The Wölvhammer Boot from 45North is like a winter mountaineering boot transformed into cycling footwear, rather than a traditional cycling shoe beefed up for cold-weather use.
The SPD-compatible cleat nests in the middle of a stiff and aggressive Vibram sole, which is topped by a waterproof rubber rand that encircles the lower boot.
A heavy-duty outer shell of 1000-denier nylon rises above the ankle and encloses a thick layer of Thinsulate insulation. The outer shell fully seals with Velcro and an external ankle closure loop, and features a layer of waterproof-breathable Sympatex to keep moisture out. A hook on top of the toe box makes it easy to add gaiters for even more protection from the elements.
The insole uses aerogel — an ultra-warm insulation used by NASA in space suits — to protect your feet from the cold metal cleat.
It all adds up to what is almost certainly the warmest winter cycling shoe on the market, as this recent Gear Junkie review confirms.
The Wölvhammer Boot isn’t cheap ($325) or lightweight (roughly 3 pounds per pair), but if you’re serious about cycling through the coldest season, they might be the best investment you ever make.
As a bonus, you’re helping support a small, fledgling company that is producing some really great new products for winter cycling, including a line of studded tires and extra-wide pedals designed for use with winter boots.
The company’s goal is simple. As the web site says: “Day after day we pull on our insulated gloves, lace up our winter cycling boots and ride dozens of miles to work for one simple purpose: to help more people ride more miles in more cold.”
Learn more about winter cycling:
Ride On! How to Bike Through Winter (2009)
Winter Cycling: How to Keep Your Head and Ears Warm (2012)
Studded Bike Tires for Winter, Part 1 (2011)
Studded Bike Tires for Winter, Part II (2011)
Winter Cycling: My Clothing System (2010)
Winter Biking: Keeping Your Hands Warm–Are Bike Pogies the Answer? (2009)
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.