Gear Review: Oboz Bridger Mid BDry Boots

May 15, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Oboz Bridger Mid BDry

Oboz Bridger Mid BDry.

Boots
Oboz Bridger Mid BDry
$160, 2 lbs. 8 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 8-12, 13, 14, women’s 6-11
obozfootwear.com

How much should you expect from boots that weigh just two-and-a-half pounds and cost just $160? I wondered that as I set out in these boots on an overnight backpacking trip in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in late March. Carrying up to about 50 pounds—including gear and food for my two kids and me plus, at one point, 13 liters of water—I honestly was ready for my feet to feel a bit sore and beat up by day’s end. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of support and performance delivered by boots at this weight and price.

What’s in the secret sauce? Basically, Oboz built only what feet really need into the Bridger Mid. With a board-lasted construction that’s designed for heavier loads, and a dual-density EVA midsole with a ¾-length nylon shank, these boots punch above their weight and price point when it comes to support. Then there’s Oboz’s deluxe footbed, which provides much more cushion and arch support than most standard inserts, in part thanks to PU patches beneath the heel and forefoot. You’d pay at least $35 for after-market insoles of this quality.

There’s enough forefoot flex to the boot for easy, natural striding on trail, yet the torsional rigidity is excellent—the boot feels very stable, even in rugged terrain with a big pack on. The large, 5mm-deep lugs in the carbon rubber outsole gripped well whether hiking gravelly and sandy trail, crossing sections of mud, or scrambling on steep slickrock with a heavy pack.

The boot is armored for abuse, from the all-leather uppers to the rubber toe cap and heel counter. Metal hardware allows smooth movement of laces on the upper foot and ankle, while webbing eyelets at the forefoot prevent the laces from slipping there. The fit will accommodate a wide range of foot shapes because of the wide toe box, yet snug midfoot and heel. The proprietary BDry waterproof-breathable membrane didn’t leak when I stood in a creek to test it, and my feet never got overheated even when backpacking on desert afternoons in the 60s. Construction appears to be excellent, too: I expect you’d wear out the outsole before any other part of these boots, which translates to hundreds of miles of use.

All in all, the Bridger Mid BDry is a great value in a boot for backpacking with moderate to heavy loads.

See all of my reviews of backpacking boots and hiking shoes I like.

NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu.

—Michael Lanza

2 Responses to Gear Review: Oboz Bridger Mid BDry Boots

  1. Frederik Wijnen-Riems   |  May 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Michael,

    I bought a pair of these boots about a month ago at EMS after our hiking club had a private event and the Oboz rep was one of the manufacturers rep there.

    He sold me on the fact that I always end up buying Superfeet and I wouldn’t have to with these. I was looking for a lighter hiking boot. My normal hiking boot for day and backpacking has been the Asolo Fugitive GTX.

    So far I have worn them every weekend on hikes with roots and rocks, starting with the Middlesex Fells here outside of Boston and smaller hikes in central Massachusetts and then Mt Cube in NH last weekend.

    I am really happy with these boots, there was no break in time, the insole was great. I hadn’t thought about using them for backpacking but now that you mention it I will try them and leave my Asolos home.

    The grip the rock well, I have had them in mud and after drying a quick brush makes then look good.

    Fred Wijnen-Riems

    • michaellanza   |  May 15, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Fred, thanks for the report. I’ve hiked in the Middlesex Fells. Rough terrain. That says a lot about the boots. I think you’ll find they have the support for backpacking.

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