Ridgeline Warrior Hi Tec Boots
- By Pete Moore
- 1 Comments
- Last updated: 27/04/2020
As an ex-squaddie, I have more than a passing interest in outdoor footwear, as a young soldier in the 60s and 70s, the boots we were issued were shall we say not of the best. So today as a hunter I’m always very fussy about what I put on my feet and there are many options. But given this is Britain and the weather is usually on the west side of crap, I tend to go for the more, generic mountain-style. As in heavy sole, hi-leg and quite rigid once you’ve lashed yourself in.
Recently I was sent a pair of Ridgeline of New Zealand’s Warrior hi-top boots, which looked not dissimilar to my old Lowa GTX Hunters that very much conform to the above description. And as I recall, although an excellent design, were a bugger to break in. Before I get all technical, my Lowa’s weigh 2.9 lbs each and after a hard day on the hill you tend to notice the weight, the Warriors are less at 2.3 lbs, which is a signifi cant reduction. They are also a lot more fl exible and so much better for driving in as your foot can fl ex a lot easier, both important considerations.
The build is Nubuck leather, which offers a fl at, brown, suedelike surface, with the padded heel cuff and half-stitched in tongue in normal finished leather in a bronze colour. The only problem with Nubuck is that it gets dirty and worn looking a lot easier than dressed leather, which you can polish. I would recommend a can of footwear-grade, spray silicone to keep them in top condition.
The outer layer is waterproof and there’s a high rubber rand that doubles as toe and heel protection at the front and rear. Inside there is a Hydro Guard waterproof membrane along with 200 grams of Thinsulate that gives excellent insulation properties along with the all essential breathability for practical comfort. There’s also a removable, footbed that is well shaped to support the arch of the foot and instep. A clever feature is inset, grippy panels in the base that stops the insole moving in relation to the boot, that can cause rubbing and may be blisters.
The sole is Vibram (what else?) the main, central gripping areas (heel and ball) consist of a series of three-legged shapes with a peripheral ring of lugs. Ridgeline calls this a HyperGrip. The half stitched-in tongue is well padded and comfortable but will reduce the boots submergibility a little. When open, they offer a good gape and are easy to put on and take off. Lacing is familiar with four, closed, swivelling eyelets at the bottom and four, open speed hooks at the top, which makes it easier to cinch them tight. There is a fi fth in the middle of the tongue too.
Whereas, a lot of boots of this type do take some breaking in, this was not the case with the Warrior Hi-Tops. I laced them on and wore them around the house for a day with no ill effects, then it was out with the dog the next day and again no dramas for as long as I used them in the field.