In August 2005 I was strolling about in Taupo when I passed a shop that sold hiking boots. My boots were wearing down, so I stopped in and paid more for boots than I’d ever paid before. I walked out of that shop wearing a pair of Scarpa tan ZG40 GTX. [Their website doesn’t really let you link to a specific product, unfortunately, but the second link goes to a 360° view.]
The boots are designed in Italy, and manufactured in Romania. From the first minute I put them on they were totally comfortable and just perfect for me. I don’t go tramping, but I walk the dogs over rough terrain sometimes, and walk around town, rather than driving. I’ve worn those boots pretty well every time I’ve left the house in the last two and a half years. They’ve never given me a blister or a moment of trouble, but have served very well.
Recently I noticed the soles were wearing down rather a lot. In December I walked past the Fairydown shop in Mercer St, Wellington and saw they had Scarpas on sale. Unfortunately though, they didn’t have my size. That same day I think, I wandered into Crankworks on Taranaki Street, where a salesperson commented favourably on my boots as I walked past.
Today I received a small cheque for royalties on WordPress 2 Visual Quickstart Guide and determined it was time for new boots. I was heading into town for a meeting , so went in to Crankworks first as it was on my way. They don’t sell Scarpas, but were kind enough to suggest Fairydown.
Well, Fairydown still didn’t have my size (and weren’t going to get my size), but suggested I try R&R Sport in Victoria St.
R&R Sport are new to Wellington, but have apparently been going strong in other parts of New Zealand for a couple of decades. They happened to have a sale on, and a very helpful assistant called Matt, who is clearly not only enthusiastic and knowledgeable, but proud of the company he works for.
Matt not only sold me a very fine, blue pair of Scarpa ZG40 GTX boots that I wore out of the shop, but also rang the supplier to ask where I could get my previous pair resoled. Apparently the soles alone would cost over $100, plus the cost of putting the new soles on the boots. Given that the old boots themselves are a little ‘sloppy’ (but only a little) after so much wear, I’m not sure I want to take up that option.
Walking back to my car in my new boots I could definitely feel the difference that a slightly firmer shoe and a brand new sole was making. I’m very happy with today’s purchases.