|Guest - Not logged in|
Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Ahnu Ridgecrest eVent WP Shoes > Test Report by joe schaffer
Ahnu Ridgecrest eVent WP shoes
by Joe Schaffer
INITIAL REPORT - November 1, 2015
FIELD REPORT - January 9, 2016
LONG TERM REPORT - March 12, 2016
NAME: Joe Schaffer
HEIGHT: 5'9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 170 lb (79.4 kg)
HOME: Bay Area, California USA
I started backpacking in 1959. I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year; about 30 solo. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair, etc. This year's summer trips have been 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day. I winter camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); 1 to 4 miles (1.6 to 6.4 km) on snowshoes.
Web site: www.ahnu.com
Product: Ahnu Ridgecrest shoe
MSRP: $150 US
weight: L 16 7/8 oz (478 g)
weight: R 16 3/4 oz (475 g)
length: 12 1/8 in (30.8 cm)
max width at heel: 3 7/16 in (87 mm)
max width at forefoot: 4 1/4 in (108 mm)
The Ridgecrest weighs in as a sturdy low cut trekker. The cuff is heavily padded. The two-layer sole is firmly stiff with a removable insole. Tread uses two materials; black lugs run the front, back, shank and sides, surrounding four sets of yellow lugs sharply defined on the trailing side on the front part and on the leading edges for the two sets of lugs at the heel. Outer construction features a rubber rand (bumper strip) at the front, over a larger rubber rand extending back of the forefoot. Then back of this a third rand layer of leather finishes the toe rand, reaching back to join the first of three leather A-ribs. Each of these ribs terminates with a nylon loop to serve as a lacing eye. In between these loops are two additional eyes each side, with two more eyes each side at the top of the shoe. These two eyes allow adjustment of lacing angle tension, depending on the choice of eye used. The core of the shoe is micro-checkerboard nylon fabric, including the tongue. The tongue has a lacing loop near the top, which helps stabilize it. The back of the shoe features a large pull loop easily big enough for two fingers. A leather rib encompasses the top of the shoe at back, running to the heel at each side and along the way intersecting one of the forward-running ribs. Brand logos are prominent on the top of the tongue and back of the heel.
10/29: 2 1/2 mi (4 km) dirt road, hiking
10/30: 1 mi (1.6 km) sidewalk, backpack
10/30-31: 6 mi (9.6 km) trail, backpacking
11/1: 2 mi (3.2 km) dirt hiking
fit: These shoes fit my feet very nicely. Though my foot seems wide for many shoes, there is no tightness over the forefoot. Heel lift is not an issue.
comfort: Laced correctly these shoes are quite comfortable. I've had no break-in issues, no blisters or hot spots. I'm looking forward to longer hikes with great confidence of no hot spots.
durability: That will have to come later.
lacing: The laces don't slip very easily, which is good and not as good. The sides of the shoes are plenty firm and I find it necessary to exert a bit of force to spread them. The first couple of eyes accommodate, but the rest don't. Of course it also doesn't take much pressure to lace the shoes up to a correct tension--in fact it's rather easy to overtighten the laces at the top.
tongue: The design doesn't leave a smidgen of extra fabric for the tongue width, perhaps an innovation in efficiency.
tread: Five rows of deep tread cut an aggressive profile, great for trail traction, though likely to churn up a lot of ground in camp.
suspension: These shoes provide one of the best rides my feet have enjoyed in trekking shoes. Super shock absorption may be the top highlight.
rubble isolation: My test is to put all my weight with backpack on the ball of one foot over a golf ball-size stone and see if it hurts. These shoes pass the test easily.
stability: The shoes hold my feet in place, so no issue in that regard. However, they don't have the lateral support I'd prefer. I've turned ankles quite a few times in the shoes. So far the stiffness of the sides bumping the ankle bone has been sufficient to prevent over-stretching.
manufacturing quality: Even with a pronounced amount of stitching and gluing, I don't find a single defect.
weight: They seem a little heavy for low-cuts.
style: They are really comfortable, so if all that's the result of all that engineering, then I've no criticism of it. I don't care as much for the blue trim as I do for the olive; although the resident fashion guru says she likes the blue but not the green so much.
January 9, 2016
Nov 26/27: Castle Rock State Park, CA. 6 mi (10 km); dirt, mud, rock. Temps 50-60 F (10-15 C)
Dec 30-Jan 1: Gooseberry Creek, Stanislaus National Forest, CA. 5 mi (8 km) on snowshoes. Temps 15-35 F (-9-2 C)
Nov 2-Dec19: 11 walks of 3-6 mi (5-10 km), total of 36 1/2 mi (62 km)
Nov 1-Dec 27: 4 walks of 2-5 mi (3-8 km) total of 13 mi (21 km) dry to muddy trail.
75 total mi (121 km) to date including: 16 mi (26 km) hiking on dirt, 12 mi (19 km) backpacking; 42 mi (68 km) on the street; and 5 mi (8 km) snowshoe backpacking/sledding.
Probably the most rigorous test for fit so far has been 5 1/2 mi (9 km) 90" hike on the street. That usually brings out any hot spots likely to develop, and there were none. I've been testing the shoe wearing only a single pair of socks. The left inside ankle cut seems a bit high, but this is not the first low cut causing notice there, so I suspect it more likely is the structure of the ankle.
The backpacking trips were short, but did offer a variety of surface from packed dirt, rubble, granite, mud and snow. I found great traction on all surfaces and felt stable at all times. I've turned the shoes a number of times, but not yet far enough to feel any strain in the ankles. (Ankle sprain is a persistent issue for me--I rely on the shoe to keep anything nasty from happening. I sometimes wear ankle braces with low cuts, though haven't yet with these shoes.) The higher cut of the shoe bumps into the ankle bone on excessive pronation and may help avoid damage.
Traction's good, though of course in greasy mud the lugs fill up. The lugs stayed fairly clear in dry powder. Ice traction felt unreliable, though I never fell.
This is the first time I've ever used low-cuts in the snow. Gaiters kept snow out and the shoes stayed dry inside, keeping my feet comfortably warm while shoeing and setting/breaking camp. For half the time I was carrying about 30 lb (14 kg) and on the way in I was tugging about 40 lb (18 kg) on a sled. The trail was deep snow, made pretty lumpy by a few other shoers and post-holers.
Though all trips were short, the shoes breathed well enough I did not feel an urgent compulsion to get out of them upon arriving at camp.
They are a little difficult to slip on as I can't seem to bother myself with loosening laces any more than necessary to get the shoes off. They don't make great night shoes, which would not be at a priority level of concern for a hiking shoe. And though I grumble at trying to loosen the laces, they do hold the shoe firmly in place without having to wrench the laces.
I like these shoes a lot. They are a couple ounces (60 gm) heavy, but that seems an acceptable tradeoff if that's the reason for their comfort and sturdiness.
March 12, 2016
FIRST PAIR: Jan 7-12, 4 street walks of 11 1/2 mi total (18.5 km); Jan 10, 4 mi (6 km) dirt walk; snowshoeing, Jan 22/25, Loon Lake, El Dorado National Forest, CA 9 mi (14.5 km) sometimes on very soft snow and including 2 mi (3 km) with backpack and pulling a sled. 96 mi (155 km) on this pair at time of return.
REPLACEMENT PAIR: 58 mi (93 km)
Feb 24-26: 20 miles (32 km) 3-day hike in Pt. Reyes National Seashore, CA. Gravel, firm dirt, rubble; warm temps.
Feb 16-Mar 11: 27 mi (43 km) in 9 hikes, all warm and dry.
Feb 10-Feb 15: 11 mi (18 km) 4 hikes, all warm and dry.
IMPRESSIONS: Total distance (for both pair) 154 mi (248 km)
The Loon trip was wet, sloppy snow with one evening of rain to boot. I was amazed the shoes stayed dry inside, saturated as they were on the outside. I was with 7 other people for a morning and one of only two not complaining of wet, cold feet. I had other camp wear but stayed in the Ahnus the whole time, mostly with gaiters. Temps were high enough even trampled snow was too rotten to trust. Once I did slip in a hole and turn an ankle hard enough to hear it pop. It didn't roll over far enough to be the disaster I fear when a mile from the car. I felt the collar bump into the bottom of the ankle bone and evidently the height, stiffness and thickness of it averted serious consequence.
The tread on one shoe started coming loose after 75 mi (121 km); and by 96 mi (155 km) I felt it necessary to e-contact Ahnu. I had no receipt (they didn't ask, I didn't tell why). Establishing the return was clear and easy, with a concise explanation of how they would respond. They kept me continuously informed of the return status. Turnaround time to have new shoes back in hand was less than a week. I'd rather not experience a failure, but I can't imagine better customer service to mitigate it. The shoes appear to be well made and I'd chalk up this incident to production anomaly.
I always seem to get a blister or two on the road/trail trek to Wildcat Beach in Pt. Reyes, and this year's jaunt proved no exception. For the second and third days I restored a synthetic liner to my sock regimen, along with a bit of tape on the third day. Even with blisters I found the Ahnus comfortable enough on the first night that I merely loosened the laces and did not change into camp shoes. I am amazed I can hike for hours in these shoes and my socks are still fairly dry. Perhaps the low cut helps wick moisture out, in combination with a breathable liner that evidently works very well. Much of the Pt. Reyes hike covered loose rubble and often grit over hardpan on steep trail. I had no traction issues. More importantly, I never turned an ankle. I've gained great confidence in these shoes. The stiffness of the sole keeps my arthritic tarsals happier with minimal flexing over rubble. I've also begun to consider the possibility of not toting camp shoes on some hikes. If there be a pair of hiking shoes that would let me kick that habit, these may be it.
Previously I commented on the adequacy of lateral support. I'm not noticing any issue there now. These shoes have a bit thicker heel than others in my closet, without being any wider. Initially I think I was probably dragging the heel and snagging it from time to time. Now that I've gotten used to lifting the heel a bit more, I'm not feeling sswobbly.
I find their weight and rigidity a little clunky compared to lighter trekkers. The heel support is the most comfortable of any shoe I have. I titter with delight at the rubble isolation quality of the forefoot, though I wouldn't want it any firmer. I am thoroughly impressed with their overall comfort. I'll probably whine about them being warm come August, but in the snow my piggies were happy. Even in the warm winter clime of the Bay Area I've yet to experience soggy socks.
Quick shot impressions:
Thank you Ahnu and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product. This concludes my report.
Read more reviews of Ahnu gear
Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer
Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Ahnu Ridgecrest eVent WP Shoes > Test Report by joe schaffer
If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.