After leaving the service in 1971, I reinvested in some more modern camping and hiking equipment along with photography gear. New technology mountaineering equipment was arriving on the market that replaced war surplus tents and sleeping bags. One of my new investments was a good pair of boots.
My first pair of mountaineering boots. Nikon D2Xs, 60 mm F 2.8 Macro Nikkor, Flash.
The boots I acquired are a pair of Galibier guide boots made by Richard Ponvert of France. These boots have served me very well for many years. They have walked untold miles, climbed Fourteeners in Colorado, endured minus 40 degree temperatures in British Columbia and kept my feet dry in raging streams and mines in Mexico. But, sadly over 4o years later they have become obsolete.
Today, these great boots are still made but somewhat hard to find, especially here in the States. Galibier was a pretty well regarded footwear maker in the 1970s and 1980s and was a manufacturer that helped pioneer new innovations in boot making. They were excellent boots for that day and age. Also heavy (about 5 pounds) and very stiff. But they were rugged, could take almost any punishment and gave exceptional support.
Modern materials have brought many advances to the boot making industry. New waterproof and lightweight materials have replaced the heavy leather uppers, new breathable fabrics now line the interiors and Vibram® lug soles have become industry standard. What we get today is a superb boot with less than half the weight for a somewhat more moderate price.
So yes, I too, have made the move to a more modern boot. Do I think they are better? I would never believe that they are as tough and perhaps supportive as the Galibiers, but the weight and comfort make a ton of difference.
© 2013 Brian Loflin. All rights reserved.