Review by Arnie P
The Oboz Men’s Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots were provided for review.
Oboz Men’s Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots
About the Oboz company
The company was founded in Bozeman, Montana in the year 2007. The company was founded by people who had been working for brand-name companies and decided that their main principle in designing and making shoes would be “True to the Trail”. I like it when I learn that the people who design the product actually use the product they are designing. I suggest going to their website to learn more about the company. They are making an effort to be ecologically sound by using wind power. Also, most employees commute by bike, and they plant a tree for every pair of shoes sold. The company name is derived from the words Outside and Bozeman becoming Oboz.
The Men’s Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots come in the colors Sudan, Black, Scotch Brown, and Shale Gray. Sizes available are 7-12 in half sizes, and 13, 14. This boot is available in a normal and wide width. The boot is Mid cut covering the ankle. There is added material at the toe for protection. The heel is rounded which I believe helps my stability on the trail. The top of the boot sloped down toward the heel end of the boot. This helps in putting on the boot. All the lacing loops are raised and are closed except for the top pair. The bottom 2 pair are fabric loops, followed by 2 pair of metal and a fifth pair of fabric. The very top pair are open metal hooks. The upper part of the boots is made with a waterproof, breathable membrane.
There is also the Women’s Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots that come in Rio Red, Cool Gray, and Walnut. Sizes available are 6-11 in half sizes. This boot is available in a normal and wide width.
Specifications for boots received
Size: Men’s 9 US
Style: Mid cut
Left: 19 oz / 538 g
Right: 19 oz / 538 g
Left: 19.4 oz / 549 g
Right: 19.5 oz / 552 g
The website mentions that Acadia National Park was in their minds when this boot was designed. Since I hike in New England and have camped and hiked at Acadia National Park, it looks like these boots may fulfill my wish for a boot designed with New England in mind.
Trying the Oboz Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots
When I first looked at these boots they looked small. I rarely try anything until I have at least taken pictures. Curiosity got the best of me and I tried one shoe on wearing thin socks. It felt tight. The next day after taking pictures I was ready to try the Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots on for real. I started with thin socks and the fit was snug. Since it was raining I walked around the house. Then I sat near my pellet stove where it was in the low 80’s. The shoes got warm and then I walked around the house again. The fit was now perfect. If the fit gets better I may have trouble noticing it. There was adequate room in the toe box which is an important area. Too tight and you can get blisters between the toes and too loose you can get blisters on the bottom of your feet. It was raining last night when I walked to the shopping plaza. There were some deep puddles, my feet stayed dry but not the pants I was wearing. The length of the shoelaces is perfect and they stayed tied.
My test plan
Since I don’t like surprises on a hiking trip, I like to do several things before going on a hike. This includes wearing the shoes at the gym, doing cardio and all the other various equipment. My gym has a stair-master machine that functions well, so I will spend time on that as well other machines. I find some yard work, like using a ladder, is a good test. Then I will wear them on my weekly hikes in Harold Parker State Forest. I also walk in other areas.
Please check back in about a month when I will have more to say about the Oboz Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots in my next report. I wish to thank 4alloutdoors.org and Oboz for the opportunity to test the Men’s Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots.
It’s been a good month for trying out the Oboz Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots. What I wear on my feet is my most important gear. Since I have sensitive feet, I stop when problems develop with my feet. There was a lot of good weather, so I hiked in Harold Parker State Forest several times and walked in my community. I go to the gym several times a week and to a few other events. The performance and comfort of these boots is great.
Getting in and out of these boots
With my toes aimed down, I insert my foot and upon reaching bottom, I apply pressure forward and with a little effort my foot slides into place. When both feet are in place, I tie my boots. Since the boots have closed loops except for the top pair of open lugs, I use a simple knot above the closed lops then cross the laces and use the open pair of lugs for a final bow knot. I added the extra knot when I was having to retie my boots a couple times. With the extra knot the lacing length is excellent. In a 2-hour hike I retie about 2-3 times. I suspect this may improve as there is wear on the round laces. Round laces have a greater tendency to untie and I suspect it is because there is less surface for friction. More on this in my final report.
Harold Parker State Forest
I have been wearing these Bridger boots on my Wednesday 2-hour group hikes in Harold Parker State Forest. Because of the winter weather we have had this year, the trails have more than the usual wind blown trees, downed branches and trees blocking the trail. The result is a hike with more challenges. I have never had a boots that performed better than these boots. In this period we transitioned from several inches of snow on the ground to bare ground. This interim period had wet and muddy areas. I have been in 3-4 inches of water with no leakage. The soles of the boots did not get clogged with mud. These trails have a lot of rocks of all sizes. I no problem with slipping or instability on the rocks. I avoid stepping on large branches, without traction devices. On one of these hikes, I wore traction devices. They went on quick and easy and stayed on. The removal was also quick and easy.
At the gym
It is always a good sign when I can use a shoe or boot at the gym and do my routine without a problem. I find that the weight machines that put pressure on the soles of the boots are the ones I use, followed by the cardio machines (treadmill, bikes, and stair-master). I tried the ellipticals for a only short time as I don’t feel comfortable on them regardless of the kind of shoe I am wearing. I have used the treadmill up 30 minutes and the stair-master up to 35 minutes. I also do balance training so my body will react autonomously.
I have walked to the senior center a couple times (close to 2 miles), and to the two plazas within walking distance of my house.
During the winter many of my trees had broken branches. As a result, I had several branches that needed removal. I had to use a ladder and a pruning saw. I spent a lot of time standing on the ladder sawing branches. I was stable and comfortable in these shoes. If you are not stable on a ladder it not good for your confidence.
On many days, I have worn these boots all day. At night I was in no hurry to takes these boots off. There was no feeling of relief as I removed them from my feet and replaced them with slippers.
During the last test period I will be spending a week in the mountains of New Hampshire. Please check back in about a month when I will have more to say about the Oboz Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots in my last report. I wish to thank 4alloutdoors.org and Oboz for the opportunity to test the Men’s Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots.
A last look 6-9-18
This report is several days late. I could not get my gout swollen foot to fit into my boots. The weather has been unpredictable for this time of the year, going from hot and humid to hot and dry, then the next day the temperature drops to 50 F and rain. I was in Harold Parker for three of the Wednesday group hikes. I used the Oboz boots while I planted my garden. Then I had the job of maintaining my yard after a winter that damaged a lot of trees and shrubs. When the rest of the equipment was replaced in the gym, it was time to test my boots again. Also time for the last word on tying the boots.
I’ve noticed the popularity of mid cut boots like these among the high school and college students. I also noticed that most of them don’t tie the top set of lugs. I had to try this with these boots. This technique did not go well for me for two reasons. When not using the top lugs I had extras lace. Then the tops of the boots were spread apart. I collected debris in this area. Unless I was very careful in dressing the laces they were prone to catching on the top lug of the opposite shoe. My not using the top lugs was short lived.
Harold Parker hikes
Harold Parker is a great place to hike and hiking with a group makes it even nicer. It is like condensing a longer hike in the White mountains into a two-hour hike. There are steep sections, muddy areas, ledges. The trails have a lot of rocks of many sizes along with roots. This is the first time I’ve had a pair of boots as stable as these under all these different conditions. At the same time, I experienced excellent comfort and I had no problem getting wet in these boots. On my last hike I only had to retie each boot once. I have lost strength in my hands and that may be the reason. At the end of the hike I don’t have to change my boots to drive home or to my next destination. I am driving an automatic. There is nothing clumsy about driving in these boots. These are the little things that help keep life simple in a world filled with complications. I have had very little mud stick the bottoms or sides of the boots despite the muddy areas I was hiking through.
I had not visited Horn Pond in a long time and I was overdue. In the early afternoon, the temperature had reached the mid 80’s with sun and a little breeze. I started at the lake and headed between the power distribution and the water works to the south side of the mountain and followed the paved road. This is very steep with a lot of tree cover. I passed an abandoned reservoir at the top which is flat and hiked north to descend the other side under the high voltage lines. The grass gives way to a steep sloping ledge and then a trail forms consisting of small rocks of all shapes. At the base of the mountain is a dirt trail leading back to the lake. I did not have any traction issues on the ledge or hiking over the rocky section in these Oboz boots. I circled the lake and returned to my car, making a hike of at least two and a half hours.
Demonstrating balance with Oboz Bridger boots on a Bosu ball
Since I had not practiced for over a year, I recruited Audrey to be a witness and moral support. I made a 38 second video. As I was about to dismount I recalled that getting off was harder than getting on. Check out the video at https://youtu.be/JJnJp1GbxCw
Around the yard
As the leaves came out, I found a few more limbs that need to be cut. Old age and ladders don;t make good friends but a boot like the Oboz gives me the stability and confidence I need to climb up and cut branches with a bow saw. I am slower and that means spending more time on the rungs of the ladder. It is nice to be able to stand on these rungs and not feel pain in my feet.
My lawn went from too soon to cut to too late to cut. I have a 22 in non motorized reel mower. This mower is a lot easier to use with boots that have good traction and I get all the traction I need in these boots. For the first cut I set the mower at the highest height of 4 in which made the task easier. I made a few more passes lowering it each time by a half inch. It is not my favorite job, but it is still within my capabilities.
The mid cut boot is nice for gardening. It keeps out a lot of dirt that usually ended up in the shoes I used to wear for this kind of work. I never liked to have to stop and empty the small pebbles that would accumulate in my shoes. This boot adds comfort to this kind of work. When it come time to watering I always had wet feet when I was wearing shoes or sneakers. So much nicer to be in boots and feel dry when the watering is finished.
I have been at indoor events lasting up to two hours. I was comfortable even when it was hot. My feet were always dry.
I feel I can wear the Oboz Bridger boots all year and to almost anything I attend and feel comfortable. Other than needing to use the top lug and having to retie boots during a hike, I am perfectly satisfied with the Oboz Bridger boots. These boots kept me warn, dry and most of all comfortable under all the conditions I experienced. I wish to thank 4alloutdoors.org and Oboz for the opportunity to test the Men’s Bridger Mid B-dry hiking boots. I look forward to using the Bridger boots for backpacking season.