< Go to Hiking Boots - Men's

Hands-on Gear Review

Oboz Beartooth Review

Hiking Boots

Click to enlarge
Price:   $220 List | $220.00 online  —  Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Burly
Cons:  Heavy, not breathable
Editors' Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Oboz


The Oboz Beartooth is an interesting step away from traditional design. A lot of plastic, a mechanical advantage lacing system, and plenty of rubber has produced a modern, technical twist to the classic burly boot model. However, many of the advantages of burly leather boots come from the design, a single, seamless piece of leather. Adding more seams, more nylon, and more leather feels like an attempt to fix something that isn't broken. Classic leather boots are already waterproof (some without artificial waterproofing), durable, and supportive.
We felt that the design of the Oboz didn't offer any significant advantages over classic leather boot design, kept many of the disadvantages, and added a bit more weight.

That said, the Beartooth holds its own. It's as waterproof as a rubber glove, offers great support, and is extremely well built. The nylon/nubuck blend used for the body is very durable, and cleans really easily. If you want the support and durability that the Beartooth offers but without the plastic trappings and with better ventilation, try the Vasque St. Elias GTX. It's our Editors' Choice and we found it to be overall much more comfortable than the Oboz Beartooth. If you're set on a leather/synthetic hybrid, no other offers quite the same combination of features, most notably burliness, but the La Sportiva Eco 3.0 or the Salomon Quest 4D II GTX might be good options.

RELATED: Our complete review of hiking boots - men's

Compare Side-by-Side

Compare all Hiking Boots - Men's >

Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Atherton Phleger

Last Updated:
August 18, 2014


The Oboz Beartooth offers great support, comparable to that of the Asolo Power Matic. The Beartooth gets its support from layer upon layer of leather, nylon, and rubber. The Beartooth approach is effective, but feels heavy, clunky, and unreactive as a result. The walls of the boot are really thick, and make getting a snug fit difficult. All of that aside, the Beartooth is one of the most supportive, protective boots that we tested.


The Oboz Beartooth is built like a tank. Impenetrable and impermeable. The main body is made of multiple layers of leather and synthetic fabric, which should give it an exceptionally long life. However, the lace brackets are very flimsy. It only took a few days before they began to flex back and forth, and, while none of them have broken yet, they will probably soon succumb to metal fatigue.


Unlike most of the others tested, the Beartooth does not have Vibram soles. The Beartooth soles are perfectly adequate, but we did not like them as much as the soles on some of the other boots, like the La Sportiva Eco or Salomon Quest.


The Beartooth is exceptionally waterproof. Multiple layers of leather, waterproofing membranes, nylon and rubber absolutely ensure that nothing will get in. Even if an exterior seam were to rupture, It seems likely that this boot would remain waterproof. However, it has all the breathability of a rubber glove. Because of this, the Oboz Beartooth is well suited for snow hiking, but usually unpleasant for any activity south of the Arctic Circle.


One of the advantages of synthetic material is usually a significant decrease in weight, but the folks at Oboz decided to go the other way on this one. The Beartooth actually weighs an ounce more than the Asolo Power Matic, which is impressive, because 3lbs 12oz is pretty heavy. This, particularly on a warm day, is a lot to lift over and over again.

And, unlike the Asolo Power Matic, we had a difficult time finding a comfortable fit. The mechanical advantage lacing system works a little too well. We found that it tends to exert a lot of pressure over its surface, while not doing much to tighten the section of laces below it. This will keep your ankle where it should be, but it becomes uncomfortable pretty quickly. The tongue is very heavily padded, which makes the laces difficult to tighten, and creates pressure points along the ankle where material gets bunched up.

Other Versions

This shoe is also available in the women's version, Beartooth - Women's.
Atherton Phleger

Where to Buy?

Seller Price  Shipping Cost Visit
Amazon $220.00 Check Site
MooseJaw $220.00 FREE!*

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: August 18, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 50%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 1 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jan 6, 2014 - 02:17pm
redman2006 · Backpacker · Georgia
As of yet I have very few miles on this boot. What I do have on them have been really comfortable.

I started out looking for a heavy leather hiker to replace my old Moraines, but found these on a clearance rack. While I do not think that they will be as durable as a one-piece leather boot, which I am still looking for, I do think they will work very well for the $145 I paid.

They have a very stiff foot bed as I expect from boots like this, very nice soles for traction, are very well waterproofed, and appear to be a solid choice.

The very best thing about them is the shape of the foot. There is plenty of room in the toe box to avoid pinched, cold toes, but in the heel, the leather lining really conforms to and cradles the heel. I experience no slippage or bisters because of this.

I am not a fan of all the synthetics.

The worst thing with these boots are the insoles. When will boot makers start putting insoles in the boots that don't have to be replaced at purchase or soon after?

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 

Have you used the Oboz Beartooth?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Amazon $220.00
MooseJaw $220.00
Compare prices at 2 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.
Helpful Buying Tips
Other Gear by Oboz