Renewed by the Mountains and my Boots!

Buying Kevin’s hiking boots was an act of faith on my part, and it paid off wonderfully. The boots just came out of a 70-mile week in the Rockies on mountain trails, bushwhacking up to 8 miles in a stretch, 4th class scrambling, easy 5th class pitches, and on several 15+ miles days. For the first time in my life, I walked 20 quick miles in a day, and my feet were not sore or tired; I felt I was wearing ultralight shoes. Another day I bushwacked a 10 hour day (in a non-stop downpour) up a steep river valley, over blown-down trees, through a burnt down forest, across boulder fields above timberline, then down a steep river valley with 30-degree wet mossy slopes with ease. I felt I had billygoat feet!
I learned on that trip that proper footwear enables a body to move painlessly through the high country; the result of the finest materials in the hands of a craftsman who transforms bootmaking into an artform. The best boot companies manufacture boots; Kevin creates masterpieces for each individual. I know — I own a pair.
I earn a middle-class income, I am frugal and having Kevin craft boots for me is the best value I’ve seen in outdoor gear: I only wish I found him years ago. I arrived at Kevin’s shop damaged after a lifetime in the mountains. At forty I had four spine surgeries resulting in three herniated disks and three arthritic vertebrae, a knee with 3 points of full cartilage degeneration and no feeling in parts of my left foot (the result of severe nerve damage). My days in the wilderness were numbered and thanks to Kevin they’ve been extended.

Hiking in Switzerland

Dear Kevin,
We just got back from hiking in the Alpstein for 3 weeks and my new boots performed superbly! While my partner treasures her 43-year old Lowa boots, she happily removed them after 6-7 hours of hard hiking. She said she needed to give her feet a rest and wore only slippers in the berghotels. I, on the other hand, had absolutely no need to remove my new boots. In fact, when I was forced to take them off in the berghotels, my feet felt just the same! I really couldn’t feel any difference, with or without the boots!
Why is my hiking in the Alpstein a true miracle? Well, as I told you when being fitted for my boots, I take a size 13 boot with a width of 6E+. I say 6E+ because I’ve never found a boot (or shoe, for that matter), that was wide enough for my feet. Instead, I hiked in sandals, with only one brand that ever fit. Yes, sandals! But I knew hiking in the Alpstein was going to be far more demanding than allowed by my sandals, so we started searching for a custom bootmaker who would take the time and effort to make comfortable boots for me. And, indeed, they are extremely comfortable! There’s room for all my toes, and the length and arch are perfect!
As someone who has been unable to wear ANY store-bought shoe or boot for the last 40+ years, I have to say your boots are an eye-opener! They accompanied my up and down every single trail, slogged through every wet cow patty in sight, and never gave me a single problem.
I’ve attached a picture showing my new boots as we took a slight detour from the Alpstein to ride the nearby bobsled run. Aren’t my very, very large wide feet beautiful!


Kevin, yesterday I took my new boots out for a four mile spin, two miles with 1000 ft of elevation gain and back down. The last time I did this hike the last half mile was very uncomfortable. This time it felt GREAT! My new boots are a huge success – thank you!! There was plenty of room for my toes on both feet going up and coming back down. The softer soles and arch support were perfect, as was the padding over the instep. There was no rubbing around my heels or toes. I felt no need for moleskin anywhere. My feel felt comfortably snug in the heel and didn’t shift around. The last couple of times out I’ve come back with sore toe pads, but not this time. (I have little cushions, like tiny bolsters, for my hammer/claw toes on my right feet that I might try out to see how they feel.) My bunions started making themselves known toward the end of the hike at the very end, but so much less than on any hike on the descent in years – worth a mention because it felt so much better!


Thank you, Kevin. It was such a pleasure to go for a hike and be able to enjoy the wildflowers and surroundings without pain in my toes. I have been quite apprehensive about my ability to do this hiking trek to Machu Picchu due to the discomfort of my feet. I’ve had visions of being unable to enjoy this trip of a lifetime or having to ride the horse and missing out on the satisfaction of scaling the passes because my feet hurt so badly. Problem solved! Now I just have to focus on getting my body in shape – just 48 training days to go!


Many, many thanks!



Update October, 2016 I LOVE MY BOOTS! They have been utterly life-changing for me, allowing me to go places and do things I was afraid were beyond me—thank you!! I’ve meant to send you this photo of me in Peru going over 15,200 ft Salkantay Pass on my 60th birthday, on the way to Machu Picchu. What a great experience—thank you for making it possible!!! Recently my boots and I went backpacking in the Ansel Adams Wilderness out of Mammoth, and witnessed breathtaking landscapes and lakes that can only be seen if you walk there.