45NRTH Wölvhammer Red Wing Edition Boots
The Wölvhammer Red Wing Edition Boot is well known in the cold weather cycling world as THE boot. I wanted to see if they live up to the hype, so I decided to give them a try.
Upon slipping them on, I loved how instantly warm my feet were. The lining inside these things is AMAZING. The insides of the Wölvhammer feel like a ridiculously fuzzy & soft Winter sock, except with actual thickness and warmth capabilities. The liner is made from Primaloft® which boasts one of “the highest warmth-to-weight ratio of any synthetic insulation currently on the market.” This material is made from 100% polyester microfiber and will keep your feet nice and warm in temperatures above 0 degrees F.
I was initially a little turned off by how heavy and stiff the boot felt - almost like my foot had been instantly turned into a club. After a couple of rides, I found that the boots wear in and gain some ankle mobility. But, overall, the stiffness does not effect my pedal stroke.
The ultimate test for me was wearing these boots on technically demanding trail. Even amidst tight trees and through the weight shifting maneuvers required, I was not once bothered by the stiffness of the Wölvhammers.
I opted for the Red Wing edition because I enjoy the rustic leather look. Most of my cycling gear is black with reflective strips (particularly nice to have for your riding buddies during night rides), but, as a nice change, these boots stand out. I enjoy the timeless look, I imagine they will wear in well with time and weather, and I like the fact that they look just like a Winter boot, not necessarily a riding shoe.
Another of my favorite features so far is the rubber sole of the shoe, which has huge lugs called HyperGrip, making it super slip resistant and stable on ice.
I was initially a little bummed that the Red Wing edition didn’t come with Boa lace up technology, but after lacing up a few times, it’s not as inconvenient as I imagined. The strings have a quick draw closure and a Velcro strap to help tighten up the boot around the calves. My first few rides with these boots, I had sore shins afterwards, because of the stiffness of the boot. But after a few rides the boot wears in and your shins get stronger… no more sore shins.
Overall, I am incredibly happy with this boot. I’ve transcended the intended use for this boot (25 degrees - 0 degrees) and often wear them on warmer days or on technical trail. These are a great all-around boot & an excellent way to splurge on some high quality Winter riding gear that will last you for through many riding seasons. They come with a hefty price tag, but the ride quality and reliable warmth that you will experience with these boots make the price point well worth it.