What’s with the name?

We chose to call ourselves Hobnail Trekking Co. for several reasons, some of them pretty good.

  1. We wanted some type of a retro, vintage name, and in the world of mountaineering and trekking, nothing is more retro than hobnail (or hobnailed) boots. Hobnails are essentially nails driven into the soles of military or work boots to provide traction on snow and ice. For soldiers and mountaineers, they were standard issue for literally thousands of years through around the 1950s. Roman soldiers, for example, wore hobnail sandals in certain situations. (That sounds incredibly uncomfortable, but whatever.) George Mallory, the English climber who may have summited in 1924 but died during his descent, wore hobnail boots. We choose to believe that it wasn’t Mallory’s footwear that led to his demise, but just a really bad decision to try to climb Mt. Everest in 1924.
  2. Mallory notwithstanding, we like the idea of being associated with something that is solid, dependable, and provides traction in uncertain conditions.
  3. We liked the sound of the word “hobnail.” It’s just cool, quirky, and memorable.
  4. Do we really need a reason?? Jeez!

Typical hobnail boots.

George Mallory’s hobnail boots and socks.