Ripple Soles are some of the most unique and yet functional soles ever created. Patented in 1955 by Nathan Hack and first developed for Paratroopers boots to reduce the amount of leg injuries they recieved, Ripple Soles were more than the novelty they appear to be today. Lenny, in our receiving department, got his hands on a couple pairs, put them on his suede bucks and gave us the lowdown on these interesting and curious soles.
“I came across them on Ebay looking for vintage clothing. I would see old vintage boots with ripple soles on them and I had some boots with a similar soles on them, some Italian mountaineering boots, and I thought they were really nice and had good traction and weight. They were a nice alternative to the Vibram Christy soles. Christies have very bad traction in the winter. You will break your butt if you’re not careful. I had seen Ripple Soles on different shoes, and I saw Yuketen had done a few pairs with them and Russell moccasins also, which is a really great outdoor hunting and fishing brand, and just thought they were really neat.
I contacted Vibram, the people who produced the soles, and I had assumed they would all be Vibram soles, the light brown ones that are on my shoes now are branded as Vibram soles but the black ones are actually branded as Nathan Pack, the guy who created and patented the soles himself, so its really hard to say if just something that Vibram owns the patent or bought the patent from him. I just thought that was an interesting bonus when I bought the two pairs.
The shoes I put mine on are the typical dirty suede bucks. I thought I would give it a shot and was actually really happy with how they came out. I got another pair of ripple soles just waiting to be put on something, but I don’t know what. They are very comfortable, I would imagine on this kind of a sole that they would be a little bit springy, but not as much as you would imagine. They’re pretty sturdy and hearty, so they will stand up to a lot of punishment and last for a while, which is always a good thing.
My next quest is to find dark brown; whether or not I use them for anything is anybody’s guess. Maybe I’ll put them on some flip flops…”
Read an in depth history of Nathan Hack and his Ripple Sole in Inventory No. 06