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post #31 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 10:46 AM
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With aluminum, you cannot have it both ways!

Years ago I bought some aluminum bar stock to make my own tractors. Not knowing any better, I selected 6061 alloy which was described as tough. Good, right? NO! I cut and screwed bars onto some Korker soles in preparation for a Week on the river. After 3 or 4 days, the bars still looked brand new. If you want some korker soles with Al bars that will outlive your grandchildren, I've got some.
I looked deeper into alloys and found a great range of "ruggedness." Let me emphatically point out that you don't want long-lasting Al bars! You want the soft stuff that will grab/mold to rocks.

I think if you google aluminum alloy, you can get a much more lucid description than I just presented.
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post #32 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 11:46 AM
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My Patagucci Foot Tractors will be here Wednesday. I'm sold on the aluminum and have been carrying two pairs of their crampons at $199 a piece for the past few years. $50 a year ($45 I think actually) is cheap maintenance. The boots come with an extra set of aluminum bars. I added a closeout set of $19 bars from the original Rock Grip / Tractor series to see if they'll fit my steel frame crampons. If so, I'll grab a couple more.
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post #33 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 04:32 PM
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As a company, I have a lot of respect for what Patagonia is doing. They have a pretty big marketing campaign that encourages mending old gear, buying used, and trading in. At least as long as Yvon Chouinard is in charge, his company will continue to strive for more efficient and cleaner ways to produce clothing and gear.

The sales rep I was talking with said that producing wading boots the current way has a significant environmental impact. He also said that with the old Foot Tractors, there was a point in production that the factory ran out of the foam that Patagonia had sourced and rather than waiting the factory used something else that was easier (and probably cheaper) to get a hold of. So even for a company like Patagonia that cares about quality control, there is only so much oversight for production in China.

The partnership with Danner and production in Portland is meaningful. I honestly believe that Patagonia wants to make a great boot. They are not designing it to need annual maintenance. Heck, if you don't want to deal with the aluminum then get the felt sole or vibram, and I bet they are more comfortable and way outlast any pair of Simms boots made overseas.

Last edited by John_MT; 03-03-2019 at 08:20 PM.
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