User Review: Oboz Men's Valhalla
Use: day hikes up to 12 miles, 15 pound pack
Price Paid: $100
Used the Oboz website to determine shoe size, then ordered online. When shoes arrived the size was dead on. Loved them right out of the box, laced them up and went over 3 miles along Buffalo Bayou in Houston that night with no problems.
Bought them late summer of 2009 and have over 40 miles of trail hiking, half a dozen camping trips and untold miles of urban walking on these shoes. Everything from 100 degree, red dust of Cedar Hills in Dallas, to the woodlands and mud of East Texas, to the rock of Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas.
Plus recently the 12" of snow in Dallas, got to hike 6 miles in 2 inches of snow (32 degrees) the day after Christmas. They are ventilated enough to be comfortable in the Texas heat yet stayed warm and dry in 1 to 2 inches of snow, but not 12".
The hiking in Arkansas was about 12 miles in light rain, stayed out of the puddles and feet stayed dry. If you step in it, it will come in side the shoe. Each day was about 6 miles and the shoes had just started to soak through. Everybody sliipped in Arkansas, but I was very pleased with the traction on the wet rocks. Excellent traction in mud and snow.
These shoes are adequately cushioned, but not mushy. They are a little stiffer than most hiking shoes, but I like that because I am a fairly big guy at 6'3", 225 lbs. and need the support. I have above average high arches and am comfortable with the factory insoles. The quality and durability of these shoes is excellent, no frayed edges, no loose threads yet and the tread has held up very well.
Design wise I can't imagine a better all around hiking shoe for Texas, I grew up in East Texas, live in Dallas, work in Houston and vacation a lot in West Texas, so I think I should know. The toe is protected, ventilation is excellent, the sole is stiff enough to protect against rocks. There is enough rocker in the sole to aid in walking. The heel is stable and the lacing does it's job of holding the foot in place.
I understand the need for specialty footwear if you are standing in a swamp or walking through cactus and rattlesnakes or that blue norther hits, but other than that these are the shoes I don't leave home without.
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