Forsake Hiker Boots
Forsake is a footwear brand out of Boston, Massachusetts. The company was founded as a college project at Union College in Schenectady, New York, and as a solution to a problem co-founders Sam Barstow and Jake Anderson discovered while working at ski areas in the rockies—people enjoyed the comfort of skate shoes, but their feet were always soaking wet.
“It didn’t make sense for the environment we were in, walking around in the snow with skate shoes on,” says Barstow. “But we also didn’t want to wear clunky-looking hiking boots.”
The ski bum duo put their heads together and successfully crowd-funded their business on Kickstarter, raising $116,459, to have the first production line manufactured in China. They promised to offer three models—Hiker, Pilot, and Thurston—that would withstand harsh mountain conditions and look damn good at the same time. Featuring some of the best qualities found in your favorite outerwear (a waterproof/breathable membrane and taped seams), these boots hold up in whatever Mother Nature throws in your path.
I’m two months into wearing the Hiker. They keep me warm outside in the snow and 100 percent dry, something my usually wet feet greatly appreciate. Also, a strange thing has been happening. People are complementing me on my boots. Before we go into this, I’m not an up-on-my-fashion trends hipster. I wear, much to the dismay of almost everyone I know, Birkenstocks in the summer because they’re comfortable and I like them. This gave the entire Grind Media staff quite the laugh when I was managing editor at The Skier’s Magazine. The point being no one ever thought I was killing it in the footwear department.
Fast forward to the new Forsake Hiker. I’ve worn them to shovel my porch in a few inches of snow, check out a ski movie premiere, hike through mud, and attend a family dinner party during the holidays. With my Birks in the summer and Forsake the rest of the time, my footwear style is finally balanced.
My only complaint is the reinforced rubber toes tend to scuff, but the cosmetic defect doesn’t affect performance. It’s also something Barstow says they’ve addressed in their upcoming line. As for the future of the company, they’re using skiers like Ian Compton and industry veterans like Jason Levinthal for feedback so they can continue to build better kicks.