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William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching. Double thickness leather sole, brass screwed (Blake construction).
Rubber heel piece and half-sole, made by SVIG.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
Show all: William Lennon

William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching

Price 272.99 - 293.99 USD excluding sales tax
Shipping starting at 9.99 USD Free 100 day returns Free shipping for orders over 200 USD

The service boot of the British soldier in the First World War was a full leather ankle boot. These are a "reproduction" made in England; the same company manufactured them during the war! We got our production run with rubber half-soles and heel plates as the original pig-iron hobnails are a bit incompatible with today's world.

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William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching. Double thickness leather sole, brass screwed (Blake construction).
Rubber heel piece and half-sole, made by SVIG.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.
William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots, without Sole Stitching.

The service boot of the British soldier in the First World War was a full leather ankle boot. These are a "reproduction" made in England; the same company manufactured them during the war! We got our production run with rubber half-soles and heel plates as the original pig-iron hobnails are a bit incompatible with today's world.

No sole stitching! Misfortune fell upon the manufacturer, and their sole stitching machine broke. So, we had to decide whether we would like to have a batch or two without sole stitching or have no boots at all. The stitching on these is mostly a cosmetic thing, as the soles and the uppers are held together with very strong brass screws. Moreover, these represent the updated "Varusteleka" model with their SVIG made heel pieces and half-soles.

  • Double thickness leather sole, brass screwed (Blake construction)
  • Rubber heel piece and half-sole, made by SVIG
  • Upper made of thick, unlined leather
  • Leather footbed
  • Handmade in England with original machines, work methods, and lasts!
  • Made with work boot specs (more on this later)

From the trenches to the modern era

In the past, the soldier's choice of footwear was either jackboots or lace-up shoes and puttees, as was the case with the British Army. The B5 ankle boot was adopted for service in 1916, replacing the older B2 model, until superseded by the WWII Ammo Boot. In general, the B5 is a proper tough ol' military boot just as they used to be back in the day. These are excellent everyday boots, and you can pretty much go anywhere with these, although for muddy trenches there might be better choices today - provided you first find the trench.

The manufacturer's stock configuration for these is the original one, meaning there are metal hobnails on the front and "horseshoe" heel irons. Although for re-enactors this is good stuff, for everyone else it's not such a good deal, as the irons wear out fast and are very hazardous on smooth surfaces. We ordered our production run with nonchalant rubber half-soles and heel pieces, which you can replace at your local cobbler when needed. We kept the original style leather laces though.

Colors

o

Brown (Wheatbuck Suede)

  • Upper made of 1.8-2.0 mm thick, unlined, oily Wheatbuck suede leather, smooth on the inside
  • Leather reinforcement liner on the vamp

Black (Kip Leather)

  • Upper made of almost 3.0 mm thick, unlined, smoothed out Kip leather, smooth on the inside. Can be polished to a shine if required
  • No extra lining on the vamp, the leather is thick enough on its own

Last and fit

These are made with an old "2181 square toe last" which is very similar to the one used in Finnish army footwear up to the early 2000s. But unlike the Finnish boots that need double socks to fit right, these hug the feet quite snugly if needed. You might be well off with just one pair of socks.

The nose doesn't have any stiffeners whatsoever, so it just forms over the toes and after a while fits like a sock. The full leather construction supports this feature overall, for example, your feet will slowly leave their form on the leather footbed. Of course, if you feel like it, we suggest separate insoles - insoles are NOT included!

If you know you have a high arch, these might be quite tight! However, after the leather footbed shapes to your feet and the upper gives in a little, these fit great.

Size info

Sizes in the British system, with comparable EU size in the brackets. On the chart below, you can also see the US size, insole length in millimeters, and the user's recommended foot length in millimeters. The manufacturer recommends roughly 15 mm (0.6") of allowance for the toes. The toes are not supposed to bottom out in the toe box, so compare your foot length to the recommended foot length!

UK size US size EU size Footbed length Foot length
UK 6 US 7 EU 39 260 mm 246 mm
UK 7 US 8 EU 40 268 mm 254 mm
UK 8 US 9 EU 41.5 278 mm 262 mm
UK 9 US 10 EU 42.5 285 mm 271 mm
UK 10 US 11 EU 44 293 mm 279 mm
UK 11 US 12 EU 45 303 mm 288 mm
UK 12 US 13 EU 46.5 312 mm 296 mm

If you fall between two sizes, the smaller one might do quite well as the fit is so forgiving.

How to measure your feet

Place your bare foot on a piece of paper, draw the outlines with a pen held up straight and then take the longest measurement from the heel to the toe (the line will probably be diagonal across the drawing). Do this later in the day when your feet have swollen up. Now you know your foot length, well done! Do this with both feet, as the other is usually a bit longer than the other. The human stuff is weird, huh?

Care

As the shoe has a full leather construction, it will serve a long time provided it's regularly cared for. The manufacturer recommends first wearing the boots in dry conditions and as they slowly start to form, you can start applying grease on them from time to time. With use and with proper treatment, the leather will soften, darken, and smoothen, but you can "rough it up" with a brass nubuck brush if you so wish. We do not recommend shoe polish for this boot, use colorless grease instead. Pay special attention to the gap between the upper and the sole.

Like with any leather footwear, if the boots get wet, never dry them near a heat source - otherwise, the leather might get brittle and crack! Dry them at room temperature with good ventilation. When the boots are dry, remember to give them some greasy loving and they're like nothing happened.

About the half-soles

Because we want to sell these also for Finnish weather conditions (wet & cold), we had these made with special order SVIG half-soles and heel pieces. These have a modest tread pattern, some thickness to them and they will also work relatively well during the winter season. When they wear out, take the boots to a cobbler, who can slap on new ones with the properties of your choosing (thickness vs grip vs hardness). It shouldn't be expensive.

We can't provide a universal solution that pleases everyone, someone wants a rough tread pattern, someone likes it low-profile, someone just wants good grip in winter and someone would rather just have a long-lasting rubber sole. These are essentially a mixture of all of the above.

Made by William Lennon & Co.

Made by the British company William Lennon & Co. (est. 1899) in Stoney Middleton, UK. The boots are manufactured right there with high-quality materials, traditional methods, and original lasts, just as they were made over a hundred years ago. This is one of those local industries you want to support.

This configuration of the boot is only available from Varusteleka.

Made with work boot specs

As with the wartime boots, these are not finished to perfection; they're made for use, not for show. Thus you can expect small cosmetic things like small imperfections on the outside surface of the leather, different inside shades of the leather, quite utilitarian stitching, loose thread end here or there, and such. The friends of classic English-made products know what we're talking about!

However, the boots are always 100% purpose-built and structurally solid. With use and time, the small cosmetic flaws will blend in and disappear under the patina, so the issue isn't big. Please accept this when ordering. If the boots have actual flaws hindering use or they develop such problems despite proper use and care, or you're just not satisfied, don't hesitate to contact us, preferably with pictures.

Warranty

The boots have a regular 12-month warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. Moreover, the boots can be sent for resoling at the William Lennon factory ([email protected]) but Varusteleka will not handle the resoling business in any way.

Employee's comments

I bought these directly from William Lennon & Co. many years ago and I'm so happy they have finally reached Varusteleka, too. These have probably been the best boots I've ever owned. I've used these in the city, country, and offroad conditions with no problems.

When well cared for these will stay very pretty and just get better looking with age. I walked the original iron hobnails flat and after this, a local cobbler installed a rubber heel piece and front half-sole. When these eventually wear out, new ones can be added again.

When new the boots are a bit stiff, but with good use, both the sole and the upper will start to flex more. Amazingly these fit almost perfectly to my feet even when new, with a very short break-in time.

-Henri Lindberg

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