Friday, 2 December 2011


The new and old boots
I have had a boot-related problem. My old and (very) trusted Scarpa Trek 2 boots have finally given up the ghost. After 2,000 miles of glorious life, of tarmac, grass, mud and sand, the leather split and the boots went to the great shoeshop in the sky. Despite the rather large split in the leather, they still kept the water out when I waded into the North Sea at Cullercoats.

I went to see the friendly lads and lasses at Open Air in Cambridge to see if I could get another couple of pairs. It was then the problem occurred: Scarpa have replaced the Trek 2 boots with a new model, the New Trek GTX.

Yes, I walk lop-sided
My first question is why it is necessary to produce a new version of a boot every few years: in the last nine years I have got through about six pairs of the original Trek boots and three of the Trek 2. Are the new Trek boots so much better than the original ones? Indeed, I find it slightly hard to keep track of the different types of the Trek boot I have worn over the last ten years - I think the order is Trek, Trek GTX, Trek 2 and now, finally, the New Trek GTX.

The split
This will not matter for many people, but for me it is important. Because I have metal pins protruding from my ankle bone then I am limited in the number or types of boots I can wear - wellington boots are right out as they flex right where the metal is, causing pain on the bad side of intense. For this reason once I get a pair of boots that work for me then I tend to stick with them, buying a few pairs in advance. The injury also means that I hyper-supinate as I walk, causing the outside edge of the soles to wear out quickly.

So I have bought a pair of the newly-styled boots from Open Air; so far, after about one hundred miles, they seem fine. Unfortunately this does not mean that will continue to be the case, as I had to get rid of a good pair of Saloman boots after about eighty miles when the fabric started flexing in the wrong place.

The size of the split
All my previous Scarpa boots have been excellent; on my coastal walk I could just slip on a brand new pair and walk without having to break them in. On that trip they would only last 900 to 1,000 miles; the toll of walking day after day without cleaning limiting their life somewhat.

So another question: many people talk about pairs of boots lasting well over ten years; I can easily get through a pair in a couple of years. Is it normal for boots to split near the toes in this manner with enough (ab-)use, or is it a problem with the Treks? If it is a common problem, is there any way to prevent it happening?


Griffmonster said...

All my boots, so far, have lasted 12-18 months each and I calculated some years ago that I get approx 1000-1500 miles out of them. I have had many different brands but only one pair has split on the uppers, and this was not a full split, but a cracking of the leather. All my boots have worn out due to the soles wearing thin. I regret having to bin them because the uppers are always good. My current boots are Karrimor which I purchased from Amazon. These will keep me going for another year!

David Cotton said...

Hi gm,

It sounds like your boots are lasting for roughly the same amount of time and miles as mine.

I think the uppers may split because of my unusual gait.

Goodness knows how people get 15 years out of theirs. They can't be doing much walking...


Niki552 said...
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