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The Mallory Boot

Written by Guy Ferguson
The Mallory Boot

George Mallory was an English mountaineer who took part in three expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s. In 1924, in what would have been the first ascent of the world’s highest mountain, Mallory went missing about 800 ft. from the summit. His disappearance remained a mystery until 1999 when the remains of his body were discovered. Remnants of his wool and gabardine climbing suit and leather hiking boots were found perfectly preserved. Last year we set out to create an accurate reproduction of Mallory’s boots worn during his fateful climb.

With only a few photos of the boots in existence we were forced to do some research on the era and potential manufacturers.  Our version of the Mallory Boot is a naildown boot built on our vintage mountaineering last.  We choose Brown Waxed Flesh leather for the handcut upper and matched the stitching of the pattern as closely as possible.  We sourced special materials to recreate unique details from the original boot such as the melton wool tongue, felt midsole and heavy-duty hobnails.  We even hand stitched leather patches on the vamp where Mallory's own boots had worn through.  The project was a fun and challenging way for us to experiment with our manufacturing and connect with an important piece of history.