We’re heading into the one digit temperatures here in Romania so it’s time to take out the big guns aka Be Lenka Winter boots. I bought the first version of the famous Be Lenka winter boots (bean shaped sole) a couple of years ago - you can find the review here. Last year I gave them to my sister-in-law and I bought the 2.0 version, which fit my feet shape so nicely. I didn’t get the chance to write a review about them but, here I am now, writing a 2 in 1 comparison post between the last year model and the new (Neo) one released this year. Be Lenka have kindly given me the Black Matte Winter Neo boots for this comparison.
About Be Lenka
Be Lenka products are designed and made in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The company was co-founded by an Ex-Paralympian Ms. Lenka Cenigova and Juraj Fehervari. This year Be Lenka has launched a sister brand called Barebarics, with one of the widest variety of vegan sneakers in the barefoot world.
I have both pairs of boots in size 41. I ordered the right size on the first attempt as I already knew from Entice that the new square(er) sole is shorter. They have the same length but even though the size chart says the width on the Neo version (Black Matte) is supposed to be smaller, they feel the same to me. I even compared the insoles and they both measure 10cm. Moreover, you know that a shoe/ boot is actually wider than the width of the insole. So I’d say these boots are great for medium wide and wide feet. Please excuse the colour of the old insole, I realised I don’t own light colour winter socks :D
The 2.0 model is handcrafted with premium quality Nappa leather, while the Neo version with premium quality Nappa & Nubuck leather. I love them both, but I find the smooth leather model more formal than the Nubuck one as the light sole and black upper make them more casual. A big plus for me is the colour of the warm lining: the Black Matte has a black wool one (which I love) while the smooth leather one has a white wool lining. The lining takes up some space in the beginning, but it flattens out with wear. They both have waterproof protective membrane.
The shaft is the same height but all the Neo models have hooked eyelets on the top two rows which makes it easier to lace and unlace and they make room for easy in-n-out feet.
I didn’t get the chance to test the lugs on the new model, but last year’s sole was pretty competent on snow and ice around the city. I plan to take the Neo boots with me to Lapland in a couple of weeks so I will report back on that note.
They both tick all the barefoot shoes features: zero drop, flexible sole, wide toe box.
There are 5 models 2.0 available on Be Lenka and 5 of 2.0 Neo, but you can find more sizes on some of their resellers. They are definitely one of the best options for cold wet winters.