I have two pairs, a pair for walking ('Park'), and a pair with NNN BC soles for skiing ('Guide BC').
I just want to talk about the Park boots first. These are three years old. The 'shoe' is cellular rubber, lined with soft leather. The shaft is a single layer of leather. They're completely, totally waterproof and extraordinarily comfortable.
The idea with Lundhags is that you always wear a pair of thin wool sock liners under a second thicker pair, and just change the thickness of layers according to the weather. There’s no Gore-Tex membrane. The thinking is that:
- –Membranes in your shoes take enormous punishment, which is why they always fail before the boot does
–If you’re walking in the wet and the outer shoe is saturated, your membrane isn’t going to breathe anyway and
–These boots age beautifully and can be repaired to last for decades (the Lundhags instagram feed is basically boot pornography).
Inside they have a felt insole for the absorption of your foot juice. At the end of the hike you just take it out and air it for stank prevention (mine have never smelled). The sole’s comparatively thin and flexible compared to some of their other models. That’s really perfect if you’re hiking over boulders on the way to the top of a mountain. It means they’re fractionally less insulated than some of the other models; I put a foil-backed insulation layer under the felt and wear super thick Norwegian socks in the winter. They’re not ‘winter boots’, but they’re perfectly comfortable down to about -12°C. I’ve been out in far colder temperatures but then you have to stay active or you get cold toes.
I wouldn’t wear them for summer hikes in semi-desert, because they’d definitely be too hot, but if it’s dry terrain and properly warm, ie not northern Europe, I’ve always hiked in breathable trail running shoes anyway. These Lundhags are perfect for summers where I live, jumping streams, slopping through marsh and scrambling up scree.
This is however context for these: the Guide BC boots. (EDIT, my pictures have vanished – here's one from the site)
https://www.lundhags.com/en/ski-nordic- ... /guide-bc/
They have two layers in the shaft, so they’re a bit stiffer, and a removable felt inner boot. You can wear that indoors when you get to a cabin. I didn't take a picture of that, but this is what it looks like:
https://www.lundhags.se/en/products/kae ... iner?c=833
They’re made so beautifully and were ludicrously comfortable from the first time I wore them. I’ve not worn them in anything colder than about -12° but I’ve never, ever had the smallest hint of cold feet standing around in deep snow.
They feel very secure at the ankle, and your heel stays tight to the sole when you're pushing it a bit or going up hills. And they're also very light, as much as they look quite substantial: the rubber weighs next to nothing. If you ever were to jab them with the sharp end of a pole in a moment of flailing panic I think they're pretty easy to seal with something vulcanizing. You'd have to jab them pretty hard, though.
These were nubuck, but you’re encouraged to bravely destroy that beautiful nap before you get outside by waxing, greasing or otherwise impregnating the first three times you wear them. I did all three, with a serial regime of Hanwags boot wax, Chelsea Leather Food (dubbin) and this stuff called SIFRA, made in a Norwegian living room; it’s largely animal fat and tar and costs as much as caviar. It’s miraculous. I like it because it preserves the stiffness of the leather. https://www.facebook.com/SIFRAimpregnering/
These boots are very good. They cost a lot of money, but they'll last forever.
I'm not sure what else to say, really. I suspect they could be slightly difficult to track down in North America, but I welcome you to our cult.