Q:

What's my best bet for all-leather boots?

Do you have any recommendations on all-leather boots for women? I'm talking about all leather—no fo-cushioned insoles, no cloth vp lining. The only boot I can wear is a Redwing Irish Setter with an oak-tanned insole, but they don't make it in ladies' sizes. It seems like every manufacturer is going with their "miracle" man-made products, but these don't compare with good old leather. Phil Williston, North Dakota

Aug 23, 2006
Outside
Outside Magazine
Limmer Standard hiking boots

Limmer Standard

A:

Wow, that's a high bar. I certainly understand your predilection for leather liners. They take some break-in, but once that's done, they mold to your foot for a custom fit. But leather insoles? That's a little extreme, I think. What exactly don't you "like" about some of these materials? And no boot maker these days goes all-leather in the mid-sole of the boot; they all use some variation of rubber, polyurethane, or EVA.

Anyway, the list of what might suit you is plenty short. Leather linings used to be moderately common even a few years ago, in boots from Raichle, Scarpa, and a few other makers. But they've all pretty much gone to synthetic linings, mainly Cambrelle, which is a soft material that feels comfortable and wicks well. About your only choice these days is the Limmer Lightweight ($265; www.limmerboot.com) or Limmer Standard ($335). These are beefy old-style boots with lots of leather, including leather linings and a leather insole. The Standard is lots of boot—it's going to take considerable break-in before they're comfortable. Same for the Lightweight, just a bit less so. But once you have them ready to go, these are boots that will last a very long time indeed.

For the best in women's gear, check out Outside's 2006 Buyer's Guide.

Filed To: Hiking Boots

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