Ahnu Elkridge

~ Chuck

Ahnu Elkridge

The Ahnu Elkridge Hiking Shoe is a new generation shoe with some great new shoe technology. I didn’t know much about Ahnu (http://www.ahnu.com/) until I tried them. (The Elkridge is being provided for review). Here are some words from Ahnu about the Elkridge.

The men’s Elkridge, features Numentum™ Hike. Our lightweight, durable, waterproof/breathable hiker is the perfect choice when you’re looking for comfort, support and protection. Ahnu’s neutral positioning technology, Numentum™ keeps you centered and balanced for added stability on rugged terrain.

Features:

  • Leather lined collar and tongue
  • eVent® breathable and waterproof bootie
  • Durable leather/Nubuck upper
  • Rubber toe protector

Looking inside the Elkridge is one of the things that impressed me the most. The eVent fabric that is lining the Elkridge will give this shoe great waterproof and breathabilty properties. The foot bed is another thing that also is very important in a hiking shoe. The foot bed for the Elkridge is soft and comfortable yet ridged enough to support the arch and the heel of the foot. The foot bed is removable and can be replaced by other foot beds if desired.

The leather lined collar and tongue give the inside edge of the shoe a very soft touch. The tongue is gusseted which will keep out most of the water and debris. The size of shoe that I have is a size 9.5 US and it fits true to size. I do have a little bit of wiggle room in the toe box area which will be nice when I have thicker socks on.

The outside of the shoe is just as impressive as the inside. The leather and Nubuck uppers on the outside give this shoe even extra protection from the elements. Just feeling this material gives me a sense of security knowing my feet will stay dry if I am hiking in the rain or traversing across a shallow river bed. One great feature is the rubber toe guard and the aggressive lug pattern on the rear of the shoe. The rubber toe guard is a great feature for all hiking shoes as this really does protect the toes when accidentally kicking a protruding root or rock on the trails. The aggressive lug pattern on the bottom and the rear of the shoe tells me I should be stable and upright when hiking across boulder fields or going down slippery rock faces.  At least that’s what I hope I can count on.

After trying on the shoes and just getting a feel for them I like the out-of-the-box feel to them. They were not to stiff but stiff enough to give support to my feet. The Numentum Technology is definitely prominent as I was able to feel the shoe keep my foot in the correct position as I walked. The only complaint I have at this time is the laces. As I work my way up from the toe of the shoe, pulling the laces tighter, when I get to the top, they don’t want to stay tight. The eyelets for the laces are like a ‘D’ ring shape and they do not hold the lace tight. So as I pull at the top and get ready to tie the shoe, they go back loose before I can get the knot in. I will have to play around with some lacing techniques to see if I can remedy this.

I look forward to some great hikes with the Ahnu Elkridge. Stay tuned for more….

UPDATE: 07/18/11

The Elkridge shoe has been so durable that they really do not show signs of wear. These have not only been my hiking, backpacking and camping shoe. It’s been my “every day” shoe. As I mentioned in the initial report, they felt so comfortable right out of the box. And so I have had no issues with rubbing, hot spots or blisters.

The comfort of these shoes have been outstanding. I’ve worn them with different types of socks such as hiking socks the breath really well to backpacking merino wool socks that are thick and cushiony to regular cotton athletic socks. I’ve gone on day hikes where I carried a very light load, up to backpacking in them carrying a load of about 40 lbs. In all these cases the Elkridge has been very comfortable with no issues with feet problems. I have somewhat of a normal foot if there is such a thing, but right out of the box the shoes are great.

With the leather and Nubuk outer fabric, I really thought that my foot might sweat just a little bit. I have been pleasantly surprised after hiking in them over 10 to 12 miles on a hot summer day, that my feet were as dry as they were when I started. The eVent fabric on the inside really makes a huge difference when it comes to ventilation. I also like the protection on the outside. I’ve worn the shoes with gaiters during a rain storm on a hike and the rain flowed down the gaiters and right over the front and sides for a period of about an hour and at the end of the day, my feet were still dry.

The outer soles on the shoe are very stiff and hard molded. Which makes a great shoe for just about any terrain, especially a rugged terrain. The lugs have really taken a beating on some terrain that I have been on and they still have not worn down. The rubber toe box has certainly saved my toes on many occasions when I stump my foot on a rock or root as I’m hiking.

So far these shoes have been very durable and very well liked on any terrain and in any condition. Stay tuned for more…

UPDATE: 01/19/12

Not much has changed with the Elkridge since my last report. I still continue to wear them at least 3 to 4 days every week.

The lace issue that I was having at the beginning seems to have fixed itself. Here lately as I tighten them up before I tie them, they seem to stay tight. One of the beautiful things about the shoe is the tongue. It has molded to the top of my foot and has made this shoe so comfortable.

I’ve been trying to think of things that I would change on this shoe but there truly isn’t anything that I would change. This shoe is honestly the best hiking shoe that I have ever worn and I have worn my share of them, I have a closet full to prove it. And it looks like I won’t be needing another pair for a while.

Everyting is still in great shape, a little dirty perhaps, but otherwise a great broke-in shoe. i want to thank Ahnu and 4AllOutdoors for the opportunity to test this shoe.

 

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