Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof - Men's
A really comfortable mid that can overlap into four…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $115
A really comfortable mid that can overlap into four seasons. The leather upper is soft and needs little break-in but provides some support, and the sole and midsole do a nice job protecting your feet - but I wouldn't call the midsole cushy. The lacing hardware is sturdier than most. Waterproof membrane makes them a good choice for rain and mud. Overall, a nice boot.
- Deep sole treads
- Well made, should be durable
- Laces untie easily
With five months of hiking and walking under the treads, it's time to review the Bridger. This is a mid-high boot, all leather, but soft on the outside—nubuck. My size 11.5 pair weighs 2 pounds 13 ounces. I have been using them everywhere but got them as a change of pace for my heavier Limmer boots when I train with 40-60 pounds on my back. I used a discount at REI, so they set me back about $115.
These fit true to size. My feet are pretty wide in the front, and the toe box works well with a reasonably thick sock. Oboz shoes all come with a great insole—thicker padding under the sole and heel along with a hard plastic arch support. Much better than most stock insoles. The inside of the shoe is lined with some sort of fabric—not a leather lining.
Unfortunately, I can't use these because I have custom orthotics. The laces easily secure your feet snugly; I suggest double-knotting them, because the laces are slippery and have a habit of untying.
The midsole seems to be firm EVA, and the shoe has a 3/4 length plastic shank. The combination has shielded my feet well on the rocky trails nearby. This is not a particularly soft sole/midsole combination—the leather didn't need any significant break-in, but the sole/midsole under your feet feels pretty hard. Under your feet, these feel a lot more firm than Oboz's Sawtooth or a couple of different Merrell low shoes I have worn over the years.
I read somewhere that there is a plastic plate under the forefoot—I believe it. Though not as supportive as a full-grain all leather boot with a hard midsole, they provide more ankle support and protection from pointy rocks underfoot than my son's Merrell mids (we now wear the same size, so I compared).
The sole has a fairly deep tread and is quite hard, again a lot harder than Oboz's mids. That translates into a sole that wears extremely well. It also sacrifices some grip on hard rocks compared to softer or stickier rubber soles. I'm a fan of approach shoes that generally have great grip on rocks.
These have a waterproof/breathable membrane, and it works. They kept my feet dry on a couple of rainy hikes and some slogging in the mud. No leaks yet. The membrane and leather outer does make them warmer than a non-waterproof boot, but they are not as warm as my thicker all leather boots. Pretty average for this kind of boot. I have to admit, my feet don't tend to overheat. Because they have a membrane, I haven't treated the leather.
So far, so good, and they should prove to be long-lasting for a shoe you can't resole. As I already noted, the sole is fairly hard rubber and wears slowly, the metal hardware is excellent, and this is an all leather boot. It also has a very durable toe cap, something Oboz does on a number of their shoes.
I have walked maybe 75-100 miles in these boots, and so far, nothing is pulling loose, tearing, ripping, or really showing much wear at all—just in some spots on the sole.
Where I Have Used Them
Pretty varied. Local dirt trails, rocky trails by the Potomac River, pavement, and a couple of times recently in the snow. I have been using them for training with a larger backpack, the goal being to avoid an inopportune ankle twist with a lower shoe while providing a change of pace from my very sturdy and heavier leather boots. They have also been my choice in the rain because they have the waterproof membrane.
I used them a little less during the summer when it was really hot, as I have a few pair of hiking shoes that are better-ventilated, better choices for our normally hot and humid summers. On the other hand, they have been great hiking in the teens and twenties with a decent pair of wool socks.
I like this brand. They do a decent job fitting wider feet—a plus or a shortcoming, I guess. I already wore out a pair of their low shoes and reviewed a low shoe of theirs that is more of an approach shoe. This is a lot more boot than either of those, and it is very well-executed. I highly recommend them. Put a different pair of laces on these, make them available with a no-membrane option, I might give them five stars.
Rugged boot with a solid, stiff feel. Minimal break-in…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 220 CAD
Rugged boot with a solid, stiff feel. Minimal break-in time, solid ankle support, handles a wide foot well. Not light, but not heavy—does all from multi-day hikes to day trips or a walk about town. After a year of hard use, I predict at least two to three more years of service from this boot.
- Stiff sole
- Durable construction
- Long-wearing comfort
- Wide toe-box
- Mid-height seems short
- Stock laces are rugged but slippery
- Slippery on ice
Fit: Great for average to wide feet. I have wide feet, can't comment on a narrow foot.
Comfort: Boot is fairly stiff, needs a short break in, but the stiffness doesn't really go away—perfect for rough terrain and comfortable despite stiffness. No noticeable hot spots, no blister points. Make sure they fit!
Support: Good ankle support, rugged stiff sole is great for sharp rocks and roots.
Water resistance: Decent at first, I didn't maintain them well so no longer 100 percent waterproof. They still hold up for quick dips in puddles and shallow stream crossings, as well as pushing a canoe out. Warm day snowshoeing will get them wet. A real deluge or complete immersion will soak them. That being said, they're not overly uncomfortable when wet (with good socks).
Traction: Solid on all terrains, leaves something to desire on ice and wet, slick rocks (algae covered).
Temp control: It's a mid, waterproof boot. If it's 30°C they will feel a little hot, but aren't too bad. I wasn't dying to get them off even after long hot days. Decent warmth in winter with a good sock.
Ease of use: One set of hook eyelets at the top seem unnecessary.
Construction and durability: Can't be more impressed—no signs of failing after hundreds of miles.
Conditions: Dry and wet trails, these are great. Not so great for snowshoeing without gaiters. I've had them soaked and they dry relatively quickly.
I'm just a regular guy. I hike/paddle/snowshoe a lot in the Northeast. These have been excellent hiking shoes, and portage shoes. Price was steep at first but I think they'll outlast two pairs of a competitors boots...time will tell.
A few hundred miles in all weather conditions. Hiking, snowshoeing, portaging. I've worn a few other pairs of hiking boots but nothing of this quality. Rocks, sand, soil, bogs, beaches, wet rooty trails, pavement, cycling, showshoeing, mud. Good boot.
I bought these boot just about a year ago and I'm…
Source: bought it new
I bought these boot just about a year ago and I'm quite pleased.
Out of the box fit was good and a trip to REI got me into a size that was best. It took a week or so for my upper ankle to adjust to the padding, but I'm happy as a clam now. They really are waterproof, very comfortable, and seem to be lasting after a year of constant use.
I wear these for about 50% of my daily footwear and for trail hiking in New England. I'd buy another pair in a heartbeat.
- Great traction
- Look nice (IMHO)
- Designed in Montana
- Soles can slip on smooth/polished floor
- Made in China
I shopped around for a new boot for quite some time. I wanted a hiking boot that I could wear in the city without looking like a hipster lumberjack, something that would keep my feet dry and warm, a product that supports folks that live around me and something that would last.
I found Oboz during my search and they satisfied most of my criteria. Because they were from Montana I decided to take a chance on the "local guy", give them a bit of money for their effort and see what they make.
Out of the box they are an attractive boot. Mine are brown and black with subtle orange accents on the lugs and trim. They slip on easily enough and snug up to my ankles with confidence. The size was a bit off so I exchanged then for a pair 1/2 size different (larger, I think). Perfect fit.
There were some uncomfortable pressure points on the front of my upper ankle, but I loosened the laces for about a week to give my body time to adjust. Now I lace them all the way up, tighter for more support, if needed. There is just enough padding in the upper collar for a comfortable, snug fit.
I hadn't thought of it until now but I've never had to empty ANYTHNG out of my boots! I wear them in snow, gravel... all sorts of terrain.
These boots seem to have a waterproof bootie layer. I constantly walk through water with total confidence. The outer leather gets wet (of course), but my feet always stay dry. I splash through 3-inch deep puddles as they come up, but I think what I most appreciate is walking through wet grass or brush all day and not getting my feet wet.
These are my winter boots. Because my feet are dry they stay as warm as I'm prepared to stay. Winter wool socks make these boots great for tromping through snow and slush, lighter socks make for a nice summer hike.
So how did the experiment go? I like to make sure that my hard earned dollars are well spent and given to folks that deserve it. These folks at Oboz have proven themselves with this boot. They seem to have a strong, ethical, well run business and I wouldn't hesitate giving them more of my money.
I tried them out based on a few things I read and I'll stay with them because they made a damn nice boot.
I bought these boots based upon recommendations from…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $160
I bought these boots based upon recommendations from the staff at REI. I used them during a weekend camp out with the Boy Scouts and cannot be happier with them.
They felt broken in from the moment I put them on and stayed comfortable over the next 36 hours. My feet stayed dry and the arch support was excellent. Definitely recommend them.
- Great support
- No break-in time required
- Quality craftsmenship
- None so far
All Bridger Mid Waterproof versions
In addition to the 4 men's reviews above, there is 1 review for another version of the Bridger Mid Waterproof. Read all reviews »