I was browsing the hiking boot selection at the mall recently and just couldn’t find a single boot that looked good. Some had too much going on. Foam sidewalls, mesh panels, confusing acronyms along the heel, does it mean anything? I’m a traditionalist and like a classic, well done design. That’s how I found out about the Ridgemont Heritage Boots, a new take on a vintage style.
The uppers on the Ridgemont Heritage are a combination of waxed and oiled leathers. The collar is a waxed canvas. A hydroguard membrane provides water proof properties. The tongue is gusseted to keep out debris and liquids and the real rubber outsole features a mild lugged platform. Metal hardware secures the laces and we see double stitching along some of the high stress areas. Boots weigh about 1lb 5oz each. The midsole features an EVA cushioned footbed.
My main problem with boots is accessibility. Sometimes just the premeditated thought of getting them on has me reaching for my shoes. I was relieved when the Heritage boots didn’t put up a fight in this regard. The tongue is flexible and the speed hooks allow for a quick and easy off and on experience. These boots are more comfortable than a pair of dedicated hiking boots, but less comfy than a pair of shoes.
This aspect kind of challenges you on when to wear them. If you’re going on a light hike with some friends, and going to lunch after – these are perfect. Your feet won’t be overwhelmed on moderate trails and you won’t walk into Chipotle looking like Bear Grills. These boots are waterproof as well, so they’re great in wintertime and since the design is smooth and uncluttered they clean up pretty well. I really enjoy not having to pack a pair of sneakers when I go from the city to nature and back to the city.
I’m a believer in the K.I.S.S (Keep it simple stupid) principle. The Ridgemont’s are clean, unobtrusive and don’t pretend to be something they’re not. I’m really digging the laces and will probably get a red pair soon to really capture the vintage hiking vibe. They look good in jeans as well as shorts. They’re not particularly striking, but I don’t think they’re meant to be.
Ridgemont’s Heritage Boots do a good job at bridging the sneaker to boot gap in terms of convenience. The $169 price tag is pretty much ballpark with similar products. I wasn’t totally awed by them, but I also wasn’t disappointed either – and that’s what you need sometimes.