Lundhags Forest II
Reviewers Paid: $337.00
|Country of Origin||
Certech 2.5 Cellular rubber base, Heinen Terracare full grain leather, HFC heel grip
A quality pair of boots that will keep your feet warm and dry in the harshest of conditions. Made in Sweden, Forest II is a minimalist, classic 1-layer full grain leather boot.
- Single layer
- High cut
- High maintenance
- Lacing takes more time
Very occasionally I come across an item of exceptional quality. They tend to be expensive but as Sir Henry Royce said “the quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten'. Lundhags Forest II are probably one of the best purchases I have ever made. Made in Sweden, they are a minimalist, classic 1-layer full grain leather boot using Heinen Terracare full grain leather. They come in black or pecan; I opted for pecan. Once again, my eye was drawn by Scandanavian design and production and they did not disappoint.
Do not be tempted to buy these secondhand. If you do you will probably not receive the especially important card found in the box explaining how to take care of the boots and there is no guarantee the previous owner followed them either. Like any quality item, the boots require some attention, especially after the first few wears. If you follow the instructions, you will end up with a pair of boots that are guaranteed to keep your feet warm, dry in the wettest of conditions and free of blisters. They need cleaning and generous amounts of leather treatment applied in order to ensure the leather and seams are fully waterproof. This needs to be repeated after use in wet conditions, especially if the conditions are prolonged.
At first, I was quite surprised when I opened the box and I confess even a little disappointed. They felt huge and they are exactly what Lundhags say—a shell and nothing more. You need to take great care when sizing the boots as the idea is that padding and insulation are created by the selection of socks worn. I wear mine with a thinner cotton base layer (Bridgedale Light hiker—see my review on these) and a thicker outer layer (Bridgedale Endurance). This combination makes the boots very comfortable and warm. With this in mind, they are very much my winter boots as two layers plus the thick full grain leather would make them too warm for hot summer conditions.
The boots feature a Rubbermac ‘defender’ outsole and integrated toe protection, though this is not steel so it cannot be classed as a safety work boot in my opinion. The outsole has proven to be reliable and provides good grip on a variety of terrain, in my case forest tracks, boggy fields, and very muddy forest floor.
With a leg height of 27 inches they are great for keeping water out. I wore them on my Lowland Leaders Award assessment and during the night navigation we unexpectedly encountered a road that had turned into a river. I was the only one who arrived back at the car park with dry feet—including the instructor. This was quite some achievement as it has rained incessantly all day. The extra height was the difference between a comfortable night walk and a truly miserable experience.
When walking, these boots are extremely comfortable but, thanks to the sock layers, they do not provide the greatest feel with what’s underfoot. Therefore, I would not be so sure of wearing them on particularly rocky terrain where being able to feel what is under your feet is more important. Also, being the height they are, lacing them takes a little more time and effort, but it’s worth it. The last drawback is they they are not crampon-compatible, which is a shame as they are essentially built for winter.
In summary, these are a memorable pair of boots that do everything I wanted the Danner Mountain Light Mojave Brawlers to do (see my review on these). Whilst these are OK and of a similar price point, I would go for the Lundhags Forest II every time. Like most things Scandanavian, they are of the highest quality and perform to the spec required. Look after them and they will last a great deal longer than a regular pair of boots. Get them resoled and potentially you’ve got a pair of boots for life. Sometimes, more money upfront pays off in the long run.
Wear for work at Forest School, walking the South Downs, and Leading groups. Worn mainly in winter in harsh conditions.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $337