Ridgemont Outfitters are a company who produce shoes, apparel and accessories to cope with the rigors of the outdoor life, by offering products that are more than capable of receiving the kind of abuse that every surf trip brings, but equally look smart enough to grab an après surf beer with. Over the last couple of weeks I have been checking out a pair of Ridgemont Outback Chukka Boots, and am pleased to say they will be my footwear of choice to carry out surf checks with in future.
The Outback Boot is the flagship model in their choice of footwear and I have been getting to grips with the Outback Oiled Leather in Brown/Olive colour. When I say getting to grips, I mean seriously getting grip, with the aid of the chunky rubberized outsole, which is soft and gummy to aid traction, but tough enough to deny any lumps, bumps and rocks digging in the sole of your foot.
The main bulk of the boot is the full grain leather upper that is 2 mm thick and has been waxed to make sure your feet remain dry. The ankle cuff is constructed of waxed cotton canvas and offers plenty of support, whilst remaining soft and comfortable too. The footbed of the Outback are tailor-made Ortholite Insoles and selected because of Ortholite’s proven track record providing comfy, cushioning and sustainable products.
The Ridgemont Outback is a boot that offers the support, grip, protection and strength of a hiking boot, but looks like a smart casual mid height boot, that compliments a pair of jeans and is at home traipsing round a shopping centre as romping across seaweed slathered rocks.
On first unboxing the Outback boots, I was immediately struck by the quality construction of the chukka, the stitching is flawless and the lace eyelets are well made and strongly riveted through the leather upper. The tongue is fully stitched in and works well in keeping the water from entering the boot, the laces also feel strong and should last years of abuse.
From the moment I slid into my Outback’s they felt comfortable like an old well worn in pair of boots, which is pretty unusual. Normally when wearing boots for the first time there is a certain element of breaking in required, but not this time. The first test the boots got was to be worn on our traditional Christmas Day walk on the beach, which just so happened to coincide with a Surf check! Unfortunately the waves weren’t as reliable as the Outback boots!
During the walk, I splashed though rock pools, romped across sand, marched over rocks and trampled over seaweed, the boots coped easily. There was no water ingress at all through the non wicking stitching or the tongue, the boots were warm and comfortable and the grip was fantastic. Ever since I was a young boy I have scoured the local rocks and reefs and the Outbacks coped as well, if not better than any other footwear I’ve ever worn. In fact as a kid it was mostly wellies and the grip was useless, as a teenager it was trainers and they slipped and got soaked and as an adult sensible boots, but they are always bulky clumsy things.
The Ridgemont Outback offered me excellent grip without the payoff of a big old pair of cloddy boots and were still smart enough to have stopped off for a pint or a bite to eat on the way home. The Outbacks will now be the footwear I aways grab when heading down the beach, and definitely wearing for my next surf trip.
Ridgemont offer a range of footwear from deck type shoes the Crest and the Rover models, to the boots in the Style of Mesa or Outback such as the pair I have been looking at. As well as the featured Brown/Olive Outback, there is also the choice of Black/Grey and Gray/Orange, all three pairs retail at £109 and are available from a UK size 7 through to a UK size 12.
To find out more about the Ridgemont philosophy, to see all the footwear available and to buy direct with free UK postage take a look at the Official Ridgemont website here. If you get in quick there is also a free Ridgemont Logo beanie, worth £15, being added to the shopping cart when ordering.
If you are looking for a smart but casual boot that can cope with a bit of sand, water, rocks and seaweed you won’t go far wrong with the Ridgemont Outback Boots. They’re not going scale Everest, but then again your normal hiking and climbing boots aren’t going to look very smart in day-to-day life either.
Are you already wearing Ridgemont boots and we would love to hear your thoughts on the look and style of the Outback boots?