After 27 years in the boot-making business, specialist British boot-maker Altberg is launching its first shoe designs with a collection of four models, which they've developed stealthily over the past two years.
Out right now are two shoes under the Jorvik name, and two under Pathfinder. Designed to perform equally well on the hill or the street, the Jorvik shoes have deceptively stylish,urban-friendly looks, but delve under the surface and you'll realise they contain all the carefully-developed technical features that have made Altberg one of the most respected names in outdoors footwear.
The Jorvik Trail (£170) above, is a lightweight, supportive and breathable hiking shoe using a seamless one-piece construction made from first-grade 1.6-1.8mm Italian Nappone full grain leather, with a Sympatex waterproof/breathable lining, Vibram Masai sole and Tri-flex midsole combining to offer strong support and traction.
The Jorvik Veldt (£160) is more of a ‘country walking’ shoe using a similar specification - Nappone leather, Sympatex liner, Tri-Flex midsole, Vibram sole – but with a lower-cut upper and made using an attractive ‘Veldt stitched’ welted sole construction.
Feeling More Technical?
The Pathfinder shoes are more technical in appearance, designed for walking on tracks and well-trodden upland trails. The Pathfinder Trek (£140) - below - uses a Nubuk leather upper, classically lasted with a trekking midsole so it has good torsional support for uneven terrain.
There is a moisture- and grit-resistant bellows tongue, soft leather inside around the ankle for comfort, and a waterproof/breathable liner. The sole is a hybrid Vibram design that combines lifestyle and trekking. Lacing is down to the toe to fit a wider range of foot widths and volumes.
The Pathfinder Trail (£130) - below and main image - features a microfibre upper, an extremely breathable material which helps make this shoe the lightest piece of footwear Altberg has produced. The shoe uses typically Altberg construction, with classical lasting and a trekking midsole for torsional foot support, plus a waterproof/breathable membrane. The sole uses the same hybrid Vibram design as the Trek.
All four shoes use Altberg’s S-Fit last, similar to the ergonomic A-Form last used in the Yan Tan and Nordkapp boots, but made specifically for shoes.
Joe Sheehan, Altberg Bookmaker and Managing Director, says; “Two years ago we started to combine our classic bootmaking skills and know-how into producing shoes. This was a new direction for us, and rather than rush into it we just sold a small number of pairs in our factory shop, working on the designs and specifications until we were happy with the results. We started out with several models, all different, and in the end we chose the ones that we – and our customers - thought were best."
See www.altberg.co.uk - note the shoes aren't yet on the site, but are available right now.