Stuart Forster reviews a pair of Cat Footwear Ryker Boots.
As a travel writer and blogger I have to cover a lot of ground. Comfortable footwear, such as Cat Footwear’s new Ryker Boots, helps me feel at ease while going about my work.
Disclosure: A pair of the Ryker boots reviewed in this post were supplied by Cat Footwear as part of the brand’s #Catweartester programme. I tested the footwear over more than three weeks. Cat Footwear did not review or approve this post.
Walking—exploring urban areas—accounts for several hours of each of working day when I’m out on the road. If footwear doesn’t fit properly, I soon find out. I’m pleased to say that the Ryker Boots felt comfortable from day one, allowing me to concentrate on fact finding and making the most of a trip to the Netherlands.
To be on the safe side, in case of blisters, I always carry sticking plasters in my camera bag. Despite wearing these boots intensively from new, rather than breaking them in, I didn’t need to reach for the plasters once during the trip. I was walking well in excess of 10,000 steps, sometimes well over double that amount, most days during my journey.
The look of Ryker Boots
The boots are available in a number of colours, including black and brown. I was sent a pair with honey coloured leather uppers. Some people might describe them as yellow.
Testing them in the autumn made me wonder what would happen in wet weather. After a few days I found out. Walking in rain meant the light coloured uppers darkened around the toes where splashing resulted in exposure to water, but there was no significant marking once the boots dried.
Even after significant wearing, a month on from getting the boots, the uppers are largely free of marks. I didn’t clean them to take the photos you see illustrating this post; it’s genuinely how they look after four weeks of intensive daily wear.
The feel of the boots
Despite being ankle high, the Ryker Boots feel relatively light. Reading the product specification I learnt they make use of a material that is 15 per cent lighter than standard ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) soles.
Like other footwear in the Cat Footwear range, they feature Ease shock absorbing technology. It has been developed for durability and comfort, and is said to return 30 per cent of the energy in each step.
Of course, I didn’t test the boots in lab conditions, so can’t comment scientifically about the effectiveness of the shock absorption. As a wearer, though, I can say they felt comfy. I had the impression I was walking with a spring in my step.
The build of the boots
The boots have soft soles with hexagonal patterns. Over the past month I’ve worn them on paving stones, asphalt, cobbles and while on grass (by that I mean tramping about in the countryside, not the type associated by many travellers with visits to the Netherlands). I found they offer a reasonable grip even in wet conditions.
There’s plenty of support around the ankle, which I like in a boot.
The combination of eyelets and hooks means the boots are reminiscent of hiking boots but are significantly less clunky.
All told I like the contemporary, casual look and high level of comfort of the Ryker Boot. If you see me out and about over the coming months I can imagine there’s a good chance you’ll see them on my feet.
For more information about Caterpillar branded boots, visit the Cat Footwear website.
Photos illustrating this post are by Why Eye Photography, based in North East England.
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