Barker Shoe Co. 10th Mountain Division ski boots. Boots are dated 1943 Produced in Boston. This example has original waxed laces with metal ends. Also the wool foot bed for insulation. Goodyear heavy lugged sole provides traction when not full of snow or mud. From what I understand the original design had a flat sole, but traction was impossible so they later retrofitted these boots with the lugs. Squared off toe allows for maximum heel lift during cross-country maneuvers.
A true early-mid 1970s mountaineering boot. This Kastinger has a couple unique construction attributes. The hinged heel allows for the boot to flex without stressing putting undue stress on the boot or the wearer. Second feature that makes this boot both special and revolutionary is the stitchless injection-molded welt, which is quite a departure from the Norwegian and Goodyear welts most boots of this era used.
The gaiters seen here are a similar era (maybe a little later) The North Face nylon blend model.
Rare pair of western style Hi-Point boots by Alpinestars. We’ve all seen the mx “mad max” boots, but these are something else. Based on a pretty traditional round toe western style upper. 10.75″ shaft. Looped boot pulls at the top. Double stitched all around. Heavy duty welt attaches the beefy soles made by Skywalk for Alpinestars (also made boot soles for Vasque hiking boots) 2.25″ heel height. Hypnotic vinyl Hi-point patches stitched on. Stamped size 43. Can’t find anything on them. Not sure if they were a demo piece or what. I’d guess late 70s early 80s on the age.
I’ve been fan of Danner Boots, ever since I found my first pair. Eventually every pair I’ve come across I’ve sold, a testament to their quality and enduring nature. Earlier in the year I picked up a pair of older Danner Light 30420. Condition was less than favorable, perhaps even gone enough I wouldn’t make the $3 dollars back I’d paid for them. Being they were a good fit for me, I decided to run them through the recrafting process and see what I got back. As I sit here typing this in brand new old Danner boots, all I can say is, I’m glad I did it.
Forms and information on the recrafting process are easy to find and follow on the Danner site. As long as your boot has a stitch-down welt it boot should be recraftable. Simply remove the laces, insoles and send them to address provided with the form marked for appropriate servicing. If your unsure on the services your boots may need, just ask. I sent an email with questions on mine before hand to which I got a quick and friendly response. When filling out my form, I wrote in that I’d be interested in any additional service their people recommended. Basically, the heel on the boots I was sending in was a bit wonky, but I was unsure if the heel counter service would remedy it. Shortly after my boots were received I got a call from woman at Danner letting me know my heel counters were indeed broken and it was recommended I replace them, to which I gave the go-ahead. On the call I was also informed my boots had passed the waterproof test and there was no need to worry there. My call was followed by an email letting me know the queue for the process was 8 weeks. That’s about what I expected, and I was happy to wait. No less than 7 weeks later I got a friendly email letting me know my boots were on their way back to me accompanied by professional before and after pictures.
The workmanship on the recrafting is quite simply amazing. I’ve had boots resoled, which always ads an element of newness to them, but this was above and beyond. The wonky heels are solid! The toes are rigid and shaped again. They’re overall cleaner than I imagined they could ever be. The boots were returned to me with new laces and a brand new set of Danner Airthotics, along with the business card of the gentleman I presume did the work.
I don’t know that you need to send your boots back to Danner to have such great work done. There’s probably a capable cobbler in your area. But if you have the time and means to put your boots through the process, I’d recommend it. Some of the best customer service I’ve ever got from a company.
These rare 70s era Belstaff motorcycle boots were crafted in England and probably an expensive import for their day. The style is somewhere between a motocross and a road touring boot. The 15.5 inch shaft (measured outsides as the boots slope down on the inside edge of the shaft) is made easily accessible by the heavy gauge metal zipper at the back. The zipper features a large pull tag ensigned with the letter ‘a’, a maker’s mark I am not familiar with. Cinching straps at the heel and top of the shaft allow for a more custom fit. The solid one piece vamp rises high on the shaft for added protection from the road and elements. The soles are a heavy lugged rubber of similar style to that of a Vibram hiker, but are unlabeled. The inch and quarter tall heel has a metal insert which appears to have been hand carved and hammered in to prolong the wear and may lead to some show stopping sparks at night if dragged ever so lightly across the asphalt. The top of the shaft is finished with a yellow leather insert that creates a nice finish and compliments the gold Belstaff logo on the outside of each shaft.
Very cool old boots, unfortunately I don’t know who made ’em. Quality on par with any Danner or Red Wing make or model. 7.5 in high shaft. Unique vamp construction minimizes seems. Eyelet and hook lace up. Goodyear lugged soles the America equivalent of Vibram. Lined uppers and thick felted wool insoles suggest they were intended for colder weather use.
UPDATE: Reader comments have identified these as “US Army issue Ski/Mountain boots. The original design is by Chippewa, but several manufacturers produced them over the years. The squared toe and grooved heel are for the ski bindings.”
Looking at a vintage pair of Gokey Botte Sauvage Snake Proof Hunting boots. These boots probably date from the 50s or 60s and are based (as the name suggests) on a style of French Trapper boot popular in the north-east and great lakes area. The Gokey company produced this same boot for outfitter’s Abercrombie & Fitch in the early mid-1900s. Their boots and bags of legendary quality and the standard for the worldly adventurer of the day.
The boots are of relatively simple construction of high quality materials. In the realm of boots crafted in Minnesota they’re somewhere between Red Wings and Minnetonka’s. The 15″ tall boots are constructed of thick, quality leather. Anchor brand brass buckles at the top and ankle give them an almost engineer feel, but with the moccasin style toe.
This bot features Queen B soles by Gro-Cord, but from looking at other such boots it appears the choice of sole changed throughout the years. The black fore soles are ingrained with pieces of rope or hemp for additional traction.
I have been researching the markings inside the boots but an unable to make definite sense of them at this time. My best judgement, these are size 7.5 men’s 9 women’s? I should also note the shaft on these boots is long and narrow, not for the person with a big calf and would require some ankle flexibility to get in to. Newer models offer a side zip after many requests I’m sure.