I chose a 14-mile loop in the Sespe Wilderness to test these bombers. Having had blisters in my 30 years of hiking, I was prepared for the worst. To my amazement, not even a red spot appeared on either foot. This after slogging through a dozen stream crossings and mud lined creek beds. The waterproof integrity was never compromised. The little foot moisture produced by my 175 lb. body and my 45 lb. pack was quickly dried after airing them out during an afternoon rest.
In the February 2000 issue of BACKPACKER magazine appeared a review of these boots. Having searched for a store to purchase, I found a location in Vermont that sold them. Max was great to deal with and provided lots of info. Tell him I said, "Hello."
P.O. Box 59
N. Clarendon, VT 05759
If you read my review of a couple of other boots, PIVETTAS & VASQUE ALPINES, you'll see my experience with hiking footwear goes deep. These new Limmer Lightweights should be on the trail for some wonderful years of adventuring.
Materials: all leather
Use: rough trail/heavy pack
Break-in Period: a few days/miles
Weight: 3-4 lbs
Price Paid: $225