Oboz Bridger 9'' Insulated Waterproof - Women's Review
Compare to Similar Products
Oboz Bridger 9'' Insulated Waterproof - Women's
|Price||Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
$205.00 at Amazon
|$73.89 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||400g Thinsulate insulation, beefy lugs for trail use, good coverage||Ultra warm, removable liner, thick rubber outsole, impressive waterproofing, great traction||Full coverage protection, highly durable, reliable traction||Easy slip on design, plush interior, affordable, warm, solid waterproofiing||Protective, durable, very warm, breathable, excellent traction, high value|
|Cons||Stiff and boxy fit, intricate lacing system, expensive||Somewhat heavy, bulkier design||Pricey, very heavy, retains moisture, difficult to drive in||Bungee lace system isn't always ideal, somewhat limited to casual use||Less stylish, somewhat heavy, stiff collar|
|Bottom Line||Some aspects of this pricey boot are well executed, but overall we weren't impressed||A comfortable, true to fit, ultra-warm and waterproof winter boot with a durable and structured exterior||This highly durable boot is completely waterproof and great at insulating, though it's a bit too bulky to wear on low-snow days or during high-output activities||With an undeniably cozy slip-on design, this boot is built for cold and wet climates with its solid waterproofing and coverage||Great for winter hiking on slippery trails thanks to incredible traction, support, and weatherproofing|
|Rating Categories||Oboz Bridger 9'' In...||Baffin Chloe||Muck Boot Arctic Ic...||Kamik Momentum 3||Keen Revel IV Polar...|
|Weather Protection (25%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Oboz Bridger 9'' In...||Baffin Chloe||Muck Boot Arctic Ic...||Kamik Momentum 3||Keen Revel IV Polar...|
|Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking||7"||9"||16"||6"||7"|
|Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft)||9"||10"||16"||10"||7"|
|Measured Weight (per pair, size 7)||2 lbs 12 oz||2 lbs 8 oz||4 lbs 8 oz||2 lbs 4 oz||2 lbs 6 oz|
|Type of Boot||Casual winter wear||All-around winter wear||Winter workwear||Casual winter wear||Winter hiking|
|Fit Details||True to size (regular or wide size option)||True to size||Runs big||True to size (wide)||True to size, wide|
|Lining/Insulation||Thinsulate (400g)||Comfort-Fit multilayer foam||Fleece||Synthetic Heat-MX Insulation||200 grams KEEN.WARM Recycled PET|
|Footbed||O-Fit Thermal||EVA||bioDEWIX||Removal EVA||EVA|
|Upper Material||Waterproof Nubuck leather||Suede leather||Rubber||Waterproof nylon||Mesh and Leather|
|Outsole||Granite Peak Winterized Outsole||Polar Rubber||Vibram Arctic Grip A.T.||ICEKISS rubber outsole||KEEN.Polar Traction|
|Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating||Not stated||-40°C/-40°F||Not stated||-40 °F||-32°C/-25°F|
|Temp Change in Ice Bath||-8.9 °F||-4.1°F||-9.5°F||-9.7 °F||-3.8°F|
|Sizes Available||6-11||6 - 11||5 - 11||5-11||5 - 12|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Oboz Bridger 9" Insulated claims to have 400g of Thinsulate insulation, one of its most glorified attributes. Unfortunately, we didn't notice a huge difference in perceived or measured warmth compared to the competition, and the comfort and fit of the boot were severely lacking compared to most other boots. The hiker-style lugs on the Granite Peak outsole work well on a wide variety of surfaces and snow conditions, and the 9 inches of leg coverage were welcomed on bigger storm days. Overall, we feel like the performance of the Bridger 9" was outshined by its lack of comfort and ease of use. At a notably high price, we expect functionality and comfort to be top priorities.
With 400g of 3M Thinsulate insulation, the promise of warmth is one of the most notable characteristics of the Bridger 9". All other boots in this review cap out at insulation claims of 200g fill, so we were intrigued by a boot with a relatively low weight-to-warmth ratio. After long walks and cold stormy mornings spent shoveling, we felt this was one of the warmer boots in the lineup, but it didn't necessarily supersede the competition in warmth.
The boot's interior is lined with a faux fur shield on the upper and wool in the space surrounding the foot. The B-DRY liner claims to be permeable, so heat can escape when sweat starts to brew. For the most part, we felt this was true, but sweat still felt inevitable in higher-intensity activities like hiking or lengthy snow-blowing sessions.
In our temperature change tests, the Bridger 9" lost 8.9°F of its internal temperature in our 30-minute ice bath test and 17.1°F in the 2-hour snow bank test. This temperature change was average for the ice bath and above average for the snow bank test, meaning the boot can maintain warmth over short periods of cold exposure but loses more internal heat over longer periods of time. All in all, we were happy with the level of warmth we received, but the performance seemed to fall short of the claimed 400g insulation fill claim.
The Bridger 9" is constructed of a waterproofed Nubuck leather upper backed by a proprietary B-DRY waterproof breathable membrane. The DWR finish on the upper holds up on colder storm days and drier snow conditions. This boot happily plowed through large snowbanks, where the 9-inch cuff provided coverage around the lower leg and ankle.
In our river dip waterproofing test, the Bridger managed to wick away water with ease. Water intruded around 7 inches through the tongue. We stood in the water long enough that the upper got damp, which suggests the boot may not stay completely dry if exposed to wetter snow conditions for several hours. All in all, we feel the DWR finish on the Bridger performed well in the field and will keep your feet dry through the winter season.
Comfort and Fit
The Bridger 9" has a standard fit in the toe box with a medium-high volume fit in the forefoot. For those with narrow feet, the boot may feel a little spacious underfoot, but if your feet are wider or you are one to wear thick socks, this wider fit may feel great. We like the shape of the lower boot sole, but the upper has a fairly stiff feel out of the box.
Other boots in the lineup have a structured yet flexible leather upper that can bend and move with you. This boot, on the other hand, has a cardboard-like feel when in motion. The material on the top cuff and the pivot points around the ankle seem to pinch or push against the leg when the boot bends. Additionally, the structure of the shaft and the outsole have a ski boot feel when walking on pavement. It's as if the boot does not want to bend underfoot as you walk into each next step. We appreciate this type of structure, but not at the expense of comfort.
The O-Fit thermal insole has a flannel-lined top sheet and a Mylar bottom sheet that reflects heat back up to the foot. The footbed itself is rather thin, so the majority of the cushioning comes from the boot's single-density EVA midsole layer. This TPU chassis feels sturdy and supportive but, similar to the upper, is not as pliable as other outsole systems.
Another thing we disliked was pulling the boot off. It's hard to kick it off without releasing the top three eyelet rows. Each time we laced the boot back up, we had to reconfigure the lacing structure to fit correctly behind the holding panels on the tongue. Frankly, it is one of our least favorite lacing systems. Overall, we feel that the comfort, fit, and ease of use are not up to par with the top performers in our review.
The winterized Granite Peak outsole of the Bridger 9" has one of the beefier tread profiles in this category. The dense rubber lugs measure 1.5" at the heel base and protrude from the sole in a zig-zag fashion. The lugs have a comparable level of traction to the winter hikers out in the field. On and off-trail, the boot remained stable in both buried fields of snow and packed-out trails.
We expected exceptional grip on ice based on the boot's off-trail performance, but the Bridger 9" did not meet these expectations on icy surfaces. The firm rubber lugs were somewhat unpredictable in wet, slippery snow and on our icy driveway and staircase. Perhaps with a softer rubber compound, the boot would grip the ice better, but this model is designed for hiking and working outdoors, so a stiffer compound fits with the functional purpose of the boot.
As part of our research process, we read user reviews for each product we test. One notable comment about the Bridger said the boot lost its waterproofing and structure after being worn for several months as a winter work boot. We didn't wear this boot for 90+ days, but we can attest to the fact that the upper seemed to lack some structure by the end of our testing process. When we scraped the boot against ice, pavement, and bark, we saw some scratching on the upper, but nothing major. Wear and tear is to be expected over time, but our takeaway is that this boot is not meant for heavy winter use.
Should You Buy the Oboz Bridger 9" Insulated Waterproof?
If you're looking for a warm and reliable boot for on and off-trail winter use, the Bridger 9" handles snow-laden surfaces with ease. The beefy lugs on the outsole offer up good traction, and the Nubuck leather upper performs well in wet and dry snow conditions. The major drawback to the boot is its boxy fit and feel. With one of the higher price tags in the lineup, we felt the performance does not entirely match the pricing.
What Other Womens Winter Boots Should You Consider?
If coverage and warmth are your top priorities, The North Face Shellista IV Mid and the UGG Adirondack III have a similar design with a far more comfortable interior and pliable leather upper at a more affordable price. If good traction is what you're after, the Keen Revel IV Polar has a similar tread profile with a lower cuff height for better flexibility and movement.
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More