When it comes to outdoor kit, I like to release my inner geek. You need to have the right backpack, the right waterproof and the right boots to suit the environment you’re in. It’s as simple as that! Around my home in Devon (England), we’re lucky enough to have a huge range of terrain right on my doorstep—think rugged coast path, to gushing rivers, to huge upland moors that create their own weather systems. This means I have to choose the right boots to suit my hike.
I love these boots. I remember when I first saw them, I loved how ‘classic’ they looked – a really authentic hiking boot design. But they’re no throwback. The Bridger Mids are high-tech, super lightweight yet really sturdy. Unlike previous boots I’ve gone through over the years, the Bridger Mid's don’t compromise their support with their lightweight structure. The soles are chunky and grippy, but aren’t bottom-heavy and don’t let mud clog up the grip and weigh you down.
They are comfortable from the get-go. Out of the box, they feel like you’ve been wearing them for years. I’ve been genuinely really impressed by the waterproofing and also the breathability. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of hot, tired and swollen feet pressing against the outside of your boots, and I’ve yet to feel that in the Bridger-Mid's even after a long summer hike!
The generous ‘toe-box’ affords my toes extra width, which is brilliant when feet swell a bit during a hike. I choose the Bridgers over the Sapphire Mids if I’m headed up to Dartmoor, or on a long, rugged hike. The added toe protection and rugged grip offer my post-op knees and weak right ankle just that added support; making me enjoy the hike more overall. I’m also often stubbing my toes (anyone else?!), so having re-enforced toe protection is just what I need so I can happily trail blaze minus toe injuries!
If I’m walking a fair distance, but not over particularly challenging terrain, then these are my go-to. The short but firm ankle support means they are more comfortable over a long walk than the Sawooth Lows for example; but they are still super lightweight, which I’ve come to expect (and love!) from Oboz.
Again, I’m really impressed with how waterproof these boots are. I was hiking along a forest path near a local river the other week and I stood in some shallow currents to get a photo and my feet were still bone dry!
I love how slender the Sapphires are, but if I’m wearing thick socks on a cooler day, I find that they can feel a little tight in the toe area – which is why I would opt for the Bridger Mid's if I’m hiking all day on uneven terrain. That being said, no breaking-in is needed and they are equally comfortable and easy to wear, be it walking around town for the afternoon on a rainy day, or on the trail!
Overall, these boots are brilliant and great if your walks are not too long or arduous. The traction and ankle support isn’t quite as sturdy as the Bridger Mid's – so if you hike gnarly trails on a regular basis then I would go for the Bridgers; they do all of the above, but with that added bit of ‘ooomph’!!
Sophie Pavelle is 23 and hails from Devon – southwest England where the air is clean, rain is plentiful, landscapes beautiful. She has a background in Zoology and recently completed her masters in Science Communication. She is passionate about the relationship between getting outside and allowing that to inspire that all-important curiosity in the natural world and the wildlife on our doorsteps. Find her: