Footwear choice for the hills has changed dramatically over the past few years with more and more people switching to lightweight trainers for all but the most serious conditions. In little over a year I've gone from a pair of Meindl Borneo leather boots to Karrimor Pro Run trainers or AKU Croda boots. The Meindl's weigh in at 1844g pair/size 43, the AKU Croda's at 1411g and the Pro Run's a mere 597g. My heaviest boots are Berghaus Kibo fully stiffened boots which are lighter than they look at 1929g thanks to the use of man made fabric. I've relegated the Meindl's to everyday/work wear so I'm pretty used to the weight but I recently obtained a pair of new old stock traditional leather boots that re-define weight and stiffness.
'Made in Italy' With Few Concessions to Comfort
They're made by Dolomite from one piece leather with a triple leather midsole, Norwegian Welt, Vibram Montagna sole, very little in the way of a soft ankle cuff and are leather lined, they don't even have a cushion/removeable insole.
1 Piece Leather Upper
I'm not exactly sure what era the boots belong to but I'm guessing that they're around late 70's to mid 80's. Looking through late 80's Field & Trek catalogues this style of boot was rare, the only ones being Loveson and Zamberlan.
Although boots of this type are unusual in the UK they are still made by the likes of Alico, Gronell, Meindl and even Altberg so if you feel like going retro you can.
When the boots arrived they were unbelievably stiff and pretty uncomfortable to even wear due to the stiffness of the leather, it was virtually impossible to walk in them and I wasn't sure that they'd ever be comfortable.
I started to apply the new Nikwax cream to the boots as the leather was pretty dry and really worked the leather with my thumbs along the sides from instep to toecap. It took a fair few applications of wax and plently of thumb work before I actually tried walking in them. After 3 miles on tarmac I was glad to get them off but having continued to wax and work the leather they're now wearable for a few hours at a time. I suspect that they've got at least a 3/4 steel shank and as yet there's very little rocker compared to even the Berghaus Kibo but I expect that with continued wear that the rocker will become more pronounced which should make walking somewhat more natural.
Triple Stitched Norwegian Welt Construction
To be honest I got them more out of curiosity than anything else as I've never owned a pair of boots of this type, the closest being my Gro-nell Nordic ski boots and if I wear them it'll only be as an experiment. I mentioned that I wear Meindl Borneos as everyday footwear and as such I'm used to the weight but these are something else, at 2874g pair/43 they're almost 1kg heavier than the Berghaus Kibos/Meindl Borneos and one Dolomite boot weighs as much as a pair of Aku Crodas, in fact even my Burton Moto snowboard boots are lighter.
The Old, The New
I have to admit I do like the look of them, I just need a nice pair of breeches,a ventile jacket and with my old Bergans A Frame rucksack I'll be good to go singing the Happy Wanderer ;-)