I have never found a hiking boot to properly fit my long narrow foot. At European size 45, any boot or trail shoe long enough was too wide to keep my heel in place.
The day before starting to hike the Wainwright coast to coast trail in England, my husband and I arranged to meet Jon Smith, the proprietor and boot fitter extraordinaire. Leading us to his fitting room, Jon examined my bare feet, took measurements of their length, width and volume, and analysed my stance and arch. Only then did he select a few hiking boots for me to try. His first choice indeed fit best. After lacing, Jon then examined each boot for points of contact between foot and leather and proceeded to adjust each boot to fit exactly right by steaming and stretching.
My husband was so impressed with the process he too bought new boots, wide ones further customised to fit his very broad forefoot. No more lost toenails for him!
We have happy feet after completing the entire Coast to Coast.
I highly recommend Alt-Berg boots and nothing can beat a personal fitting and custom adjustment of your boots like Jon Smith and his team will give you. They will keep your foot measurements and details of the custom fit on file for future reference. And they make a mean cup of tea, too!”
After 2 hours of comprehensive foot examination and assessment and trial of various boots, I bought my Altberg Nordkapp boots with additional insoles new socks and a boot bag.
I came home wore them around the house, laced them as shown, walked the dog in them and then felt so good in them I took them to the lake district the following weekend for 2 days Hill walking and navigation. We went through bogs, over rough grass and tracks and through streams, my feet were so comfortable and I had no rubbing, squeezing, cramp in my toes or numbness.
I regularly walk 10 miles a couple of times a week up hill and down dale. The boots you sold me are fantastic and the fitting and advice make them extra wonderful.
I feel amazed at how ‘unbattered’ my feet feel at the end of a walk. Thank you so much for the excellent service you offer. Anyone could have sold me the boots, but your staff gave me advice, information about feet and my own in particular and treated myself and my husband with care and consideration. This is not common nowadays and when I am paying for an expensive and essential item, it felt important.
I am recommending your service to all my walking friends and would like you to pass on my thanks to your staff in the boot department.
In February I purchased a pair of Alt-berg boots and have been thrilled with them.
Peter Squires carried out a thorough measuring and fitting service, matching me up with a pair of boots, insoles and socks to meet my exact needs. This took in not only the size and shape of my feet, but also instep height, existing back problems and the type of walking I do. He also offered care advice (backed up with a leaflet) and a supply of softening wax, extreme waterproofing wax and even a brush to use at no extra cost!
I am delighted to report that after 3 months of wearing my new boots for 1-2 hours every single day, they have honestly been the comfiest footwear I have ever owned. Inspite of ridiculously waterlogged fields throughout winter and spring, my feet have stayed warm and dry every day. They have never rubbed or felt as though they needed breaking in. Peter explained to me that Alt-berg have designed their boots in such a way that they actually improve your posture. Peter explained this to me although I admit I was somewhat sceptical as to how this could be true. Well, amazingly, it’s true! These boots have been a godsend to me and I’ve found walking a good deal easier- much to my dog’s delight, as this means she gets even longer walks!
I really can’t recommend Whalley Warm & Dry highly enough. Alt-berg are, no doubt, very proud of their boots which are, I believe, hand made in Richmond, Yorkshire, but they should be especially proud of this stockist who really understand their products and take the time to understand their customers’ needs.
A heartfelt thank you from me (and my dog!) to Peter, Jon and the rest of the team.
Your boots (and the rest of me) trekked from Jomsom to Lo Manthang (Mustang, Nepal) over the past 2 weeks, a demanding trek including altitudes of over 4,000m. Whilst you may not be keen on the amount of dust and mud they collected you will, I am sure, be delighted to know that I had absolutely no problems, both fitted like a glove and were comfortable throughout. No rubbing and no blisters. They have had some TLC now with good effect.
Perhaps this is not the ultimate challenge your boots have faced, it was certainly demanding and they showed the quality of your fitting and care for detail.
Sheila E Fisher (Dr) 2016
I did 5 days walking in Spain in April and my heels were shredded so badly they weren’t fully recovered for walking for four weeks. I have since had boots and insoles from you – and what a difference!
I am at the end of day five of a week walking in the high Swiss Alps, and although my legs are exhausted – my feet feel like they’ve been in Ballet slippers. Thank you so much. If I was there I would kiss you all, so it’s just as well I’m not.
I have been wearing boots for 50 or so years now, but never have I experienced the detail & attention to fitting that I experienced today.
Libby was extremely helpful – not least when pointing out that part of my problem is that my feet are two sizes larger when I’m standing than when I’m sitting!!
After trying on several different boots, I settled for a pair of Altberg “Malham”s. Being made on a non-standard last, these fitted my feet very well, & with plenty of opportunity to walk around the shop, & up & down the ramp, I came away confident that these are the correct boots for me.
All in all, well worth the three hour round trip, & I would echo my friend’s recommendation – “get yourself up there – you won’t regret it!!”
Bernie Stafford, Nantwich, 2016
“My wife had boots and custom insoles fitted here and I was so impressed with the service that we returned a week or so later so I could also get a pair.
The store is a family run business, we dealt with Liz for the boot fitting who took the time to measure and examine my feet and then suggested suitable boots for me. I went for Altberg Tethera boots which come in half sizes and 5 different width fittings, Liz took the time to ensure that I got the correct size and fit and also steamed and stretched the leather around one of my toe joints which causes me problems. I also had custom insoles fitted by Liz’s husband Graham and discovered that I have one leg slightly shorter than the other, apparently a common problem, he assured me that this was solvable using a slightly built up insole in one boot which should even out the wear, my boot always wore down badly on one side because of this.
The boot fitting and custom insole service are second to none and are certainly far and above anything that I have ever experienced in the past, my boots fit like a pair of slippers, brilliant!
I would not hesitate to recommend the service especially to people who have problems with their feet etc.
Many many thanks to Liz and Graham for a brilliant service and I will be back when I need new insoles or boot’s.
Top class service.”
By chance my current walking boots started leaking while away from home walking in the Forest of Bowland. My partner has some Altberg boots and having seen Warm and Dry mentioned in the tourist information booklet as a stockist, we called in to have a look. What a revelation! Peter said it has on occasion taken him as much as 4 hours to achieve the perfect fit of a boot so we might run out of time. Never have I learnt so much about my feet ( far more than during a podiatrist appointment) , boot fitting, how to put on a boot, boot lacing methods, boot care etc etc.- a veritable font of knowledge. I came away with a pair of boots and insoles which I am convinced are going to the best possible investment for comfortable long distance walking for many years to come. I can see why people travel from all over the UK and beyond to buy here from the friendly professional and knowledgeable staff. I only wish I had found Warm and Dry years ago.
Whilst on holiday I came in to get my feet measured and a pair of insoles made. Having suffered from a Mortons Neuroma for over 8 years I was suffering increasing pain and discomfort whilst walking and was seriously considering giving up hillwalking. However, the insoles and boots are fantastic and for the first time in years I am able to relax when out walking and don’t have to constantly think about how I put my foot to the ground. The whole experience was very slick and professional and having been told I needed wide boots for years the Narrow Alt Bergs are great. I will be back in the spring for a summer weight pair and insoles for them. It is worth the drive from North Devon to you to get them fitted so well. Thank you
“I am very happy with my latest pair of custom insoles so I have no hesitation in recommending WW&D.
The knowledge and expertise is exceptional and it is all explained in a simple, understandable way.
Using the most up to date equipment custom insoles are created while you wait. Customer service is friendly and welcoming. I was really made to feel that I was a valued customer. My last pair of custom insoles were purchased here and I had no problem with them so I had no hesitation in returning for my next pair and when the time comes I will return again.
For a friendly, knowledgeable and efficient service this is the place to go to. Situated in the lovely town of Whalley I always take a little time for a wander around and a coffee whilst I am in the area.”
“I came to see you a few weeks ago with a severe foot problem and you made me some insoles.
I’m just writing to say that I am so pleased as I can now walk full mountain walks with only a few twinges – I’ve done loads of different things before I emailed you ie. 6 big lake district walks, Snowdonia etc etc just to test them out. My main worry now is leaving the insoles somewhere by mistake!!
Anyway thank you very much. I was very happy with the time spent and the service you gave.”
“Just wanted to say a big thank you to you both for sorting both my husband and I with new hiking boots. Jeff got the Altberg Tethera boots in September and was fitted by Jon – the service was just brilliant and his boots are the best he’s ever had!
Within 2 weeks of getting them we were in Scotland and climbing a munro in the Cuillins on the Isle of Skye without a sign of any blisters or discomfort whatsoever which made my life much easier too so thank you very much!
I too came for a boot fitting with Liz during your boot week in October as I was so impressed with the service Jeff had received and she spent time ensuring I had just the right boot for my foot and although my boots weren’t in stock (probably due to popularity!)- I got a call within a couple of weeks to say they were in. Definitely worth the wait ! They are Altberg Malham boots.
Thank you again for making 2 seasoned walkers extremely comfortable! We will definitely be recommending you to all our family and friends (although my sister has already been a customer for some years!)”
“Just to say thanks to all at Whalley Warm and Dry and Paramo.
We were in your shop at about 4-30pm last Friday evening. I ordered the Torres Jacket and Trousers on the special offer. By 11.30 on Saturday morning they were delivered! That’s unbeatable service in anybody’s book. Absolutely brilliant!
Many, many thanks.”
“It’s amazing how much just being pain free has freed me to enjoy my walking so much more. Thank you so much to the staff at Whalley Warm and Dry for pointing an old man in the right direction!”
“I am a well seasoned walker in all senses of the word and have managed to own just 4 pair of walking boots in my 60 years. I have always loved getting out and walking in our beautiful countryside whether it be in the mountains or just around and about. Unfortunately though it has taken me all this time to find this great little shop called Whalley Warm & Dry where the staff are Whalley Warm and Friendly (and extremely helpful and knowledgable) They took great care in measuring my feet and picking out just the perfect boot for me. Too my surprise I had been wearing the wrong size and kind of boot for my feet for all this time.
It is only now after having walked only a few miles in my new Altberg Tethera boots that I have had a revelation and I have realised that I have been walking around all these years in some considerable amount of pain. I thought this was what all walkers experienced when spending an arduous day on the hill. How wrong I have been because now I am walking absolutely pain free!”
“I should like to thank you for your excellent boot fitting service. I was dreading the task of replacing my walking boots as I suffer from osteoarthritis of the big toe and knees but my previous boots were becoming increasingly uncomfortable resulting in me being increasingly reluctant to go walking.
You fitted me with a pair of Alt Berg Tetheras taking more care with the whole fitting process than I have ever experienced previously. The result: a pair of boots that were comfortable from day one with no “breaking in” required.
I have just returned from a week’s walking holiday in the Spanish Sierra Aracena and the boots proved to be so comfortable, even in temperatures in excess of 30 degrees!
I would, and have, unhesitatingly recommended your fitting service to anybody considering buying new boots.”
“I came to see you in the Autumn to be fitted for some Alt- Berg boots and you advised me so well that I just wanted to write and thank you for my amazingly comfortable boots.
We have recently returned from two weeks trekking in Northern India, at 2,000-3,000m altitude in the high Himalaya, walking from remote village to even more remote village. I have never had so little trouble with my feet before, they were in such good shape the whole trek! Thank you! Next week we are off to Portugal for a week’s walking and I am really looking forward to walking in my comfortable boots again! When we saw you last you mentioned that Alt-Berg were planning to bring out walking shoes on the same last as their boots. Have they done so, or is it scheduled? I would love to buy a pair of walking shoes for my low level daily dog walk which are light but as comfortable as my leather boots, if such a thing exists. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
“Never done this before, as when I buy something, I expect it to do the job I bought it for, but can I just show my appreciation for the set up you have there, I thought it second to none.
I had seen an advert for your shop over 12 months before, but kept wavering as to if it could be as good as it sounded. It was. The time and trouble John (the owner) took, the explanations he gave throughout and the relaxed atmosphere and lack of pressuring I found exceptional. The boots themselves have fit like a glove from the minute I put them on, by far the comfiest I have ever owned, and although not the cheapest, I would have no hesitation in recommending them to my friends and family.”
“Approaching two years ago now, I visited your shop to buy a pair of boots and although the Altberg boots were a lot more expensive than what I had previously paid elswhere, I would state categorically that buying those boots and having your staff fit them is one of the best things I have done. The fitting uncovered a number of problems with my feet some of which I was not aware of and knowing about them the person fitting them was able to determine the size and type of boot and the insole which would improve my comfort. My feet now feel much better after hiking in them. Before, I used to have a persistent ache across the top of my feet during the latter stages of a walk which has now ceased altogether.
So thank you very much for your excellent service and advice. I would most definitely recommend you to anyone else needing to buy anything for the outdoors, especially boots.”
“Thank you Jon and all at WW&D. Just back from first days walk in new boots.
Amazing! Great fit and comfortable!!!!! Appreciated care and attention given in the boot fitting.
Very informative and useful. Very happy Alt-Berg Tethera extra narrow wearer.”
“Just a few words to thank you for the excellent service you and your son gave my wife and I on 30 October 2014.
Your attention to detail and professional information is second to none which enabled us to make an informed purchase. Many thanks Regards Ken Whitmarsh (Southampton) PS We did a walk at Dovedale wearing our new boots on our way home yesterday and the comparison between the new ones and our old ‘boots’ were chalk and cheese!”
“My Partner Val and I visited the shop yesterday for a new pair of boots. Although the shop was busy, the team, took time to greet each Customer personally and offer refreshments. Liz took time to explain all of the options available to my Partner and took time to ensure the boots where a perfect fit.
A great shop with a very high standard and level of Customer service. Would recommend it to anybody seeking good boots, great advise and really good service.”
“Just felt the need to express our thanks for the truly outstanding service we both received in your store last Friday,
The welcome (including coffee!), time spent listening to our needs and expert fitting and advice resulted in us buying 2 pairs of Altberg boots.
These were steam stretched to precisely fit our oddly shaped feet rather than just selling us bigger boots which has invariably happened elsewhere resulting in foot movement inside the boots and blisters. We have never had service like this anywhere before and will certainly be back when the time comes to renew the boots in spite of the 100 mile return trip from home in the Wirral. Many thanks.”
“After reading reviews online I made the trip up to you from Glossop to hopefully get measured properly for some boots, what actually happened was way more than that.
I cannot remember the last time I had such service, expertise and genuine care in any retail sector.
I’m afraid I didn’t get the girls name but I would still like to say a massive thanks…it was only after I left I realised I never asked the price of anything, I don’t care….I got what was right for me.