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When it comes to hiking boots, people are always on the lookout for a perfect blend of comfort, durability, and versatility (myself included). Xero Shoes, a brand known for its minimalist footwear, has an option known as the Ridgeway hiking boot. In this review, I'll delve into the key features, performance, and my overall experience of the Xero Shoes Ridgeway as a foot doctor, but also as an avid hiker. Continue to scroll down to learn more.
A Foot Doctor's Reviews the Xero Shoes Ridgeway Hiking Boot
Pros and Cons of Xero Shoes Ridgeway Hiking Boot
Key Features of the Xero Shoes Ridgeway Boot
Design and Construction:
The Xero Shoes Ridgeway Hiking Boot stands out with its minimalist design The upper of this boot is made from a combination of synthetic materials and mesh, which makes these boots very breathable. The boot features a traditional lace-up system, allowing users to customize the fit according to their preferences.
One of the key features of the Ridgeway boot and all of Xero Shoes designs is the wide toe box. This feature promotes natural movement from your toes when standing or walking, and allows your toes to naturally spread out during these activities, known as toe splay. Toe spay is important for enhancing stability and ensuring the normal function of your foot.
The outsole is where the Ridgeway truly shines. The rugged rubber sole has an aggressive tread pattern, which gives great traction on different terrains, making it a great choice for very rocky and rugged terrain. The lugs are strategically placed to provide grip when going uphill and downhill. Even though the sole is rugged, it still maintains some flexibility, which allows for a more natural foot movement, similar to the feeling of walking barefoot.
Comfort and Fit:
One of the standout features of the Xero Shoes Ridgeway is its comfort. The wide toe box fits the natural shape of the foot, preventing squished toes and allowing for enough room for your feet to spread during each step. The anatomical toebox also can lower your risk of developing bunions and hammertoes in the future since you're toes will not be squeezed. The insole, though minimalist, provides adequate cushioning for a comfortable walking experience.
The boot is also very lightweight as far as hiking boots are concerned. The weight is roughly 11.5 oz. This makes it much easier to go for longer hikes without being as fatigued.
The padded collar and tongue help with the overall fit of this boot, preventing chafing and any discomfort when hiking for long periods of time.
The Ridgeway hiking boot is water resistant to a certain degree. The synthetic upper of this boot has an added water-resistant treatment on top. This gives the wearer protection against light rain and damp conditions. It's important to note that this boot is not 100% waterproof.
For stream crossings and wetter environments, wearing gaiters or waterproof socks might be necessary. The breathable nature of the boot aids in moisture management, allowing sweat to evaporate. This is great for preventing too much humidity inside of this boot.
What foot type is best for the Xero Shoes Ridgeway Hiking Boot
Due to the shape of the Ridgeway hiking boot, this shoe can be worn by many different foot types including those with a normal. flat, or even high arch. For those people who have an extremely high arch, that is also rigid, shoes like, and other shoes, would be more difficult to wear.
Is the Xero Shoes Ridgeway Hiking Boot Good For People With Bunions, Hammertoes, or Foot Issues?
Also due to the foot shape of the Ridgeway boot, this shoe is great for people with bunions, hammertoes, and other foot issues.
My personal experience with the Xero Shoes Ridgeway Hiking Boot
This pair of hiking boots had been on my wishlist for several months when I finally received them for consideration. I'm an active hiker, and most weekends I spend hiking with friends on one of the many trails in the Phoenix area.
I ordered a size up so that it would be easier to wear these shoes with thick socks in colder climates. I also ordered a size up to protect my toenails from potential damage when going downhill.
The first time I wore the Ridgeway hiking boot was while hiking Lookout Mountain here in Phoenix. The trails there are rated moderate. I was happy with the performance of the Ridgeway hiking boots.
The lugged sole really helped me go up and downhill with traction. The sole also helped protect the bottom of my feet from pain and discomfort when coming across sharp rocks. Even though the sole is thicker than other minimalist shoes I have, I still felt like my foot was able to move as naturally as possible. My toes had room to spread, and the sole was flexible enough not to get too much in the way of movement, while still providing a comfortable, and protected hiking experience.
I've worn these boots also to work, and it was very comfortable to stand and walk in them for 6-8 hours a day as well.
While the boot performs amazingly well in most conditions, it's important that I note that I do not have experience with these boots yet with backpacking, long through hikes, or overnight hiking trips. I would love to try these boots out on a multi-day hike this year and update this post with my findings.
These are my go-to hiking boots now, and I couldn't be happier.
The Xero Shoes Ridgeway hiking boot combines a minimalist design with functional features, offering hikers and people who love the outdoors a comfortable and versatile option for different activities. Its wide toe box, lightweight construction, and grippy outsole make it well-suited for day hikes and lighter backpacking trips.
Even though these boots are very durable, and well-made, they may not be the best option for extreme conditions. The moderate water resistance also might not be enough if you are crossing bodies of water or hiking in snow. Something to keep in mind before purchasing.
For people who appreciate a minimalist approach to footwear and prioritize comfort and flexibility on the trail, the Xero Shoes Ridgeway hiking boot proves to be a strong contender.
As with any hiking boot, it's crucial for wearers to align their specific needs and preferences with the Ridgeway's features to ensure a satisfying and enjoyable outdoor experience.
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