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Why I Love the Insulated Bridger 8" BDry Hiking Boot

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There are two kinds of hikers in this world: those who carefully cross a creek, taking care to keep their boots dry; and those who don’t.

I’ve always been firmly in the latter camp, blessed with blister-proof feet (and cursed with a clumsiness that keeps me from safely negotiating wet rocks) that allow me to carelessly stomp through the water while my hiking partners pick their way across rocks and logs.20181007 DSCF6076

The insulated Bridger 8" boot isn't just good for winter. During shoulder seasons when the temperatures can swing wildly, these boots keep feet comfortable and dry. Image: Aaron Theisen
But it’s easy to get away with soggy feet in the summer. In the shoulder seasons, discomfort can quickly veer into danger. That’s why I tend to pick gear that protects against my lack of self-preservation.

And in the winter, when the goal is to keep feet happy and warm, moisture is something I strictly avoid. So, I was excited to receive a pair of Insulated Bridger boots recently. Finally, a boot built to handle all I throw at it.

I put them to the test on an early October swing through the Selkirks of north Idaho and the Swans, Cabinets and Missions of western Montana—all places where fall can be volatile, with sunny days in the 60s giving way to six inches of snowfall overnight.20181006 DSCF5948 Edit

Better yet, the insulated Bridger 8" comes with the Granite Peak sole with winterized rubber, which means it grips and doesn't slip. Image: Aaron Theisen
The boots had to protect against rain, snow and cold not just for an isolated hike but several days running—because there’s nothing that kills motivation more than sleeping out of a sleeping bag into pre-soaked shoes.SBB 8442
The best thing about winter hiking: no crowds, invigorating conditions. Image: Stephen Matera

There are two other kinds of hikers in this world: those who carefully break in their boots before a big trip, and those who don’t. Can you guess which camp I’m a member of? 

Right out of the box, I took the Bridgers on a 5-mile hike in the pouring rain to Crystal Lake in the Mission Mountains Wilderness. The boots kept my feet dry even as I submerged them in the lake, and they handled the steep climb back to the trailhead with ease.

The next day I hiked with some friends to Whale Lake in the Whitefish Range, an 11-mile trip in a region of western Montana where summer is but a brief visitor. Branches laden with fresh wet snow from a sudden storm the previous night drooped across the trail. This kind of moisture is insidious: even as the sun came out and burned off lingering patches of snow, my friends’ toes froze.20181006 DSCF5908

No wonder the Insulated Bridgers keep feet warm in Montana snow; they're designed by our Montana-based team who love conditions like these. Image: Aaron Theisen

But not mine; partnered with a hard shell and rain pants, the Bridgers proved pretty much impenetrable. My feet stayed dry and warm. Now, with winter around the corner, these insulated boots will be my go to – not just for hiking, but for every day. They’ve got the Oboz comfort I love, and they’ve held up in inclement conditions. I expect they’ll do double duty going forward.

Aaron Theisen is a professional writer and photographer based in Spokane, Wash. Follow him on social media: @whiskeygingermedia.

Bridger de 20 cm (8 po) isolées et hydrofuges pour hommes
MSRP $244.95

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