I had a similar search recently. Although I wanted 0 drop and a more barefoot feel. I am on my second pair of Vivo trackers in 3 months.. Still working on a review.
What i found is if you want something thin sole, leather but not military its not going to be "off the shelf" so = £££
So far I love my barefoots to bits and really enjoy wearing them but the Quality so far is under review.
Thanks for all the answers !
Unfortunately bison bushcraft' shoes are what I call "too expensive for my wallet" at the moment, as well as other handmade models.
Rogue boots have heels, a leather liner, and are too low considering what would be perfect for me.
Vivo trackers are interesting but I've read bad things about durability, not leather, waterproof, and too flexible to work with.
I have checked the nike boots thanks to you Crosslandkelly, not exactly fitting the bill for but it might be an interesting option considering the height, flexibility and hopefully toughness, I'll try to find out more about these.
Apparently, that's often the problem when you're looking for something very specific, even more when it's with a limited budget.
But if I was easily helpable with this, I'd probably have found it out by myself already
Having wore them for over 6 months, almost daily now I can say they are very waterproof if kept nourished as all leather should be. You want thin soles then you are not going to want to jump on a spade in them, just common sense. Same goes for durability.
My issue with them so far is having to touch up where the sole meets the upper which is more for aesthetics but still not happy about that. The other issue is using them in the cold (around freezing) which again due to the thickness of the sole is common sense.
Certainly the most comfortable boot I have ever worn and the feed back when scrambling through the woods is ace and an experience in its self. Also remember there is the issue of adjusting to barefoot/thin soles if you are not used to them.
I think you are out of options without moving on price or the reality that a thin and flexible boot isn't going to ware anywhere near as well as a tough and rigid boot.
Just as a side note, I did a lot or research on this, admittedly focused more on a barefoot experience and found nothing other than has already been suggested. Lems being the other option still under £200.
I know, i had both barefoot and stiff shoes, so i know what are the advantages and inconvenients, but there’s quite a world between them in term of flexibility, like walking shoes, trail shoes etc….
When i stated lightweight flexible boots people where proposing mostly army heavy stiff stuff so i added « almost barefoot » in order to recenter the collective conception about what was close to my flexibility level, but i should have had changed to « close to « trail shoes » which i’m gonna do right now.
I was thinking more about minimalistic than barefoot and put the wrong term, my fault.
What I'm looking for is something between the stiff army boot and the barefoot shoe, which would give something close to what a trail shoe would feel like, but all leather, no lining, no waterproof membrane, 18cm shaft, no heel, so these precise conditions are really downsizing the possibilities, and I know that.
I stated the Byteks Cobra which are the only exemple fitting the criterions above, in the hope that maybe someone would have ideas close to this but maybe there isn’t anything else like it, although that would surprise me.
Thanks Tamoko, some models are getting real close to what I'm looking for, gonna check that closely.
I thought about making my own indeed, but I'm not too sure how it'll look like and hold up once finished.
I still have plenty of others project to do first but I'll probably end up with the DIY option one day
Have you looked at 5.11 recon urban boots? They are very lightweight, and look sturdy enough. Though I'd have to ask how they would stand up to abuse in the field, over a period of a year or so? I did order a pair myself from polimil, but they could not get stock in time for me when needed. Reviews are mixed, and these are the ones I had my head set on for a time. Also has a place for a boot knife. Made of ripstop nylon, Helcor leather and suede. https://www.polimil.co.uk/footwear/...=f2e5334f4efd3417c05ee4253a86339f&fo_s=gplauk
Forgot to add that I have a pair of the austrian army lightweight para boots (as mentioned above) I love them, and wear them for work regularly. They are not that lightweight though, single layer leather, very sturdy and supportive. But they are much lighter than the german army para boots, of which I also wear at work, switching between the two. Both pairs can be gotten here in the UK for less than £40 part used. Both pairs still had, and have a lot of sole wear to give. I'm going to re sole the austrian ones very soon with vibram, as it happens.
For play I wear rogue's, which have a heavy sole, and marvelous quality leather uppers. But my favourites are my Lundhags, ranger mid's and parks. Both pairs are lightweight, and very sturdy. Never had a leak in either, and they have been used a lot. All day comfort in the hills with ease. Oh, spoil your feet with some good quality 100% merino socks too. Mund do some cheap excellent value one's.
If I was going to say which boots I am intimate with, that suits your criteria, then its the parks. Ligher than the rangers.
They take a little wearing in of course. But worth the effort. Never let me down. Question is, are they still made? Check out lundhags webpages. Hope this helps, and if you need more details, just ask.
Thanks for your detailed answer Quietone !
I was in fact really interested about the Lundhags option as they do seem to fit the bill quite perfectly. I have been told they were flexible and lightweight with a good grip, but when I checked a few models on the website, I often found the weight to be around 1kg per shoe which is quite heavy in my humble opinion.
Seems like the parks are still made : 2.25 kg according to their website.
But maybe the stated weights aren't so accurate ? Or maybe they're made heavier nowadays ?
No worries about the socks, I discovered merino quite late but now I'm spoiling my feet with it indeed, absolutely no regrets.
I'll try to find a pair of Austrian boots and see how they feel like before eventually buying them, maybe it could be interesting and not so expensive to have them resoled to something lighter and more flexible. Could be a way to do it.
Thing is, with the Belleville tactical boots and the recon urban boots that there's a fabric piece quite low on the boot, and I would like mine to be able to step in a puddle without being filled with water instantly.
it's for the same reason that I'd like them to be high (and not mid) for some puddles and waterholes are quite deep, and with a bit of grease I should even be able to cross small streams without having my feet wet, and just use vbl socks during early spring and autumn (and all that without any membrane).
Hey again. Not sure on the numbers for the parks, but they don't feel a kilo per boot to me? I'll weigh them when I get home tomorrow.
Your idea of resoling the austrian boots is a good idea. The construction suggests it would be straighforward enough, and a thinner vibram can be easily gotten hold of.
Interesting, my Lundhags Jaure highs weigh 1.2 kg each (and thats with a good layer of mud on them). And the Jaure are the lined boots. I also have a pair of the older single layer ones that are lovely and light. Not sure of the weight though. Lovely boots that really do last.