Review: The ‘Arapahoe’ boots from Ridgeline Clothing
- Credit: Archant
The editor tries some new boots just in time, as the bad weather arrives
Ridgeline Clothing from New Zealand has a great reputation for making tough shooting kit that can take a beating and still last well. They’ve just added a new boot that looks ideal for the airgun hunter. Called the ‘Arapahoe’, it’s reasonably light, yet has a sturdy feel that offers plenty of support for moving over rough ground. The uppers are a combination of nubuk leather and camouflaged 900 x 900 denier canvas nylon for durability. This is backed with a waterproof yet breathable membrane backed up with Thinsulate to add the vital warmth soon to be needed as the winter comes in.
When you want the best soles you ask for Vibram, and for this boot they spec’d their XS Trek model that offers good grip even in the worst conditions. I noted a high standard of finish with the Arapahoe boots that made them feel more expensive than the reasonable £160 RRP.
Thick foot beds
The way the materials have been used is quite different from other boots of this kind that I’ve seen, in that the nubuck leather covers the toe box and the ultra-tough Cordura is used for the sides. It’s been the other way around before because the toe area tends to get the worst of the wear from brambles and bracken, which can be very abrasive. We’ll see how the nubuck hold up to punishment.
I found the fit a little snug at first, but once I’d worn them for a few hours, they loosened a little, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the foot beds moulded to my foot. These are the thickest foots beds I’ve ever seen, with huge amounts of cushioning built in, so it’s no surprise that they’ve compressed a little bit.
On the move I found them comfortable and noticeably light, yet still stable on rough ground. The ankle support is firm, but not overly restrictive, which is just right for the airgun stalker aiming to move quietly toward his quarry. As we haven’t had any wet weather recently, I stood in a stream for 10 minutes and found no leaks, so I should have dry feet this winter.
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I think these are the best boots I’ve ever tried from Ridgeline and are a significant step up (excuse the pun) on their previous offerings. High build quality and good fit make for a proper hunting boot we can all enjoy.