45NRTH is a winter/snow bike cousin of QBP’s Salsa and Surly brand. Being based in Minnesota, its designers know what it’s like to commute in -20°C temperatures in the winter. As well as coming out with fat bike tyres, it’s just announced a ‘real’ winter boot for this winter.
It’s SPD compatible and build from six layers of synthetic material to shrug off snow and cold.
“More people than ever are riding and commuting on bicycles all winter long, so we’ve been seeing growing demand for SPD-compatible footwear,” said David Gabrys, 45NORTH brand manager. “Our mission was to create the warmest and most comfortable cycling boot on the market.”
The design idea for the Wölvhammer originated outside of cycling. “Our vision was to take what we know works in disciplines such as mountaineering, and combine it with our experience riding in deep winter to create the best winter cycling boot ever made”, said Gabrys. “We have been riding through Minnesota winters for many years, where the average winter temperature is 13° Fahrenheit. We know what works in the cold and what doesn’t.
”One common challenge with SPD-compatible winter cycling boots is the cold spot on top of the metal cleats. 45NORTH solved this problem by constructing the Wölvhammer’s insoles from Aerogel nanotechnology, the same material NASA uses to insulate space suits and temperature-sensitive electronic components. “Best of all, Aerogel doesn’t compress
- , so it holds its insulation value even when you’re stepping on it,” Gabrys said.
Other advanced features of the Wölvhammer include an outer boot constructed from 1000-denier Cordura, a Sympatex waterproof breathable membrane, and an Action Leather mudguard from the toe to the heel. The inner boot is insulated with 200g Thinsulate and lined with a combination of monster fur and synthetic fleece inside a warm and spacious toe box. Finally, the Wölvhammer’s hassle-free cinch-lock closure system, and a durable sealed YKK zipper secure the boot against the elements.
The boot comes in full sizes only, 38–50 (no size 49), and won’t be cheap (US price is more than $300). It should be arriving in the UK around Christmas time. Just in time for those February winter events in Alaska.