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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Ahnu Ridgecrest eVent WP Shoes > Test Report by jerry adams

AHNU RIDGECREST SHOES
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - October 29, 2015
FIELD REPORT - January 11, 2016
LONG TERM REPORT - March 09, 2016

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Jerry Adams
EMAIL: jerryaadamsatyahoodotcom
AGE: 62
LOCATION: Portland, Oregon, USA
GENDER: m
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 195 lb (88.50 kg)

I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpacking trip was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay in the Western half of Oregon and Washington. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 12 lb (6 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Ahnu
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Manufacturer's Website: http://ahnu.com
MSRP: US$150
Listed Weight: 15.8 oz (448 g)
Measured Weight: 20.1 oz (570 g) for US mens 13, one shoe

The Ahnu Ridgecrest shoes are waterproof breathable shoes for long distance hiking.

They come in three colors - dark shadow (gray), dark olive (brown), and black. I got the dark shadow. There are fluorescent green accents.

They come in mens sizes 7 to 13. I got the size 13.

The Ridgecrest shoes have an eVent layer to provide the waterproof breathable function. I've found eVent to provide a good compromise between waterproofness and breathability, which I'll verify with this test.

The outside of the shoes is made with some strips of leather and rubber sewn to mesh fabric. There's thicker/wider rubber at the toe for durability. There's a webbing loop at the heel to help pull on the shoes. It's about 4 inches (10 cm) from the floor to the top of the shoe at the lowest point, which is on the side of the ankle. It's about 4 3/4 inches (12 cm) from the floor to the top at the back of the heel.

In my experience, a major wear point is about 3 or 4 inches (8 or 10 cm) back from the toe, on the outside edges, where it flexes when my toes bend. The Ridgecrests have the edge of a leather strip and a sewn seam right there. That seam has often come undone in my experience. I worry that a bigger piece of leather might be needed there. This test isn't that long, so I may or may not see wear there. I'll find out.

There are some circular metal eyelets, and some webbing loops that the laces go through. There's an extra pair of eyelets at the top, back from the tongue a little. Maybe I'll try those but I don't know the reason for doing that. The laces are round, braided, synthetic, nylon I think. The laces are a bit stretchy. There's a webbing strip up the middle of the tongue, that the laces go through, that keeps the tongue from sliding to the side. The tongue is gusseted on its sides to keep debris from getting into the shoes.

I like open eyelets at the top, so I can undo the laces a little, to make it easier to remove and put on the shoes. The Ahnus have closed eyelets. This isn't as important for shoes. I'll determine in the testing whether this is a problem.

There is some padding on the inside of the tongue, and around my ankle at the top. Since there is an eVent layer, that provides a small amount of padding everywhere. The padding provides comfort and warmth, which I'll evaluate during the testing. There is sizing and identification information inside the tongue "Ahnu - mesh/leather upper - mesh lining - rubber sole - made in China - US 13 EU 47.0 UK 12.0 JP 30.5 - s/n 1009556dksw f19615f".

The soles have a proprietary lug pattern. There are black lugs on the outside and yellow lugs in the middle. The yellow lugs seem a little harder, so maybe this provides a better grip on some surfaces. I'll test these on a range of surfaces to verify this works. The lugs are about 3/16 inch (5 mm) high which is a little less than some shoes/boots I've tried. The soles are about 1 1/2 inch (3.7 cm) thick at the heel, and 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick at the ball of the foot.

There are removable insoles, with a fabric on top, a stiffer foam on the heel half, and a less stiff foam on the toe half. They go up the sides of the heel to cradle it. There's a logo on top and size information on the bottom "AHNU - 2B HS 11 1/2 - 14".

Ahnus:

IMAGE 1

A sole can be seen on the left. An upper can be seen in the middle. An insole is on the right.

I'll be wearing thick Merino wool socks for my testing. I'll be backpacking with a fairly light pack. I'll wear thin gaiters over the boots.

Trying them on:

IMAGE 2

The Ridgecrest shoes are made in China.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

I tried on the Ahnus and they felt good. Examining carefully, I saw no defects. No loose threads or gobs of glue or anything.

The Ridgecrests look good. Good for city wear as well as the trail.

There are fluorescent green accents - on the inside of the shoe which is visible at the top, and strips on the sides. These two areas are close to the same color, but not quite the same. My aesthetic would be to have the colors match exactly, or to use different colors. This makes little difference, except if they missed this detail, they might miss other details, some of which could be more important.

SUMMARY

The Ahnu Ridgecrest shoes are waterproof breathable shoes for hiking. Fairly lightweight - they're shoes instead of boots. EVent is used for the waterproof breathable layer. They're a combination of synthetic, leather, and rubber. They look well made.

I'll be wearing the Ahnus on two backpacking trips during the Field Report period, and another two during the Long Term Test period. I'll probably also do a few day hikes.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

November 5, 2015 - 3 mile (5 km) day hike on Oregon coast. 50 F (10 C). Dry. Gravel road.

November 21, 2015 - 42 mile (68 km) backpack on Olympic Peninsula beach in northwest Washington. 3 nights backpack and 3 nights car camp. 400 feet (100 m) elevation gain. 30 to 45 F (-1 to 7 C).

December 12, 2015 - 31 mile (51 km) backpack next to Deschutes River in north Oregon. 2 nights backpack and 2 nights car camp. 500 feet (125 m) elevation gain. 29 to 40 F (-2 to 5 C).

December 31, 2015 - 32 mile (52 km) backpack on Olympic Peninsula beach in northwest Washington. 3 nights backpack and 3 nights car camp. 900 feet (200 m) elevation gain. 25 to 35 F (-4 to 2 C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

During the Field Report period, I hiked 108 miles (174 km), 1800 feet (550 m) elevation gain, 8 nights of backpacking and 8 nights of car camping. Overall, I was quite happy with the Ahnu Ridgecrest shoes.

On both the Olympic Peninsula trips and the Deschutes trip it rained heavily one day. On the Olympic trips I had to walk through a lot of 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep water (streams and surf). This was a good test of waterproofness. My socks were slightly damp from sweat at the end of the day which is what I would expect from good waterproof breathable shoes. I think my socks stayed a little drier than when I've used mid height waterproof breathable boots. A couple times I briefly stepped into a stream that went over the tops of my shoes, but only a little water leaked into the shoes - the collar around my ankles worked pretty well at keeping the water out.

During my testing I walked on gravel road, dirt trails, and the beach. Some of the beach walking was on uneven rocks. The Ahnus were pretty comfortable. Once, I got a little blister on one heel - this was sort of weird because it was from fairly easy hiking, I don't have an explanation.

I walked on a lot of slippery surfaces including mud and ice. The soles provided a good grip.

The Ahnus provided good warmth, although I wouldn't really expect these to be cold weather shoes. On my last trip it got down to 25 F (-4 C) and was 29 F (-2 C) for several days. I wore fairly heavy Merino wool socks. My feet were never cold.

About the only thing I didn't test carefully was going up and down steep slopes in these shoes. I'll try to test that during the Long Term test period.

Wearing the Ahnus at the beach:

IMAGE 1

I wore the gaiters over the shoes for the entire test. The gaiters are made with thin nylon with a DWR coating - not at all waterproof. Sometimes, the gaiters rise up a little and don't cover the top of the shoes completely - they work better with mid high boots. Regardless, they were pretty good at keeping dirt and stuff out of the shoes and kept them pretty dry in the rain.

SUMMARY

Overall, I was quite happy with the Ahnu Ridgecrest shoes.

I liked the fairly light weight. This is because they're shoes, not boots. Since they're waterproof breathable, they're a little heavier, but I think this is a good trade-off.

They were very waterproof in rain, streams, and surf.

They were comfortable although I did get a minor blister on one heel one time.

They provided good traction on slippery surfaces.

I'll do a couple more backpack trips during my Long Term testing.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

January 21, 2016 - 40 mile (65 km) backpack next to Deschutes River in central Oregon. 3 nights backpack and 3 nights car camp. 600 feet (180 m) elevation gain. 31 to 45 F (-1 to 7 C).

February 20, 2016 - 37 miles (60 km) backpack and car camp on lower Metolius River in central Oregon. 2 nights backpack and 4 nights car camp. 3900 feet (1200 m) elevation gain. 22 to 55 F (-6 to 13 C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

During the Field Report and Long Term Report periods I hiked 185 miles (298 km), 6300 feet (1900 m) elevation gain, 13 nights of backpacking, and 15 nights of car camping.

Overall, I was very happy with the Ahnus. They were very comfortable.

During the Field Report period I got a minor blister once, but this didn't repeat during the Long Term test period so I don't have an explanation - maybe there was a rock in there that one time or something.

They were fairly breathable - at the end of each day my socks were damp from sweat as I would expect from waterproof breathable shoes.

During the Long Term testing period I did three off trail treks up and down steep slopes of about 2 miles (3 km) and 1000 feet (300 m) elevation gain each with no problems.

On my last trip it got really cold, 22 F (-6 C) one morning, and 25 F (-4 C) two other mornings. I was wearing thick Merino socks. My feet were fairly warm.

I like the shoe laces that came with the Ahnus. They stayed tied pretty good - I just used a normal shoe lace loop knot. They showed no sign of wear by the end of the test.

The only problem I had was inside at the heel on one foot:

IMAGE 1

The liner fabric has abraded and there's a hole about 3/8 inch (1 cm) wide. This is a fairly typical wear pattern with shoes that I've found, but I'm disappointed this happened after such a short period of wear. I'd expect this to happen after twice as much use as I got. I might put some polyurethane sealant on it so it doesn't wear any more.

I did a careful inspection of the shoes and saw no other wear.

SUMMARY

I was quite satisfied with the Ahnu Ridgecrest shoes.

I liked the fairly light weight.

They were very waterproof in rain, streams, and surf.

They were fairly breathable.

They were quite comfortable.

They provided good traction on slippery surfaces.

The only problem was one shoe showed some wear inside, at the top, in back of the heel.

I'll continue to use these on backpack trips until they wear out or I test a new pair.

Thanks to Ahnu and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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