Haglöfs footwear? You'd better believe it - we check out a Scandinavian boot.
Lite Boot - First Look
grammes (pair 43)
trekking boot with upper in full leather or nubuck, midsole with EVA
and PU cushioning, Vibram Four Season sole unit, one piece leather
forefoot, rubber toe bumper, locking lacing hooks, PP-iinsole, triple
seams with Kevlar threads on stress points. Gore-Tex waterproof liner.
What, Haglofs makes footwear too? Yep, you'd better believe it and
you'll be seeing more of it from early next year, but Haglofs boots and
shoes are already out there and the Solid Lite boot is the first
example we've got our paws on. We haven't had a chance to use it yet in
anger, but we thought you'd appreciate a quick look and some pics.
It's a lightweight trekking boot designed for rough terrain full stop.
Oh, and it's available in both conventional leather and nubuck. The
nubuck version - above - looks nicer in our opinion anyway.
There's a fair bit going on with the Solid Lite boot - the
upper may look traditional enough, but the mid-sole unit combines
lightweight running shoe-style EVA with harder wearing PU for a
combination of cushioning and durability - take a look at the heel area
and you can see both materials.
Then there's the upper with a forefoot that's one-piece
leather to minimise the amount of stitching. And where there is
stitching, the crucial stress points are triple-stitched with Kevlar
threads for maximum strength and durability.
Finally the laces use locking hooks making it possible to
differentially lace the forefoot and ankle areas of the boot for
maximum support and comfort - you can, for example, lace the front of
the boot snugly, but leave the top loose for greater ankle comfort
without destroying forefoot precision and stability.
The interesting thing about the Solid Lite boots is that they
combine a traditional leather upper with the sort of lighter, more
cushioned sole unit you'd normally find on lighter boots. The promise
is a soft ride combined with uppers that aren't going to shred the
first time you hammer down a scree slope.
It's an interesting concept and first impressions are that it
could be an ideal compromise for those who want a high-topped, more
protective upper but without a clumpy experience underfoot. Fit feels
great for British feet. There's plenty of forefoot room, but with a
narrower heel than you get with, say, a Scarpa last. And the locking
lacing system makes optimising the fit easier. Soft ankle cuff keeps
things comfy up there, but the boot's not over-padded so feels more
traditional than some of the latest soft foam offerings out there.
The sole unit is, as we said, nicely cushioned with a soft
feel on hard ground and has enough lateral stiffness for good
stability, but enough bend length-ways for comfortable all-day walking.
We're not sure how the close-lugged out-sole will deal with mud, but
we'll let you know. Haglofs says the compound was specially developed
to cope with slippery, wet, mossy, Scandinavian rocks, so should suit
the UK all year round...
We're feeling positive about the Solid Lites - they're not
that light, but not that heavy either and the cushioned ride and tough
uppers are an interesting combination and look like a good choice for
anyone looking for a combination of underfoot comfort and more
traditional durability. And as you'd expect from Haglofs, they have a
real quality feel to them, albeit at a price.
Where things should get really interesting is early 2009 when
all Haglofs footwear will come complete with SOLE
adaptive insoles with no significant price hike.
We have some of those on the way and we'll let you know how they
Lots of underfoot
cushioning, tough-feeling uppers, build quality, UK foot compatible.
Not as light as some and
quite pricey albeit on a par with other top boot brands.
Know more or want to?
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