Initially, I was a bit wary of the claims made by Ridgemont Outfitters on their new Monty Hi sneaker-boot hybrid. As a student in Salt Lake City, I was not unfamiliar with frequent and unpredictable weather changes, and in the past, had returned home with drenched sneakers after mistaking a sunny morning for a sunny day. Just this past week we experienced a 30° drop in temperature, and roughly 8 inches of snow between Monday morning during my run, and Monday evening, as I frigidly awaited the university shuttle. During this experience, my Monty Hi’s performed exceptionally well.
Similarly to Utah weather, the Monty Hi is incredibly variable, and can be enjoyed in many different situations. My Grey/Teal Hi’s got inquisitive questions from a sneaker-connoisseur as I was strutting through the library in the morning, although he too wasn’t convinced they would hold up well in the snow when I told him they’re marketed as something of a sneaker-boot combo. We were both able to agree, however, that the shoe looked unique and would fit right in on his shelf next to his newest Jordan’s. Later on, unbeknownst to me, it had begun to snow. Hard. When I finally got out of my evening Architectural Theory class, which ironically is held in a class with no windows, I was confronted with making my way to the other side of campus to catch the bus with nothing but snow in sight. To my surprise, I arrived home an hour later with my toes completely dry, thanks to the oiled suede and high grade nylon typically found only on seriously expensive hiking boots. Although I didn’t encounter too many slick surfaces, on the snow, I never slipped. This is thanks to the exposed EVA mid-sole with a heel stabilizer and the bespoke Ridgemont half cup outsole, making for sure footing regardless of if you’re boogyin’ at a club during Sundance, or trudging back to your ski cabin thereafter.
The structure of the shoe is quite rigid and feels like a boot, but definitely manages to pull off a modern, athletic silhouette successfully. The only criticisms I can offer are the limited color-way options, and the comment that the athletic silhouette does come with a tradeoff – by no means is the boot exceptionally warm, so make sure to pair them with some thicker wool or thermal socks. All in all, if you’re looking a good-allrounder I can attest that the Monty Hi can get you from snow bank to date spot with no hesitation.