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  #1  
Old 20 Jun 2012
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Bespoke Footwear.

Hi all, I know this is the second time I've asked but the need is great. I am searching online and asking everyone I can think of to find a person who can make a pair of boots for me suitable for protection on a bike and also to walk in. Altberg have just e-mailed me to contact them again in six months, after waiting 2 years and three months already. With a badly broken ankle through using inadequate boots and now only able to use trainers I am desperate. I need bespoke footwear, that is, hand made to fit my feet and absolutely not off the shelf. I'm going to contact Frey Daytona, Scarpa, Meindl, Raichle, Lowa, Salamon and Berghaus. But there must be skilled people in, for instance India, who could copy a pair of Lowa combat boots which I have but which cripple my feet due to being simply too narrow. Any ideas at all please? Lindsay.
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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A difficult one Linzi, without having that experience. My only caution about India is that there are undoubtedly skilled craftsmen there but you'd have to wade through a lot of bluffers to find them. And how to do it at a distance?

Palace 15 is also a traveller in India and maybe he could comment on that. Morocco has a leather working tradition - but you'd have to go there and watch the price closely. Ryanair and Easyjet fly there.

I don't know the nature of your feet problem, but is it possible to do some serious bootstretching with the right equipment? On a standard pair I mean. Or "Cut and Shut" - ie make a cut and close it with a neat patch at the right dimension?

How about going to the orthopedic dept in a hospital. If they cant do it they may point you in the right direction?
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  #3  
Old 20 Jun 2012
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A Pressing Problem.

Hi, I'd meant to travel out to India with a pair of boots to be cut up to analyze the construction and copy that. Basically my feet are very, very wide. Altberg refused to modify a pair as my feet, being wider than the sole, would press out and overlap. I had two pairs of mountaineering boots made at age 20, many years ago. Since then my feet have been compressed and widened even more. I have size 42 or US 9, but 6E wide. E wide is the normally stocked widest size. In Sussex my feet were measured at a mountaineering specialists' and they said my feet obliterated the width calibrations. No wonder I used to be so fast swimming!!! I've asked the NHS but there are people with smashed feet, feet missing etc and I'm seen as not having a problem...the NHS is simply out of cash. I attacked a pair of Lowa combat boots with a craft knife but the boot needs the sides intact to maintain any integrity and as Altberg said, my feet still hurt. At the moment I've got to judge whether riding with soft trainers is a risk worth taking. I don't think so. Rats. Lindsay.
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linzi View Post
Hi all, I know this is the second time I've asked but the need is great. I am searching online and asking everyone I can think of to find a person who can make a pair of boots for me suitable for protection on a bike and also to walk in. Altberg have just e-mailed me to contact them again in six months, after waiting 2 years and three months already. With a badly broken ankle through using inadequate boots and now only able to use trainers I am desperate. I need bespoke footwear, that is, hand made to fit my feet and absolutely not off the shelf. I'm going to contact Frey Daytona, Scarpa, Meindl, Raichle, Lowa, Salamon and Berghaus. But there must be skilled people in, for instance India, who could copy a pair of Lowa combat boots which I have but which cripple my feet due to being simply too narrow. Any ideas at all please? Lindsay.
I don't think that such big companies would get into that, so you'd need something to a smaller scale.

Wouldn't it be easier to ADAPT those Lowa boots, rather than make them from new?? As Caminando pointed, what about orthopaedic deparments? (although I guess you've tried that already).

In Spain we've had a long tradition of high quality shoemaking -which is now suffering due to cheap chinese competition, as every field-, so I wonder if that could be done by Spanish craftsmen more easily, and plenty of flights (Mallorca has been the core of that tradition, actually, EasyJet+boots+holidays package, sounds too good).

There is a company with a long tradition which has modernized into modern hiking boots/shoes in La Rioja. Inicio - Chiruca I don't know if they would do that jov, but know someone who has contacts there and he could point me into the right direction.

Best luck,

Esteban
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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A late thought - some ski boots are fitted by inserting your foot in a shell and then a polystyrene foam stuff is pumped in to make a perfect fit.

Maybe not much use, but......

And yes, Spain has very fine shoemakers. And the Spanish people all seem to have perfect footwear.
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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You could try Viberg boots in Canada . They are very well made boots that last a long time .They are made in English sizes and have wide fittings as well . One of the "lace to toe" designs might work .
I use Vibergs for work and riding the bike.
My feet are 4E and also I find SIDI discovery boots fit well .

A quick search for custom makers revealed ;
Custom and Hand Made Hiking Boots

How To Order

Redwing boots are available in wide sizes ,not sure if you can get them in UK .
Northamptonshire is the traditional area for boot making and when I lived in the UK , I would get very good handmade boots from one of the makers , can't remember which one though . So it might be a good idea to do a search there .

Good luck .
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Last edited by Dodger; 20 Jun 2012 at 17:21.
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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You could try Wesco in the States.
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  #8  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Thanks.

Hi, great thanks to each who has offered help. I'll immediately follow up on those links. Firstly, my feet are simply wider than the soles of the wide version of Lowas. Years ago I tried on a plastic ski boot without the inner and my foot pressed against the shell at the little toe's base joint. That's why I've skied only once, in New Zealand, and my feet hurt for several months afterwards.
No, it has to be bespoke. My two pairs of mountaineering boots were hand made in the Alps somewhere. They were made in a very out of date method of internal wooden pegs around the inner edge of the boot. After wearing those perfect fitting boots for a couple of days the pegs would protrude into the boot and "sir", or his batman, would then sand paper the pegs back....Love!
I'll admit to using public transport to get to Ripley as I don't want to compress my feet again with the Lowas after getting rid of all the inflammation and pain. I am not prepared to ride that distance in trainers and so I put off the job of fixing my bike's carb problem.

Wide feet? It seems that playing cowboys and indians in the woods near Vancouver, I was always an indian brave, widened my feet as I was bare foot till aged seven. (Oh the glory days of childhood.) My feet spread and are wide far back, not just at the toes. In addition I have high arches, so the upper material is always simply too tight to make it up, over, round and down again. It's akin to having a car with a sloping roof. You can't get two adults into the back seats without a lot of cramping and stooping. You just have to get a bigger car.

Thanks again for the tips. Incidentally, it just struck me that India would not be good surely? They're Hindu, so what are their shoes made of? Pakistan would be better. I think when I've scraped together some money, my trip is not going to be an adventure bike trip but an adventure all the same..to get a pair of boots! Lindsay.
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Old 21 Jun 2012
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Hi Lindsay, for further research try here
http://www.bespokeorthopaedicfootwear.co.uk/

and here
http://www.fashion.arts.ac.uk/about/cordwainers/

If you like you might PM me with your particulars (feet) as I regularly visit workshops in which one is a boot maker. I can but ask.

Socks
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  #10  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Yep, Yep.

Hi Socks, thanks but I am after what most people already have, a pair of boots for tourning with a motorcycle and walking miles while on tour, off road mostly. I've spent the last couple of decades hacking up German army boots but my feet were getting hammered. It's time to get a real pair of fitting boots. Altbergs would be perfect but it seems that mass murderers of arabs get priority with them. I just contacted Daytona to ask but their boots are a bit too bike oriented for me. I'd prefer a dual use boot. Also Daytona only officially make their top of the range race boot to one off measurements. It's a carbon fibre sock with a leather outer boot, two in one really. They would be sweaty to use all day. Certainly I'll pm you, thanks a lot. Finally I know the UK has lots of bespoke makers but alas they cater for people with massive salaries, homes, private schooling etc. It's not a case of what I'm prepared to pay, it's a case of what I can scrape together. Lindsay.
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Old 21 Jun 2012
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boot maker uk

hi linzi have you tried this maker Extra extra wide fitting shoes from DB Shoes Ltd ,they might be up to the challenge of making a pair or two of bike/walking boots ,i use a pair of pro boots ,water proof, breathable and look good on or off the bike, you cold use them as a base design, hope this helps steve

Last edited by ssbon; 21 Jun 2012 at 23:36. Reason: more info
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  #12  
Old 22 Jun 2012
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more boots?

hi again linzi have a look at these Wide Fitting Shoes, Wide Footwear, Extra Wide, Shoes For Swollen Feet, Large Shoes have a couple of hiking boots at £120 and £240 and they do a extra wide 6e safety boot at £150 maybe not perfect but might do to to get by untill some more suited comes along steve
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  #13  
Old 22 Jun 2012
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Thanks.

Hi, and thanks for taking the trouble. I bought two pairs of 6E width trainers from widefitshoes.co.uk and that is the first time in my life that I've had no cramping, twisting or scafing in shoes. No blood either. My feet are now pain free. I broke my ankle and will now only ride a bike with a fairly high boot. I'm waiting for a catalog from the company Socks recommended. They came back with that offer when I enquired about bike/walking boots so I'm hopeful. Daytona insisted that I deal through their UK dealer and he's not answered yet but I doubt they do a suitable boot. It looks like its between Altberg and Socks' contact. What ever I get will have to be insured and fitted with an alarm! Lindsay.
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Old 26 Jun 2012
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Hiya

Is it worth going for a visit to Altberg anyway? Mine are described as XWide, so I don't know how many E's that is, maybe not as many as you need. But from what I remember some would be better than others for wider feet, so you can have a look, I wonder if you could sidestep the wait?

Jason

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  #15  
Old 27 Jun 2012
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Waiting.

Hi Grizzly, I have tried every avenue I can think of. With Altberg the only thing left would be to put forward an argument why I might be served sooner. I just checked their site and Dec is when I've to ask where in the list I then lie with many months still from foot measurement to supply. July next year is soonest. Socks' link would come out a couple of months sooner without the 2 year wait but would cost £1,200 or even £1,400.
I've had no answer from the UK dealer for Daytona as I had none two years ago as well. I shall call Daytona in Germany and ask them again what models they make to measure and inform them that I shall only deal direct with them. No third chances for the UK dealer and, anyway, foot measurements ought to be made by the craftsperson to do the work not bike rider.
It might be that I'd decide on a pair of Daytonas as they seem to give the maximum protection. I've had osteoporosis before and broken a hip despite looking like a brick out house at the time. I now have osteopedia which is a little less than oteoporosis but I want the best chance of avoiding catastrophic injury in a crash. I aim to avoid a crash but I tumbled off the bike in a carpark at walking speed and my fibula snapped due to overextension of ankle inside a combat boot. The weakened bones seem mostly due to lack of load bearing exercise, ie walking. I HAVE to be in perfectly fitting footwear from now on. My toe nails are now reshaped from overly tight footwear and some bones are thickened to strengthen against the pressure. No compromises anymore. I stopped carrying a collapsible walking stick a couple of weeks ago but tried my Lowas again just sitting. It's no good. My feet are less swollen than a few months ago after using 6e wide shoes but the Lowas are a little uncomfortable sitting. I managed to kick start my TTR600 but the Lowas hurt my feet within 20 minutes of normal use. It's a problem but I always remind myself that it's nothing compared with an amputation or other real problem. Thanks for all the interest, concern and tips. Lindsay.
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