Our testers loved the Ahnu Northridge and we highly recommend it if you like going for moderate winter hikes or want a techier boot to wear around town. Thanks to a side zipper and front lace combo, this women's winter boot is easy to get in and out of. Plus, as soon as you slip it on, you'll notice the hyper comfortable, supportive footbed. While it doesn't offer as much ankle support as other winter hikers like the Vasque Pow Pow II or Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Titanium - Women's, it served us well on a six-mile hike through Canyonlands National Park. Additionally, the Northridge has a super grippy Vibram sole and abrasion-resistant mud guard. Made of suede and nubuck, this winter boot did not score as well in our style metric and it wasn't quite as warm as other boots, but it is a great option for those that live in milder climates and like its unique look.
Ahnu Northridge Review
Cons: Not super warm or waterproof
Our Analysis and Test Results
A somewhat techy-looking piece, the Ahnu Northridge features front laces and a side zipper. Its Vibram sole and breathable eVent fabric make it our only tall boot that is suitable for hiking. We also liked the combination of suede and nubuck leather materials and loved the Northridge's comfortable, supportive footbed.
We had some high expectations for this boot and we were a bit disappointed that it wasn't warmer. This model has 200 grams of insulation, but our toes got cold while standing around a desert campsite in 30 degree temperatures. Although standing still was a bit chilly, when we started moving, our feet quickly warmed up. On the bright side, the 11-inch shaft adds extra calf warmth. Overall, the Northridge was warmer than the Sorel Conquest Carly; however, the Vasque Pow Pow II and the Sorel Tofino both provided more warmth than the Ahnu boots.
Comfort & Coziness
We found this product to be one of the most comfortable boots in our review. It wasn't the coziest, but thanks to its EVA midsole, which provides heel and arch support, as well as extra shock absorption, we constantly felt like our feet were being cradled. We wore this boot on multiple hikes and unlike other tall boots like the Sorel Joan of Arctic, this piece was light and easy to move in. Ahnu also fitted this model with a TPU shank, which helps increase support and stability. Finally, this boot offers superb breathability; unlike its rubber toe box counterparts, this model left our feet dry and comfortable.
This product will weather puddles up to three inches deep, but beware if you venture deeper than that. When we submerged this piece up to its side zipper, water immediately started pooling in the bottom of the boot.
Style & Fit
This model has a techier look than many of the other boots that we reviewed. This is due primarily to the pillow-like breathable fabric that wraps around the back of the calf. We did like that you can wear this boot with your pants tucked in or out, unlike other boots like the Sorel Tofino where it would be next to impossible to get the fuzzy fur cuff under a pair of jeans. We also liked the look of the front laces, although the tongue can be a bit bulgy in places when the boot is laced up tight. The Northridge runs true to size and is not too narrow.
We took this boot on hikes in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and found the traction to be awesome over both wet and dry surfaces. It has a Vibram sole and some deep, effective treads. You might just feel like a mountain goat in these boots!
Ease to Take On & Off
Thanks to a convenient side zipper, this model seems like it would be very easy to take on and off. In fact, in our original review, we rated them highly for this feature; however, this year, we noticed that the zipper pull is quite slippery and very hard to grip when your fingers are cold or wet. Additionally, we sometimes had to re-tie the laces when putting this boot back on since the laces would slip out of the hooks at the top of the boot when we took them off. The only other boot in this review with a side zipper is the short-cut Merrell Dewbrook.
We liked this boot for light hiking and for general use on milder winter days. It's a great option if you're looking for a tall boot, but don't like the faux fur cuff, or if you want a boot that will look nice when you wear your pants untucked.
At $185, this product is definitely on the more expensive side; however, if you live in a milder climate and are looking for a tall protective boot that you can hike in, then these boots are a worthy option.
The Ahnu Northridge is a taller, techier boot that will keep your feet comfortable during light to moderate hikes. It's not super warm and doesn't fare well in deep puddles, but we think it's a great piece if your winters are on the milder side.
— Amanda Fenn