One of the things I was most interested in at the Outdoor Retailer show last year was a relatively new shoe line from Forsake. Providing a multi purpose boot that’s good to go from an early morning hike to a night on the town, the Clyde boot is a lightweight, “peak to pavement” option blending the styling of a vintage trainer, a modern skate shoe and a classic hiking boot.
Forsake was founded by two buddies who spent a winter in the Rockies, earning runs in the powder by washing dishes. Throughout the adventurous winter, it became obvious that their sneakers weren’t cutting it. The following year Sam and Jake returned home to the East coast and launched a plan to bring their ultimate casual boot to market. A successful Kickstarter campaign gave them the funding to get started, and their connection to the outdoors has led to a new product line that stands out from pure technical hiking boot options.
Features of the Clyde include a waterproof yet quite breathable membrane, an integrated and gusseted tongue, moisture wicking mesh lining, metal lacing hardware, and an Ortholite PU footbed. In real world terms, this translates to a comfortable boot with casual styling that’s tough enough to help dig your truck out of a snow bank while keeping your feet dry enough to enjoy the party you’re headed to. You won’t find obnoxious or neon colors in their product line. These aren’t designed to stand out, each of the 5 models in their product line are offered in two different understated color combos. The Clyde comes in the pictured brown and navy, or charcoal leather and suede with black Cordura mesh panels and a single red stripe along the footbed. Clean and simple design.
Though I planned to allow for it, the Clyde required little in the way of break-in, they were comfortable right out of the box, much like your favorite pair of skate shoes. While not designed as a backpacking boot, an important distinction, they’ve managed to support me and a loaded camera backpack over 100 miles on various trips from the Bonneville Salt Flats to the Eastern Sierra’s and Southern California’s deserts and shopping malls.
Due to the low key styling, these are an ideal choice for trips where you only want to pack one pair of shoes but don’t want to hit the bars wearing full tilt hikers. Additionally, the waterproof, breathable membrane has proved quite functional while not turning into a sweat lodge in the 100 degree heat wave that passed through So Cal last fall. As a mid-height boot, be careful not to stomp in too deep of a puddle, though the membrane proved to be sufficient at keeping my feet dry in both damp long grasses and muddy puddles on the trail. Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to take them up to the snow and ice this winter though, and it doesn’t look like there will be much of a chance for that this year.
The metal lined lace holes aren’t as fast as speed lace hooks, but do provide additional strength for a tight lace job from the included two-tone, high quality laces. The only negative I experienced with the Clyde was when the stitching holding the suede lacing edge to the nylon ankle pad broke loose. Forsake customer service informed me that it was a small percentage of this model that were affected, that the leather did not extend far enough to reinforce the seam. While you can’t have your boots falling apart on you 10 miles into a 30 mile out and back hike, remember that these are designed as casual hiking and outdoor lifestyle boots. Although, most shoes can fill that roll, the waterproof membrane is a feature that sets Forsake boots apart from standard tennis/skate shoes as an outdoor boot.
The included insole is soft and comfortable with moderate arch support, though I eventually replaced them with a pair of Superfeet green insoles as I do with most of my footwear. They fit perfectly without needing additional trimming and the Clyde’s have continued to remain a comfortable, all day boot through this long term review.
Pros: Comfortable and lightweight, with or without a light day pack. Style is appropriate for a day in the dirt followed by a night on the town. Fit is true to size. Limited break in time.
Cons: Stitching failed in the top ankle pad/lacing area, customer service quickly replaced the boots.
If you’re looking for a solid multi-purpose hiker that doesn’t scream “I live in the mountains”, head on over to Forsake today to grab a pair.
A comfortable and lightweight casual outdoors lifestyle boot that won’t look out of place on the trail or at the bar with an effective breathable waterproof membrane.