New Balance’s Rainier Boot – The Hiking Hybrid You Didn’t Know You Needed
The New Balance Rainier silhouette was first introduced back in 1982, and was crafted upon the advice of well know mountain expert Lou Whittaker.
Following a mountainside accident on an ascent up Mt Rainier, Lou claimed that it was his breathable and comfortable trainers that saved his feet from a possible amputation incident. While he praised the trainers that saved his skin, he did note that they lacked the support and grip that was needed for a hillside ascent. He formulated an idea for a trainer-boot hybrid that would combine the best of both worlds, and took it to New Balance owner Jim Davis, and in 1982 the Rainier Boot was born.
It arrived crafted to Lou’s request, a lightweight boot with a trainer like construction. To the upper a mesh base offered breathability while a leather or suede outer panel protected the wearer from rocks and rubble. Metal eyelets offered secure lacing and subtle branding was offered in the form of ‘NB’ embroidery to the Rainiers side panels. Underfoot a rubber sole provided traction and grip on loose ground, making any mountainside ascent a breeze. The model proved popular and only two years after its creation, it was used to achieve the greatest feat of all, summiting Everest.
Following Teddy Santis’ revival of the model in a New Balance x Aime Leon Dore Collaboration in 2022, New Balance have re-released the style to demanding consumers. Updating it with a Vibram outsole, but remaining true to the rest of the OG construction, this Rainier Boot arrives as functional as it ever has been. While now it is viewed as more of a lifestyle boot, there’s no doubt that it doesn’t pack a punch (or kick?) when it comes to vigorous hiking… Did we mention that someone has climbed Everest in these?
Retailing at just £149.00, you can pick up a pair online or in-store now at Aphrodite Clothing,