Which Boot? The W's Bridger Mid or W's Sawtooth Mid?
Cover: Where to next? Ambassador Imogene Cancellare plans to take her Sawtooth Mids wherever that ends up being.
I feel I’ve been training for my entire career to give this boot review. Why? Because I’m been wearing the Oboz Sawtooth Mid for EIGHT years. Eight! I’m on my third pair of these wonderful shoes, and they are the sole reason I was interested in being an Oboz ambassador. Literally every boot I have ever tried fails in comparison to this model, so when I was asked to compare the Sawtooth to the lovely Bridger boot, I was ready for the challenge.
First, why the Sawtooth? Well, for starters, you will absolutely have zero break in period. I’ve worn 4 other brands of boots, and every one has given me at least one blister or hot spot while breaking them in. Not the Sawtooth Mid. I love this boot because it is comfortable straight out of the box and is comfortable after ten hours in the woods. I even wear this boot to my office when I’m not in the field so I feel cool (plus they really are that comfy).
Perks: I love this boot because my feet feel SECURE. The outsole shape feels very curled around the shape of my foot, and the side lugs greatly reduce the likelihood of rolling an ankle. I would call these boots sturdy and slightly thick without feeling bulky on the foot.
They are indeed waterproof without sweating and are consistently reliable on all forms of terrain. If you are looking for a durable, all terrain boot, this pair will give you a lot of confidence on the trail. I have only purchased the iceberg style, but the new violet is also cute. I feel like this boot may get overlooked because of its style, but, for those that care, it goes with everything.
In comparison, when I first slipped on the Bridger Mid, I immediately noticed that the boot feels thinner. Not thin as in poor quality, but the sole itself feels more streamlined than the Sawtooth. The boot is a tad lighter than the Sawtooth because of this (1 oz lighter), in addition to the collar being a little thinner (and ever so slightly higher than the Sawtooth). I assumed that this would mean the boot is less cushy, but that’s not the case. The most noticeable difference for me was feeling like I had less product wrapped around my heel and insole, but this did not change the durability of the boot. This boot is COMFORTABLE, and I felt equally sure-footed in the Bridger as in the Sawtooth.
Like with all Oboz, I have yet to have a blister. If I’m being honest, I was also super pumped to get these in Rio Red, because who doesn’t want bright red boots?! With a more traditional boot profile, some may prefer these on the style alone.
Which One is “Right”
How to choose between these boots?
Fortunately, they perform very similarly, and I think the choice ultimately comes down to comfort. Those who prefer a less-stocky boot, with a slightly more flexible outsole, will appreciate the Bridger. Those who want a bit of bulk to cradle the heel, or who need a more durable outer fabric, will want the Sawtooth.
Both are very comfortable and well suited to a variety of outdoor needs. If you blindfolded me and placed these boots on my foot, I may have a hard time telling them apart with the exception of the differences in the molded bottom, as both offer a lot of support and feel pretty similar when laced up.
All things considered, I slightly prefer the Sawtooth given how many years I’ve been wearing this style. But, when I’m laced into the Bridger, I feel equally awesome, so you’ll have to try them both for yourself! Rest assured, however, that you’ll feel fantastic in either pair.
Imogene Cancellare is a wildlife biologist and PhD student at the University of Delaware researching snow leopards. When she isn’t studying, she’s talking about science and the importance of getting outside. Visit her website biologistimogene.com, and talk to her on Instagram (@biologistimogene) and Twitter (@biologistimo).