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Oboz Sapphire Mid Waterproof - Women's Review

This is a burly, yet still feminine hiking boot that provides support, traction, and durability
oboz sapphire mid waterproof for women hiking boots review
Credit: Oboz
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Price:  $160 List | $111.93 at REI
Pros:  Stable, good traction, very durable, stylish
Cons:  Very stiff, takes time to break in, not very adjustable
Manufacturer:   Oboz
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 28, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 18
  • Comfort - 25% 6.0
  • Support - 25% 5.0
  • Traction - 15% 8.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8.0
  • Weight - 10% 8.0
  • Durability - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

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.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Stable, good traction, very durable, stylishLightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable priceWide toe box, lightweight, padded ankle support, durable lacing system provides stability, excellent tractionLightweight, stylish, supportive, comfortableImproved traction, great for a wide foot, inexpensive, well-padded ankle
Cons Very stiff, takes time to break in, not very adjustableNot as supportive as a traditional leather hiking bootPricier, 0mm drop heel takes some adjustment timeLacks ankle support for extended backcountry travelLacing 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 durabilityA lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrainThese 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 boxA sleek, stylish, and lightweight hiking boot that doesn't sacrifice backcountry performance, though is better for shorter tripsThese 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
Comfort (25%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Support (25%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Traction (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Water Resistance (15%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Weight (10%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
8.0
6.0
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
Heel Height 1" 1.8" 1" 1.5" 2"
Shaft Height 5.7" 5" 5.5" 4 4.9"
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.

Performance Comparison


oboz sapphire mid waterproof for women hiking boots review - the oboz sapphire mid are worn here in the southern utah desert.
The Oboz Sapphire Mid are worn here in the southern Utah desert.
Credit: Eric Bissell

Comfort


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.

oboz sapphire mid waterproof for women hiking boots review - though the sapphire's took a bit of time to break in, they ended up...
Though the Sapphire's took a bit of time to break in, they ended up being one of the more comfortable boots we tested, especially considering their stiffness.
Credit: Eric Bissell

Support


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.
oboz sapphire mid waterproof for women hiking boots review - the oboz sapphire is stiff underfoot and supportive in the ankle...
The Oboz Sapphire is stiff underfoot and supportive in the ankle, making it a great option for rugged, rocky terrain.
Credit: Eric Bissell

Traction


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.

oboz sapphire mid waterproof for women hiking boots review - the aggressive tread pattern make these boots a great option for...
The aggressive tread pattern make these boots a great option for keeping traction on rocky, loose terrain.
Credit: Eric Bissell

Water Resistance


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.

oboz sapphire mid waterproof for women hiking boots review - the reinforced rubber toe caps on the oboz sapphire make them...
The reinforced rubber toe caps on the Oboz Sapphire make them equally as durable as their beefier counterpart, the OBoz Bridger Mid.
Credit: Eric Bissell

Weight


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.

Durability


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).

oboz sapphire mid waterproof for women hiking boots review - the one flaw we found with the sapphire was their lack of...
The one flaw we found with the Sapphire was their lack of adjustability due to the small tongue. This makes the boots difficult to adjust for wider feet.
Credit: Eric Bissell

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
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