The Footwear Chronicles

The Footwear Chronicles is following along from The Houndstooth Chronicles, The Craft Brew Chronicles etc. Regardless of topic or expertise I will chronicle my choices. (The Chronicles will be made clearer and given their own page… Real Soon Now™)

Earlier editions have mentioned my Camp Fours, Guide Tennies and Thermo 6’s.

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But since I’m getting more organized about my footwear choices… here’s the first footwear that I read about and said to myself… yeah, that sounds right. I was 9 or 10 years old at the time.

We were on a summer vacation in the White Mountains of NH, and in a basket under a small table in the porch of the cabin was a stack of magazines. It was that worn time of day after hiking and swimming and playin’ around when all parents are searching for some quiet time, and no doubt my mom was preparing dinner, or thinking about it anyway.

It was a little too stuffy in the cabin so I grabbed a jacket and plopped myself down on the chair and looked for something to read. The magazine came to hand and as I flipped through came across an article about hiking in the area, and a sidebar on Limmer Boots. It included a brief recount of Peter Limmer Sr. and how he “moved his family from the Boston area up to the White Mountains of New Hampshire because it reminded him of his home in Bavaria.”

I’ve never known why the White Mountains appealed to my grandfather, but I always suspected his being from Germany played a role.

And the article continued to talk about the custom hiking boots, and I decided that it would be a delicious thing to have some boots made to the shape of my foot. It was a recognition in myself of a love of things that are “custom made” or “bespoke” that I can rarely afford to indulge.

So cut to many, many years later, and I drop by the shop to order custom boots, learn that they now make stock boots, and pick up a pair.

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See those boots over on the left? That’s what they looked like. They’re beautiful and solid, and supported my then very heavy body through quite a few miles. the wait list caught up to me shortly after September 11th and it seemed silly to indulge in custom boots at that point, with no big hikes or anything on my list of things to do. I passed on the chance. Years later, having walked off quite a few of those pounds the boots I had were too heavy for the kind of hiking I was doing and they no longer fit properly. So I dropped them off at the shop to be consigned, and picked up a new pair of the Lightweight Hikers… and have been happy ever since.

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Yes, I do believe in going light when I hike. And sometimes that definitely means something lighter than even a lightweight leather boot. But’s there’s lots of times when I’ve been happy to have the support and protection. It’s one of those things that either works for you or doesn’t. Caveat Emptor. But that’s about hiking (wilderness, packs, miles to go before you sleep sort of hiking). They’re more than capable of handling the chores around the house or barn, weekends playing in the outdoors, hunting, fishing, etc. if you do those sorts of things.

All of us have things that make us smile when we see them. These are one of those things for me. Lisa loves hers as well, saying “nothing fits me like my Limmers.” As a 10 year old, I never could have envisioned the life that has filled the 35 years between then and now. But I could picture my feet up in pair of Limmers, and the picture above tells that story better than I.

[Socks? My go-to in this case is Bridgedale. They never seem to wear out. Cushy, but not too thick. They no longer seem to make the model I have, but since they would appear to be years away from wearing out, I don’t know what to tell you. Use whatever works for you…]

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