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Gear Guy

Are Galibier boots still made?

Are Galibier boots still made? If so, where can you get them? No Name Given

A: Yeah, they're still being made, but you won't find any in North America, and you'll have to do some scouting to even find them in France. Galibier was a pretty well regarded footwear maker in the 1970s and 1980s -- I owned two pairs of them -- and was a manufacturer that helped pioneer the idea of a rubber rand around the welt, sealing the area where the sole was stitched to the upper. They were good boots for that day and age. Also heavy and insanely stiff (I'm referring to the steel-shanked Super Guide model).

But distribution problems in the U.S. and the relentless drive of Italian boot makers pretty well pushed Galibier off the stage by the early 1990s. The last time I saw any for sale at all was well before that, in fact, when the Mountain Equipment Co-Op in Canada still carried them. The fact is, Galibier just didn't keep up with modern footwear design. Any number of good boots today could easily replace my Super Guides as a high-end leather mountaineering boot, with much more comfort. Among them: Asolo's Annapurna ($280); La Sportiva's Makalu ($245); Montrail's Mazama ($265); Boreal Bulnes ($215) or Salomon's SM Expert ($250). All are great for general mountaineering with or without crampons and off-trail trekking with big loads. They're not day hikers, but then neither were my Galibiers.

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