EP 35: Staying on Your Feet with Jim Winjum of Kenetrek. In this episode of the Epic Outdoors Podcast we talk with Jim Winjum of Kenetrek boots. Jim breaks down many of the important factors to consider when selecting the right boot. We also cover many important topics such as preventing blisters, breaking in your boots, and how to get a boot that fits your foot correctly. One of the keys to hunting success is your mobility and that is a direct result of the condition of your feet. Sore feet will end a hunt quickly so listen up and learn how to make the most of a hunt by selecting the right boots.

Disclaimer: this podcast has been transcribed from the original audio and likely contains errors. This transcription does not reflect the views and opinions of Epic Outdoors LLC. Please consult the original audio with any concerns.

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When you have blistered up sore feet, you, it cripples a guy fast.

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Every single person’s foot is different. The, the shape of the heel, the size of the arch.

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Anything to do with Western big Games.

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

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Hey everybody. Jason Carter here and Adam Bronson with the Epic Outdoors Podcast. We’ve got an awesome guest on the line, a guy that we’ve known for many, many years, Jim Winham of Trek Boots. We’re way excited to visit with him about his affiliation here in the industry and some of his different hunts that he’s been on. He’s a well accomplished hunter and, and of course knows the in industry inside and out. So anyway, looking forward to that. Before we get started, I’d like to thank Under Armour for sponsoring the Epic Outdoors Podcast and working with us on a variety of different projects. They’re super good partner of ours and, and we sure appreciate them and their, you know, support of the hunting industry. So, anyway, Jim, you on the line.

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00:01:05:20 –> 00:01:35:23
Awesome. Well, we sure appreciate you, you know, spending an hour, an hour or so here with Adam and I, and we just kind of, you know, as we approached you, we, we definitely wanted to, you know, do a podcast with a guy like yourself. You’ve got a lot of experience in the hunting industry. You’ve been in it for years and years and years, and build a lot of different products for hunters as well as, you know, hunted, you know, all across the west, and of course, a lot of different places. And so anyway, you’ve got a wealth of knowledge and we just sure appreciate you spending some time with us.

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Yeah. Happy to do it.

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So, anyway, can you, let’s start, I guess maybe with some of your background of, of your hunting history and kind of what you brought you to this point where you’re making a living in the hunting industry. Of course, you’re doing very well at it, but you know, what brought you to this point, like your childhood and just, were you raised in hunting all your life or, or what brought you to this point?

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Yeah, I mean, basically I, you know, being a kid from Montana, you know, like Cantre has two founding partners and myself, so there’s three of us and two of us, or or hunting partners. We actually grew up a block away from each other. Didn’t know each other as kids. Yeah. But that was in the, the community of Great Falls and, and basically I grew up hunting and fishing my whole entire life. You know, my, my spent a lot of time with my father. I can remember even as a little kid running down pheasants and things like that. Crazy and fly fishing, I mean, at the age of 10, you know, that type of thing. Wow. So I just always had a love for the outdoors and, and wild places.

00:02:40:28 –> 00:02:44:02
You’ve been mostly in Montana most of your life for all your life, Jim?

00:02:44:15 –> 00:03:00:01
Yeah, all my life. I mean, I, I far as I moved with some great falls to Bozeman. I went to M S U and, and studied engineering and, and basically came out of there and then had a whole career at another company called Snaze Boots and Shoes. I don’t know if you remember them.

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Oh, yeah.

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You know, spent a whole career there and, and basically designing their, their pack boot at the time, their pack boot footwear and, and marketing and, you know, kind of wore a lot of hats. That was another small company.

00:03:14:09 –> 00:03:19:14
What, when you say a whole career there, you know, how many years or, you know, in products

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Almost 19 years that I was there.

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Wow, that’s crazy.

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And they sold that company and, and you know, we, we basically, I had had these two partners that were in one in one ear and one in the other ear for about 10 years before that saying, you need, you need to go out and do your own thing, you know? Yeah.

00:03:37:29 –> 00:03:42:18
So when that opportunity, that sale came, that was kind of, the door opened a little bit for you?

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Yeah, it was, it was, I just recognized, I mean, it was an agonizing decision because of course, the guy who watched me, you know, they, they continue on today and he offered me, you know, a really lucrative reason to stay. And I was just like, you know, if I don’t try now, and I, and I agonized the word I, I prayed over it and, and my wife was incredibly supportive at the time, and, and she’s like, you know, just don’t make the decision that you’re gonna be miserable down the road. Yeah. And that, that kind of clarified it for me. And I thought, well, you know, the biggest risk is not, is not trying and failing. It’s to not have tried.

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Not even try at all regretting

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Yeah, exactly. Regretting that when I’m 60 or 70.

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And so what, so you basically, I mean, of course you, you said you got a, you know, a degree in engineering. I mean, did you feel like that helped you as far as the design of the boots or, I mean, or Oh,

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Yeah. Yeah. No question. I mean, I’ve, I’ve used, you know, they, they say it’s kind of funny in engineering. I mean, you, you only use it for a certain period of time and then you kind of move into administration typically because you don’t know as much as the new kid’s coming out of school. You know? And that especially applies today. It’s like good grief. Yeah. I mean, I feel like I’m so old that I was using flight rules, maybe not quite, but it’s close.

00:05:01:23 –> 00:05:03:26
Where do you, do you at least have a smartphone, Jim?

00:05:05:08 –> 00:05:06:00
I do, I do.

00:05:07:01 –> 00:05:08:00
Alright. Alright.

00:05:08:27 –> 00:05:19:02
So roughly what year, what, what year was that when you decided with some of these encouragement from eventual partners to break out and form your own business?

00:05:19:29 –> 00:05:30:27
Yeah, we, we actually, the four masons of the company, of course, that’s quite a process, you know, but the four masons of the company was actually May 5th, 2005, if you can believe that. Five. Five five.

00:05:31:17 –> 00:05:32:26
Wow. That’s easy to remember.

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That is, you know, we did the whole first year, it feels like yesterday. Yeah.

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Yeah, it does. I know it. I mean too,

00:05:39:05 –> 00:05:42:20
It won’t be long. And you’re gonna be knocking on 19 years with this new company, Jim.

00:05:43:04 –> 00:05:43:23
Yeah, exactly.

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Then we can call it two full careers. Crazy.

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No kidding. It’s just shocking how fast the time goes. But anyway, we, you know, we decided to make the jump and of course we didn’t sell anything for the whole first year because, you know, everything that I had done at SNAs was pretty proprietary to them. Yeah. And I didn’t wanna just be an also ran either. So I really spent a lot of time on the design table and, and kind of looked at, okay, well all of the things that we had accomplished there. And that was quite a, I mean, and I still have a lot of respect for what I did there. And, and that line, that boot line remains intact today. I mean, it’s, it’s still an outstanding product mix and, and I was able to restart. You know, it’s not too often that you get the opportunity to reset. Like if you had to do it over again, what would you do differently? Yeah. And that, that’s a big opportunity. Yeah. And so, you know, I was able to, I was able to basically re restart and do it again with the knowledge that I had gained, you know, over doing it the first time. So, so we were better in some ways still made our share of mistakes, but we didn’t sell it boot for the whole first year. And then I think the second year we, the only ones we sold were to our family. Yeah.

00:06:58:14 –> 00:07:07:18
Well meaning you were just in the design phase. So the first you spent a year, you spent a year just building your product, like just designing your product or building the,

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Designing the product. Yeah, exactly. I mean, it’s a big process and then a, you know, ranging, because a lot of what we produce, it isn’t actually domestically produced. And so it’s relationship with factories and a lot of travel and you know, even though sometimes, sometimes things seem obvious to me, you know, to the factory in Italy or Thailand or wherever we’re, we’re working with, it’s not obvious to them. And so that communication can be a big hurdle to overcome.

00:07:34:27 –> 00:07:47:17
You have to really lay down a really, hopefully clear understanding with them is this is, this is an exact, when I tell you this is what I want, this is really what I want. Don’t deviate and improvise, doesn’t

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Have the conversation, do what I ask you to do.

00:07:51:02 –> 00:07:52:11
No, listen to me. Listen to me.

00:07:53:02 –> 00:07:59:13
Do not improvise. Exactly. And put styrofoam here and there just to, just to make it lighter. Right. ’cause you think that’s a good thing. Yeah,

00:08:00:04 –> 00:08:02:05
Yeah. Cheaper is not necessarily better.

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That’s the truth. Yeah. Well I remember, you know, I, I, I don’t know, I, I wish my boots had a serial number on ’em. ’cause I might’ve had like boot number way, you know, 1 0 1 or something. I mean, I’m sure the first a hundred set went to the family and friends, but Right. But, you know, I remember my first set and it was like, I mean, I, I wore ’em out and then had you resold ’em and wore ’em out again. Oh yeah. You know, and, and they fit just unbelievable. And, and it did feel like you, you somewhat revolutionized the sheep hunting boot or at least the Mountain Boot.

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Yeah. No question. No question.

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Was that version, I don’t know, I know today’s Mountain Extreme version, was that one of the first designs That’s probably morphed a little bit since the very first, but was that kind of your first boot or was it something else? No,

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We, we actually, we actually started more in the pack boot side, you know. And did you, so we, you know, what Canna Trek is, is different to different people. So maybe to your audience, you know, we’re more known for our mountain boots and that’s a, a core part of our company. But we also have the whole, you know, the whole what I call pack boots, which is a rubber bottom, heavy insulated snow for super cold temperatures, that type of boot. We, we have a whole nother part of the company that, that is in that area as well.

00:09:19:23 –> 00:09:26:03
Probably, probably big, you know, outfitting or farming and ranching world probably. Those are very big into that. Right.

00:09:26:17 –> 00:09:29:14
Yeah. Well, in Montana, like where you’re from weather, you know,

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We don’t, we don’t do a lot down south, but we’re more northern for that. Yeah. You know, it’s kind of above the snow line, so to speak.

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Well, down here in Utah, as far as we ever knew, you only ever did the mountain extremes. Right, right. And then up there in Montana, as far as any of them guys know who, you know, you’re, you’re doing those Pac boots ’cause you guys live in that crazy, crazy weather, you know?

00:09:49:08 –> 00:09:50:02
Yeah, exactly.

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So. Well, that’s great. Well, so where, like, tell me like the, the name Kenna Trick. What’s, what, just tell me about the word Kenna trick. Why, why’d you name your company that what, what, what brought that to your mind? Or, or how’d that come about? Yeah,

00:10:08:17 –> 00:10:55:23
We, you know, the name Trek, basically, I had a really good patent attorney and trademark attorney that, that gave us some, some pretty sage advice in the beginning. And, you know, I, I had come up with some other names and I had a whole marketing strategy and all of that, and she’s like, no, you know, you’re gonna get sued right off the bat. You’re too close to somebody else. I’m like, I, you know, that’s, that’s the one part of the experience that I didn’t have. Yeah. And so she said, you need to basically create the word because you’ll own it and then you know that that could become the most valuable thing that you do. Yeah. She said, I know it’s hard, but you need to do it Well, you know, so we embarked on this, you know, obviously with the hunting and, and you know, and because I knew that’s where I wanted to head and we created, I mean, I’m serious.

00:10:55:23 –> 00:11:31:01
We created 50 or a hundred words that don’t exist, you know, in the human language. And you would type ’em in on Google and they’re a different company or a drug or Oh yeah. I’m like, are you kidding me? And so anyway, we finally, we finally came up with the Canna trick and, and basically it was Canna was, was Scottish, which is one of my partners. That’s his heritage. And that, that that means to have knowledge. And then Trek of course is South African for, you know, to have a difficult journey in other words. So to have knowledge of a difficult journey. And so it just kind of all fell into place almost like magic. Oh yeah.

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00:11:31:14 –> 00:11:32:07
Nice. That’s a cool story.

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We have a similar story just, you know, coming up with a name for a company. Of course Adam and I, John, Chris and everybody here was just, you know, could not figure out what to name Epic. And, and anyway you did. It’s amazing how much time that takes. And, and

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Oh, it is a big process.

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And you look at any, any of the names of these companies, you know, Pepsi, what, what is Pepsi? You know? And, and I mean, and yeah. Where did they come up with that name? And so it’s not a lot of times, you know, I don’t know that it’s much about the name as just they, so obviously Associate Trek now with what they know it is,

00:12:07:21 –> 00:12:13:28
But it started out as nothing. It made up word, you know? Yeah, correct. And you turned it into what it’s, that’s, that’s pretty neat. Correct.

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Anyway, what

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Was your, like some of your initial, I mean, obviously to be successful and all that, but what were some of your initial goals when you decided to start this, this company? What niches or how broad did you envision wanting Kenreck to be

00:12:29:29 –> 00:13:34:02
Attract? Well, my, my heritage, you know, is the, is the heart, like I say, that love for the outdoors and that, that, you know, it’s probably the iconic trip, you know, would be the 10 day backpack sheep hunt, you know, where you have everything that you need to survive. And, and you know, that that’s, it’s not that I don’t love and do other hunting as well. I do, but that one just has, you know, a special place. And your equipment is so incredibly important because when that plane flies away, there’s nothing like that feeling. It’s like, yeah, hope I didn’t forget anything. Know. ’cause it, it’s your on your own, you know? And, and they just cover so many miles. I mean, you know, like I can remember my first sheep hunt way back and, you know, then getting the letter from the outfitter that said, bring good gear. You know, it’s like, okay, what does that mean? You know, it’s not really defining much, but also saying that expect to walk 10 miles a day miles in the mountains. And I’m thinking 10 miles a day. That sounds like a lot. He probably doesn’t mean that. I’m like, yeah, he didn’t, it was more like 15 to 20

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Every day,

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Every just unbelievable the amount of, of distance that you cover. And so, me, my heritage is that I, I, I have this love for the mountains, but I’m a tall guy and I have horrible bad feet, really narrow, bony feet, blister terribly. And so I’m, I’m definitely, my love is not what my physique is set for. Right. I I, I always tell my guys right away, I’m like, there’s a reason you don’t see giraffes in the mountains. Right? Yeah. I mean, it just doesn’t work.

00:14:08:02 –> 00:14:10:07
Yeah. So

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Anyway, you know, through, through a lot of pain and torture and trying to find a boot that would fit my foot with better comfort, I, I started to realize that, you know, European feet are, are maybe a different shape or, you know, some of the European boots, their quality is just outstanding, you know, as far as what they produce, but they aren’t necessarily geared for North American hunting. And so that’s where I really recognize the difference between those two. Okay. And, and really try to work together to create a better boot, like you say, I I appreciate you saying revolutionizing the industry because I feel like in a lot of ways we did that.

00:14:52:06 –> 00:15:38:04
Yeah. Well, I think that’s, you know, I think that’s been obvious, you know, especially the mountain hunters and guys that Adam and I are dealing with on a regular basis. And so, you know, but we were kind of, you know, wondering like, obviously you’re gonna build boots, but like, you know, like, you know, and, and your initial goal was to basically, you know, build the best sheep hunting type boot or maybe pack boot or whatnot. But as you go forward, do you have, do you, what are, can some of, can it do without, you know, you know, spilling the beans, so to speak? Like what are some of the Sure. The goals you might have. I mean, have you obtained those goals or is it something you, obviously you’ve, you’ve got yearly and annual goals maybe to meet sales wise, but what are, you know, is it something, are you gonna move into different facets or

00:15:38:06 –> 00:16:33:03
Yeah, we did, you know, we definitely, you, you, when you start the company, you know, you kind of, you try to be, you know, begin with the end, you know, in mind. But that doesn’t always come out the way you think it will. So you, you know, in order to be successful in business, like you, you make your best estimate and you bring your product to market, but then you let have to let the customers kind of drive you. And to have that feedback with our customers, that’s been probably one of the strongest things that, that we have going for us as a company. Like a lot of our boots are rebuildable. Yeah. And so we work closely with a, with a repair shop that we don’t own, but they’re actually in our same building. And I, I mean, I can’t even tell you how many boots we rebuild annually. And I absolutely love, that’s, that’s one of the my favorite things to do, is to go and look at the, this is where these boots come when they die, right? Yeah.

00:16:33:17 –> 00:16:34:09
So when they need to be

00:16:34:25 –> 00:16:52:11
That I gain from that, from those repair racks when they come in, you cannot imagine what our customers do to our, due to our dude, our boots. I mean, they’re their hose sticking it out the end. They’ve worn them like, like, you know, chainsaw accidents and you just can’t even imagine what they do.

00:16:52:23 –> 00:16:58:03
I hate to break it to you, but the better business model is to have those boots thrown in the garbage and buying new boots.

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I know it, I know it. I, it, the erotic thing is we don’t make any money that

00:17:04:22 –> 00:17:13:03
They do, but, but it keeps your, it keeps your foot, your boot on their foot. When it still leaves, they still think of it as kind It does. And the other thing, not

00:17:13:03 –> 00:17:22:02
A remodel, the other thing is we get the feedback, like, I’m able to go out and look at this boot. You know, you have this boot that they’re, they’re approaching $500, you know, at retail cost now. Yeah.

00:17:22:02 –> 00:17:22:21
They’re, yep.

00:17:22:29 –> 00:18:06:13
And you look at that boot and you say, well, you know, where is that boot going to fail? Well, you don’t really know. I mean, you, you don’t intentionally design a boot to fail, but until you actually see thousands and thousands of pairs come in, you can’t really identify what are the weak points. And so, Adam, you had asked earlier, is the mountain extreme the same? It’s not, I mean, it’s like I change it constantly. It, I, I guess the way that you would, you would probably describe me is, is engineering perfectionist. Right. And so I, I drive the factor absolutely insane. I remember one year he came and said to me, you know, the main factory guy that we deal with, he said, can we just not have any changes for a year?

00:18:07:09 –> 00:18:10:08
I’m like, just let us make some money and put, produce a bunch of boots.

00:18:11:13 –> 00:18:21:18
It’s like, no, we can’t. If I could find a better way to do something, I, you know, we’re gonna do that. Yeah. And we don’t always get it. Right. But we, it’s, it’s not for lack of trying, I mean,

00:18:21:23 –> 00:18:57:06
Well, and there’s also, you, you know, you’ve been in business for, what is that, 12 years based on my rudimentary math. But things technology changes and it does materials, material changes, whether it be rubber or leather and everything else that goes into boots. It all changes just like any other gear we have. Our packs don’t look like they used to, and clothes don’t look like they used to. So yeah. What, what was, Hey, this is perfect. This is the boot I want. You guys are doing a knock up job 18 months later, you’re like, all right, we’re stripping the sole off and we’re, we’re gonna redo a new rubber. And they’re like, what do you mean? That was perfect 18 months ago?

00:18:57:21 –> 00:18:58:00

00:18:58:07 –> 00:19:20:11
And that’s in everything that’s, that’s in the chemistry and the adhesives, you know, went thermoplastic, you know, counters. There’s, there’s so many parts inside of the boot that you really don’t see. Yeah. And the onic thing is that all of the boots, if you take a picture of ’em, they all kind of look the same. Sure. But they don’t feel the same. And they certainly don’t perform the same. Yeah. Especially down the road, you know, when you get the durability factor involved as well.

00:19:20:25 –> 00:19:59:22
Tell us, tell us a little bit, so not to backtrack too far, but basically your engineering boots 2005, you’re cranking, you’re trying to build the basic product. But as we all know, I mean, there’s a, you know, there’s a basement and shot show that, you know, is full of products, good products, but without the proper marketing, you know, they, they may not last more in two or three years. And some of those companies have beat the odds and of course are doing well. But what’s the, you gotta have a good product, but you also have to have good marketing. Like, how have you done that? Are you the marketer? Do you hire that? Or how do you do that? You’ve gotta wear a bunch of hats. You’ve got an engineering degree. You do

00:19:59:28 –> 00:20:10:26
Esp, especially in the beginning Right. When you’re a small company. Like I say, you know, we started as an employee of one me. Right. And, and so very quickly I’m like, okay, I’m over my head. We need employee two.

00:20:11:26 –> 00:20:14:10
Yeah. And we need an employee 10, we’re at one. Yep.

00:20:14:21 –> 00:21:08:00
Yeah, exactly. So anyway, we’re, I think we are just hiring our 16th, 17th employee, and we have a whole sales force as well that’s out there, you know, independence. And, and again, that comes into the strength of relationships that you have and, and to not try to reinvent the wheel and to go to where the expertise lies. Yeah. But also to, to not be afraid to, to say, Hey, that, you know, even though that’s the norm of, of how, you know, somebody operates maybe in advertising or in catalog layout or something like that, to not be afraid to go against the grain as well when it’s necessary. Yeah. And so for us, it was really that story, you know, to have the, you know, because two of us have, I mean, we’ve been very blessed over the years. I mean, just like, we just look at each other and we’re just like, really? That, I mean, you remember No, Jason, when I drew the two desert Jeep

00:21:08:11 –> 00:21:09:14
Oh yeah. One year we told

00:21:09:16 –> 00:21:10:23
How often did that happen? Right.

00:21:11:15 –> 00:21:18:10
We still, we still throw your name out. Oh yeah. That guy. You know, that it can happen. You know, when people say, can you ever, everybody

00:21:18:10 –> 00:21:25:12
You think about it, how, I think I was counting up the other day and well, I actually just drew a mountain go tag in Montana this year. Did you?

00:21:25:12 –> 00:21:26:22
Congratulations. Awesome.

00:21:26:24 –> 00:21:30:20
Yeah. I’m just like, seriously, it’s my tight 30.

00:21:30:23 –> 00:21:31:25
We don’t deserve it

00:21:31:26 –> 00:21:48:10
Coming. Killing de big deserts killing 200 inch mules. Of course. We need to slow that down a little bit for you there. Leave a few, we leave a few of them out there. But yeah, you’ve, you’ve done incredibly well. And of course that helps. You’re in a hunting industry and

00:21:48:20 –> 00:21:49:08
It does help,

00:21:49:15 –> 00:21:56:00
It helps people. People know when they know you’re out there doing it, and then you’re building a hunting product. I mean, that’s part of marketing.

00:21:56:29 –> 00:22:00:20
Yes. That’s, that’s absolutely. And it gives us a little bit of credibility as well,

00:22:01:02 –> 00:22:02:23
You know? Absolutely. Yeah. That

00:22:02:23 –> 00:22:11:07
We’re not just some guy on a design table, in a lab coat, you know? I mean, it’s like we really are using and suffering right alongside of, you know, our customers.

00:22:11:26 –> 00:23:02:19
Well, and you, and I know one of your other owners, I assume you’re referring to about Bob, both of you guys Yeah. Are avid. Yeah, correct. Big game hunters and sheep hunters and so Yeah. Anything, I mean, looking in one of your catalog, you know, 2002, I guess that’s you saying when you killed your first doll sheep kind of started, that was before you had your own business, and you’re actually right. You can’t, I mean, you using your stuff, you’re gonna be your own worst critic because your name is on what you’re selling. And so if something’s not performing up to par for you or Bob or you guys, you, you’re not gonna wanna sell it. So I think that has to go correct. That’s correct. You know, like I said, you’re wearing a lot of hats, but, but because of some of those hats you’re wearing, you’re making a better product too. You’re the, you’re the r and d guy out there wearing it on the sheet punt, you know, the first Yeah,

00:23:02:19 –> 00:23:02:29
For sure.

00:23:02:29 –> 00:23:29:13
First version. So maybe, I guess just we can talk about some of your hunts. Maybe we’ll put that off just a minute. But tell us about, you know, for me, you know, I came on, got, you know, involved with Jason and different businesses about the same time you guys started. And so I’ve used a lot of your boots for the last 12 years and really use ’em a lot on a lot of my sheet, all of my sheep punts and, you know, desert southwest. Yeah. You

00:23:29:13 –> 00:23:31:06
Have some of those boots that come back to us. I have

00:23:32:02 –> 00:23:33:11
Sticking out and the ones

00:23:33:11 –> 00:23:36:11
That are supposed to go in the garbage, so we sell new boot. That’s

00:23:36:19 –> 00:23:41:16
The problem. The problem is, is when your foot fits that boot perfect. You,

00:23:41:19 –> 00:23:42:06
You don’t want to,

00:23:42:26 –> 00:24:49:04
You don’t wanna break another one in, it’s like, just reber it. That’s true. And send it back to me. And so I’ve done that. That’s true. You bet. And now I have, you know, a bit of a rotation, some that are the non insulated, you know, like the desert guides that I use a lot. And then the mountain guides, which I probably use more now than I use the hard scrabble. Just I have, I have weaker ankles. I played a lot of basketball in my days, sprained a ton of ankles. And so yeah, I, that boot is a little bit sturdier for me or just fits me. And I don’t roll ’em in the mountains as much with that. But, but talk to us a little bit about everybody’s feet are different. And you alluded to a little bit earlier about your own feet boots, especially when you, and I would, I would say you’re somewhat of a, a custom, you’re not a, you know, you’re not buying, you know, Tony, Tony Lama’s off the shelf at Walmart or just some, right. You know, hey, one size fits all, everybody’s feet are a little bit different. But tell us what you think each hunter should be looking for and how you think your boots can help meet the needs for a wide variety of, I guess in this case, western hunting conditions.

00:24:50:12 –> 00:25:38:23
Yeah. I mean, you know, like we’ve done a lot of analysis on this over the years and trying to, you know, there’s so much information and trying to boil it down to, to what makes the, the, the best advice. And to me, like if you’re trying to determine what’s the best boot for a particular hunt or a particular hunting activity, number one always is terrain. You know, like what, like, it’s a completely different boot to, you know, kill white tails in Iowa from a tree stand than it is to go on a stone sheep in British Columbia. Right? I mean, just different needs there. So the terrain, then next comes the temperature, and then finally the required durability. Like when we’re talking about that hunt that you may have to go 15 miles without trail every day in the mountains versus, you know, a one mile up to a glassing point.

00:25:38:25 –> 00:26:37:06
You know, I mean the, the durability really comes into play as well. But once you, once you kind of make that decision, then to me, you’re gonna be looking for what boot fits your foot the best. Because I’ll be honest with you, like I, obviously I’m, I’m biased towards the trek mountain boots because all the reasons that we’ve, we’ve kind of talked about, you know, all of the energy and effort that we’ve put into, you know, the components and the design and, and all of those things. But there are other good boots out there. And the most important thing that you can do is find the boot that fits your foot the best. Yeah. Because everybody just like fingerprints, every single person’s foot is different. And, and you know, that that doesn’t have to do just with the length, the width. It has to do with the, the shape of the heel, the size of the arch, you know, the, the overall height of, of the, the toebox basically like how fat is your foot.

00:26:37:21 –> 00:27:28:06
All of these things come into play and everybody’s boob fit differently. And so that, you know, that, that is a, a really important, basically a feature in a process is to recognize that, you know, you can have your, your guy you really look up to, or a guide or something like that, what they wear doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you should wear, right. Because it could fit them perfectly, but for you it could be an absolute disaster. Yeah. So you definitely need to try on a bunch of different boots and find the one that fits you, your foot the best. And then once you do that, there, there’s, there’s some things that you need to do as far as what I call coming up with the perfect fitting recipe. And this is where a lot of times people, you know, they don’t go the extra mile, so to speak, to get that boot to fit properly.

00:27:28:22 –> 00:28:01:00
And that, that means, okay, so you’ve got this boot, you’ve got the right size for your foot, but then you need to address what are the foot beds that are in that boot? Does that foot bed fit your arch? Right, the longitudinal arch. And, and do you have a high arch? Do you have a low arch? Does it, does it cup your heel properly? Then, then the overall volume needs to be addressed next, you know, with, with your sock combination, right? Do you wanna wear a liner sock and a heavier sock? Are they performance sock? Are they, do they utilize Marino wool? All of those things come into play as well.

00:28:02:02 –> 00:28:46:10
Yeah. Well I think you make a lot of good points there. You know, when you first started talking, you were, you were talking about terrain. And it reminded me kind of a funny story, but I mean, I was taking a guy and I can, I can name him on here ’cause he’s such a good dude. But I was taking Adam Kearney in Nevada, and we went to the base of this mountain, we looked straight up and it’s about a thousand feet. Of course I’m lacing up. I’m I’m getting a good boot. Yeah. You’re, it’s, you know, and sometimes you just wear, you know, a lighter, like, my feet are hot and I’m in 105 degree weather a lot. And so I, I’m, I’d even wear a tennis shoe that day. I don’t, depends on the day, you know it. And I’m lacing up and he’s like, you know, I, I can see he’s not gonna lace up with a good boot, you know?

00:28:47:01 –> 00:29:58:24
And so I’m getting ready to go and we’re, we’re getting geared up. And he’s like, I’m like, Hey, you gonna wear those, those shoes? He’s like, yeah, I’m so, those are the shoes, you know, I think I’ll be fine. I’m like, all right. And you know, about halfway up of the thousand foot climb and then of course all the rough rocks went through it. By the time we got back he was hammered, you know? Oh yeah. And not necessarily, his legs weren’t hammered his bo it was his feet. And when your feet are hammered, you’re hammered. Yep. You know? Yep. And so I thought you made a great point there. And then on temperature, you know, that’s, that’s huge. Adam talked about, you know, his uninsulated versus insulated and I’m, I’m one of those guys, I’ve very rarely wear an insulated boot. And if it’s insulated, it might be a 400 or something on a lion hunt. I just, I’ve got hot feet, you know? Right. And it all makes, it all makes a huge difference. And of course you come, you know, you’ve come a long ways from 2005, now you’re coming up, you know, obviously offering a variety of different boots with the desert conditions, mountain conditions and whatnot. And so maybe, you know, take a minute and just go through a couple of the different models and what you think they’re good for as far as, you know, on, on, you know, desert versus the mountain boot.

00:29:59:24 –> 00:30:43:04
Yeah. Like if you think about our, our mountain boot, you know, we started with the Mountain Extreme for that classic North backpack sheep hunt, you know, and, and that’s still our number one seller by far. But some people prefer, like you say, they, they prefer a little bit less insulated boot. So then it grew into the non insulated. And then on the flip side of that, we have guys that are, you know, going to for Marco Polo like me, for example. Yeah. That’s one of my la my latest trips is covered up this fall for that. Wow. But that’s brutal cold temperatures. And so that, that we came up with a thousand gram to, to cover that, you know, still give you the same support and comfort that the original Mountain Extreme does, but in those brutally cold environments.

00:30:43:12 –> 00:30:49:08
So you build a new boot, we don’t sell it. Did you build a new model for this hunt that you’re going on this fall?

00:30:50:05 –> 00:30:53:11
Yeah, it’s our thousand Grand Mountain Extreme.

00:30:53:19 –> 00:31:02:16
Must be nice to, must be nice to own a boot company. Just make whatever kind of boot you want, depending on the hunt you’re going on. Yeah. That’s awesome. Good. Well, that’s a good price.

00:31:02:16 –> 00:31:06:18
Well, the is some, sometimes the first one isn’t the best one though, either. Yeah.

00:31:07:01 –> 00:31:09:18
Well you’re the Guinea pig I guess in this case. Yeah,

00:31:09:18 –> 00:31:09:28

00:31:10:07 –> 00:31:13:06
And so then you do have the desert or Yeah,

00:31:13:06 –> 00:31:48:12
So the desert, same thing there. You know, like the, the most of the boots have the waterproof membrane and, and most of the people require that or, or really want that to keep their feet dry. But in the desert environment, that waterproof membrane, it always breathes, but it doesn’t breathe as well as if it’s not there. Sure. Yeah. So we came up with the desert guide, which is in, has incredible durability, but just has leather Yeah. Which breathes that much better. So when you’re talking about that, that real hotfooted problem, you know, you’re looking at 90 degrees and you have to have the support. You know, if you have a membrane, you’re, you’re just gonna over sweatt that membrane. Yeah. That,

00:31:48:12 –> 00:32:16:16
That’s awful. That’s, that’s the boot that I use probably 75% of my year, mainly because we’re doing a lot of desert sheet hunts. And I’ve, that’s what I really found. I, I notice a big difference on my hot feet. And when your feet get hot, they get really, I mean, they’re always gonna sweat, but they get ultra hot. Right. And then they get tender. You gotta stop more to get ’em dried out, get the pruning they do for whatever lack of a better word, gone away so they’re not so soft and tender and susceptible to blisters and all that, so.

00:32:17:03 –> 00:32:18:10
Right. You bet. You

00:32:18:10 –> 00:32:20:06
Bet. And then the same version

00:32:20:06 –> 00:33:06:10
Of, yeah, that’s another thing about that I, I didn’t mention was about breakin too, that, especially with a mound boot, you know, it’s a stiff supportive boot and you need that, that that stiffness and that support for, for walking in the rocks and that rugged terrain and side hilling. I mean, there’s almost never anything level I can remember. Oftentimes I’m on a trail, like I’ll actually go back and do a flat spot again, just just for the treat of it, you know? Yeah. But anyway, it’s like to, to break the boots in. I can remember years ago on, on one of the sheep hunts we were getting picked up out of the Northwest Territories and, and a guy came in and we dropped, you know, they were doing kind of the taxi thing, you know, and dropped the guy off at a lake and he No kidding. Pulled out a brand new pair of books out of the box

00:33:06:17 –> 00:33:07:24
That’s gonna be trouble threw

00:33:07:25 –> 00:33:16:07
To the shore. And I’m just like, oh man, you, you just, I mean, there’s just no way that, that, I mean, the odds of that working out in his favor. Yeah. Or like

00:33:16:10 –> 00:33:22:25
Nil 10% that it’s gonna go lace him up and you’ll have no problems. Probably. He’s just gonna have I bulletproofing

00:33:23:08 –> 00:33:43:19
Either. And the thing is, you, you, you to me, like sometimes I get in trouble ’cause I, because I almost chastises hunters sometimes that look like if you go and you get all blistered up Right. Like on, on a hunt or something like that. Yeah. It, it’s kind of like shame on you because you should have known that that boot did not fit your foot properly way in advance.

00:33:43:25 –> 00:33:45:11
Oh yeah. You didn’t have the right soft, it just

00:33:45:11 –> 00:33:53:07
Tells you that you did not really put the effort in to break that boot in. Yeah. And it’s the process. I mean, it’s toughening your foot up

00:33:53:18 –> 00:34:05:08
Right. And breaking the That’s right. I was just gonna say that, you know, I, I’ve been out doing some spring Turkey and bear hunting and that and my feet, Jason and I, we sitting in office for about five Yeah. Five or six months of the year.

00:34:05:17 –> 00:34:06:06
Not by choice

00:34:06:09 –> 00:34:38:14
And not by choice, but you know, that’s what we, we do here. We’re researching, we’re writing a magazine, we’re consoling all that. And so our feet right now are not tough and Yep, exactly. And I noticed that you’re, you, they, when you’re out starting about now or working trail cameras or scouting and everything, all that you build calluses up a little bit thicker layers of skin. And I, you know, in the, in the spring I can get a blister in a weirdest spot in between my toes somewhere where I’ve never seen one. And it’s just because they’re, they’re baby feet almost. You were

00:34:38:14 –> 00:34:40:22
Even complaining about a couple of back pains the other day.

00:34:41:01 –> 00:34:47:12
Oh yeah. I You get 40 close, you get north of 40 and Yeah, it’s a little, I mean, it’s

00:34:48:00 –> 00:34:50:04
Every day you wake up, it’s a good day. Yeah,

00:34:50:04 –> 00:34:52:06
That’s right. But but you brought that up. All I can

00:34:52:06 –> 00:34:54:12
Say is buddy, just buddy just wait till 50.

00:34:55:18 –> 00:34:57:05
Yeah, that’s what I’ve been told. It doesn’t

00:34:57:05 –> 00:34:57:16
Get better.

00:34:58:01 –> 00:35:33:22
No. So, but but along that lines that I, I, I agree. ’cause I, I take a lot of sheep hunters and I, and I see that, and that’s the number one thing I tell people. Yeah, you want to, you want your legs in shape, you want your legs hard when you get on a sheet punt. But you need to use what you’re bringing both in form of whether it be your trekking poles, your pack, you gun, all that, but your boots, if, if they have their legs under them, meaning they’re hardened, you know, some of ’em live at sea level and they can’t climb mountains and not, but if they get them ready and their boots are broken and used, we almost never have a problem. Well, and

00:35:33:22 –> 00:35:46:17
If you have happy feet Right. You have a happy hunter. Right. Like you can get sore legs and, you know, and, but it feels good to feel like you worked hard, but when you have blistered up sore feet, you, it cripples a guy fast. Yeah.

00:35:46:19 –> 00:35:47:10
So, well,

00:35:47:10 –> 00:35:51:02
And it, and there’s the sad thing is there’s no solution at that point. No, no.

00:35:51:11 –> 00:35:51:25

00:35:51:25 –> 00:35:52:08
Nothing that you

00:35:52:15 –> 00:35:55:05
Can’t take ibuprofen for blistered feet. No. I mean,

00:35:55:13 –> 00:35:56:10
Run out of duct tape. Tape.

00:35:56:19 –> 00:36:43:23
So, but my feet, one thing I was gonna bring up too, along those lines is, is, and maybe you can talk a little bit this partly it’s probably going through that aging process and maybe everybody’s feet don’t do this, but I, mine have, I I I guess my arch has flattened or something as I’ve gotten older. Yeah. My foot’s gotten a little longer. I wear like 11 and a half now. I never 11 fit me forever. And, and I’m talking, you know, whether I buy tennis shoes or whether I buy your boots, I’m 11 and a half now and I don’t need any break in anymore. So something’s changed even throughout 10 or 20 years of your life, your foot changes to where I used to have to break ’em in or else I’d get blisters. Now I don’t. And now I need a half size long on every shoe I buy. Yep. Is that common? Yeah. I mean, I’m not a podiatrist, but it,

00:36:44:01 –> 00:36:56:11
It’s almost a hundred percent. I mean, it just is the way I look at aging, what my, my, in layman’s terms, it’s a slow, steady progression to the ground. I don’t mean just your arch, it’s everything.

00:36:57:01 –> 00:36:57:13

00:36:57:13 –> 00:37:02:25
Getting shorter. You’re, you’re six three now you’re six two, now you’re six one, you’re, jeez,

00:37:04:17 –> 00:37:04:25

00:37:04:27 –> 00:37:54:23
It’s fairly depressing, but it’s, it’s just a part of life. And you think about what your foot, you think about the pounding that your foot takes, the anatomy of your foot and that arch and all of the, the ligaments and musculature that, that needs to be, to hold that up like over a period of time. It’s just inevitable that those collapse. I mean, there’s a reason why the average podiatrist, you know, their, their average customer or patient, you know, that they see is, is definitely over 50, you know? Yeah. And they’re doing custom cast to try to get that foot back into its natural position and support it because the foot just can’t hold itself up anymore. Yeah. I see young kids, teenagers, teenage girls in particular running around with flip flops all the time. Sure. It’s like, that’s the worst thing. It’s like, do that while you can, because I mean, there’s just no way you just can’t do it later.

00:37:55:02 –> 00:38:16:13
Before we, well, before we leave the subject to blisters, like, you know, obviously, you know, you need breaking in your boots and and whatnot can help you and lacing ’em up tight and, and whatnot. But is there, is there any other tips you can give us, you know, and the listeners out there on, you know, avoiding how to prevent blisters and, and work with blisters once you get one?

00:38:17:02 –> 00:39:01:18
Yeah, I mean the, the, the biggest thing is, is to, like you had alluded to it earlier, is keep your feet dry. I mean, it’s really important to keep your feet dry. And so to have a really good wicking sock, to have a really good fitted sock because it, you know, when you put on a sock and it feels good when it’s dry, that’s one thing. But now completely saturate that with, with perspiration and see, does, does it lose its shape? You know, does it have the right amount of, of elastic and spandex and, and the right heel pocket so it stays in shape, you know, to conform to your foot, whether it’s wet or dry. Those, those are all important things as well. Like I say, that’s part of that whole recipe with the boot because what you’re looking for is maximum performance under these really stringent difficult conditions. Conditions.

00:39:02:04 –> 00:39:10:06
Wow. Well that’s great. And I noticed here in the catalog one of your latest catalogs, of course you’ve been doing it for quite some time, but looks like you’re producing socks.

00:39:11:09 –> 00:40:02:17
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I mean that’s a, that was an kind of an obvious, like I say, when we’re driven by our customers, that was kind of an obvious one was to, to get into the, the manufacturer of sock. I mean, there’s a lot of good sock plants and manufacturers out there, but to be able to go in and dabble with those designs and again, create different thicknesses. And so a lot of what we’ve done, even though the colors are different, they’re basically the same design of sock, but more for a low volume, medium volume, high volume foot. And so that allows you to perfect the fit of our, our of our boots for performance, you know, based on the thickness of sock. And so usually I tell people, a lot of times people wanna put on a heavier sock in colder weather and it’s like, well that’ll actually make the boot colder often because it constricts your

00:40:02:17 –> 00:40:03:21
Circulation and all that.

00:40:03:21 –> 00:40:50:17
Yeah. And restrict, yeah. Re circulation. So a lot of times, especially with the mountain boots, you’re looking for performance. And so you want that, that sock to be just a perfect snug fit. Not ridiculously tight, but definitely to stop movement because like you, you had said to lace up your boots snugly. Well that’s part of it as well. So all of these things come into play together. But the, again, the biggest thing is you, you have to wear ’em. I mean, you have to become, your boots have to become an extension of your feet. And the only way to really do that and to find out, you know, what do you need is to be using ’em and it way in advance of, you know, when that plane flies away and you’re in the middle of the wilderness, that’s not the time to figure it out.

00:40:50:26 –> 00:40:58:11
So, so you know, we, you talked a little bit about, you know, kind of that colder weather sock, but what do you recommend for a guy that’s in 90 plus degrees?

00:41:00:05 –> 00:41:36:12
The same thing. I mean, it it, you can still have some Moreno wool, but typically you’re gonna want more of a blended sock. I mean, again, you had alluded to technology changing and you think of the old man, you think of the old days, it was cotton tube socks. Right. No shape to ’em whatsoever. The sophistication of sock manufacturer today is unbelievable, you know, as far as the blending of the materials so that they can have durability together with wicking, you know, thermal properties. I mean, it, it’s just amazing what you can accomplish with sock manufacture today. And there’s a lot of good ones.

00:41:36:12 –> 00:41:58:13
There’s a lot of, yeah, you’re right. There’s a lot. It’s a lot. And, and you’re in ’em so much. I mean, I remember 20 years ago you’d wear a pair of socks one year and the balls of your feet in the hills were down to the thread, you know, because they would wear out because they just weren’t constructed well or blended well enough for that. Now you got and

00:41:58:13 –> 00:41:59:25
They were overused ’cause we were in college.

00:42:00:11 –> 00:42:06:00
Yeah. And we had three pair of socks. That’s all we have. We wore ’em to school and hunting. That’s

00:42:06:00 –> 00:42:06:04

00:42:06:27 –> 00:42:22:00
So there’s a lot of other reasons. But also talk a little bit about, and, and this is probably comes down to an individ individual foot, but when do you, do you always recommend to somebody to start with a liner when they’re, when they’re trying their new boots out, just

00:42:22:01 –> 00:42:23:07
Like a liner and then a sock?

00:42:23:22 –> 00:42:26:13
Do or, or why, why use, use it. We still

00:42:26:13 –> 00:43:03:02
Do. We, we, we still recommend a liner. And the reason that you want the liner is because that typically fits really snug. It’s almost like you gotta think of a liner as a second layer of skin. And so with blisters, I mean blisters come from from foot movement and then moisture has an effect. And then also it’s friction. Right. And so that basically it’s the heat that’s built up from friction. Yeah. So the theory with a aligner is that reduces that friction. It’s like a second layer of skin that the stock slip between the layers and not against your skin. Yeah. Thereby reducing the heat buildup, you know, in those what would be called the hotspot. Yeah.

00:43:03:07 –> 00:43:24:13
And those are very, very, you know, and they’re not as thin as like women’s pantyhose, but just a step above. They’re thin. And so, I mean, there’s a lot of different liners out there and I’ve used a lot, I I’ve gone away from ’em more just simply because I haven’t felt, goes back to what I think. I think I told you, you get old. Yeah. My, my I don’t need them and if I don’t need ’em, that’s just another layer of

00:43:25:13 –> 00:43:30:24
The, part of the reason for that Adam, is because the, the outer sock is so good now.

00:43:31:02 –> 00:43:32:20
It’s probably part of it too. You’re right.

00:43:33:00 –> 00:44:01:08
Actually, yeah. They actually fit, they conform. They don’t move around, you know, like you think of the old days, you had to have a liner because you, you’re wearing this big old wool sock or a, a tube sock or something like that, you know, well it didn’t have any structure to stay in place. And so that thing was moving all over. Whereas now the socks are so good and they’re blended fibers as well, so they really do stay in place. So it kind of almost comes down to a personal preference. We have lots and lots of customers that just wanna wear one pair of socks and they’re perfectly fine to do that.

00:44:02:00 –> 00:44:05:12
What are you, do you offer liners? Are you selling liners? Oh

00:44:05:12 –> 00:44:13:02
Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. We have a deluxe liner that, well obviously I’m biased, but it’s, it’s the finest liner the world has ever seen.

00:44:13:12 –> 00:44:17:14
You bet. I wouldn’t accept you or expect you to describe it any other way.

00:44:17:26 –> 00:44:22:22
If you use our liner with our sock, with our boot, you are a happy hundred, right? We’ll kill more stuff. Right.

00:44:23:23 –> 00:44:24:20
Guaranteed a 40 inch.

00:44:26:07 –> 00:44:29:18
What about mule deer? Let’s put it mule deer terms 200. Yeah. There you go.

00:44:30:01 –> 00:44:30:20
200 inch.

00:44:31:14 –> 00:44:56:12
What other, you know, just for a minute, while we’re on some of these products, of course we’ve talked, you know, you know, I hate to leave, I hate, well, lemme back up. Tell me about insoles. You know, I mean is there, there’s been super feed out there and there’s all these other different insoles and of course you’re making insoles. Talk about the importance of that and how to choose an insole and maybe, you know, what, what are, what makes D insoles different

00:44:56:15 –> 00:44:59:24
Versus Yeah. Versus what you just put in your boot.

00:44:59:24 –> 00:45:29:22
Yeah. In the footbed. Like when, when I talk about that recipe, really I address the insole first because, because the insole is, it, it’s not just volume. It’s so structurally important. You know, when Adam, when you’re talking about your collapsing arches, right? It’s very common for people to suffer the, you know, foot elongation over time. You know that that arch basically is collapsing and dropping down. Well that tells you that you, you know, somebody who has a flat foot doesn’t necessarily have the same problem.

00:45:29:27 –> 00:45:31:07
That’s me. I have a, a flat

00:45:31:07 –> 00:45:57:04
Foot, somebody, you got a really high arch, somebody who has a high arch, that arch just drops. And so then the foot becomes longer and longer over time. So what you need to do is you really need to make certain that you’re supporting that arch as much as you can. And so you want to, like, say for example, you Adam, if you have a higher arch, you may be able to wear a footbed that supports you perfectly. And then you stick that in Jason’s foot. He, it would be like a

00:45:58:16 –> 00:46:00:18
S me he’d be walking like he’s walking on the tennis ball

00:46:01:11 –> 00:46:02:16
So bad. It’s, it’s

00:46:03:12 –> 00:46:32:06
Incredible pain. Yep. And so to customize that, that that bed of the boot because, because all of the boot, the insole of the boot is basically flat. I mean, they can’t have contour because you have to fit everybody with the same boot. So if that makes sense. That’s the, that’s the adaption between your foot and the, the insole inside of the boot. The bottom of the boot. If that makes sense. So that, that’s what you do it with is with the footbed. Yeah.

00:46:32:20 –> 00:46:44:01
Yeah. So you don’t have to make that $500 boot to fit your perfect foot. Correct. You just put, pull out the footed and put in the insole that fits your foot shape arch all got the best for 20, 30 bucks. Exactly.

00:46:44:02 –> 00:46:57:00
And, and you there thereby you, you get a more of a customized boot fit. And so this didn’t happen for a long time. I mean, you know, in the old days they just used to have boards. Right. I maybe people were tougher back then and

00:46:57:23 –> 00:47:01:24
They just didn’t hunt as hard, they didn’t hunt as hard, Jim, they just didn’t hunt as they

00:47:01:24 –> 00:47:04:21
Hunted in. They hunted in cowboy boots. They were wood, were

00:47:04:28 –> 00:47:07:10
Tough’s. Those were tough men’s back then.

00:47:07:22 –> 00:47:09:02
Yeah. They were tough. You know,

00:47:09:09 –> 00:47:14:03
We got a baby our feet now. That’s right. Quit your whining and saddle up. We’re

00:47:14:03 –> 00:47:28:22
Office wellers. Well, so do you sell, I mean, do they come, so let’s just say I, I buy a boot from you. It comes with a, kind of comes with a flat one made for a guy like me and then like Adam would actually wanna order an insole with his boot or No,

00:47:28:22 –> 00:48:52:24
We, we actually, again, we, we actually kind of went against the grain in the industry. ’cause the industry basically says, well, you know, if you want to replace a footbed, you would go and purchase a super feed or you know, a doctor shoulder or some, some type of aftermarket foot bed and we’re just gonna put in a low cost alternative. Well, the Fitbit that they’re putting in is like a dollar 49. Right. You know, is the manufactured cost, it’s just terrible. Right. Garbage, you know, just a flat piece of foam. Yep. And they send that out with a $400 pair of boots. Yep. And so I’m like, wait a minute, something’s wrong with that. And so I kind of thought about, well the Superfeet guys basically years and years ago, they came up with, you know, it was a whole bunch of podiatrists that got together on that project and they came up with what is a arch that fits 75 or 80% of, of the populace And that, and that’s, that’s pretty correct. And so we kind of followed that same thought process and actually put in what I’d call our 70% of the population footbed standard in our boots. So we were the first company to do that. And so the guys like you then Jason, we also offer a, a flatter cushion insole. But instead of just offering the flattest insole, we kind of went for the large majority of people.

00:48:54:09 –> 00:48:55:02
Does that make sense?

00:48:55:07 –> 00:49:08:02
Yeah, that totally makes sense. And so if I ordered, let’s just say, and I’ve got your boots, but let’s say I ordered a new pair of boots. Would I, would I want to order or can I just tell the gal on the phone, Hey, you know this Exactly,

00:49:08:08 –> 00:49:10:14
I’m a flat foot. So throwing a set of

00:49:10:14 –> 00:49:19:20
The, I have a flat foot and we’ll automatically put the, the, you know, that version of the footbed in there still a good quality foot bed, but more shape to fit your foot contour

00:49:20:13 –> 00:49:42:12
Well, that’s awesome. And we sure appreciate that as a consumer. Maybe this is a good point in time just to, you know, maybe quickly tell us, I know you, you’re selling other people’s products as well in your catalog, but just tell us, is there other products that you manufacture and sell? Of course you’re doing some of the gators and whatnot, but maybe just take a minute to

00:49:42:15 –> 00:50:38:12
Yeah. Saw a lot of gators and, and, or like our, our sock line, we’ve, we’ve really expanded that and, and we’ve had the hunting gator, the tall gator, which is up below the calf, and, and that’s been a fantastic product for us for many, many years. Really designed that to go over a pack boot, but it works perfectly with the mountain boots as well. I mean, we, I can’t tell you how many gators we’ve sold over the years. It’s, when I, when I started that project, I thought, you know, we could design a really good gator for hunters, specifically for hunters, and if this, you know, they, they, we found out the minimum quantities that you’d have to produce, you know, in order to get one in. And it was like, okay, here’s Christmas gifts for the next decade for the whole family. This doesn’t work. But anyway, so that’s been a successful product for us. And we just launched a new hiking gator, you know, for a shorter, hotter weather safari in Africa, that type of thing,

00:50:38:23 –> 00:50:43:07
Just to keep a lot of the grass seeds and stuff like to keep, yeah.

00:50:44:07 –> 00:50:53:00
So, well, maybe we can kind of, maybe this is the time to talk about some of your hunts. Of course you’ve led on to kind of what couple of the different hunts you’re doing this year, but

00:50:53:00 –> 00:50:57:18
Yeah, that’s a Marco Polo and a mountain goat. What else you got lined up?

00:50:58:14 –> 00:51:13:15
Yeah. Well I, I have a doll sheep that I, I’m going to the Northwest Territories, but that’s not until next year and that I’m trying, you know, I’ve never really set out to do this, but that, that will complete my archery grand slam when

00:51:13:23 –> 00:51:14:13
Oh, that’s awesome.

00:51:14:27 –> 00:51:20:22
I never thought I’d ever be in this position and I don’t even know if I have enough gas in the tank to get it done, but I’m What do

00:51:20:22 –> 00:51:28:22
You about you’ll, you, you, you keep those things to yourself as far as the world’s concerned. You’re the biggest, baddest hunter out there.

00:51:29:08 –> 00:51:29:23
That’s right.

00:51:29:25 –> 00:51:33:21
And I so bad wanna retire from sheep hunting. I can’t even spell it.

00:51:34:20 –> 00:51:39:03
You can’t, you’re not in the business to retire from. That’s right. Rugged boot country. Then

00:51:39:03 –> 00:51:43:13
You’ll start on it with the muzzle loader or something after that. So, yeah.

00:51:43:23 –> 00:52:07:01
Anyway, so, so that, that’s for next year. So I thought, well, I have this year off so I can get all fat and happy and take the kids hunting, hunt deer at elk and just have a good time. And then, you know, so I, so I am going with a friend for archery, COOs deer in Arizona. Good. Then I drew this mountain goat tag, which is the month of September and that I have to try with a bow. Geez. And I’m like, oh my

00:52:07:01 –> 00:52:11:23
God, not really Jim. That’s, that’s only self-inflicted pain and misery don’t

00:52:12:12 –> 00:52:13:15
Inflicted misery.

00:52:15:25 –> 00:52:45:17
Then I have a, a Sitka Blacktail hu to Pritz of Wales. That’s like the end of October. And then I threw my name in the hat at the Wild Sheep Foundation Show. And, and it was just, it was funny or sad that how, it depends on how you look at it, but I’m sitting in the chair with my partner Bob, you know, at the end of the show, and I’m like, why? I’m a little bit nervous about that polo hunt. I don’t know what I was thinking. He goes, well, how many tickets you put in there? I said, only about five. He goes, oh, for you buddy. That’s a lock. Jesus. I called my name.

00:52:45:26 –> 00:52:46:21
Are you serious? I

00:52:46:21 –> 00:52:49:08
Literally fell out of the chair. He is like I told you.

00:52:49:20 –> 00:52:53:04
Geez. Wow. So when is that? October? When are you doing that?

00:52:53:11 –> 00:52:55:09
Oh, that’s November. November 15th.

00:52:55:23 –> 00:52:58:08
That’ll be nice and warm over there about then

00:53:00:28 –> 00:53:02:28
I have a little bit concerned about the altitude, so

00:53:02:29 –> 00:53:05:14
Yeah, I hear it gets really warm at 16,000.

00:53:06:08 –> 00:53:07:03
No, I don’t think so.

00:53:08:12 –> 00:53:25:22
Well, that’s an adventure though. That’ll be something to, for us to look forward. That’s a, you know, international sheets once in a lifetime. Something that I’ve not got into yet, like to someday, but that’ll be, that’ll be awesome to see how that one pans out for you. You got a big year, sounds like for sure.

00:53:25:27 –> 00:53:26:06

00:53:26:08 –> 00:53:28:13
All I can say is so much for taking the year off.

00:53:28:19 –> 00:53:35:28
Yeah, yeah. And that Marco Polo with a bow is gonna be incredible. I had asked

00:53:35:28 –> 00:53:37:12
Me, are you gonna bring your bow? I’m like,

00:53:40:08 –> 00:53:40:17
A long

00:53:42:11 –> 00:53:42:19

00:53:43:10 –> 00:53:58:17
Oh no. Well, good. Well, what, I know you’ve done a lot of hunting, of course we’ve kind of led to that. But just maybe what’s your most memorable hunt? Something that was just a credible maybe on the bucket list and that you have accomplished?

00:53:59:22 –> 00:54:08:22
I don’t know. I mean it, that’s just such a tough question. You know, like people always ask me, you know, like, what’s your favorite hunt? And and my typical response would be the next one. Yeah,

00:54:08:24 –> 00:54:09:03

00:54:09:16 –> 00:54:10:05
Right. Yeah.

00:54:10:05 –> 00:54:29:23
Because they all are, I, I mean, I I actually get probably more of a thrill today out of taking, you know, nieces and nephews Yep. To get, shoot their first cow elk, you know? Yeah. I mean, or, or just a deer hunt, you know, shoot a mule deer buck. I mean it’s, I, I don’t know. I just, I just have a, a a through and through love for the sport.

00:54:30:02 –> 00:55:05:23
Yeah. Well I, we share that. I get it. And, and you’re right. And I know, well I I’m sure some of your sheep, you know, when you finish your, oh yeah. Your, your grand slam, that was probably one. And then, you know, maybe next year I imagine you slip an arrow in a big white ram, that’s probably gonna be a Yeah. Special moment. They all are. You remember those sheet pumps? Yep. And then, like Jason alluded to, I mean, a few years back you killed a, a giant mule deere with your bow in Nevada. Oh yeah. We all know and we all take notice of things like that ’cause we like mule there, but they got a soft spot for you and I imagine Yeah,

00:55:06:18 –> 00:55:08:09
Yeah. Oh, no kidding. Yeah.

00:55:08:16 –> 00:55:09:24
Well, I think you’re right. Yeah. And

00:55:09:24 –> 00:55:33:00
I love it all too. I mean, I’m not a, I’m not a dedicated, you know, a lot of the guys might criticize me for that. I’m not a super dedicated bow hunter. I love it. It’s very difficult. But I still love rifle hunting as well. Sure. I, I mean, shoot, I even like, I even like duck hunting, you know, shotguns, dozen hunting. I mean, I just, I really love it all and, and I have an appreciation for each different type of hunting and, and all of the animals.

00:55:33:10 –> 00:55:50:10
Well, and Adam and I are the same way. We do, we do everything. I may be, you know, somewhat, you know, known I guess to a degree for mule deer and he’s known for sheep. Sure. But, but he’s killed his fair share of deer and elk and all kinds of species and I’m the same way. And so it’s just hunting. We just what

00:55:50:13 –> 00:56:05:23
Tag you can get. Yeah. And what, tell us, you know, we, we alluded to it, but just for maybe the listeners case, they’re scratching their heads what, two deserts, cheap tags you drew. Tell us a little bit about that and those two. ’cause that had to be a very special year. I’m, I’m sure. Yeah.

00:56:05:23 –> 00:57:01:05
That was 2004. And I, you know, had, had applied for many years. I remember going as a, a fairly young kid when I was working for Snay. We went to the, the shows and I remember wandering around there and, and this was maybe even early on, you know, before, you know, any of the publications, you know, the information that’s out there now is a lot better than it used to be in that day. But I remember walking around and talking to, you know, some of the, the, you know, biologists, reps and stuff from the different states that were at that show and, and saying, you mean if I apply for this tank and I draw it, I can come hunt there. I was just completely like, completely naive. And they’re like, yeah, you draw it, you can. And so I was actually putting in, you know, not using any of the services that are available today and trying to figure out, you know, it’s, it’s almost like, you know, doing those applications on your own. It’s a pretty daunting task.

00:57:01:16 –> 00:57:07:14
And if you’d have used Epic back then we would’ve drawn you three sheep tags. Probably, probably would’ve.

00:57:07:24 –> 00:57:15:29
Well, I got, I got my fair share of, you know, rejections, you know, I can’t remember which date it was that rejected me because they got the application two days early. Oh

00:57:15:29 –> 00:57:16:29
Yeah. Early, you

00:57:16:29 –> 00:57:18:23
Know, from the red. I’m like, really?

00:57:19:15 –> 00:57:22:28
You printed it? I paid you. Yeah. And you give it back to me.

00:57:23:13 –> 00:57:31:00
You know, but they didn’t let you know it, it bad. They waited till the end and you had the, the red cap rejection on it. I’m like, oh, that hurts.

00:57:31:16 –> 00:57:31:23

00:57:32:03 –> 00:58:18:20
Geez. But yeah, in 2004, actually the stars all aligned and, and I drew both, I drew Nevada first and was just, that was just like unbelievable to me. I remember I was going on a hiking trip and I was driving back and, and we had just sold our house and we were building another house. So I was, I was taking on that job as a, as my own contractor, you know, and, and so I was pretty full, you know, at yeah. At that time. But I remember I got a message from my brother and he says, all these guys are calling all these outfitters. And they, they said something about desert sheep, Nevada, and I, it seriously almost drove in the ditch, you know, I you go out ski me. Wow. Then a couple months later it’s like Arizona comes out and they had drawn the Arizona as well.

00:58:19:12 –> 00:58:25:02
That’s, it’s unbelievable. That’s yeah, that’s unheard of. And you, you took one with the rifle and one with the bow, right?

00:58:25:20 –> 00:58:35:21
Correct. Yeah. And I, I’ve been really lucky to drop permits, but I’m pretty much known as a last day guy as far as shooting anything. So, so I, I’ve had more

00:58:35:21 –> 00:58:36:27
Than my that makes the wife happy.

00:58:37:07 –> 00:58:38:11
Long marathons.

00:58:40:17 –> 00:58:47:21
Well, that’s great. Yeah. 2004 was was the year I drew Oregon sheep on the John Day. Yeah. We drew the same year. Yeah,

00:58:47:21 –> 00:58:49:01
I remember that. Yeah. Wow.

00:58:49:23 –> 00:59:11:27
But, well, awesome. Well, we sure appreciate you, Jim, spending some time with us and Sure appreciate, you know, what you’ve done in the hunting industry and all the support you’ve lent everybody, and you’re, you’re a friend of many, everybody you come in contact with. You’ve just got such a great reputation and good personality and way about you, and so we just want to tell you how much we appreciate you as well here at Epic.

00:59:12:03 –> 00:59:36:00
Yeah, we do. We appreciate that. And you’re, you know, obviously we knew each other for about 10 or 12 years now, but you know, when we were getting epi epic up and cranking, you were one of the first to step up and support us and without hesitation, we really appreciate that and, and love to help recommend your products to people that, that take their hunting out West seriously. So yeah, thanks for your support. Yeah,

00:59:36:17 –> 00:59:51:09
You bet. I appreciate it. I appreciate what you guys are doing as well. I mean, it’s like I say, none of, none of these services, you know, they didn’t exist like they do now, you know, as far as information and assistance and it, it really is just incredible.

00:59:51:21 –> 00:59:55:09
Yeah, it is. And it makes us all better. Competition’s good. Oh yeah, no,

00:59:55:23 –> 00:59:56:00

00:59:56:05 –> 01:00:09:01
Question. All right, well good luck this year. We’ll be in plenty of good contact. I know we will. And, and just wanna wish you the best and continued prosperity in your business and we’re sure gonna do our best to help you out.

01:00:10:02 –> 01:00:11:17
Thank you. I really appreciate it.

01:00:11:25 –> 01:00:13:04
Okay, we’ll talk to you later. See you

01:00:13:04 –> 01:00:13:28
Jim. Thanks. Okay,

01:00:13:28 –> 01:00:14:17
Bye-bye. Here

01:00:14:17 –> 01:00:47:23
At Epic Outdoors, we produce a hunting magazine nine-ish of a year. The first six issues are state by state research driven issues, breaking down the states, the drawing odds, kill percentages, best places to go, whatever your goals are for that state, whether you should even apply for that state or not. Coming from January through June, we break those down the rest of the year. We go every other month. Very informative magazine, a hundred dollars a year, get you that magazine as well as the ability to call and consult with us consultants, develop a strategy, bounce ideas off us, things like that.

01:00:47:29 –> 01:01:05:23
Yeah. So, so with this magazine, you know, it just as covers Western big game hunting. That’s what we specialize in. That’s what we stick to. So the Western states, Canada, Alaska, Mexico, from a big game hunting perspective. So a hundred bucks a year and, and it should be everything to do with Western big game hunting.

01:01:07:25 –> 01:01:57:09
We also offer a full service license application service. If you’re too busy, you find yourself missing deadlines or you travel a lot with your work, missing deadlines in some cases will put you years behind drawing a certain tag that you’re after. We offer for a maximum of $500. We’ll handle all of your Western State applications. We’ll incorporate the information you give us. You can be as interactive with us and picking your units as you want, or you give us a criteria. We can pick your units, match the weapon type species, states, all those types of things that you’re looking for. We do that for a lot of guys. We help them draw a lot of tags. If you find yourself, like I said, too much going on in your life, whether it be business or travel or whatever, you miss deadlines. Consider calling us for your license, application, service needs, and be glad to help you out

01:01:57:25 –> 01:02:52:02
With our license application service. Of course, one of the big things besides just applying and and submitting your, your license applications is the people doing it. So Adam and I, we touch all the applications and we actually choose the units for you depending on what you’re looking for. And that’s a big deal. We’ve done this for many, many years as well as for ourselves. And we’ve hunted all the Western states. We have quite a bit of experience with e everybody here in the office, and this is what we’ve done for a living for a lot of years. And so anyway, we feel like we offer some of the most knowledgeable consultants and, and the ability to really choose accurately what you’re looking for so you don’t, you know, waste your points or waste your money and especially waste your time in places that don’t really suit you. And so anyway, for, like Adam said, for a maximum 500, we, we can do anything and everything that pertains to applying for Western big game, I.