It used to be that only self-proclaimed “outdoorsy folks” with a deep knowledge of vintage gear could spot the value in a battered pair of Bean Boots or a well-worn Patagonia fleece at thrift stores. Now it seems as though everyone is into retro outdoor gear, whether the aim is to wear it ironically in the field or make a style statement in the streets. Recently though, the brands have caught onto the nostalgia, and are now digging into product archives to make the old new again.
Some of it, like The North Face’s Rage ’92 collection, aims for style. Others products integrate decades of technical innovations into dated silhouettes to make items that work as well as they look. Vasque’s Clarion ’88 hiking boot is one such example; the boot first debuted over 30 years ago, but Vasque brought it back last year with a durable waterproof upper and Vibram rubber outsole that make it a reliable model for trail use to this day. It’s on sale at REI for 25 percent off right now, along with a full range of other models from brands like Merrel, Keen, Salomon and more.
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