The Xeroshoes Ridgeway, a retro-inspired waterproof hiker, seamlessly blends style and functionality in minimalist footwear. While minimalist shoes are commonly associated with running, the Ridgeway breaks the mold by bringing the principles of minimalism to the realm of hiking boots and casual shoes. Let’s dive into the unique features that set these shoes apart and explore how they align with the core tenets of minimalist footwear.
Modern minimalist shoes are significantly lighter, have less cushioning, are more flexible, and have less heel lift (or “drop”) than a typical shoe. They’re actually like the shoes we wore prior to the invention of thick, stiff, padded, motion control shoes back in the early 70s. A truly minimalist shoe has other important characteristics that support natural movement:
- A wide toe box to let your toes spread
- No unnecessary cushioning
- An extremely flexible sole that gives you protection but is thin enough so you can safely FEEL the ground.
Based on a consensus definition, minimalist shoes are described as “footwear providing minimal interference with the natural movement of the foot due to its high flexibility, low heel to toe drop, weight and stack height, and the absence of motion control and stability devices.” With that being said, here’s how the xeroshoes ridgeway performed.
The Ridgeway excels in diverse outdoor environments which is perfect for west coast living. The soles provide reliable traction and support. Whether you’re tackling rocky trails or strolling through city streets, the minimalist design enhances your connection with the ground, allowing for a more responsive and agile hiking experience. Fashion and Style Editor Alyssa Habchi says, “This was my first time experiencing minimalist footwear and I would recommend for anyone wanting more space in the toe box to definitely give it a try.” The shoes are extremely lightweight and don’t cause fatigue during your daily commute. The Ridgeway weighs in at 11.5oz in the ladies size 7. This is lighter than most technical boots and likely lighter than some of your runners.
The secret here lies in the details. A wide toe box gives your feet the freedom to dance (metaphorically speaking) while the lack of unnecessary cushioning means you’ll feel the ground beneath you in the best way possible. The highly flexible sole adds a touch of finesse, protecting without sacrificing that coveted barefoot feel.
“Given the light weight and functionality of the Ridgeway hiker I was impressed with the durability. In addition, I love the camel colorway with the bright red laces,” says the former stylist. These shoes are not just for show; they deliver where it matters. Navigating rocky trails becomes a delightful experience, thanks to reliable traction and surprising agility. Lightweight, comfortable, and fashion-forward – the Ridgeway is your ticket to outdoor elegance.