The Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof is a reliable leather hiking boot that will break in like an old baseball glove, given time, love, and patience. The Oboz Bridger Mid is a sturdy leather hiker that will go the distance.
Support & Stability
The Bridger’s grommets are laid out in a way that makes these boots cinchable around a variety of foot shapes and sock thicknesses. The sole is knobby and grips the trail well, making these boots good for rocky and technical trail, but not really for scrambling or climbing. The boot’s outsole lacks a sharp edge to give purchase in a more technical scrambling environment. Lacing includes five rows of closed grommets along the top of the foot and a single row of open grommets at the top of the ankle. The ankle height is the second lowest of this test set:
Quality & Construction
The tongue is connected to the leather part of the boot with a silky-soft material that’s very comfortable to cinch down on top of without bunching. The brown leather is tough and may take longer to break in than a similar pair of synthetic boots, but once it does, it’s a personal fit. The tongue is a bit thicker than average and is connected at about the mid-ankle level. The closed grommets low down are threaded with webbing, and the two upper closed grommets and the single row of open grommets are all riveted in the leather.
These hikers have an okay amount of breathability, which is important for a boot well inclined towards long thru-hikes. The tongue is connected to the rest of the boot with a silky-soft membrane that lies flat and doesn’t bunch up when the boot is cinched. And it does cinch, keeping a secure hold of the foot for a few hours. The toe-box and interior could use a touch more room, but it will accommodate most hikers fine. They also come with beefy insoles that are removable but should prove good enough for most needs.
The Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof comes in at 2.4 pounds, a touch below our average of 2.5 pounds. This is an average weight, but these boots are specialized for the trail, where weight matters most. This lack of competitiveness in this department is generally forgotten as soon as you feel how comfortable they are.
These boots have tough leather sides, which are able to protect the user all the way up to the lower ankle. If there’s one cause for worry, it’s trusting the sewing that connect the sole to the leather sides. The knobby sole gives a good secure platform that gives less potential for rolling an ankle. They have tough tow caps, but the two separate layers of rubber may disassociate with time. There is some flex in the sole, which means less durability after years of service.
Scott Morris guides backpacking expeditions and hiking trips for Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. He is a writer, traveler, and runner. Scott tests backpacking equipment.