A small company based out of Bozeman, Montana, Oboz brings a more traditional aesthetic to ourbest women's hiking boots review this year. The Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof ended up being one of the stiffest, more durable boots we tested and required a bit more time to break in than some of the less burly models. The tread is very aggressive, and the soles are thick to protect your feet on the gnarliest of trails. For those looking for a long-lasting, more traditional style hiking boot, the Bridger Mid Waterproof might be the boot for you. These boots have the support and sturdy construction to hold up on long backpacking trips or long hikes over rugged terrain. The Oboz Bridger is most at home on long, rugged hikes, preferably with a heavy load and a creek crossing or two.Editor's Note: This review was updated on March 23, 2022, with helpful info comparing boot models and product recommendations.
Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof - Women's Review
Cons: Difficult to break in, very stiff, lacking flexibility in forefoot
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Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof - Women's
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|Pros||Very supportive, exeptionally durable, protective soles, waterproof||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||Difficult to break in, very stiff, lacking flexibility in forefoot||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||As a very stiff option, these all-leather boots take time to break in, yet offer unsurpassed sturdiness||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 Bridger Mid Wa...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Teva Grandview GTX Mid||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Oboz Bridger Mid Wa...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Teva Grandview GTX Mid||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Weight (per pair)||2.00 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, nylon shank||MEMlex||Altra EGO||EVA||Super Rebound Compound|
|Sole||Granite Peak carbon rubber||FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber||DuraTread Rubber||Vibram Megagrip rubber||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof is a well-made, aggressive all-leather hiking boot that will hold up to lots of trail miles with a large pack. It's available in regular and wide sizes, has a very durable leather upper, and a lacing system that pulls the heel in snug for a great fit. The waterproof/breathable membrane keeps water out of socks, and the Granite Peak carbon rubber outsole with aggressive lugs helps this boot gain traction of hard and loose surfaces alike.
These boots scored lower on comfort than any other metric because of their stiffness and long break-in period. They were almost debilitatingly stiff on steep terrain, especially trails with large rock steps. This stiffness made it difficult to flex the foot forward when walking uphill. That said, with time and a strategic break-in plan, these boots could become a great option for all-day hikes and long backpacking trips.
The lower scores the Bridger Mid received in the comfort category are made up for in their ability to provide support for long periods. Our feet felt very stable inside the Bridger Mid's due to the nylon shanks and thermoplastic urethane forefoot plates. There was little movement from side to side, and we never felt at risk of rolling an ankle, even on uneven terrain. The boots have lots of padding on the sides, and the soles are thick, which made our feet feel protected and supported. The toe caps on the Oboz are beefy and make the Bridgers a good option for manual labor, as the thick rubber on the front protected our toes from rocks and tools.
With large side lugs and 4 mm directional lugs on the bottom, the Oboz Bridger feels grippy on rocky surfaces and loose gravel. Just by looking at them, we could tell that these would hold up to steep, variable terrain based on the thick rubber soles and rubber toe and heel reinforcements.
Constructed with waterproof Nubuck leather uppers, these boots will keep your feet dry even when fully submerged in flowing water for a minute or two. The height of the sole and the leather and rubber construction protect from shallow puddles, but even if the leather upper got wet, we never felt our feet get wet. As we've discovered in our tests of the best women's hiking boots, all-leather boots with waterproof coating perform very well in terms of water resistance, and the Bridgers demonstrate this.
At just over two pounds, these boots are fairly light for the amount of material used in their construction. The sole seems bulky, especially the heel and toe rubber, and their all-leather upper makes them seem heavier than they actually are. But, the scale doesn't lie, and by the numbers, they are a fairly light boot for such a burly design.
Few models can match the Oboz Bridger in durability. The design and choice of materials make these long-lasting shoes. Even after many days of wear, they still looked brand new. They are so tough that it was difficult to break them in, which was one of the few negatives we found with this boot.
Should You Buy the Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof?
The Oboz Bridger Mid are tough and durable, but because of this, we found them difficult to break in. However, this durability lends to their use as a great work boot, so if you need something that can shine as a rugged hiking boot and for occasional use doing manual labor, these are a good option. Their thick sole and aggressive tread pattern had our feet feeling protected and stable on uneven terrain. The leather upper and integrated lacing system also provided ankle support. This is a sturdy, durable, and very water-resistant boot that's built to last.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
If you want an all-leather, durable, well-made boot, we'd also point you toward the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid, which bested the Bridger in nearly every metric, although it's slightly heavier than the Bridger. For something a bit lighter weight, check out the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid, our favorite women's hiking boot.
— Jane Jackson
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