Down at heel: no longer

I live in rural Devon, don’t drive a car, and have two dogs, so I walk quite a bit.

As a dog owner, I’m out a couple of times a day, rain or shine, and I also regularly head off on longer walks on Dartmoor, various Slow Ways, and chunks of the South West coast path.

Down at heel

At the end of June 2021 I bought a new pair of walking boots – my old boots were man-made, and had fallen apart at the seams.

New shoes

This time, I went for Berghaus Men’s Supalite II Gore-tex Waterproof Hiking Boots. They are nice and light, and really comfortable, even when I’ve been on my feet all day.

Wet feet

I regularly apply waterproofing to my boots but, towards the end of October, I started getting wet feet, even on short walks. On closer inspection, the reason was obvious: the heel of both boots was quite worn, and there was a hole in approximately the same place of each one!

Holes in both heels

These boots weren’t cheap and I was surprised (and just a little irritated) they were so worn, as I’d only* had them a few months. I didn’t want to throw away otherwise perfectly serviceable boots, so I contacted Berghaus to see if they could be repaired. I assumed I’d have to pay for the repair, unless I was prepared to do battle with a corporate complaints process.

Repairhaus

I had a look at the Berghaus website, and quickly found their repairs service, creatively entitled Repairhaus. It never occurred to me that Berghaus would offer to repair my boots for free, so I was amazed to read the opening paragraph:

We make tough, long-lasting gear that goes the distance, but if it ever needs it, we’ll repair it as many times as we possibly can, free of charge whether you bought it from us, our stockists, or even if it’s a hand-me-down.

The next paragraph went into a little more detail:

We don’t care how old, how worn, or how weathered it is or even how many times we’ve fixed it before. We’ll repair your kit for free if we can, so you can reuse not replace, and together we can help fight climate change.

I submitted an enquiry through the website, and included a photo. Within a day Repairhaus emailed me back, saying they would repair my boots, and all I needed to do was to put the (clean) boots in the post and they’d do the rest.

A few days after that I received another email confirming receipt, and letting me know they’d be ready within a month.

Around a week later, there was one final email saying the repair was complete and that my boots would be back with me in a couple of days. Here’s the finished result:

Boots repaired by Repairhaus

I am really impressed with the positive stance that Berghaus have taken. There’s no quibbling or messing around:

Here at Berghaus, we’re really keen to keep your product going over land, not into it.

Happy customer

I was so impressed that Berghaus proactively offer a free, no quibble, repair service that I immediately bought another pair of boots exactly the same. I now alternate between the two pairs, and will be happy to buy Berghaus again in the future.

Footnote*

It’s true that my new boots had sprung a leak after only a few months but – according to the stats on my Withings Health Mate – I walked 1,363 miles between end of June and end of October. So it’s not all that surprising the boots needed a little specialist TLC.

About Mark Braggins

I’m interested in lots of things, in no particular order: society, politics, public services, open data, technology (and what you can do with it), wildlife, photography, the countryside, and long distance walking.
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