Naglev Combat WP Review: Game-Changing Hiking Boots?

Disclaimer: The team at Huckberry sent me these boots to review; however, all opinions are my own.

Summary

Using unique materials and innovative design, Naglev managed to make a boot that’s not only made for extreme adventure, but also comfortable enough to keep you fresh.

ProsCons
Almost no break-in timeHard to get your foot into
WaterproofHeavy compared to some lightweight options nowadays.
Stylish…? Depends on who you ask
Rugged, not afraid these things would let me down
Good grip on the sole

Specs

  • WEIGHT: 420 gr ( ½ pair size 42)
  • UPPER: Kevlar® fabric
  • PROTECTION RAND: Tpu
  • LINING: Wool
  • LINING: Wool
  • FOOTBED: Tanned leather and Coconut fibers
  • MIDSOLE: Dual density EVA
  • OUTSOLE: Natural Rubber
  • SIZES: MS 40-47 (including ½ sizes)

About Naglev

It’s worth spending a few minutes talking about the company before we get into the boots themselves. Founded by Achille Morlin and his daughter, Elettra Morlin, Naglev is a small company. We’re talking really small, based in northern Italy.

It’s clear that the company takes pride in crafting the best products with as much emphasis on sustainability as possible. They’re even a little philosophical about it:

“We believe that nature is the setting where humans can experience the authentic well-being. This is why, with our products, we want to re-create a natural environment around your feet to grant you the highest comfort.”

I hadn’t heard of Naglev until I started their shoes on the Huckberry website. Naglev’s first two shoes were the Combat WP and the Unico Hiker, with similar design features and aesthetics. Finally, after eyeing them for quite some time, I finally got my hands on the Naglev Combat WP.

Now on to the shoes.

The Naglev Combat WP

At first glance, these boots are striking..maybe even a little intimidating? Like many products on Huckberry, they toe the line of “serious adventurer” or “aspirational weekend warrior.” So naturally, I start to question if I’m actually cool enough to pull them off. Do I even need a pair of boots this intense? When’s the last time I conquered a mountain? What am I doing with my life?

Existential crisis aside, you can tell within the first few seconds that these boots are well made.

Materials

This is where it gets even more interesting. Naglev puts materials at the forefront of their design. In the Combat WP alone, Naglev uses an array of materials:

source: naglev.com

The outer shell is made out of a single piece of Kevlar. I know what you’re thinking, “isn’t Kevlar that stuff used in bulletproof vests?” Yes, yes it is. And since Kevlar is nearly indestructible, it also makes for good protection and support on the Combat WP.

Additionally, the one-piece upper is virtually seamless, eliminating weak spots and areas on hiking shoes (and shoes in general) that are prone to breaking.

The sock-like lining is made from wool to enhance moisture-wicking, breathability, and odor. The footbed is made from coconut fibers, which is pretty unique.

Fit

Since they’re based in Italy, Naglev sizes its shoes in European sizes:

source: naglev.com

They are a bit snug, so I would even go a half size up to make sure you have enough room for some burly hiking socks if need be.

On another note, I’ve been wearing some barefoot-style shoes lately. These have pretty wide toe boxes to give your dogs some room to breathe. Though the Naglev shoes aren’t particularly narrow, they definitely aren’t as wide as some boots nowadays. So if you have wider feet or enjoy a wider toe box, it’s worth noting.

Style

Do hiking boots ever look good? Other than the ones made by Danner, hiking shoes/boots always tend to look like, well, hiking boots.

I suppose a lot of this is subjective. Personally, I really like the aesthetic of the Naglev Combat WP – they look intense but in a different way than most other hiking boots. They fit somewhere between “I’m a Navy Seal” and “I really fuck with Aprés Ski,” – so your mileage may vary.

Performance

You’ll notice that these Naglev boots are a pain in the ass to get on, and they’re arguably more work than the actual hike you’re going on.

The sock-like design means you more or less “slip” these things on and then lace them up. In reality, you have to shove your foot in there with a good amount of force. But once your feet are in, the Naglev Combat WP are actually really comfortable, thanks to the coconut fiber footbed.

This also meant that they were tough to get off of my feet as well. I had to sit down like an old man to get these damn things off. So, as hiking shoes, they are fantastic, but not so much as camp shoes.

Thankfully the break-in time for these Naglev boots is next to zero. I wore them straight out of the box and had no blisters, irritation, or cranky feet after a couple hours of hiking. You know that painful spot on the back of the heel that always gets super irritated with new shoes? Not with these.

The waterproofness definitely held up, I tricked through a few small streams and a bunch of mud, and they handled it like a champion. The grip was also impressive; I never felt slippage, even in the damp, mossy woods of the Olympic National Park in the Pacific Northwest.

For the ultralight backpackers/hikers, these might be a bit too intense for you. At ~840 grams (1.85 lbs), these are probably 0.5 lbs too heavy to contend with serious ultralight gear. So if you count grams in your hiking kit, make sure you evaluate the weight of the Naglev Combat WP. Interestingly enough, the smaller UNICO Hiker weighs in at 420 grams, though I bet their website is wrong.

One interesting note is that I felt very tall in these. And by that, I mean the soles are pretty elevated off the ground. This is neither a bad nor good thing, but for those who have dabbled in the barefoot shoe world, this will be a pretty significant departure.

And since I am a minimalist traveler, I always look at gear through the lens of travel. Could I bring these on a trip as my sole pair of boots? Do these make it into my ultralight packing list?

The answer is yes…and no. If you’re primarily going on a hiking/outdoor-oriented trip, I would have no problems taking the Naglev, and I think they would hold up quite well. But if I’m doing anything other than that, they start to break down a little.

They are pretty big and heavy, and I’m not sure I’d want to spend all day traveling through the city or generally in transit with these things. That’s not to say they aren’t comfortable, but they can feel too intense for leisurewear.

And they probably wouldn’t hold up well when going out to eat or just walking around generally. The Naglev boots have a specific “look” that might make you feel a little out of place. This isn’t bad for a focused hiking trip, but these wouldn’t make suitable all-around utilitarian footwear. This isn’t a knock on Naglev or the Combat WP since they weren’t made for one-bag travel freaks like me.

Conclusion

The Naglev Combat WP are some seriously badass hiking boots. These boots will carry you through the most daring adventures and look pretty damn good doing it.

Typically the word “indestructible” doesn’t often pair with “comfortable.” Still, somehow, Naglev manages to pull it off with the Combat WP.

The one-piece construction provides fantastic durability and waterproofing. The innovative materials like coconut fiber, merino wool, and kevlar show incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail you don’t find in many other brands.

All of this is from a small company based in Northern Italy. I’m not sure how much your kids or grandkids are looking to inherit smelly old boots, but the Naglev Combat WP would surely fit the bill if they did.

6 thoughts on “Naglev Combat WP Review: Game-Changing Hiking Boots?”

  1. Nice review man! I just ordered a pair and then found this review (I was looking for justification), and I’m even more stoked now. I think these will be perfect for some motorcycle rides/hikes.

    1. Hey Mike! I do the same thing, look for any justification to get some new kit haha. Let me know how you like them!

  2. 53 years old with one bad hand and can’t get these damn things on or off but once they are on I love the holy hell out of them… depending on the adventure. perfect for as you described in the Pacific Northwest but when I am gold prospecting further south in Nevada they are too hot. Might protect your foot when swinging a pickax but I’m usually closer to the ground and on my knees and the high top doesn’t afford much flexibility. Probably impossible to roll your ankle while up north or even on the slippery exposed red mud roots along the trails of Hawaii. Offer support if you’re a squatter while panning for gold along the rivers of Montana but these knees of mine don’t flex that much anymore which brings me right back to the stabilizing support of the Kevlar providing you can get them on. Overall, a must have above the Mason-Dixon line, not so much in the blistering heat of Texas, unless you’re wrangling some diamondbacks. To sum it up, good for yankees, not so much for rednecks.

    1. Great added context for those in warmer climates! And I agree, they are so tough to get on! But surprisingly comfortable when they are on.

  3. How are these for women? I’m a size 8 US women. I’m going to try the size 40 EUR. I sprain my ankles all the time, so looking for boots that control the ankle well, but also function in a lot of different environments. I hike in Cali and Oregon from time to time, plus a lot of city walking during travel. Sounds like, at least for men, these are a bit too hot and restrictive. I wonder if women have the same issue—maybe we run a little less warm.

    Any thoughts on how these might work for women? I still plan to try them out, but I’d love some advance feedback.

    1. Hey Alana,

      To be honest I was never really that hot in the boots, but I was hiking mostly cooler climates with them (Oregon and Washington) as Ahren pointed out. If you’re on the West Coast, even in California, I wouldn’t be too worried.

      For city travel I could see them being a little much. I usually travel with less intense boots like the Lems Boulder Boot, which are a bit lighter weight and easier to slip on/off. If you’re going on a trip that’s predominantly hiking/outdoors with only a couple days around the city, these will probably do just fine. But if it’s mostly city-based, then I’d suggest something else. Maybe the Unico Hiker? Though that might not have as much security for your ankles like you’re looking for. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a boot that can split time between city/mountains well enough for travel, try Blundstones, my girlfriend really likes them and is currently using them as her one-bag travel boot for a trip we’re on at the moment.

      Long winded reply, but hopefully that helps. Let me know what you go with!

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