Oboz Bridger Low BDry Woman’s ReviewMarch 20, 2018
- Above average stability & traction
- Exceptional surface & impact protection
- Thick padding for enhanced comfort
- Wide toe box & easy fit
- Durable construction
- On the heavy side
- Leather upper is less breathable
- Not appropriate for trail running
- Stiff outsole
Support & Stability
Sporting intensely trail gripping, precisely engineered, 4 millimeter lugs, that wrap around the exterior edges of a wide outsole, the Oboz Bridger Low Bdry offered some of the best traction in this women’s hiking shoe head-to-head test. Our testers found this shoe’s sharply angled, directional lugs to provide excellent hold on every surface hiked – from loose dirt and gravel to steeply inclined slick rock. Additionally, the wraparound edging provided enhanced grip on off-camber surfaces. Trail slippage was virtually nil. Toe to heel “groves” between lugs whisked mud and water from underfoot in wet conditions. And the outsole’s curved heel boosted forward momentum by creating a nice heel to toe rocking movement. The shoe’s deeply padded ankle shaft, with high front and heel supports, provided above average ankle stability. And the shoe’s thick molded heel counter and insoles held feet firmly in place on steep inclines and declines. The Oboz Bridger Low Bdrys Granite Peak rubber outsole was the stiffest of all of the shoes tested. This feature, combined with an interior nylon shank, made the Bridgers the most protective against foot fatigue, but also made this shoe unsuited for crossover sports like trail running. A small degree of increased lateral ankle tilting also resulted from the stiffer outsole material.
Quality & Construction
We remain highly impressed with the quality, construction and technological advancements of the Oboz products in general. And the Bridger Low Bdry women’s hiking shoe is a good example of the brand. Each of the shoe’s components — from the depth and shape of its lugs, to the the quantity of padding — are well thought out and specifically designed for enhanced hiking performance. This shoe incorporates a waterproof leather upper, release-resistant textured laces, highly durable Granite Peak outsoles, thick molded heel counters (that keep feet securely in place) and dual density midsoles that provide cushion or stiffness where needed. In our tests, our feet remained dry when splashing through shallow puddles. And the shoe held up extremely well under strenuous conditions. We noted very little wear and tear after miles of use on a mix of rocky, smooth, dry and moist surfaces.
Overall the Oboz Bridger Low Bdry women’s hiking shoe was very comfortable. Designed as a medium volume shoe, it has a roomy toe box and a 5-point, side-long, lacing system that allows for a customized fit. The shoe runs true to size. Its mixed leather and textile upper is comfortably soft and flexible, and required little to no break in. However, the upper did prove to be a bit warmer and less breathable than some of the other shoes tested. We noticed that sweat tended to collect in the shoe’s interior, during hot hikes. Thick padding around the ankle shaft and tongue was extremely comfortable. And the gusseted tongue and interior breathable waterproof membrane did a great job of keeping both rocks and exterior moisture out. Of all the shoes tested, we found that the Bridger’s stiff Granite Peak outsole and nylon shank, offered the highest level of protection against trail fatigue during long rocky hikes. These stiffening features kept the soles of the feet from wrapping around uneven surfaces and becoming tired or sore. A nice plus on rocky trails.
Of all of the shoes in this head-to-head test, the Oboz Bridger Bdry Low women’s hiking shoes offered the highest level of protection against the hazards of the trail. The Bridger’s thick outsole, and substantial molded rubber heel and toe guards, kept our testers’ feet impervious to impacts with rocks and jagged surfaces. The shoe’s stiffer outsole and nylon shank further kept feet from succumbing to trail fatigue by minimizing wrapping around uneven surfaces. The shoe’s gusseted tongue did a great job of keeping dirt and rocks from entering the shoes. And its waterproof breathable membrane provided ideal protection against wet conditions.
Weighing in at 14 ounces per shoe (2.7 oz. more than the lightest hiking shoe in this test), the Oboz Bridger Low Bdry was the heaviest women’s hiking shoe tested. That being said, the Bridger’s heavier weight is the direct result of its amped up construction – and enhanced protection and traction features. For hikers who frequent rocky, rugged and/or off-camber trails, the tradeoff in weight for enhanced performance, is well warranted making the Oboz Bridger Bdry Low a solid hiking shoe option. These heavier performance features, however, could be overkill for a casual day hiker who frequents soft, earthen trails, or for a hiker who likes to cross over into trail running.Continue Reading
To accurately assess the performance of a women’s hiking shoe, a number of testers put each product through rigorous hiking, on over 20 miles of varied terrain. During these hikes the testers pay close attention to the level of product performance across six factors most affecting a hiker’s foot comfort and risk of foot or ankle injury on the trail.
Lisa Altomare has been an outdoor enthusiast for as long as she can remember - escaping her job as an Art Director to hike, camp and ski as frequently as possible!