These sturdy yet stylish boots have it all — support, traction, durability, and water resistance. The Oboz Sapphire Mid's low overall weight and simple design make them perfectly suited for moderate hiking. These boots still have the same attention to detail and durable design that is a theme among Oboz products. Their women's specific shape means they are relatively low-volume, so wide-footed hikers may need to look to a different model among the top-ranked women's hiking boots. Also, the sizing seems to run a tad small, so getting a half-size up is not a bad idea. In terms of best uses, the Sapphire does well in rugged terrain. Their soles are sticky with aggressive tread, and their leather uppers are durable and water-resistant. It's also a plus that these boots are stylish and sleek and can be worn around town.Editor's Note: This review was updated on October 28, 2022, to shed more insight on which boots we would recommend to a friend.
Oboz Sapphire Mid Waterproof - Women's Review
Cons: Very stiff, takes time to break in, not very adjustable
Compare to Similar Products
Oboz Sapphire Mid Waterproof - Women's
$111.93 at REI
$199.00 at REI
$134.93 at REI
$175.00 at REI
|$72.50 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Pros||Stable, good traction, very durable, stylish||Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable price||Wide toe box, lightweight, padded ankle support, durable lacing system provides stability, excellent traction||Lightweight, stylish, supportive, comfortable||Improved traction, great for a wide foot, inexpensive, well-padded ankle|
|Cons||Very stiff, takes time to break in, not very adjustable||Not as supportive as a traditional leather hiking boot||Pricier, 0mm drop heel takes some adjustment time||Lacks ankle support for extended backcountry travel||Lacing system lacks durability, not enough ankle support for heavier loads, Achilles isn't well padded, heavy|
|Bottom Line||This is a burly, yet still feminine hiking boot that provides support, traction, and durability||A lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrain||These hiking boots have a similar design and feel to your favorite running shoe while also offering a durable outsole, grippy lugs, and a spacious toe box||A sleek, stylish, and lightweight hiking boot that doesn't sacrifice backcountry performance, though is better for shorter trips||These boots offer improved traction and comfort right out of the box, though they underperform in terms of durability and support for extended backpacking trips|
|Rating Categories||Oboz Sapphire Mid W...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Teva Grandview GTX Mid||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Oboz Sapphire Mid W...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Teva Grandview GTX Mid||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Weight (per pair)||1.70 lbs (size 7.5)||1.68 lbs (size EU 40)||1.60 lbs (size 8.5)||1.86 lbs (size 8.5)||2.06 lbs (size 8)|
|Upper||Nubuck leather||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||eVent fabric||Leather, synthetic, textile||Leather, mesh|
|Width Options||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Water Resistant Membrane||BDry||Gore-Tex||eVent||Gore-Tex||Waterproof membrane|
|Midsole||Dual density EVA with TPU Chassis||MEMlex||Altra EGO||EVA||Super Rebound Compound|
|Sole||Swiftcurrent||FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber||DuraTread Rubber||Vibram Megagrip rubber||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Sapphire Mid is a lighter-weight yet durable all-leather hiking boot made by Oboz. They excel in the support, traction, and durability metrics. Since they are super stiff and take some time to break in, the Sapphires receive slightly lower scores in our comfort metric than many of the other models we tested in our review of the best women's hiking boots. Their leather construction makes them durable and water resistant, though this also makes them fall a bit short in breathability.
The Sapphire is a narrow boot designed for a women's specific fit. We found that this boot ran a little small, and would order a half size up next time. This, combined with the narrow fit, made them fall short in the comfort metric. That said, they broke in with time and ended up being comfortable. The boots have a similar stiffness to other Nubuck leather models.
Though this boot fell short in comfort, they excelled in our support metric. The stiffness in the toe box and ankle provided plenty of support throughout the entire foot, and this combination of a supportive midsole and ankle support earned the Sapphire high scores in this metric.
The Sapphire has a sleek yet still aggressive sole. The Swiftcurrent rubber sole provides good traction without an obviously aggressive tread pattern. The soles do not stick out on the sides and are sleeker in design.
The Sapphire received high scores in our water resistance metric, due to their leather upper and seamless tongue. Once laced up, there are very few ways for water to enter these boots. Though the ankle height doesn't come up as high as some other options, the Sapphire still kept water out, ensuring your feet stay dry on the trail. The only downside is the lack of breathability, due to the all-leather uppers.
At 1.7 pounds, the Sapphire falls in the lighter weight half of the spectrum regarding weight. It is important to consider the type of materials used in a model when looking at weight - leather models will usually be heavier but more durable than synthetic or mesh boots. For a contender that still provides support and protection, while retaining a lightweight feel, the Sapphire is a good choice.
Oboz is a small company known for its quality footwear and for taking great care to produce products that last. The Sapphire is no exception. The soles are solid, and the leather uppers seem to resist wear and tear with ease. The only exception we found was the lacing system; the laces are thin, and the eyelets have been known to come off, according to a few online reviews (although we never experienced this during our testing period).
Should You Buy the Oboz Sapphire Mid?
The Oboz Sapphire is a good boot with quality craftsmanship. It scored highly for its good traction, water resistance, and low weight. We also dig the sleek profile. However, it's less breathable than some, and it has a narrow fit that may not work for folks with wider feet. The Sapphire is a good option for a lightweight model with the classic features of an Oboz boot.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
If you have wider feet and know a narrow boot won't work for you, check out the Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid or the Topo Athletic Trailventure 2 WP, both of which get great marks for comfort and boast a wider profile. For another tall-shaft, all-leather boot with excellent water resistance, the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX is a great choice.
— Jane Jackson
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More