Oboz Sawtooth II Mid
I had high hopes for these boots because they fit my narrow feet and were very comfortable in the store. Due to significant comfort issues that arose in the field, along with disappointing midsole longevity, I'm not sure I'd buy these boots again.
- Fit is great for narrower feet
- Comfortable forefoot and upper
- Laces and eyelets have held up
- Uncomfortable heel cup
- Uncomfortable insole
- Midsole packs out quickly
Fit: I have narrow feet, especially in the heels, but I do not like a narrow forefoot in my boots. The fit of these boots is just about perfect for me, but I would imagine that people with normal width or wider feet would feel constricted with the normal width.
The fit is so good that it has made it hard for me to go back to other models. I bought a pair of Merrells to replace them, and my feet were swimming in them in comparison to these Sawtooths. In some ways, these boots have spoiled me!
Comfort: For me, the most significant issue with this boot has been the plastic reinforcement around the heel. This reinforcement has a tendency to dig into my ankles when walking on uneven terrain—and not necessarily crazy terrain, sometimes just steep trails. It can be downright painful. Because the reinforcement is plastic, it has not broken in or softened with use and can cause as much pain now as it did on my first hike with these boots. Your experience may be different.
I also had comfort issues with the insole. There is rigid reinforcement in the arch that dug into the back of my forefoot. This could definitely be unique to my foot shape, but my only solution was to change the insole, which was frustrating because one of the attractions of Oboz is that they put quality insoles into their boots.
A new insole completely solved the insole comfort issue and partially helped with the ankle pain. The insoles I used raised my heels in the boots. This did not eliminate the heel cup digging into my ankles, but it reduced the number of times it happened by repositioning my ankles just enough to make a difference. Had I not made this change, the boots would not have been usable for me.
Temp Control: These boots aren't waterproof, which makes them more breathable than boots with waterproof liners. While they're certainly less stuffy than most "waterproof/breathable" boots I've owned, these boots are still very warm due to the thick padding that runs along the sides and in the tongue (the padding also makes these boots slow to dry). Because of this, I would not choose these boots for hot weather hiking. They would be ideal for mild and cool temperatures and dry conditions.
Construction and Durability: The uppers have held up extremely well, including the eyelets and even the laces. There were a few stray threads that appeared early on, but I trimmed them and it turned out not to be an issue. The toe cap material has held up fine, which is refreshing in comparison to my recent experience with Merrell boots.
The midsole began to separate from the leather in a couple of spots within a couple of weeks. This was discouraging, but some shoe goo took care of this problem and I've had no issues since
The midsole is made of EVA foam, which packs out quickly compared to more resilient midsole materials. After seven months of ownership, the midsoles on my boots are packed out, and these boots are no longer comfortable to walk or stand in. It's sort of the nature of the beast with these materials, but I wish that EVA wasn't the standard for such pricey boots.
The outsoles are not completely worn down but are getting there. They are not Vibram and have not held up quite as well as most Vibram soles I have used, but there is still some tread left on them. They have basically lasted the life of the midsole, which I suppose is adequate.
Conditions: I've worn these boots for miles and miles doing forestry work in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I've had them for about seven months. From flat and easy to steep and difficult, these boots have seen pretty much the whole range of non-technical terrain. The ground here is not extremely rough on boots (not like the volcanic rock of northeast Arizona, for example), which makes the heavy wear on these boots especially discouraging. I have mostly worn the boots in the woods and not so much in town.
I've worn these boots out completely. I can compare them to most other boots in this class and in this price range, because I've tried most of them in my quest for a more comfortable lightweight, ventilated hiking boot.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $135
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The Sawtooth II Mid replaced the Oboz Sawtooth Mid.
Historic Range: $101.25-$135.00
Reviewers Paid: $135.00
Historic Range: $101.25-$135.00