By Terry Doyle
Created in Bozeman, Montana, the Oboz hiking boot design is perfected along the 18 million acres of National Park wilderness trails nearby. For the past month or two, I have been hitting the trails myself, wearing my Oboz Sawtooth light hiking boots, to see if they live up to the company motto of "True To The Trail".
The Sawtooth is a light hiking boot from Oboz, weighing just 15.6 oz. The combination nubuck leather and mesh textile upper is super durable and provides plenty of ventilation or even drainage if needed. The double gusseted tongue, joined at both sides of the upper, helps to keep dirt and annoying pebbles out of your hiking boots.
Unlike other light hikers which get sloppy after you wear them for many miles, the three dimensionally molded external heel counter on the Oboz Sawtooth maintains the shape and fit of the heel throughout the life of the boot.
When you put the hiking boots on for the first time, it is immediately obvious that they offer a ton of stability and comfort without being heavy. With the low cut version and the rigid heel, I did end up with some irritation around my ankle bone, something I normally don't get with regular trail shoes.
The hiking boots are built on the Oboz Sawtooth bottom, a dual density EVA midsole with a multi-directional, high friction rubber outsole. In the Sawtooth Outsole, all of the unnecessary rubber is removed, such as the arch of your foot where you rarely hit the ground. Even with less rubber, the outsole still features plenty of lugs, traction and grip.
Since the Sawtooth bottom is constructed with a higher arch, you can feel that just the ball and heel of your foot are in contact with the ground when walking on hard pavement, almost to the point of being uncomfortable. Once you hit the trail however, this is not an issue at all and the standard Oboz hiking boot comfort returns.
The added toe protection is convenient for those accidental root and rock trip ups on the trail. The fit is true to size. The nice roomy toe box, together with the ghillie lacing system, ensure you won't end up with bruised toe nails after hiking down from the summit.
Bottom Line: The Oboz Sawtooth hiking boots provide the durability, stability and comfort of a more heavy duty backpacking boot without the extra weight.
The Oboz Sawtooth hiking boots are available in both a low and a mid version, for both men and women, and retail for $100-$135.
-Terry Doyle is a guest reviewer for The GearCaster