Over the past year we have been huge fans of Ridgemont Outfitters as their shoes seamlessly fill the gap between style and function. We first reviewed the Mesa shoe and have worn them thoroughly. Through local day hikes to the typical work routine these shoes have surpassed our expectations. With the many compliments that we received while wearing the Mesa shoes we had to come back for more and the Outback shoe is just what we were looking for.
Upon first wear it was obvious that the Outback would take us a bit deeper into the woods than the Mesa. The 2mm waxed leather is stiff out of the box but proved to wear in quickly. After a few days of normal use we started to see and feel the custom flex that leather forms around your foot. Ridgemont constructed this shoe with a waxed leather to ensure that you can truly use this shoe when on the trail or even while commuting on a rainy day. It’s hard to imagine that a trail shoe can look this good but these in fact do. Similar to the Mesa these aren’t meant to replace your super techy hiking boots but instead provide you with impeccable style while allowing you the option to spend some time in the dirt and on the rocks without concern. There is no denying that the shoe scratched with normal trail obstacles but that is the only wear we can see at this point. The notable stitching on the leather looks incredible and has remained intact through all of our trail use.
The second most impressive part of the Outback is the 100% rubber, lugged vulcanized outsole. Although heavy it feels as solid as our traditional hiking boots with a much more refined look and smooth feel. Due to the dense rubber and lugged outsole we found these shoes to withstand more abuse than expected. To boot they don’t tear and separate from the main portion of the shoe like your traditional skate shoe after a few weeks of ear and tear. On the weekends we participate in coastal hikes and found the Outback to have better than normal grip on wet terrain as well as dry dusty trails. If you are familiar with the San Onofre State Beach area or have a local break of your own that requires a respectable hike you will benefit from this shoe. On a similar note this quality outsole also performed well on our pedals. If you aren’t afraid to scuff the leather a bit the Outback is durable enough to take you on a quick lunch time trail ride. The unique lacing system on this shoe really allows you to snug the shoe like a traditional boot and like a snow boot allows for a custom lace up to fit your feet properly. To make things short we have a feeling that you will feel well situated when the trail gets a bit sketchier than predicted.
As a dual personality shoe the Ridgemont Outback also excels at enhancing your curb appeal. That very same waxed leather that repels water also looks extremely good with a pair of denim. Thanks to the waxed cotton canvas upper on the shoe we haven’t had any problems wearing these shoes without pant collection as they all seem to pair very well. Even as a passionate outdoorsman we still have a true appreciation for men’s fashion.