The Ridgeway Sole: Behind the Name
Published - 11th Oct 2021
Dainite’s world class range of rubber soles includes the Ridgeway which offers an exclusive and sophisticated addition to country style boots and shoes. Currently available in multiple colours, the Ridgeway can bring vibrancy and contrast to leather uppers and also lends Dainite’s reputation as the ‘Perfect Understatement’ with every design.
With renewed interest in the design we are often asked how the Ridgeway got its name.
We are happy to share that the Ridgeway has its roots in the very countryside on which many a country brogue may tread; it takes its name from the Ridgeway National Trail.
Whether a keen hiker or just a Sunday afternoon stroller, you may have heard of the Ridgeway Trail which stretches from the World Heritage Site, Avebury henge and finishes on the Ivinghoe Beacon. The trail is a prehistoric trading route which was most likely used for the trading of livestock, bronze, tin, amber, and even gold, and dates back some 3,500 years. Much of the path is dry, high ground, giving travellers a commanding view against potential danger, and earning the trails name ‘Ridgeway’ as a path along the ridges of the land. If you are familiar with the sole design, you’ll recognise the landscape inspired ridge features.
The trail itself has a complex social history which is a true reflection of the development of British society through millennia. First used in the Bronze and Iron Ages, then by Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Viking traders; in the medieval period, the pathway continued to be used for trading between England and Wales. The path was also affected by the unpopular Enclosure Acts of the eighteenth century and hedges and mounds were erected to evade the enclosure laws and preserve the trail. Countless elements of ancient British history lie in the very earth of this renowned national trail in burial mounds and spoken history.
Into the twentieth century, The Ramblers Association formed in the 1930s arose in response to 200 years of industrialisation, and progressive new freedoms to roam the countryside brought about newfound walking pleasures for many. Dainite recognised this growing trend and in 1941 introduced the Ridgeway Trail inspired design as a walking and outdoor sports sole; it has been in constant production ever since.
And so, with its unique design, the Ridgeway sole captures the features of the trail from which it takes its name, and now with the introduction of coloured options combines the richness of the historical British landscape with all the vibrancy and promise of today’s footwear styles.
For more on the Ridgeway, visit: www.dainite.com/popular-ranges/#ridgeway and for more on the National Trail, visit: https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/en_GB/trails/the-ridgeway/