In the past months years I’ve grown into the hobby of woodworking and have come to appreciate hand-made things a bit more, which has led me away some of the more industrialised outdoor products out there.

One of those things is a pair of old Thom McCan boots that were involuntarily inherited from my father in law. I don’t think he ever used them as the soles looked like new. From what I gather they were bought in the 80s or 90s in Sears or similar. They are exquisitely hand-made in Italy. They are also goodyear welt, which means they are stitched and easy to resole. This traditional way of making shoes, still common in high quality work boots like Red Wing and the like is not light, and it is definitely not as easy to walk with as newer glued trekking boots that are closer in weight and construction methods to sneakers.

They held up quite well in a controlled environment, only caveat is the Vibram soles are a little bit old and the rubber seems to have hardened, stealing a little bit of grip in the process. I’m loving climbing with classic mountaineering boots though, they are solid and comfortable to boot!

Next time you find an old pair of hand-made shoes that someone wants to throw out, think if you can make them work for you.

Goodyear welt boots with the classic red laces! Goodyear welt boots with the classic red laces!