Why We Chose It: Innovative midsoles, lightweight, eco-friendly
Price: £220 (AT1)
Weight: 363g (per shoe)
There’s a hell of a lot to like here so kudos to Haglöfs. Not only have they come up with something pretty innovative and unique, but there are a whole host of eco efforts on show. To give you the kind-of topline here, the Haglöfs Duality AT1 is a hiking boot that comes with two sets of midsoles, each one designed to help the shoe handle different terrain.
What’s The Duality AT1 Best Suited To?
The red midsole brings a nice bit of cushioning underfoot to make this suited to country walks, gentler hill walks and also just road or pavement use, but – and there’s a big but here – the grey midsole that it comes with can be swapped in, switching this to a shoe for the mountains. This grey one really stiffens the sole unit up, shielding your feet from the kind of sharp rocks and roots you’d expect on a mountain path – the kind of terrain people would tend to consider something like an approach shoe for.
“The outsole wouldn’t look out of place on a trail shoe.”
I’ve found myself switching in the soles ahead of going out in these, choosing the one to suit the terrain I can expect. That said, if I was going out for a day hike over massively varied terrain with road, forest and then mountain tracks, I can see the benefit of carrying the second set (226g) in my backpack to switch in when required.
The Eco Credentials
As is the case with the Haglöfs Skuta Eco that we reviewed (and loved) last year, the Duality comes with a water repellent treatment that’s free from those nasty PFCs you often see used in footwear. The super comfy knitted upper is also made from 100% recycled polyester, so too are the laces and the webbing on the heel, and the sole unit is easy to remove and replace should any issues occur.
What’s particularly impressive though, is that Haglöfs have used Bloom Foam to make the midsoles. Bloom, in case you’re not familiar with it, is otherwise known as algae. More specifically it’s algae that blooms in waterways due to excessive nitrogen run off from agriculture and water treatment. By removing it, these waterways are essentially turned back into much healthier ecosystems for the wider marine life to thrive. Using this instead of your more typical plastic-based foam made from non-renewables also has its obvious benefits in terms of environmental impact as well.
The mesh upper makes this an extremely comfortable shoe to wear, one with a sock-like fit. Fortunately it also has a decent amount of durability to it as well thanks to the premium leather Haglöfs have used (this, by the way, comes from a tannery that meets a set of stringent ethical and environmental standards). It’s very lightweight at just 363g (per shoe) so you certainly feel very agile in these.