Best ... Christmas gift ... Ever!!!

Spydeyrch
OK, So this story might be a little long but it was totally worth it!!!

Background:

My dad and I used to do a bunch of alpine climbing. We would hike into a mountain and then hike up the mountain. Usually it didn't require any actual climbing gear (pitons, cams, nuts, etc.) but we usually had a rope with us, and if we were climbing in winter, we always had our ice axe with us. I started alpine climbing back with I was 11 or 12. My dad has done it since his early/mid teens during the 70's. To my dad, one of the most important things on any hike, climbing, outdoor activity away from any decent amount of civilization was his boots. He swore by them. He was raised in what we would consider old-school by today's modern standards for climbing. His boots were monsters: thick outer single piece leather, vibram sole (we called them waffle makers), double stitch sole, steel shank, re-solable, etc. They lasted him a good 12 years, multiple re-solings, etc. They could take a beating and keeping on giving. These were the kind of boots that would take about 6 months of constant daily use to be considered "broken in". If you didn't break them in, they would break you in .... in half!!!!! They were considered mountaineering boots.

His last pair of real mountaineering boots, like the ones described above, lasted him about 10 years before they gave up the ghost. Then he bought some USA made "boots" that had glued soles and multiple pieces of leather. He wasn't too fond on getting a glued sole boot but was told that the boot would give up and die before the glue did. Even though he was skeptical, he purchased them hoping to support a local company that manufactures in the US.

So last year around my birthday in September, my dad took me for a surprise trip up to the then-new Cabelas in/close to Olympia, WA. I had never actually been to a Cabela's store before. I had ordered things online from them but never set foot in a store. It was actually quite overwhelming. Very cool looking but over-whelming. He took me there to let me get some fishing stuff. But we also checked out the rest of the store. One part that we checked out was the "bargin barn". Basically items that were return to the store but are still usable. They had an incredible discount on them for being "used"

While in the bargin barn, my dad found some boots that really caught his eye. They were double stitched soles and single piece leather. Unfortunately they were size 11 and he needed a size 10. But I got the name of the maker, Meindl. They are located in Germany. Germany, Austria, and Italy are renowned for their mountaineering boots. They are the best. He started to get excited that he had found so boots like he used to have in the good ol' days. We left the store and headed home. While on the road I checked the Meindl website and found their double & triple stitched boots. They were pricey!! Just under $500 a pair!! :shock:

Anywho, so a few months ago his USA built boots finally fell apart. The sole came off due to the glue. The glue he was told would continue to hold once the boot failed. The glue that was placed on a pedestal. It failed to meet his high requirements and the entire sole of his boot came off. So he started to look for a boot again but this time he wanted a good pair.

So last week, my mom approached me and said that dad wanted a pair of some boot that he and I found at Cabelas a year ago. I explained to her about them and she said that would be perfect. So I got online. Meindl sells 2 different models of boots that my dad would want. They would meet his mountaineering standards. They were the Perfekt & the Super Perfekt. The Super Perfekt cost just under $500 US dollars.

The problem is that they aren't sold anywhere in the US. Cabelas purchased the rights to place their logo on the Meindl Perfekt model, but they also changed it from the double stitch to a glued sole. YUCK!!!

So I scoured the internet trying to find a dealer that would ship internationally so that we could get them before Christmas. Oh, and we (my mother & I) were doing all this last week wednesday. After a while, the only two places that would ship internationally was a place in the UK and another in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I called the place in Canada and they said that they had a back order of 300+ pairs. They said to call back in a month to get an update. The other place said that they had about 1 - 1.5 years of waiting before meindl would fill their order. Well I didn't have that much time. So I put my geek skills to work and started digging into the internet, trying to find something.

I happened upon a pair of boots that when I saw them, I knew they would be the ones. The are by Alico. Alico has been in the boot making arena since the early 1900'. They are made in Italy, in the Dolomites. I researched the boot a ton!! And everything that I found about it checked off on my list of what it needed to make my dad jump for joy.

It had a 3/4 steel shank, 15 aged waced Periganer leather, old school vibram soles, etc. But the cherry on the cake was that it came with red laces!! There is a photo on my parents wall in the living room of my dad when we was like 18 or 19. He has his ice axe, a rope wrapped around his chest, 3 pairs of wool socks hiked up to his mid calf, and then his boots. The famous boots of his child-hood and teen-age mountain climbing years. And the laces on those boots were red!!! So when I saw that these new boots had red laces, that was the convincing factor.

So when I went to order them with my mom, the retail price was $410. But we got them for like 39% off and then an additional 20% off again!!! So in the end, with shipping, it was a total of like $248!!!! And was guaranteed to arrive before Christmas.

I was so excited for him!!

So yesterday, he opened his gift and the ear to ear smile last the entire day!! He wore them around the house, to his brother's house, etc. I wouldn't doubt if he wore them to work today!!!

It was the best gift I could have given my dad and it was wonderful to 40 years of memories flood his mind and see him give the biggest smile ever!! He deserved it for being such a wonderful father!!! :D

-Spydey

P.S. These boots had 225 reviews giving a total of 4.5 out of 5. They are amazing to behold!!!
 
tomriker
so what, no pics?? lame..
 
Spydeyrch
tomriker said:
so what, no pics?? lame..

Oh, there are pics but I don't have them yet. My brother took them with his camera. So I need to get them from him first.

-Spydey

P.S. Here is the site I got them from. They have some pics there of the boot.

Alico Mountaineering boot
 
Last edited:
tomriker
those are some fancy lookin' boots
 
ChezJfrey
tomriker said:
so what, no pics?? lame..

LOL...that was my first reaction too!

Nice work Spydey, very thoughtful.
 
ChezJfrey
Oh, and P.S. while it's notable they are hiking boots made in the Dolomites, I think it's also important to note that they are footwear made in Italy...I don't know what it is about the Italians and footwear, but every shoe I've ever worn from there is without equal in fit and comfort; they have a knack and if you don't want to spend the typically high price, don't ever put them on! I made that mistake with cycling shoes once, just to, "check it out." I didn't want to spend double the price tag vs. every other brand I tried, but after trying the Italian ones, I couldn't turn back and ended up purchasing them.

These shoes have lasted 11 years where 7 of those were from cycle-commuting 90 minutes every single work day, fit like a slipper, and look like they will last another 50 years without question.
 
Spydeyrch
ChezJfrey said:
Oh, and P.S. while it's notable they are hiking boots made in the Dolomites, I think it's also important to note that they are footwear made in Italy...I don't know what it is about the Italians and footwear, but every shoe I've ever worn from there is without equal in fit and comfort; they have a knack and if you don't want to spend the typically high price, don't ever put them on! I made that mistake with cycling shoes once, just to, "check it out." I didn't want to spend double the price tag vs. every other brand I tried, but after trying the Italian ones, I couldn't turn back and ended up purchasing them.

These shoes have lasted 11 years where 7 of those were from cycle-commuting 90 minutes every single work day, fit like a slipper, and look like they will last another 50 years without question.

Oh dude, I totally know what you mean!! Back in 1999 I bought a pair of Italian leather dress shows for my high school sophmore year homecoming dance. They lasted through my entire high school career, 2 years in Mexico walking everyday in the dirt, mud, pavement, desert, etc. I just got rid of them like last year because my wife didn't like them. But believe me, I put up one heck of a fight for them!!!! The sole on them looked like it hadn't even been used. The leather was starting to crack a little and they were pretty stretched out, but other than that, man they were awesome!!

So, yes, Italian footwear is AMAZING!!! And yes, these boots are made in Italy. Great craftsmanship!!!!

-Spydey
 
Chromatose
Great story spydey. Those new boots are Waffle Stompers for sure. Glad you could do that for your Father!
 
Top Bottom