Since its introduction into the performance apparel industry, Under Armour has made great strides in tailoring their products to fit the needs of all athletes. And while many might associate the brand with the popular sports, football and basketball, Under Armour has, more recently, made its way onto the hiking and trail running scene. For the outdoor aficionados out there, this is exciting news. If you’re one of those aficionados, one product you may want to check out is the Newell Ridge Low hiking boot.\
Company: Under Armour
Shoe: Newell Ridge Low hiking boot, $169.99
Specs (from Under Armour):
- Tight weave textile upper for lightweight durability
- Anafoam overlay anatomically molded for precise fit
- GORE-TEX® waterproof, breathable membrane
- Welded synthetic toe cap for protection & durability
- TPU heel cradle for stability
- Dual density EVA midsole with Charged™ foam for responsive comfort
- Michelin® Oc Outsole Compound for excellent outdoor traction
- Michelin® Wild Dig Decent’R outsole lug pattern designed for shedding mud & debris in all conditions.
Initial Impressions: Right out of the box, the first thing that caught my eye was the thick sole; from heel to toe, the sole is approximately 1.5 inches thick. Another thing that stood out to me, was the intense tread. These boots definitely looked like they could grip even the slickest of trails, which comes as no surprise considering the outsole is designed from Michelin, the same brand that makes vehicle tires. The Newell Ridge Low is offered (so far) in the one color option, black and white with turquoise lining and minimal turquoise stitching.
Performance Impressions: I got a chance to wear these doing a couple short 3 mile and 4 mile hikes. The terrain on these hikes was a mix of dirt/mud (thanks to all the rain), rocks, and roots. First off, the grip on these Newell Ridge boots is pretty crazy, in a good way. Normally I have to be more conscious about where I’m stepping or how I’m stepping, but with these boots, I eventually found that I didn’t have to put too much thought into that and could actually enjoy the sights and sounds around me. Another thing I really liked about these boots is the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane that kept my feet dry even when stepping through the puddle filled trails. It always boggles my mind when outdoor companies make non-waterproof hiking boots as this seems like something that would go hand in hand.
The cons of the Newell Ridge boots (which are honestly overshadowed by the pros) have to do with sizing. For someone, like me, who has really narrow feet, these boots were a little wider than what I would prefer. Also, they run a little bigger than what I’m used to. I probably could have went a half size down. However, I will admit that I am unfamiliar with Under Armour sizing. So if you’re an avid Under Armour buyer, the sizing probably won’t be an issue. In terms of comfort and breathability, the Newell Ridge boots felt pretty good even while traversing over a wide variety of terrain that also included some elevation gains and losses. There weren’t any noticeable hot spots and my feet never felt like they were suffocating (which is something I have felt before with other Gore-Tex boots).
Overall, I think the Newell Ridge Low hiking boots are a sign of more great things to come from Under Armour and I, personally, am excited to see more sportswear companies evolve to include outdoor gear. I’m looking forward to wearing these boots on many more hikes and even trying them out on backpacking trips in the future.