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William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots

William Lennon B5 Ankle Boots

Price 241.99 USD excluding VAT

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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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.

Oh no, these sold out in record time! No worries though, they will be restocked in mid-December.

  • Double thickness leather sole, stitched and brass screwed (Blake construction)
  • Rubber heel piece and half-sole
  • Upper made of 1.8-2.0 mm thick, unlined, oily Wheatbuck suede leather, fabric reinforcement liner on the vamp
  • Leather footbed
  • Handmade in England with original machines, work methods, and lasts!

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 The B5 ankle boot was adopted for service in 1916, replacing the older B2 model, until superseded by the WWII Ammo Boot.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 fast and are very hazardous on even 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.

The B5 boot is quite unlike anything else you see on the street and very distinct from the ubiquitous Red Wings. Speaking of which, quality-wise these compare very well or even favorably, but with a lower price tag.

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!

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 look diagonal across the drawing). Do this later in the day when your feet have swollen up. Now you know your foot length, well done! Take this from both feet, as the other is usually a bit longer than the other. The human stuff is weird, huh?


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. The gap between the upper and the sole must be paid special attention.

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.

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 the local industry you want to support.

This configuration of the boot is only available from Varusteleka.


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 perfect to my feet even when new, with very short break-in time.

-Henri Lindberg


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does not recommend
2.75 / 5
4 ratings
Suomi (3)
English (1)
I would not recommend to a friend

11.09.2020 (Edited 15.09.2020)
Maailman huonoimmat kengät.
2 27 Report abuse
I would recommend for a friend

Muutaman päivän käytön perusteella sanoisin, että tuotekuvaus on tarkka.
Tekstissäkin mainittuihin Red Wingeihin verrattuna nahka on huomattavasti ohuempaa ja pehmeämpää. Lesti on myös silminnähden leveämpi. Ilman pohjallista kokotaulukon mukaan valittu 44 tuntui hieman turhan väljältä, mutta ei käyttökelvottomalta. Normaalisti käytän 43 kokoista kenkää, mutta en kiipeilykenkien runnomine varpaineni uskaltanyt enää 42½ tilata. Jalaksen super-pohjallisten ja hitusen paksumman sukan kanssa ovat tämän tyyppisiksi kengiksi sangen mukavat. Parin työpäivän jälkeen ei rakon rakkoa, taikka muuta kivistystä (vrt. minun Red Wingien sisäänajo kesti vuoden). Nauhat on huonot jopa nahkanauhoiksi. Niitä ei kannata edes sovittaa paikalleen, vaan nakata suoraan askartelumateriaaleiksi.
Sanottakoon, että mielestäni on kulttuuriteko, että näitä viimein saa Suomesta. Olen varmaan 10 vuotta haaveillut Lennonin saappaista, mutta en ole uskaltanut tilata, kun mahdollinen väärän koon vaihto-opertaatio on pelottanut.
3 0 Report abuse
I would recommend for a friend

First impression is very good apart from the laces, I foresee a new pair (of laces) being needed in a not too distant future, we'll see how long they last.

The part about the sizes being slightly on the smaller side was an understatement to say the least, ordered a size 10 (US 11, EU 44) which is usually on the larger side for me but MAN these were tight, hade to force my foot through the instep even with only a single pair of thin socks. That being said I do have pretty wide feet with high bridges (insteps? arches?) and there is nothing wrong with the length of the shoe or width of the sole, just not enough leather up top out of the box for my feet. They will probably fit very well though after some gruesome breaking in so not to worry provided the quality and longevity of the boots lives up to whats stated in the description. If you have more normal or flat-ish feet than me then you might have a more comfortable first few walks than I did choosing your regular size. Though, as stated in the description, they are clearly more snug than military sizes.
4 0 Report abuse
I would not recommend to a friend

Vähän ristiriitaiset tuntet näistä kengistä. Toisaalta pohjat ovat hyvät ja tukevat ja sisäänkävely oli varsin tuskatonta. Mukavat käyttää. Pitävät vettä yllättävän hyvin ja kuivuvat nopeasti.
Sitten taas se laatu... Toinen orggisnuhoista meni poikki hyvinkin vikkelästi. No joo, eihän tuo iso homma ole.
Puolipohjien liimaus on ala-arvoinen, toisen kengän puolipohjan liimaus aukeni edestä varsin nopeasti niin että puolipohja repesi etuosastaan, toinenkin puolipohja ärvöttää edestä. Korkolappujenkin liimaus vaikuttaa hieman epäilyttävältä.
Eilen huomasin, että muutama toisen kengän niitatuista nauhojen rankaista on venyttänyt nahkaa siten, että päivä paistaa renkaan ja nahan reunan välistä. Renkaat tuskin kauaa enää paikallaan kestävät.
En tiedä, onko tässä nyt susikappale vai käyttäjävirhe mutta ei tämän parin perusteella kyllä oikein osaa suositella.
Tähdet ovat mukavuudesta mutta laadun vuoksi ei voi enempää tähtiä antaa.
2 0 Report abuse


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