In recent years, interest in outdoor apparel and equipment has surged far beyond the typical crowd of hikers, skiers, climbers and campers. It’s moved from mountain towns through suburbs, into cities and even onto fashion runways. Outdoor gear has always been cool, but it would seem that now it’s been made official.
But the thing is, not all of it is designed for use in places like New York and LA. Rain jackets, puffy jackets, backpacks — yes. Ice axes, crampons, avalanche beacons — probably not. Making the distinction isn’t always so clear though, and one big grey area is outdoor footwear. Yes, boots and shoes designed for scrambling over boulders and tramping endless miles can be worn on city sidewalks, but the heavy-duty construction can also take a toll on your feet when the only surface you walk on is concrete.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t find footwear that balances outdoor style with features fit for town. It’s this idea that Jon Tang uses as the foundation for his footwear brand Fronteer, and perhaps the best example of this is his Geotrekker. The Geotrekker looks like a serious approach shoe with a lugged sole, rubber toe cap and an upper made of suede and ballistic nylon, but keeps all-day comfort in mind. It doesn’t have a shank, a feature in hiking footwear that provides support and protection from jagged rocks, which means it isn’t so stiff that it’ll leave your feet feeling like you climbed to 14,000 feet when all you did was head downtown. It’s also available in two new colors, and they might be Fronteer’s best yet.
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