Featuring Features!by Ridgemont Outfitters on Aug 25, 2014
We get a lot of comments from people along the lines of, “Hey Ridgemont, sure your shoes are probably the best looking shoes I’ve ever seen in my life, but are they really built to withstand my radical active lifestyle?” Our answer is usually something like, “you bet your ass!” followed up with a double shaka. Unfortunately, that typically doesn’t clear things up. To help shed some light on the matter, we’ve created a page explaining some of the details that are built in to every pair of Ridgemont shoes. Here are some highlights:
Vulcanization, as it applies to making shoes, is a process of chemically bonding materials together using high heat. If done right, this creates very strong bonds. Skateboarders prize vulcanized sneakers not only for their inherent strength, but also for their unique “board feel”. At Ridgemont, we wanted to tap in to these characteristics and improve upon them for use in the outdoors, so we utilize a harder 70 A rubber along with 3mm thick foxing to improve lateral and torsional stiffness. We believe that feeling the earth beneath your feet is a benefit, and something that has been all but eliminated from most hiking boots.
We use only the best full grain cow leather from European hides dyed in tanneries that are gold rated for their environmentally responsible processes. We use 1.8-2.0mm thick leather which provides just the right balance between durability and comfort. We treat our leather with various oils and waxes to ensure that the leather itself is water proof as verified by the shoe authorities at SATRA. Of course, we stitch our shoes together (poke holes in them) so we don’t claim our shoes are 100% water proof, but they are more water resistant than most light hikers on the market.
There’s something about canvas shoes that we just love. Maybe it’s the texture or the way they feel. What it isn’t is their ability to stand up to the elements. We want our canvas shoes to perform better so we take our raw material and impregnate it with a 14% dry wax layer. This gives a natural canvas look but creates a water resistant barrier to prevent moisture coming through the fabric. Finally we add a water repellent coating for a final top moisture barrier.
All Ridgemont shoes are stitched together with non-wicking thread in order to prevent the cotton from pulling moisture through the upper into the lining. As the natural fibre thread gets moist it expands slightly to ‘block’ the stitch hole and seal the moisture out. Clever huh..!
For a complete breakdown of Ridgemont shoe construction, check out the Features page here.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.