Fresh Gravel: 45NRTH Japanther Boot

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45NRTH’s Japanther is the successor to the Fasterkatt

Fresh Gravel: 45NRTH Japanther Boot: Today 45NRTH released information on a new, “transitional season” boot that supplants their earlier Fasterkatt offering, and is dubbed the Japanther. As with most 45NRTH model names, the Japanther boot’s name is also the name of a band. But beyond the name, this boot is a totally new offering that addresses many of the complaints aimed at the Fasterkatt’s design. The zipper comes across the foot, for example, and there is an ankle strap which is adjustable for differing sized ankles, which the Fasterkatt lacked.

JAPANTHER 2This boot also is claimed to be highly water resistant, with a breathable upper membrane, and retains the rubberized textile upper that helps shed mud and water. Recommended for a temperature range of 25°F or above, the boot will be offered in a size range from 36-50, (no size 49), in whole sizes only.

The sole retains the sealed cleat pocket, the micro-glass filament spikes for traction, toe spike mounting points, and a real rubber sole from the Fasterkatt design. Now with the Japanther, 45NRTH will add a three bolt, road cleat version alongside the two bolt, mtb version. The sole of the road version will feature nylon bumpers on the toe and heel. It is not clear at this time what other features the road version’s sole will have that are different from the mtb version. (We weren’t provided with any images of the road version’s sole to see.)

The insole retains the same design features that the Fasterkatt boot had with a waffle patterned, EVA foam, heat reflective aluminum, and thin wool covering in a composite that also features arch support.  Closure is still by a cord and the water resistant coated zipper is now a #5 size for durability.


We tested the Fasterkatt boots and were impressed by the way our feet stayed warmer, sans booties, and how that extended our riding season comfortably down to the mid-20’s F. Concerns over the way the zipper worked on the Fasterkatt and with how some folks were having issues with the ankle fit have been addressed in this new Japanther design. So, the expectation here would be that this boot will provide similar ride comfort with better fit and better on-off usage for riders.

Look for Japanther boots to arrive at 45NRTH authorized dealers in late September at a retail price for both road and mountain versions of $225.00USD.

NOTE: Images and information used in this post were provided by 45NRTH

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Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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2 thoughts on “Fresh Gravel: 45NRTH Japanther Boot

  1. Using them daily for two months; very comfortable
    Side zips hard to close (much of tension…)
    What I suposed did happen: I’ve broken one of the zips…
    Thanks for your reply


    1. That’s unfortunate. Many times I will lubricate zippers on coats, jackets, or boots with a bit of wax or petroleum jelly which makes them work far easier than they do dry.

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