Airstream in New Mexico

Further than you think

Richard Charpentier hiking, Notes from Rich 5 Comments

In 2001 I took a walk along the Appalachian Trail.  The first month saw snow, sleet, rain, freezing rain, and blue skies here and there as well.  Walking in the woods you find out what’s important and what you really miss.

Things missed included refridgerators, cold Mountain Dew at the ready, flush toilets, hot showers, toilets without giant spiders, unlimited pizza, soft beds, and much much more!

One of the really important things you learned while taking a long walk had to do with footwear.  The right boot could make or break your hike.  Things that didn’t fit right….yeah, trip ending if you let it go.  The right fit could keep you going and going……..

After hundreds of miles of hiking I switched from a high cut boot to a low cut boot.  My feet had changed and the first set of boots no longer fit.  The Garmont R2 boot was my pick from a shop in VA.  Fantastic pick too!

What I really liked about my Garmont R2’s was the warning message that came on the tongues of the boots.  The warning was simple:

Warning.  These boots will take you further than you think.

garmont-2Seriously, that warning was on the tongue of each boot.  The warning is still there.  See, I still own those boots.  Can’t tell you how many miles in total they’ve seen, as they’ve been all over after that walk.  The R2’s did take me a lot further than I thought.

Since I liked my R2’s so much I decided that Garmont ROCKS and they’d be a manufacturer that I’d use again and again.

When I arrived in Prescott March of 2007 I started hiking.  A LOT!  And I hiked in my original Garmont R2s as well as my Chacos.  By the way, Chacos totally rock too!

As I started exploring Arizona more I decided it was time for a new pair of boots.  I mean really, my R2’s were bought in 2001 and here I was in 2007.  Maybe it was time for some new footwear.  Of course, I went in search of a new pair of Garmonts.

After an exhaustive search I discovered I could find no R2s anywhere.  Local shops, REI, online, nowhere.  What a bummer.  So I decided to get another low cut Garmont boot that reminded me of the R2.

Great fit, super comfy, Vibram soles……the new footwear worked well.  My new Garmonts have taken me all over AZ, on too many walks in the Dells, and recently they brought me to Red Mountain.  All very cool.

garmont-1Unfortunately, there was no warning on the tongues of these Garmonts.  Nothing told me they’d take me further than I thought.  And in the end, they didn’t take me further than I thought.  See, my right shoe gave up the ghost on Monday.

While putting a small storage shed together for my books (I’ll tell more in another post) my right shoe literally split through the sole while I crouched on the ground.  There was still a lot of sole left, but the boot tore right through.

Looks like I’ll be breaking out the R2s for the next few walks until I can find a suitable replacement.  Anybody seen a boot with a warning label lately?  If so, drop me a line!

Comments 5

  1. EXACT same thing happened to my Merrell Chameleons! I bought a pair of La Sportiva boots with the Vibram sole as replacements. If these puppies break I’ll be ditching Vibram in the future.

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    I have always found that Vibram Soles just plain rock, especially when hiking on wet granite. That’s an observations from my days back in NH. You just don’t bust your but when using Vibrams on wet granite, which is what you’re walking on often in NH.


    Given you’ve experienced this too Tombo….. I’m wondering about the new class of Vibrams????

  3. Not to knock Garmont, but my Salomon’s are super sweet. They don’t have Vibram soles, but they stick to ice… well, not really, but I have yet to take a dive wearing them. Well, maybe once – but it had nothing to do with the shoes.

  4. Hey, maybe you could take them to American Boot & Shoe Repair right there in Prescott and see if they can fix them.

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