Side-Zip Boots: The Right Choice for You?

SIDE-ZIP BOOTSRidge Max-Pro Side-Zip Boots

Side-zip boots look like a regular boot except for a zipper and flap on the inside of each foot. The boot still has a normal lacing system.

There are key benefits of buying a side-zip boot:

Time Saver

The most significant advantage of boots with a zipper is time savings. Once you get the boots adjusted to your liking, you don’t need to use the lacing system except to adjust for fit and stability now and then as the boots are broken in. Just put on your boots and zip them up.  This is much quicker than loosening and readjusting the lacing system each time you put on your boots.


Side-zip boots allow you to leave your shoelaces in place once you get the fit adjusted to your liking.  In fact, once you achieve the perfect combination of fit, comfort, and support, you don’t want to mess that up.  The zipper allows easy on and off without having to adjust for fit and stability every time you put your boots back on.


Your feet perspire when they get hot, leading to discomfort in boots without ventilation or moisture-wicking linings. Boots with a side zipper can provide temporary ventilation.  Simply unzip rather than taking the boots off entirely to let the heat out and cool down your feet.

Wear & Tear

Having a side zipper extends the life of your shoelaces.

Ease of Use

If you have hand injuries, arthritis, or another condition affecting your dexterity, side zippers can be much easier to use than a traditional lacing system.

Why Still Have a Lacing System?

Laces fine-tune your fit, stability, and comfort.  They also provide ankle and foot support.  Side-Zip acts in conjunction with the lacing system.

What to Look for In a Quality Side-Zip Boot

Ridge Zipper Keeper TabCommon complaints about side zip boots include jammed or broken zippers.  Ridge Footwear has spent a ton of Research and Development resources to source a high-quality, reliable zipper for all side zip boot models.  We use high quality YKK® branded zippers.  We made sure the curve was engineered to maximize reliability and durability, and to dramatically reduce the occurrence of blow-outs.   This rarely happens with Ridge side-zip boots when used and cared for properly.  Ridge side-zip boots also feature a hook & loop Zipper Keeper to keep the zipper pull secure and in place.

Your side-zip boots should have additional upper material between the zipper and your foot for comfort.  A zipper directly exposed to the foot can cause chafing and irritation. Waterproof side zip models should have a gusset between the zipper and the foot to keep water out when the boot is submerged.

Ridge side-zip boot models all have a degree of a curve to them.  This aids in the strength and durability of the zipper and maximizes the size of the opening to make it easy to put on and remove your boots.  The degree of the curve depends on several factors, including the boot’s upper materials and the style of the boot.

Ridge side-zip boots come in a variety of styles, including:

  • 8″ Boots
  • Mid-Cut Boots
  • Waterproof
  • Safety Toe
  • Black
  • Tan