In my July 2021 post I mentioned being a bit miffed about my hiking boot falling apart:

I was annoyed when it happened as:

  1. I’d hardly worn those boots, as they’d been bought as replacements when my beloved Timberlands had fallen apart
  2. The (repaired) beloved Timberlands had been left at home
  3. Now I needed to buy replacements for my replacements for the planned hike up Helvellyn

I subsequently learned that polyurethane (PU) soles have a nasty habit of doing this, even if they’ve been left in a nice dry cupboard for years on end.

This left me with a dilemma – should I spend money on getting them fixed? In the end I sent them off to Cheshire Shoe Repairs thinking that the repair and return postage would be £59. But I hadn’t reckoned on the need for a midsole (£20) and re-randing (another £20). This worsened the dilemma, but in the end the chap from Cheshire made a convincing case that the repaired boots would likely last longer than any new boots I might buy. Also with Vibram soles my Contour boots would be pretty much up to the same spec as the Scarpa boots they were a cheaper version of.

They came back today, and are looking good, and of course they’re as comfortable as they ever were (which was great from day one).

Part of my motivation in getting the Contour boots repaired is that my beloved Timberlands are still going strong after their repair. I got the Timberlands on my first trip to the US in 1997. We were staying at a hotel on International Drive in Orlando, and near the end of the week we discovered a bunch of ‘outlet’ shops, which included Timberland. I found some nice Gore Tex lined boots for (if I recall correctly) $140, which made them a lot less than £100 (a real bargain at the time). I still have the bumf that came in the box:

I wore those boots for my 2008 Helvellyn hike:

But when I got home the original soles were shredded, and those boots weren’t going to come on another hike with me, so I bought the Contours the next day. The shop I got the new boots in had leaflets for a boot repair place (Lancashire Sports Repairs if I recall correctly), which did a great job of putting a Vibram sole on the Timberlands.

Thirteen years later they’re still looking great on the outside:

Though the wear on the inside suggests that they won’t be getting rebuilt again.

But now I have another pair of boots to spread the walking over, as I got some Meindl Merans for that Helvellyn hike (which never happened due to my daughter being bitten by an insect).

They’re super comfortable, though I’ve not had the chance to properly test them yet.

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