Custom Hiking Boots

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azbackpackr
Posts: 8122
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
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Custom Hiking Boots

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 08 2015 7:20 am

I've pretty much quit hiking due to the foot problems. Oh, I'll do a short hike now and again but I no longer have backpacking trips on the calendar. I can't walk very far because my feet hurt, and I think it's because I can't find boots or shoes to fit me.

I've run through the gamut trying to find hiking boots or trail shoes. I have come to a dead end. There is only one bootmaker, Lowa, which comes close with their Renegades, but even those really do not fit. I bought a pair of Salomon men's trail runners. They run narrow, and are long enough. I can probably use them for some short hikes, but I really don't feel very secure in them.

I went to REI and the guy who measured my feet insisted I wear two sizes shorter than what I do wear, and brought me boots to "prove" it. My toes crumpled up in the toe box, of course. That man wandered off and stopped waiting on me. That was at REI Flagstaff.

I went to Summit Hut and they understand my problem. They agreed with me. They told me: "There are no boots or trail shoes made in your size." Period. I was glad to hear that from them because I do respect their expertise. The problem is that once the boot companies started having all the boots made in China they changed the lasts (sizing) and stopped making some of the odd sizes.

Don't tell me to do an internet search for women's 11.5 AA or AAA hiking boots. They don't exist, okay? Not to be found anywhere.

So far I've looked at a couple of websites for custom bootmakers specializing in hiking boots. One is in Santa Cruz (Felton) and the other is in New Hampshire in the White Mountains. I'll look further, but here is what I've found so far:
http://www.esatto.biz/index.html
http://leahycustomhikingboots.com/
http://www.limmercustomboot.com/cgi-bin ... t/index.pl
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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Grasshopper
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Re: Custom Hiking Boots

Post by Grasshopper » Mar 08 2015 11:41 am

@azbackpackr
Liz- you are on the right track considering Peter Limmer & Sons in NH.. http://www.limmercustomboot.com/cgi-bin ... t/index.pl They are a 3rd to 4th generation custom boot maker. Read the details on their internet link.

I originally bought my one and only pair of custom heavy duty backpacking / day hiking boots from them in 1991 after moving from NH to Southern CA (after a one year stop in CO). They are not cheap boots and are hand-made and custom fitted. I was going to a CA foot doctor in 1991 and had my doctor professionally custom draw the dimensions of my feet (each foot) and fax the drawing details to Limmer & Sons in NH. We corresponded, and I soon place an order with them for my $300.00+ hand-made custom boots. Back in 1991, I waited for over a year lead time for them to manufacture my heavy duty and heavy backpacking boots but they were perfect upon receipt and I clocked a lot of miles on them between 1992 to 1995. I still have these well made boots but I don't wear them any longer due mostly to the boots heavy weight and the fact that over time my feet expanded some in width which allowed me to be comfortable wearing over the counter brand name hiking boots.. as long as I also use the Super Feet "green" Premium Insoles.

They had no website back in 1991 and I have not looked in any detail at their new website offerings and T&C's but if you want to get back into backpacking bad enough, have the extra money to spend, and time to wait (hopefully no longer a year lead-time?), I strongly recommend this company to do business with for custom hand-made boots.. Good luck with it!
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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azbackpackr
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Re: Custom Hiking Boots

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 08 2015 6:45 pm

Thank you!!
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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Nighthiker
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Re: Custom Hiking Boots

Post by Nighthiker » Mar 08 2015 9:29 pm

Friends wife had the same problem ( 11.5 wide), she went with Danner Explorer.
Last edited by Nighthiker on Mar 09 2015 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
jk

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azbackpackr
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Re: Custom Hiking Boots

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 08 2015 10:06 pm

Hmm, yeah, people with wide feet often have some problems, they tell me. But more shoes are made in wide widths than narrows. And women with wide feet can often wear men's sizes. With as narrow and low volume a foot as I have, even thick inserts often are not the answer. Glad she found a boot that works, though!
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Custom Hiking Boots

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 10 2015 8:22 pm

I remembered I had a couple pairs of old boots stored away and found them. One of them is an old pair of all-leather Raichle boots in my size which someone gave me about 15 years ago. I never used them because I had other boots back then, and I sort of forgot about them.

Raichle company is now called Mammut. But they no longer make my size. I'm wearing the old pair right now. I think they may be a pretty good fit. They were given to me in a used condition but not too bad. If they work well for me I could also get them re-soled later on. The thing is that the toe-box is more square, instead of too pointy, and yet they are narrow enough to hold my heels and forefoot well.

The other pair I had in storage is called Vasque Wasatch. The company made this boot in my size up until recently. I bought them from Campmor about 10 or 12 years ago, but they are so heavy I never wore them very much. They're like an old style mountaineering boot, almost. They'd be good for workout hikes, though! Like having weights on your feet! They do fit well, as I recall, although I haven't worn them in several years.

I hope to be posting more hikes and backpacks soon! (But there will also be a lot of kayaking! I'm going to Baja to paddle, next month!)
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Custom Hiking Boots

Post by azbackpackr » Apr 02 2015 8:06 pm

Okay, here we go again. I just got the old pair of Raichles back from Dave Page Cobbler. I sent them to him after the soles fell off while hiking in the hot desert. He did a fantastic job, as always. I highly recommend him for resoling boots. He does other shoes and sandals, too, but his specialties are mountaineering boots and rock climbing shoes.

So, after I get back from a kayaking trip near Mulege, way down in Baja (go ahead, be jealous), I will start working my feet again, see what happens.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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