Lathrop & Sons Mountain Hunter long term review

JordanM

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Aug 1, 2022
Messages
100
Location
AK and SC
Quick down and dirty or BLUF:

If you have the coin buy them as their value is absolutely there and peace of mind is priceless.

Lengthy and overly verbose review:

I contacted Stephen back in July 2021 to get a consult and ask a ton of questions. I had been talking with a military buddy literally the day prior about how I wish there was a company who would make custom hunting boots…then the next day I found the Avery podcast with L&S. Ironic for sure. Hearing James talk was like hearing myself talk about my feet “issues”. I am 5’6”, muscular build and ”thick”, I suffer from plantar fasciitis from time to time, have some tendon and ligament damage from back in 2010, and I am flat footed. Prior to L&S I would spend 4-800 a year on trying out new boots, all of which were underwhelming and I never could quite get the fit right.

I set up an in person consult for 3 weeks later and flew In to Indy and drove to their shop. This is not a requirement obviously, but my job had me there in town and due to my medical “history” I wanted them to do it. Their shop is awesome and talking with Stephen and James was great. Stephen educated me a lot on general feet information and explained why I was having some of my issues. He also cleared up confusion on why previous insoles were giving me weird calluses and foot pain. They measured my feel and we got to chat for a while about hunting, life and politics. When you get a southern talker like myself and these gentlemen together watch out!

A week later Stephen called and gave me my sizing data which is key to success #1 for them and this system. I float between a 9.5 and 10 boot, but neither were ever right. They placed me in a 9.5 wide as it provided the larger foot box area without the unnecessary length of a 10. Size 9.5 would always give me pinky toe blisters. I ordered the custom synergy footbed for my boots, and extra pair of insoles for my running shoes and daily shoes, the blister kit and 4x Darn tough socks (I think 2x T-3006 and 2x T-4050) and the Mtn Hunters in 9.5 wide. Hindsight I could have skipped the blister kit as I don’t think I have even got a hot spot in these boots. Also the T-4050s are mega thick, but I wanted to dial in the fitment so figured I’d try.

I received the boots about a week before a backpack elk hunt. I immediately took them outside with my K3 with a 90 or 95 pound bag of concrete for a 3 mile walk. The initial impression was great. The firmer insole actually help control the weight better than the Lowa boots I had been running. My arches were not sore (again it was a short walk) and the shoes were comfortable but rigid. There was one more short training session before I pushed out to Idaho. During the hunt the boots performed flawlessly. Even with the rocky terrain and not being gentle, the boots handled all of the rock scuffs and scrapes and with a little bit of waterand a rag afterwords, they looked brand new. I did NOT condition them before heading out as honestly it slipped my mind. I also did not send in the pictures over the insoles like L&S recommended either (whoops).

Since then I have hunted AK twice and used these boots on tons of conditioning hikes both in flat land SC and in AK. The support they provide is somewhere between a light boot and a plastic boot. It is my absolute go to as it is now my only hunting boot I have. I have received zero blisters, have zero ankle or foot pain after a long day with medium pack weight, and have been impressed with the durability. When I lace these things up my legs feel like tree trunks and they are inspiring. While this may seem like I am over hyping these things, as a dude who has struggled for over a decade with chronic feet problems and boot swapping consistently, the search is over. A lot of specifics can be found in other posts or on their videos on YouTube, but their E-vent and lacing system with the ball bearings is badass.

As for the insoles for my running shoes, they have been great as well. I have been in custom orthotics and over the counter orthotics since 2007 after getting my first stress fractures courtesy of the Marine Corps and bad genetics. They aren’t “cheap” at 180ish, but they make a marketable difference at the end of the day compared to all of my other options. The best example of this is after our then a puppy German Shepherd at them and a brand new pair of Asics (for her 300$ snack), I did not immediately order another pair for 6 months. My feet issues started to rear their head again when running and on days when I was on my feet a lot. And I was using my old orthotics! I started getting shin splints when running, which I never had got prior. A lot of this is because physical conditioning had improved so much with the L&S insoles. I was finally able to run longer distances (6-10mi) regularly, where I couldn’t do that before. So when I reverted to the old insoles, new problems emerged with the increased distances. And like a control in an experiment, when I finally got off of my wallet and ordered new insoles it only took a week until I was pain free again.

So after describing to you fine sliders how their boots and insoles can cure cancer and were the cause for peace in the Middle East during the Trump administration, here comes the negatives. Everyone always reverts to price and while I’m not rich by any means, I can afford these boots. But I honestly would pay a significant amount more if I knew what I know now. Stephen and James please don’t raise your prices if you read this damnit, but the “Value” is there for me, partially due to previous injuries and mainly because they know what they are doing. The second negative is the weight. This point may be nullified by the robust construction and piece of mind, but they aren’t Lapponias. I justify it as I don’t even pay mind to my feet anymore in any situation and it’s like an optic or heavier rifle that can enhance your experiences. Like little Ricky Bobby’s son Texas Ranger said on Talladega Nights, it helped me “get my balls back” (so to speak).

These two dudes did what any red blooded American would do in seeing an absence in a market, using their skills and training and produced a stellar product. So pay them for it, shut your mouth and don’t deal with feet issues anymore. I am not affiliated, I have paid full price and my motivation is only to push dudes who are on the fence about investing in their feet. I did talk to James when re-ordering my insoles a few months back and mentioned I wanted to do a review. He said “cool man” and didn’t ask to screen anything. If I sold you golfers a driver that wouldn’t slice and actually lowered your score, you would pay well over a thousand dollars for it. This is no different. Some dudes are blessed to be able to not have feet issues and if you are that dude or dudette, good for you I’m jealous. Foot pain or injury in the back country would be a nightmare. I truly believe this system will greatly mitigate those two things.

Sorry for being so verbose, moderators I hope this “review“ is in the right spot and not a repeat. I did search the forums prior to writting. Please feel free to ask constructive questions. I was compelled to write this due to the stellar product and service. I hope this helps others down the road.

Attached is a picture of a conditioning hike in AK. I added it as you can’t have a review without a picture (or should be banned if you do that). It is ridiculous and shows how husky I am. Pistol is a G40 with KKM 6” barrel for you gun lovers.
 

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ttmannan

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Messages
263
Location
Sandia Park, NM
They are a great boot. I worked with Stephen remotely after a rebuilt pair of a different brand fell apart in 13 miles. I was about 30 days from a mountain goat hunt when that happened and Lathrop and Sons took great care of me and the boots were and still are amazing.
 

Lowg08

WKR
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
2,168
I have the mountain hunter elite and love them. Only boot that does not kill ankle after having a plate screws and pin in it. It was such a struggle to find a boot after my surgery. Ow I can hunt all day multiple days in a row with very little swelling. The pain is nearly non-existent during and after I wear them.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
1,046
Location
Magnolia, Texas
I legit thought blisters were part of mountain hunting. Finally went in on some Mountain Hunters and I haven’t had a single blister since.

I just got my second pair after 5 years with the first pair. The first pair has two tiny spots worn out on outside. No other signs of wear. Not 100% sure how they happened and could be from not conditioning the leather enough and rubbing thr ground and inside of my truck since I wear them a ton.

I can’t count how many miles are on the first pair. Numerous Idaho trips, all over Arkansas (Ozarks, Buffalo river, etc) hunting deer, bear and turkey. Numerous Texas desert hunts for aoudad. I’m afraid to try another boot; why fix what ain’t broke?


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OP
JordanM

JordanM

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Aug 1, 2022
Messages
100
Location
AK and SC
Thanks guys so I’m not the only fanboy haha. Good to hear others having the same experience.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2017
Messages
44
They truly are great boots! 2 years with 2 different pairs of boots with blisters made me really appreciate leukotape! Went through the whole fitting process with L and S and ended up with the mountain hunter elites. 4 seasons in and the leukotape just stays home.

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