When we received these boots in the post we were pleased, very pleased indeed.
Not only because they looked the dogs b*llocks but also because Charlie (of Bikemonger fame – UK importer of 45rth gear) had sent us two pairs by mistake – woohoo!
Annoying we did the right thing and sent a pair back and had to make do with the hardship of only testing one pair of über cold weather fatbiking boots – it’s a hard life.
So what do we think of them?
Looks and fit:
No doubt about it they look the part! Classic black winter boot with a few nice design details.
I’m a 43 usually with a wide foot and I found the 44 to be perfect for me. I think the 43 would’ve been fine length-wise but as my feet are that little bit wider the 44 was a better fit. Not that they’re narrow fitting – I’d say they are pretty much a ‘regular’ shoe fit.
This model is for use with SPD or flat pedals* which should be a good thing but lead to the only thing I dislike about the boots (more on that in a minute…)
*the just released 2017 model is SPD only
Other features includes a quick-fastening toggle lace system and velcro ankle combo which means that these boots are quick and easy it put on and adjust even in gloves and/or with cold fingers – a really great feature for a proper winter boot.
Leather uppers and Primaloft insulation means that these boots are rated down to -18°c – nice!
In two words: almost faultless!
They are toastier than a warm thing on a sunbed, comfortable even over long days in the saddle (and hiking up mountains carrying the bike!) and the quality is outstanding.
But…..there is a problem in that the removable SPD insert clogs with snow and ice to the extent that sometimes it would make riding a bit sketchy when using flats on fast/tech trails with a few incidents of feet slipping off the pedals.
To be fair this only happened a few times but they would clog to a lesser extent on a regular basis which, we assume, is why this feature has been changed for the 2017 model.
Obviously if you’re looking for a warm boot for use not in the snow then this can be overlooked but here in the Alps it was a failing that was repeatedly noticed.
Even taking into account one tiny but frequently annoying issue we would still highly recommend these boots.
Why? Because despite this issue they are still pretty much the perfect winter fatbiking boot and better than almost everything else on the market!
They’re light enough to avoid fatigue over long days, they have nice little loops for your winter over-trousers and in many other ways are easily the most intelligently thought out winter biking boot we’ve come across.
We had them down about -15°c and never felt the cold in the slightest which is no small luxury!
There’s not a lot that can be done about the build-up of snow on SPD cleats and so the only way these boots could avoid this issue is by having two models available which would be cost prohibitive to 45nrth.
If you’re going to spending a lot of time in very cold conditions then get yourself a pair!