William Lennon Shepherds Boots
Use: Fell walking, back packing, long distance trail walking
Break-in Period: three or four outings
Price Paid: £140
Most of you will never have heard of these! I have three pairs of Scarpa boots, Vegas(Invernos to you), Mantas, and Deltas, great for almost all levels of mountaineering from summer walking to ice climbing. Of course you have to choose the boot appropriate to the conditions you find yourself in! However, look up "William Lennon" on Google. They are a firm in Derbyshire England who have been making boots on the original machines from 1899 and pretty well to the same pattern and design as they did at the end of the noneteenth century. I have a pair of "fully sprung" Shepherd's boots in Kip Butt leather. All black and built to last a lifetime! They have heavyweight traditionlal vibram soles, glued and screwed on and have ten sets of traditional lace holes and leather laces. The boot leather is extremely thick and durable, but they soon break in and are very comfortable. The unique feature is the "fully sprung" soles. The sole has a VERY steep curve in it and when the boot is flat on the ground the toe of the boot is two and a quarter inches off the ground! This means that when you walk the boot literally rolls on each step and they are great when going up hill. They feel a bit odd initially, but I could walk in them forever. They are built rather than made and here lies the downside. They are mighty heavy. More than an an ounce heavier per boot than my Mantas, but without the winter/ crampon/ hard scrambling ability of the Mantas. However the leather is very water resistant and the extreme curve of the sole means that the uppers never flex and still look like new after many full days in the hills. I first saw a pair of boots like these in a shop window 39 years ago. It was a small "country pursuits" shop in Coniston in the English Lake district. The pair I lusted after however had hobnails and these can still be purchased from William Lennon. However, vibram is far more practical and I own a pair of boots that Edward Whimper would have recognised, apart form the rubber soles of course. These boots are ultra durable, very comfortable, very heavy and elicit comments from other folk in the nmountain who wonder just what yu have got on your feet!!!
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