Quality, Stylish, Rugged

Verified Buyer Reviewed by Bike Barn hiker from Blacksburg, VA on Thursday, January 21, 2010
OK, I did a lot of research before buying this boot. I tried several sizes on, and generally had tried several different kinds of boots. I got this boot because I got my butt kicked by a surprise winter storm while on the Appalachian Trail in January (read: cold). With my old sneakers that were masquerading as boots, my feet got wet and I nearly got frostbite. I decided before going winter camping again, I would get something up to the challenge of a short winter camping jaunt.

THESE BOOTS ARE 100% LEATHER, they are crafted by hand--that much is evident in their construction.
The soles have a half steel shank, the tongue is fully gusseted, providing me with protection from snow or water seeping or getting pushed into the boot, especially in deeper snow or post snow melt trails where there's plenty of mud.

With a large pack on a recent 18 mile 2 day hike
in the snow, upwards of 18 inches of snow, I only started to feel moisture about 3/4 of the way thru the hike in the form of dampness. By the end of the hike as we arrived at camp, there was a small amount of condensation in the boot, I would say total of about a teaspoon. My socks were heavily damp, but not soaked.

I suspect water may seep in thru the stitching that makes the norwegian welt (the seam that goes around the base of the boot). I intend on applying seam sealer over that seam. A second source of moisture buildup is probably my own sweat. For this I recommend bringing multiple socks on your hike to help with moisture management, switch out socks halfway thru a long dayhike (greater than 6 miles or so).

I always wear a liner underneath a full thickness wool sock, and the fit is perfect like that. Through research I found that you should be able to fit the width of your index finger behind your heal with the shoe untied and your feet pushed all the way forward, that is how you know you have a good fit.

I also went online and got me some limmer boot grease, from the legendary bootmakers up in New Hampshire. I would also recommend reading their advice about boot care, as with proper care, this boot will last you 20 years or more.

I wear this boot into work and around town, it is rugged and beautfiul and durable. Though one drawback to this boot--and it's not really a drawback--is that it doesn't like to take small strides. This boot wants to take big strides, otherwise you may feel some discomfort. This boot wants to go out on the open trail with a pack and go for miles and miles.

If you are a mountaineer looking to do regular time in the snow, or steeper ascents where toe kicks are the name of the game, I would get one of the modern boots with a rubber toe rand. Nonetheless this boot is a great 3 and a half season boot, I say half season because it's good for some winter camping, but not actual mountaineering.
  • Best Uses: Day Hiking, Everyday, Harsh Terrain, Heavy Loads, Long-Distance Hiking, Wet Conditions
  • Cons: Not waterproof
  • Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer
  • Pros: Ankle Support, Comfortable, Great Traction, Sturdy/Durable, Stylish, Water Resistant
  • Sizing: Feels true to size
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