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Re: [at-l] Custom-made boots



Alice,

I know Gary and can recommend him.  He made a pair of traditional, heavy,
hiking boots for me that are very comfortable.  He is a true craftsman, and
is absolutely committed to building boots that fit.

In my case, we had a lot of difficulty getting the boot last right.
Apparently, my feet don't follow the rules!  Gary stuck with it and, though
it took time and multiple visits, came through.  I don't think he made much
money on my pair.  I was definitely an atypical case though... usually he
only needs one or two visits.  There is a writeup in a recent volume of
Adirondak Magazine (the Adirondak Mountain Club publication) about Gary
written by a very satisfied customer.

I think that the key to getting custom boots made is to be willing to work
WITH the boot maker.  Since you don't live near him, I'd talk to him about
schedules, then plan a vacation up in the Adirondaks (where he lives... not
New England!).  It is a beautiful area, with wonderful hiking, and you
could arrange to be nearby.

Gary has an interesting quote (from Randy Merrill, I believe) that goes
something like:

	People don't come to us (custom boot makers) for boots, they
	come to us to help solve problems.

The point being that if you had "regular" feet, off the shelf boots would
fit fine, and you probably wouldn't be looking to pay more for a pair of
custom ones!

Gary's address is:

	Cobbler Shop
	137 Lenox Ave
	Oneida, New York 13421

	(315) 363-6353

-- Jim Mayer

At 05:18 AM 2/7/97 PST, you wrote:
>I read an article in the Asheville NC paper about a bootmaker in Oneida NY
>named Gary Barlow.   They gave no address or phone number, but perhaps
>someone would be interested to know that he exists if they want custom-made
>boots.  He himself is a hiker, aged 50.  Perhaps some of you New Englander's
>would know his exact whereabouts.
>
>Alice
>Illinois Flatlander

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