Monday, March 22, 2010

THE GREAT GOKEY...40's snakeproof boots

The original dating back to the late 1800's:"la botte sauvage"a French Canadian explorer's favorite....
The rare knee high, made to order snake proof Gokey boots,most likely from the 40's....
10 stitches to an inch is the secret.The Gokeys were just outstanding. Made in conformity to a tracing of each of your feet, they fit like the proverbial glove. Gorgeous, supple, super heavy real oil-tanned leather, with doe skin lining.Attested to by countless guides and professional snake hunters to be the best.....

Love the beautiful patina and the deco styled buckle.....

From time to time when in my closet for an early "spring cleaning session",i'll come across an old pair of boots.No matter the issue of the day might be, I pause to look them over, maybe even drag them out to dust them off. And the memories flood back...
Today's pick my old pair of Gokey snake proof boots,they were modeled after the French-Canadian footwear called "botte sauvage" the wild boot, worn by the early voyageurs who explored the Great Lakes region.
I later learned that the Gokey Boot Company, was founded by Noah Gokey in Addison NY and operated for many years in Jamestown NY before finally relocating to St. Paul MN at the turn of the century. World renown, they used the "cottage industry" system: orders would come into St. Paul, MN and the work would be farmed out to skilled cobblers.Gokey was sold to Orvis back in the 90's but nothing beats the old ones .It has been reported that some pairs have been handed down from one generation to another.


7 comments:

  1. times are tough .......they're gone

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  2. Vraiment magnifiques. Ca doit ĂȘtre super rare, jamais vues nulle part.

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  3. As a retired master shoemaker.Being from Minnesota, and also having known Gokey shoemakers in St. Paul, I will tell you being called a cobbler is an insult.Cobblers are people who are not masters of their trade.They are bunglers.

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  4. isnt it sad that jerks like "kimberly" spam blogs with fake compliments to sell wiener drugs...I love you John...do you still make the odd pair of shoes...if you have some old school photos of your work I would love to see them..you can email me at himelator@hotmail.com I also blog like my friend here..because we love amazing craft and the old traditions!

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  5. Just bought a pair of Gokey Botte Sauvages. Need some advice on the best way to get the leather in tip top shape, Much appreciated

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  6. well Matt ,there's not real secret recipe here .it mostly depends on the condition .is the leather dry,cracked ,scratched,saturated with oil ....and so on

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  7. The leather is in very good condition, just dirty. I think the people I bought them from put mink oil on them but didn't clean all the years of crud off first.
    I've since gone to town on these boots with some saddle soap and seem to have gotten a fair amount of the underlying grime off, so I can really see the leather now. I posted a link on my blog with a couple of pics: http://blog.matthewstevens.org

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