Lobbens, NEOs or both?
OK, plenty of threads on this, I know, but here comes another one.
I've been looking at a new footwear solution. Currently riding in bunny boots, which are plenty warm but have some downsides. Heavy, bulky, kind of hard to pedal...
I like the looks of those wool lobbens. We deal with dry, cold conditions here 95% of the time so getting wet isn't really an issue. The thing I worry most about is wind. A place here locally sells them so I am looking at trying them on.
NEOs look pretty good as well. Waterproof and windproof, nice tread for walking. A bit wide (probably not as wide as my bunnies) but reasonably light. But then I have to figure out what to wear inside them.
Of course, lobbens inside the NEOs is the ultimate solution, but might be overkill and is also $400 worth of footwear.
What else do you wear inside of NEOs? What about moosehide mocs?
How about a $25 CDN pair of Sorel Thermoplus 13mm innerboots, they come with a somewhat stiffer insole as well. You can couple this with a VBL to extend your temperature range. It's not the stiffest set up but i think it's pretty good. Certainly the price is right.
some breathable running/walking/water shoes made for summer use work best inside neos till it get's really cold. at that point, i'm thinking felt bottomed wading boots would be the ideal.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinleonard/3230261011/" title="footsystem_1024 by qayaq, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3447/3230261011_99a36e4a23_o.jpg" width="1024" height="452" alt="footsystem_1024" /></a>
A - Liner sock, Generic Polyester Mens Dress Sock
B - VBL Sock, RBH, Single Layer (top) / Insulated (bottom (insideout)),
C - Insulation Sock, RBH VBL Combo (top) / Hollowfill Wool Blend (bottom)
D - Boot, Solomon B52 TS GTX (top) / Insulated Footbeds (bottom)
E - Gaiters, Outdoor Research, Epic Fabric
F - Overboot Insulated, Wiggys
G - Overflow Overboot, Wiggys
I know an iditarod trail intivational racer who swears by them - wore them all the way to McGrath last year, among others. My only words of caution are 1) bring a gaiter or other means to keep snow from coming in over the top and 2) avoid open water/overflow. The lightweight uninsulated Neos sound like a good way to cover a wide temperature swing.
I have been using a pair of wading boots with success. Since they are so breathable, you have to use an overboot like Neos. Mine have no insulation, but a thick sole.
Originally Posted by sean salach
I use the lobbens and the neos... a bit pricey but they keep my feet warm. $400 sounds really steep for both... what are they charging for the lobbens up there? I had to put a fiber board insole and a pair of superfeet in them to stiffen them up.
Campmor was recently running a sale on the superlite and insulated NEOS. I've been using the superlite for 3 winters and they've held up pretty well. Not quite as tough as other NEOS I've used over the years but they are really light. t
Thanks for all the replies everyone. Really good suggestions.
Hillsy -- The sorels innerboots might be a good option, throw those inside of pair of the insulated NEOs maybe.
Martin -- Holy cow, that is quite a foot system! Mine is just one pair of wool socks and my bunny boots, but then again it's back to that issue that we have dry conditions. No river overflow and such for this guy.
Lobbens are $160 / 200 depending on if you get the tall or short... NEOs are going $99 / $149 for the non-insulated and insulated. Both are sold locally, I'd rather try them on in person than mail order them.
Originally Posted by kat71
I might end up getting the NEOs, as they are pretty versatile, and then do a wait-and-see with the Lobbens. They are really nice but also pricey.
I think I have about the same $ invested in my footsystem...I guess you get what you pay for in footgear. You could probably (lol, I know you can) go 2 the second-hand store and pickup a pair of old softsole sorels and then head-over to the food store and clip a dozen fruit/vegetable plastic bags for vbls, slap a good gaiter on them...and get pretty good results too...for way way less!
I really like the idea of layering on the feet, just like we do with our other clothing systems, because it adds to the variability... the real trick is accommodating all conditions...on expeditions and esp. here in the Delta I'm forced to work across the gamut of conditions...thus, the layered, interchangeable, foot system.
I gotta say...
the Wiggys overflow waders, at 8oz, tiny packsize and fitting over all my gear...I don't leave home without them...life saver here! If we were to have a race here on the Kusko I would make them mandatory gear.
the Wiggys Lamilite insulated boots are way way warm....preliminary look is good but the verdict is still out on how far you can walk in them though...will know more after spring expeditioning.
RBH vbls are way superior to anything else I've used...insulated version is rightup there with any other sock combination I've used.
the Solomons are IT for me...super light for a winter boot, plenty warm just the right amt. thinsulate (I think 400gm), just the right flex in the sole which doesn't freeze and most important, the fit for for my wide foot is perfect...I'm using them @ 2 sizes-oversized. A real winter hiking boot...the only mods I made were that I nailed some sheet metal screws to the sole for traction and put some longer laces on them.
having said that
I LOVE MY LOBBENS
I think the Lobbens are a great allaround choice for your climes...I've been using Lobbens in one form or another for >25yrs....used them daily for work and play in Fbks. for many years so I know they excel in cold dry climes for sure! Problems I've noticed over the years are 1 - they DO get wet and 2 - the soles are no where near stiff enough for long distance cycling (or even walking for that matter)...no problem for bopping around town or the two day outing...but longterm expedition style I would think you'd need to address those issues.
The NEOS don't breathe...I've worn the high cut uninsulated version and for me that means I have pools of water in the bottom of the boot at a long days end. Waiting for EPIC Eric to finish a rebuild on the NEOS I sent him. Will be interesting...addressing the breathability on the uppers and improving the buckling system.
My Six Cents!
BTW....IMAO, the bunny boots are by far the best traditional cold weather boot for overflow conditions...when you go in up to your ass, just empty the water out, wring ur socks out...off you go...still warm...lol
Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo
Yeah, that is for sure. Riding Sunday, I got a bunch of snow jammed in my boots at the start of the ride. Couldn't be bothered to dump it out, just let it melt and finished the ride with sopping wet feet. Two hours at -20 C and my feet were still plenty warm!
Originally Posted by qayaq_alaska
The vapour barrier socks are something I have not tried at all. At more moderate temps, I'll shove plastic bags into my cycling shoes or runners.
I'm gonna have to think about this some more... I really think the Lobbens might be the ideal boot up here. It is so cold and so dry. What about lobbens with a pair of SPD sandals overtop? That would be pretty cool...
Man... Got me thinking. LBS has a pair of SPD sandals on closeout, they are in the largest size.
The lobben sellers haven't gotten back to me, so it won't be happening anytime soon.
I'm really intrigued by your footwear system, because that is much more similar to something I'd like to go with than NEOS. I really dislike walking in NEOS, at least the ones I've tried. Even when they fit tight, there's something floppy and almost slippery about them. Also, they tend to rip after enough chain rub or other abusive uses.
So my question is regarding those Wiggys overboots (both insulated and overflow. I did a google search but didn't find too many places to purchase them. (Cambria, out of stock, etc.) Do you know where can they be purchased online? Also, are the overflow overboots pretty durable? I know you don't wear them around everywhere, but if you had to march across a long stretch of overflow, would you trust them?
Also, do you use ice cleats over your boots? I'm trying to find a reliable pair of ice cleats that aren't super heavy.
Wiggys et al...
Call Jerry Wigetow and order direct from Mr. Wiggy himself (tell him Marty Leonard directed you)...be careful calling him on your dime - Jerry CAN talk. I understand there is a Wiggys outlet in Anchorage but haven't been there.
I think you understand the use strategy on the overflow boots...they are for 'occasional wading' purposes ONLY...having said that: the Wiggys overflow boots are as durable as any...there is always a trade off with durability with ultralight gear...just have to make it work...I personally aquaseal wearpoints and grip areas (throw some dry coarse grain sand in there) a/or beef them up with needle, thread and xtra material. Having made my own for years...the Wiggys are nice off the shelf and workable. I'm still playing with them. Maybe Eric is lurking and has some ideas on the drawing board.
lol...of course I trust the overboots...wouldn't carry them if I didn't.
There are lots of light in weight, alpine grade 'half' crampons out there...I personally use Stubai products: Stubai DDR Suggestion, if you are using an alpine grade crampon like the Stubai, be sure to get a quality protective carry sac for them..they're sharp and v.pointy for sure...and practice with them 'to efficiency' before you need them!
btw...a linkto fatbikealaska on your blog would be nice *wink wink, nudge nudge*
Originally Posted by Jilleo
I like snowshoeing boots for winter riding. They generally are narrow enough for pedalling, not too heavy, stiff soles...
Here's a bunch, but many more are on the market: http://casanovasadventures.com/catal...hoes/p7160.htm
Thanks for the info! I already have a pair of mountaineering boots and a RBH sock system that I feel comfortable with down to pretty cold temperatures, and waterproof up to lower calves, but I had nothing to deal with overflow. I'd never heard of Wiggy's before but they seem like a great compromise of lightweight and durable.
Do I really have no link to fatbikealaska on my blog? That will have to change. I've been meaning to update the sidebar for a while now.
Thanks again for your help.
The overflow-boots are a sideline product...I believe at the request of an Alaskan.
Wiggys is mostly known for their synthetic sleeping bags and jackets utilizing 'lamilite' insulation. He sells a lot of product inAK. I use one of his lightweight bags as a 'collector' layer in my down sleeping system. Outfit clients with bags and clothing as the lamilite is the most durable 'over the counter' synthetic I've found.
Good luck. Can't go wrong with the Wiggys stuff!
Originally Posted by Jilleo
I love my Lobbens. For the weight and snow traction they are awesome, the best winter boot I have ever worn. But have not had good luck with them for riding. In subzero weather I can be wearing a liner sock and two thick wool socks, one layer more than I would need if I was just walking around, and my feet still get cold. Could be I am simply missing some critical layer like a vb sock or something. Haven't investigated yet. Would certainly appear that you have to wear something different than or in addition to a few layers of regular socks.
get some type of over boot to block the wind... then you should be nice and toasty.
Lobbens in Anchortown
Check out Pia's down on 4th avenue, she has tons of Lobbens. I use the tall ones on my bikes and love 'em.