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Oboz Bridger Mid BDry - Women's Review

The stiffest boot in the fleet this year, these boots are all leather and take time to break in, yet offer unsurpassed sturdiness
Oboz Bridger Mid BDry - Women's
Photo: Oboz
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Price:  $180 List | $180.00 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Very supportive, exeptionally durable, protective soles, waterproof
Cons:  Difficult to break in, very stiff, lacking flexibility in forefoot
Manufacturer:   Oboz
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 31, 2019
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Support - 20% 9
  • Weight - 15% 5
  • Traction - 15% 8
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8
  • Durability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

A small company based out of Bozeman, Montana, Oboz brings a more traditionally designed hiking boot to our fleet of boots this year. The Bridger Mid BDry ended up being the stiffest, most durable boot we tested and required a bit more time to break in than some of the less burly models we tested. The tread is very aggressive, and the soles are thick to protect your feet on the gnarliest of trails. For those looking for a long-lasting, more traditional style hiking boot, the Bridger Mid BDry might be the boot for you. These boots have the support and sturdy construction to hold up on long backpacking trips or long hikes over rugged terrain. The Oboz Bridger is most at home on long, rugged hikes, preferably with a heavy load and a creek crossing or two.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Very supportive, exeptionally durable, protective soles, waterproofGood traction, very comfortable, ankle padding, waterproofComfortable, durable, very cushioned, stable, supportive, lightweightVery water resistant, durable, incredibly lightweight, sleek designComfortable, lightweight, durable, inexpensive
Cons Difficult to break in, very stiff, lacking flexibility in forefootRuns big, excess padding in tongueExpensive, take some time to break in, can be warm on hot daysProblematic fitLacks support of larger, heavier boots
Bottom Line Durability is a key characteristic of these stiff and sturdy, all leather boots, for rugged terrain and longevityThis best-in-its-class boot combines lightweight technology with all the versatility a modern boot should haveDesigned for long-distance hikes with heavy loads, this model is designed to maximize support and comfortThese boots are lightweight, sleek, and durable - designed for technical and varied terrainThe best iteration of this model yet
Rating Categories Bridger Mid BDry X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Kaha Gore-Tex Alpenrose Ultra Mid GTX Targhee III Mid
Comfort (25%)
6
9
9
5
9
Support (20%)
9
8
10
8
7
Weight (15%)
5
7
6
9
7
Traction (15%)
8
8
6
9
7
Water Resistance (15%)
8
10
8
10
8
Durability (10%)
8
8
8
7
7
Specs Bridger Mid BDry X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Kaha Gore-Tex Alpenrose Ultra... Targhee III Mid
Weight Per Pair (Size 7.5, in lbs) 2.00 lbs 1.83 lbs 1.91 lbs 1.47 lbs 1.80 lbs
Upper Nubuck leather Suede leather, nylon Full-grain leather Breathable mesh/ coated fabric Oiled nubuck leather
Width Options Regular, Wide Regular Standard Regular Regular
Heel height (mm) 35 mm 32 mm 54 mm 32 mm 35 mm
Shaft height (mm) 160 mm 121 mm 140 mm 127 mm 125 mm
Midsole Dual Density EVA, nylon shank Dual-density EVA EVA EVA Dual Density EVA
Sole Granite Peak carbon rubber Contagrip rubber Vibram MegaGrip Michelin rubber Rubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Oboz Bridger Mid is a well-made, aggressive all-leather hiking boot that will hold up to lots of trail miles with a large pack.

Performance Comparison



Comfort


These boots scored lower on comfort than any other metric because of their stiffness and long break-in period. They were almost debilitatingly stiff on steep terrain, especially trails with large rock steps. The stiffness of the leather upper made it difficult to flex the foot forward when walking uphill. That said, with time and a strategic break-in plan, these boots could become a great option for long backpacking trips.

The lacing system of the Bridger Mid locks midway for maximum...
The lacing system of the Bridger Mid locks midway for maximum adjustability between the foot and ankle.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Support


The lower scores the Bridger Mid received in the comfort category are made up for in their ability to provide support for long periods of time. Our feet did feel very stable inside the Bridger Mid's due to the nylon shanks and thermoplastic urethane forefoot plates. There was little movement from side to side, and we never felt like our ankles were going to roll, even on uneven terrain. The boots have lots of padding on the sides, and the soles are thick, which made our feet feel protected and supported. The toe caps on the Oboz are beefy and make the Bridgers a good option for manual labor, as the thick rubber on the front protected our toes from rocks and tools.

Weight


At just over two pounds, these boots are fairly light for the amount of material used in their construction. The sole, especially the heel and toe rubber, seem bulky, and their all-leather upper makes them seem heavier than they actually are. But, the scale does not lie, so by the numbers, these are a fairly light boot for being so burly in their design.

To match the sturdy leather uppers, the Bridger Mid also has an...
To match the sturdy leather uppers, the Bridger Mid also has an aggressive tread pattern and deep lug depths for maximum protection for the soles of the feet.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Traction


With large side lugs and 4 mm directional lugs on the bottom, the Oboz Bridger feels grippy on rocky surfaces and loose gravel. Just by looking at them we could tell that these would hold up to steep, variable terrain based on the thick, rubber soles and rubber toe and heel reinforcements.

Water Resistance


Constructed with waterproof Nubuck leather uppers, these boots will keep your feet dry even if they are fully submerged in flowing water for a minute or two. The height of the sole and the leather and rubber construction provide protection from shallow puddles, but even if the leather upper got wet, we never felt our feet get wet. All leather boots with waterproof coating perform very well in terms of water resistance, and the Bridgers demonstrate this.

The gussetted tongue and leather upper keep water out and provide...
The gussetted tongue and leather upper keep water out and provide for a very stiff hiking boot. We found the OBoz Bridger Mid to be the most difficult to break in.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Durability


Only the award winner, the Lowa Renegade GTX, matches the OBoz Bridger in durability. The design and choice of materials make these a long-lasting shoe. Even after many days of wear, they still looked brand new. They are so tough that it was actually difficult to break them in, which was one of the few negatives we found with this boot.

The Oboz Bridger Mid show that craftsmanship is important in hiking...
The Oboz Bridger Mid show that craftsmanship is important in hiking boots. The small company from Bozeman, Montana made some of the sturdiest, most durable boots we tested this year.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Value


Because they are a small company that values using good quality materials, the Bridger Mid fall into the mid-range price category. They are definitely built to last. If you buy these you know you are purchasing a burly shoe that will last many hiking trips.

Conclusion


The Oboz Bridger Mid is a real blue-collar hiking boot. They are tough and durable, but because of this, we found them difficult to break in. Their thick sole and aggressive tread pattern had our feet feeling protected and stable on uneven terrain. The leather upper and integrated lacing system also provided ankle support. They are sturdy, durable, and very water-resistant. They seemed to shine on rugged trails and worked very well in all conditions — mud, rain, dust, gravel.

Jane Jackson