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kraitcatcher
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PostMon Aug 01, 2005 3:31 pm 
old school boots
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Cliff,

Hey and how are you?I have been a bit busy with nursing school work to play around on the internet,but,my first time back here, and whats going on?more talk about old school boots and there apparent popularity. Yes it was me who was looking into a pair of custom Van Gorkum's,but I found a real sweet deal here on the gear talk forum,a pair of hardly worn but once,a shave off being brand new,Montrail Mazamas,in my size,for $110.!
I love them,and consider them to be some of my most prized things I own,I wont even check them at air ports because they will be out of site for too long.Since these are so great,I gave up on the idea of custom boots,since I have custom ortotic foot beds in them,and there working fine for me,as are my LL.Bean North Col Hikers up.gif ,love them to.Turns out that the guy I got them from has advertised a pair of Rachel Montangas size 9,for sale for $145,worn on only a couple of trips,they look to be in great shape,I think you can see them on page 3?or page 4,by P.Mendoza,I purchased my boots from him,he is a straight shooter up.gif ,and the boots were better than he described,I am trying to re-budget to see about getting them,if for no other reason than pure nostalgia,and the fact that they do not make them any more.
You know,with as much interest in these kind of boots ,you would think that the big boot companies would give a listen to the cry of the masses and re-introduce these type of boots.I can say that LL.Bean is listening .
Hope to hear back from you on what you got,regards,James

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currently looking for backpacking partners for next may for a week in the trinity alps,asnd some other trips and help on a book that will involve tons of camping
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Dave in MT
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PostTue Aug 09, 2005 11:50 am 
A Tale of Two Boots
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I originally found this list because I was overwhelmed by today's selection of boots and was hoping for some no-BS advice. Long story short, I went ahead and ordered a pair of Limmer Standards from Limmer in NH. They sent me a measuring kit; I measured my feet in five places and returned the info to them. They sent me a pair, along with a pair of separate tongues because they thought the volume of the center of my foot was low. They were stiff, as you might expect, and the tongues were a little weird (you hold them in place while putting on the boot. If it works out, I send the boots back to Limmer and they sew them in permanently.) Also, I should mention that Ken at Limmer did a great job of working with me over the phone, helping me to figure out fit and lacing.
That's all well and good, but the difficulty was that I had a 50 miler coming up with the Boy Scouts and I was counting on using the Limmers. However, despite a pretty rigid daily regimen, there was no way I was going to get those broken in, so as the hike approached I started to panic. My old trusty Danners were beyond shot, so I thought I'd take a chance at a newer boot that required little or no break in. Went to REI and Missoula, and I tried on virtually every pair they had (Vasque, Asolo, etc.) I should mention that during this visit that my homework really paid off. I had my standard hiking socks on (Smartwool Trekker, with a panty hose liner) and I did the finger test at the heel for fit. I also knew, instantly, if a boot was not going to work because it had a very odd feel that felt like the boot was designed for a completely different kind of foot.  The store had a ramp, plus I spent quite a bit of time stomping around the store. In the end, I went home with a pair of Asolo boots (something GTX?). I immediately started working them, and about a week before the hike I was putting two miles a day on them. Comfortable (to my feet) and they had a nice solid feel to them.
Then came the hike. Late June, but unfortunately we got pounded by rain in the Selway Wilderness area and the farther in we got the rougher the trail. Many portions of the "trail" were actually creekbed, plus there were a lot of blowdowns and things like dubious stream crossings. Definitely a memorable hike.
After about 30 miles, the rubber toe guards started to peel away. I was stunned. It started on one side of the right boot, and after another 10 miles or so the left boot started peeling as well. I was stunned; these were $160 boots and I expected them to last me for years as backup boots for the Limmers when needed.
Back to REI they went for a refund. No, I didn't want a replacement pair. Out came the Limmers, and I just got back from a Boy Scout summer camp where I wore them the entire week. They're getting there (broken in, that is) and they're not quite as cushy as the Asolos were, but there is no doubt in my mind that these are going to last me for a very long time. Besides, Limmer told me they can rebuild/re-do/re-whatever is needed at any time on the boot; I believe he said a re-sole was $75. One thing of note on the Limmers is that unlike most every other boot out there, these do not have a removable insole. I tried just inserting an aftermarket insole (Smartfeet) and the Limmers don't seem to be made for inserts at all. The insert radically changed the fit of the boot and I removed them almost immediately. Simple footbeds maybe (I've yet to try that) but definitely nothing complex.
I might note too that at Scout camp, pretty much every brand of boot had some kind of representation, and most had some kind of "here's where mine are starting to come apart" tale with them. So, I'm happy to have gone old school with the Limmers and I'm looking forward to racking up many miles with them.
--Dave
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kraitcatcher
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PostTue Aug 09, 2005 12:48 pm 
old school hiking boots
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Dave,
Ah the Boy Scouts,how that brings back memories,I remember Summer camp at V Bar ranch,were talking 1971 here,I had my Raichles,and for the exception of the "tinder foot"new scouts wearing Converse All Stars,every one there with any kind of backpacking experience,was wearing the Old School boots or leather hunting boots(but then again,this was all you had to choose from),they got wet,you dried em by the fire, and except for being a little stiff,were ready to hit any trail for as long as you could hike.Sure they needed much breaking in,but,once that was done,you had an M1 tank on each foot and a pair of friends for life!In my humble opinion,these "new wave"glued on,Gor-Tex,athletic shoes in disgise,should be left to the urban city hiker for use on their way to the Star Bucks.Real hikers need real boots.manufactuers take heed,BRING BACK THE OLD SCHOOL BOOTS!!!
Regards,James

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currently looking for backpacking partners for next may for a week in the trinity alps,asnd some other trips and help on a book that will involve tons of camping
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pbmendoza
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PostThu Aug 11, 2005 6:31 am 
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Hello James and Everybody,

James-glad the Mazamas are working for you. They should last a lifetime. up.gif

Over the years, I've hiked and backpacked in my Raichle Montagnas. For a short time, I tried the lighter Vasque Sundowners (Italian, not Chinese made) for some backpacking, but have relegated them to my winter wear-to-work boots.  The Raichles are just more robust, being very supportive of my weak ankles (screw in left from skateboarding in the early 80s) and protective of my feet.

Over the years, I've scrounged around to find Norwegian Welt boots for my family (Wife, Dad, Uncle, Sister). I found One Sport/Montrail Mazamas for my wife. For my sister I found Scarpa Rios for her hiking/winter around-the-research-lab life. Dad and Uncle both like the Raichle Eigers I found for them, and my Father in Law enjoys his Asolo Yukons.

The reason I list these is I have found all of these boots locally from people who may have hiked once or twice and decided not to make it part of their life or they decided to go lightweight or from closeout sections.

My suggestion to everybody on the list is to not only look for the boots at retail outlets, but check out Goodwill, Salvation Army, garage sales, campus experiential ed centers, closeout sections of boot shops (I found the new pair of Asolo Yukons for my father in law in one of these closeout sections for $90-these boots originally went for $325!). You may be surprised what you find wink.gif . (For example, at the local Goodwill a month ago, I picked up a Dana Designs Terraplane LTW in new condition for $3.45, not $345, but $3.45.  hockeygrin.gif )

I thought about going the Limmer custom route, but I was lucky to find another pair of Raichle Montagnas that fit on closeout a few years back. My original set are now 15 years old and don't look like they will wear out anytime soon. With the originals and closeouts, I'll be set personally for the rest of my life (turned 42 earlier this year). I average only 50 hiking/backpacking miles a year now bawl.gif. So these should last awhile.

So look beyond the brick-and-mortar and the internet, you may find what you are looking for locally in the most unexpected places.


Pablo Mendoza
Columbia, MO
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kraitcatcher
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PostMon Aug 15, 2005 4:15 pm 
those mazamas
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Hey Pablo,
Hey man good to hear from you,yes! those are great boots and thank you again for turning me on to them,I doo plan to have them for the rest of my life,God willing. BTW,If you are in need of cobbler services,check with Dave Page Cobbler in Seattle WA. I sent the boots to him,along with my North Cols,to have nickle hardware replace the what came with the boot. Excelent work,and the boots looka little more"vintage"Any way,he is a great cobbler up.gif .Take care,James

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currently looking for backpacking partners for next may for a week in the trinity alps,asnd some other trips and help on a book that will involve tons of camping
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michael.caufield
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PostWed Oct 15, 2008 10:02 am 
Gronell boots
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Do you have a pair of Gronell boots that you could sell?
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Snowbrushy
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PostWed Oct 15, 2008 11:44 am 
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I have a wrong size, brand new pair of Raichle's I will sell for $25.00. Size 9 and a half M.  PM me if interested. I'm in the Auburn area.
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Backpacker Joe
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PostWed Oct 15, 2008 8:22 pm 
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I think Limmers are the closest thing to old school boots that you can still get.  Outside of custom stuff that is.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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Ski
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PostWed Oct 15, 2008 9:08 pm 
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old school boot

same boot, different source
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overmywaders
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PostThu Oct 16, 2008 7:18 am 
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Joe,

I think that Limmers (Meindl) are probably excellent boots - otherwise Limmers wouldn't offer them - however, there are still a few other European makers of decent boots.

Alico Guide and Summit boots look good - Trekking Boots

The Crispi "Pamir" (under Rocky Line) is clunky, but looks right - Crispi

The Andrew "Pelmo" looks like an old Vasque - http://www.crispi.it/prodotto_uk.php


The Beck "Talus A400" looks like more boot than I'll ever need - Beck

And finally, you have these seven boots from Gronell -- Traditional Goodyear Construction

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Best regards, Reed

The New Scientific Angling - Trout and Ultraviolet Vision | overmywaders
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Backpacker Joe
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PostThu Oct 16, 2008 9:05 am 
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Good point OW.  The off the shelf Limmers are Meindl.  Of course they make custom jobs too.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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overmywaders
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PostThu Oct 16, 2008 11:54 am 
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Joe,

Yes, the off-the-shelf Limmers are made by Meindl, but they are made to the exacting specs of Limmer - which means a lot, IMO. That applies to the Standard and the Mid-weight, both superb examples of top-quality, brush-bustin', off-trail boots. OTOH, the Light-weight and the Ultra-light are, while probably adequate boots for some purposes (Limmer suggests day-hikes), IMO an embarrassment to the Limmer marque. This is chiefly because, in order to make a pricepoint, Limmer had them made with Nubuck uppers. This means inferior leather was scraped to make it consistent in appearance - also piercing the most waterproof layer - so that when dyed and then pigmented (read: painted) it could be mixed with any other lot of leather. Grrrrr!!! They don't even look like leather boots.

[Sorry, Nubuck always affects me that way.]

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Best regards, Reed

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kraitcatcher
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PostThu Oct 16, 2008 5:41 pm 
old school boots
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First I would like to say I have a pair of Rachels,That I got from P.Mendoza,after I lost my old school hiker to the flood from Katrina,and I am wearing them now for light/moderate day hiking,but I also have a pair of Gronell "Stelvio's"the toughest boot I have worn to date.On a trip on the AT when it snowed and iced on day three,I felt warm and secure and totaly bomb proof in these guys admit it was a bit of hassel getting them from Italy as I had return them for a size smaller,9.But since I have had some ongoing feet/ankle problems from a falling accident,I have made the well researched and carefully thought out decision to go for broke and put my order in for a custom(as that is the only way you can get them) Van Gorkom custom hiking boots.they are made one pair at a time,by hand,and they are no doubt the classic old school hiking boot.Now,I must add,the price will bring a glass eye to tears,and the current wait is 2 years once he gets the measuring kit back that he sends you,it takes one week to make one pair,you pay at the time your pair is about to be made.Fit and comfort are gaurnteed,but,if you are serious about your feet,comfort and what you wear on the trail,then THESE are the boots,you can check them out at his web site www.hikingbootshandcrafted.com,But I still will have a place for my Gronell's and Rachels.James

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currently looking for backpacking partners for next may for a week in the trinity alps,asnd some other trips and help on a book that will involve tons of camping
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kraitcatcher
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PostFri Oct 17, 2008 7:25 pm 
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Salish,
Hey man how are ya1I was just going over these post as I was sent an e-mail comment,So,I thought I would check in and se how the topic is fairing,apaerntly,their is still a big following of the old school boots.Yes,I was the one looking for a pair of VanGorkoms,and I should have made the commitment back then,I have final bit the bullet and sent my fitting kit in for my order last spring.I will see them next June /July.The price will be steep eek.gif ,but I opened up a special acount,and I pay into it like layaway,so the sting wont be as bad,when its all said and done,I would have paid a kings ransom and waited two years,but I will be gaurenteed perfection,no if,ands or buts.Apparently Van Gorkom is a best kept secret in the hiking back packing world,but every where else,his boots are known,hence the two year wait.Once I get them,I will write a review on them.But if you want to check em out,www.hikingbootshandcrafted.com
Regards,and happytrails,James

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currently looking for backpacking partners for next may for a week in the trinity alps,asnd some other trips and help on a book that will involve tons of camping
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PostMon Oct 20, 2008 1:08 pm 
Since Christ was a Corporal
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These type boots with their leather upper and Goodyear Welt construction have been around since Christ was a Corporal.  They are fine, but since they are leather, they need to be dried without direct heat, cleaned and waxed/ conditioned appropriately.  Depending on the leather they can shrink too, if not cared for right.  Raichle and Vasque each made similar boots for many years.  If they were good enough for Ricardo Cassin then....

http://www.summitpost.org/images/original/331142.jpg

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