In the early part of December 2021, I wrote a review for Luxurious Magazine® on the Berghaus Expeditor Ridge 2.0 Boots, and at the time, I thought they were nigh-on perfect. A couple of months on, I thought I should update my experiences with them for The Hiking Bug.
Berghaus is a name known to most regular hikers. Many would presume that it is a European or even American brand given its name. That’s not the case as Berghaus’ has thoroughly English roots. Two men based in Newcastle by the names of Peter Lockey and Gordon Davison were the catalyst, initially selling outdoor gear from a small shop named the LD Mountain Centre in 1966. So, in a nutshell, Berghaus is a British brand.
Although I tend to stick to Scandinavian brands when it comes to outdoor clothing, when it comes to footwear, it is an entirely different matter. Like many regular hikers, I have an assortment of footwear to cope with the ever-changing British weather and its varied terrain. Before purchasing the Berghaus Expeditor Ridge 2.0 Boots, my regular’s were LOWA and Trezeta boots. The reason I like these brands is down to their exceptional build quality. Both seem capable of dealing with just about anything put in front of them.
However, there is a slight drawback with Trezeta and LOWA boots, which is their weight. I wanted to get a significantly lighter pair, and Black Friday 2021 seemed to be the ideal opportunity. When it comes to finding a good deal, I’ll often head over to wiggle.co.uk and lo and behold; they had a spanking offer on the Expeditor Ridge 2.0 Boots.
I placed my order, and within a few days, they had arrived. When I took them out of the box, I’ll admit I was surprised. They not only looked the part in black and grey but in hand; they seemed to only weigh about the same as a high-end pair of trainers.
One of the biggest draws of the Berghaus boots was the brand’s claim of them having great grip thanks to OPTI-STUD® soles. The sole design looks quite different to most others, and there’s clearly been a lot of thought put into them with a bright red logo and red accents running down the length of the boot.
Natasha and I couldn’t wait to put them to the test, and before long, we were out in the Yorkshire Dales National Park to give them a thorough workout. As expected, the boots felt incredibly light, almost unnoticeable when you’re walking. They are also very flexible and are generous in their width, making my previous issues with pinched toes a thing of the past.
As with any boots, they need what’s called “Breaking in”. Although the space and lightweight make them very comfortable, my left boot did press down along the crease line (between the arch and toes), and this is still evident after a few months and 100+ miles in them.
One area where the boots performed above and beyond is with their waterproofing. I found I could stand in streams with water that lapped the start of the lace area without a hint of water penetration. We even took them up to the top of Ingleborough in knee-deep snow and, again, no water penetration; in addition, my feet didn’t feel cold, but this might be down to the Merino socks I was wearing.
It’s not all plain sailing with the Expeditor Ridge 2.0 Boots
With regards to gripes, my major one with the Berghaus Expeditor Ridge 2.0 Boots, it is with their grip. On three occasions, I slipped while walking in them. It rarely happened with my other boots, which have a more traditional Vibram sole. The slips happened when walking at a regular pace downhill. Of course, it could be down to the way I walk or the pressure I am exerting on each foot; who knows? It was confusing that it didn’t happen with the other brands I wear.
Also, I noticed when cleaning them that the lovely red accents on the sole had and were starting to peel off. Rather than being moulded, they appear to be simply glued on for added visual effect. Having never purchased a pair of Berghaus boots previously, I don’t know if this is something others have experienced? Or whether it is an isolated case with me.
Another thing I have found, which might be more down to a manufacturing glitch in the inner lining in the left boot, whether it is missing the requisite level of padding or something else, after a few miles, I have found it to be extremely uncomfortable with something hard pushing down on the bones between my big toe and main foot area. Even with two thick pairs of Merino socks, this is still evident.
I have called Berghaus on three separate occasions and each time, I have been assured that this will be looked into, and yes, despite many promises, and as you can probably guess, I am still waiting for a response.
Although the grip and slipping problems I have encountered have not put me off wearing them, it has meant that I wear them only when I need to and only on short fairer-weather hikes. In my current opinion, they are a pair of best to wear when the sun is shining.
Overall, the Berghaus Expeditor Ridge 2.0 Boots are smart looking, light, comfortable boots that can be purchased at a price that won’t break the bank.
Are the problems down to the design? Is it due to how incredibly light and flexible they or is it an issue with my individual walking style? Whatever the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that they are good-looking lightweight boots and fingers crossed, other hikers won’t be sharing my somewhat disappointing experiences.
You can learn more about the Berghaus brand and their range of boots and clothing, including the Expeditor Ridge 2.0 Boots, at www.berghaus.com.