The ultimate goal when it comes to proper hiking footwear is finding something that allows you to forget about your footwear so you can focus on other things, like the hike, your breath and the view. That’s why finding the right hiking boot is so important.
Often, when it comes to hiking anything more than an easy trail, many people prefer a mid-height, substantial boot. The two most popular mid-size models that Oboz offers are the Bridger Mid and the Sawtooth Mid. Both will get you wherever you’re going effectively and comfortably, but each has different features that may be desirable depending on what’s most important to you.
This Oboz Bridger Mid is a hiker’s dream. It has proven to be so solid and reliable for me, particular for backpacking, because of its lightweight, ankle support, durability and comfort. The break-in is famous for being almost immediate, which is fantastic. Because of its overall quality, it’s probably the most diverse hiking boot out there and I’ve often found myself wearing mine casually in the city.
The aesthetic is very similar to the Bridger, but there are some differences in the design. I find it to be a narrower fit than the Bridger, and the rounder heel encourages a rolling motion that naturally keeps you engaged. It also has more of a buffer zone between the foot and the ground than the Bridger does. Depending on who you are this can be a plus or a minus—do you want your feet to absorb minimal impact or do you want to have more of a interaction with the terrain? That’s a personal call.
The Bottom Line
Both are awesome boots, but because the Sawtooth feels more substantial, I prefer it for hiking in conditions that are more intense, with a lot of heavy and diverse terrain (think roots and boulders). That being said, the Bridgers are my go-to hiking boot, simply because of their comfort. Unless I’m doing a hike where I feel like my feet need that extra support from the sturdiness of the Sawtooth, I’m likely taking my Bridgers.
Bottom line: I’ve taken both through hell, without having to put my feet through hell.
Matt Hoffman is a Canadian Adventurer and Content Creator. Always eager to take the harder route for the better view, he’s driven by the need to capture impactful moments in unique outdoor experiences. Find him on Instagram @matthffmn or on his website, www.matthoffmancontent.com.