Reviews You Can Rely On

Oboz Bridger 10" Insulated Review

An excellent and supportive combination of comfort, warmth, waterproofness, and traction
Oboz Bridger 10" Insulated
Photo: Oboz
Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $199 List
Pros:  Warm, completely waterproof, comfortable, good traction, supportive
Cons:  Sizing runs a bit small, expensive
Manufacturer:   Oboz
By Jeremy Benson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 4, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 14
  • Warmth - 25% 10
  • Water Resistance - 25% 9
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 6
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6
  • Traction - 10% 9

Our Verdict

Oboz might not be a household name when it comes to winter boots, but that is likely to change if they continue to make quality models like the Bridger 10. With 400g of Thinsulate insulation and a heat-reflective insole, they are the warmest boots in our review, a major reason why we think they are the best choice for winter hiking. The B-Dry waterproof breathable membrane withstood our water submersion test, keeping our tester's feet dry for a full 10 minutes while standing in a nearly frozen lake. They have a quality supportive insole and a snug and precise fit that is great for winter hiking and snowshoeing. People who like a roomy fit may want to order a half size up. The lacing system is user-friendly and secure, and the winter outsole has aggressive and widely spaced lugs with sharp edges that provide excellent traction on virtually all surfaces. There's almost nothing we don't like about the Bridger 10, and feel that this solid winter boot is good for just about everything from winter hiking to running errands around town.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $199 List$172.09 at AmazonCheck Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$79.95 at Amazon$224.95 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
81
83
78
73
71
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Warm, completely waterproof, comfortable, good traction, supportiveSuper traction, very convenient, fully waterproof to 16 inchesConvenient slip on design, waterproof to 11.5 inches, more affordable than competitors, customizable fitWarm, comfortable, affordable, great tractionVery comfortable, stylish, good for walking and standing om, convenient on and off
Cons Sizing runs a bit small, expensiveSlightly sloppy fit, sorta heavy, fairly priceyHandles let in water or debris, only come in single whole sizes, not as warm as some competitorsNot completely waterproof, more labor intensive to put on than othersNot super warm, relatively low maximum puddle depth, traction performs below most others
Bottom Line An excellent and supportive combination of comfort, warmth, waterproofness, and tractionAn unbeatable option for everyday use in seriously cold and snowy placesA very convenient and water proof winter boot that is great for chores and repeated daily useA casual boot for tromping around in the snow and rain at a budget friendly priceA stylish and comfortable boot that is a top choice for those who live in cities and don’t commonly need to work or hike in deep snow
Rating Categories Oboz Bridger 10" In... The Original Muck B... Bogs Bozeman Tall Kamik NationPlus Blundstone Thermal...
Warmth (25%)
10.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
Water Resistance (25%)
9.0
10.0
9.0
4.0
5.0
Fit And Comfort (25%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
9.0
10.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
6.0
9.0
10.0
6.0
9.0
Traction (10%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Specs Oboz Bridger 10" In... The Original Muck B... Bogs Bozeman Tall Kamik NationPlus Blundstone Thermal...
Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking 8.5 in 16 in 11.5 in 4.5 in 3.25 in
Appropriate Activity All activities, from chores to hiking Town, chores Town, chores All activities, from chores to hiking Town, errands
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular and wide Regular
Fit Details Runs 1/2 size small Roomy True to size True to size True to size
Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft) 10 in 16 in 13 in 11 in 7 in
Weight (per pair, size 11) 3.6 lbs 5.4 lbs 4.4 lbs 3.6 lbs 2.9 lbs
Lining/Insulation 400g 3M Thinsulate synthetic fibers 5 mm CR Flex-Foam Neoprene w/ Fleece Lining 7mm Neo-Tech Neoprene Removable 200B 3M Thinsulate Full Thinsulate liner
Upper Material Waterproof nubuck leather 5 mm CR Flex-Foam Neoprene Rubber Waterproof suede and ballistic nylon Waterproof leather
Toe Box Rubber Spandura rubber Rubber Rubber Ergonomically engineered toe spring
Outsole Winterized Rubber Vibram Arctic Grip BioGrip SNOWTREAD Synthetic Rubber Dual density TPU
Company-claimed cold-weather rating Not listed Not listed -72 F -40 F Not listed
Animal products used? Yes, leather No No Yes Yes, leather
Sizes Available 8 - 14 7 - 15 7 - 14 7 - 14 7 - 12

Our Analysis and Test Results

When you think about winter boots, Oboz might not be the first brand that comes to mind, but that didn't stop the Bridger 10 from impressing us across the board. Our initial impression is that the sizing runs a little small, but they break-in with a bit of time and use and feel snug and precise. We suggest sizing up a half size if you like a roomier fit or frequently wear thick socks.

The Bridger 10 truly impressed us with their warmth, and the 400g of Thinsulate insulation and heat reflective footbed proved to retain heat better than the competition. Because their B-Dry membrane is entirely waterproof and their winter rubber sole provides reliable traction on virtually all surfaces, it's no wonder these boots bested the competition. The uppers are moderately stiff and supportive, laterally and fore and aft, making these an excellent choice for winter hiking and snowshoe adventures.

Performance Comparison


The Bridger 10 highly impressed our testers.
The Bridger 10 highly impressed our testers.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Warmth


The Bridger 10 is insulated with 400g of Thinsulate. Oboz doesn't provide a temperature rating for these boots like many other manufacturers do, but it's clear that they intend for them to keep your feet warm and dry no matter the weather. While 400g of insulation is certainly a lot, it isn't especially lofty or bulky, which helps to give these boots their more precise fit and feel.

In addition to the insulation, the O-Fit insole also has a mylar layer (think emergency blanket), designed to reflect heat up towards your feet and cold back down towards the ground. Keeping your feet dry is another critical aspect of keeping them warm, and Oboz's B-Dry waterproof breathable membrane is, in fact, completely waterproof.


In our controlled ice bath warmth test, we found the Bridger 10 to be the warmest of all the boots in this review. We submerged them approximately 4-inches deep in a slurry of snow and water and took a temperature reading at 4-minute intervals for 12 minutes. At the end of our timed testing, the Bridger had an internal temperature loss of only 14.1 degrees, the least of all the models tested. For comparison, some other models lost up to 23 degrees during the same test.

Reading the internal temperature of the Bridger 10 after 12 minutes...
Reading the internal temperature of the Bridger 10 after 12 minutes in the ice bath.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

While we feel the ice bath provides a good objective test for heat retention, we also supplement our findings with some real-world on-the-feet testing. This warmth testing took place during our water-resistance test while standing in nearly frozen water for ten full minutes, general wear while shoveling, walking in the snow, and testing the fit and comfort of the boots. At no time during any of our testing did our tester's feet get cold while wearing the Bridger 10. These are hands down the warmest in this review.

The mylar heat reflective layer on the bottom of the insole really...
The mylar heat reflective layer on the bottom of the insole really does wonders to help make these the warmest boots we tested.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Water Resistance


To test the water-resistance of the Bridger 10, we submerged them in approximately 5-inches of water at the edge of a mostly frozen lake for 10 minutes. At the end of this test, our tester's feet were still completely dry, proving these boots are capable of handling whatever wet weather may come your way.

During our ice bath test for warmth, they also withstood 12 full minutes of submersion in a slurry of snow and water, further proving the waterproofness of the B-Dry membrane and quality construction. Of course, these boots can only keep out water up to 8-inches deep, at which point it can start pouring in over the top of the tongue attachment point. In addition to the waterproof membrane, the nubuck leather uppers are treated with a DWR that really works and effectively prevents it from soaking up any water.


The Bridger 10 also features a small D-ring at the bottom of the laces that can be used to attach a snow gaiter. When used in deep snow while hiking or snowshoeing, a gaiter will keep snow and moisture from entering the boot from the top, keeping your feet dryer and warmer for longer. This level of water resistance is truly impressive. In contrast, some of the other competitors leaked water in through their seams after only a minute or two of submersion.

There was a thin skin of ice on the lake when we stood in it for 10...
There was a thin skin of ice on the lake when we stood in it for 10 minutes to test the waterproofness of the Bridger 10. Thankfully, they are completely waterproof.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Fit and Comfort


Overall, we are very impressed with the comfort of these boots. The one caveat we have is that they felt very snug the first couple of times we wore them. These are one of the tightest fitting models we tested, and we recommend sizing up a half size or so, especially if you prefer a roomier fit or you like to wear thicker socks. They feel pretty good in terms of length, but the width straight out of the box may feel like a bit of a squeeze. The result is an exact fit, though it changes a bit with time. Be prepared for them to feel a little tight right off the bat. After the first couple of times you wear them, they begin to loosen up and break-in, making them easier to get on and off your feet and slightly roomier all around.


After the brief initial break-in period, you can begin to appreciate the comfort of these boots. It all starts with the proprietary insole, which Oboz claims is what they are known for. The insole is very supportive and features a semi-rigid molded heel cup that extends forward and includes a nice moderate arch support. Immediately under the heel and integrated into the heel cup design is a small shock-absorbing foam pad. On top of the molded heel cup is a four-layer laminate that runs the full length of the boot and starts with a thin layer of soft felt-like material on top. Under that is a thin layer of insulating material, then a thin layer of denser foam, and finally, a Mylar heat reflective layer on the bottom of the insole.

Unlike many of the other boots in this review, you won't need to buy an aftermarket footbed to make these boots comfortable and supportive.

A side view of the insulated and cushioned thermal footbed. This...
A side view of the insulated and cushioned thermal footbed. This insole makes these one of the most comfortable boots in our test.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

The Bridger 10 has a 10" shaft height, as the name suggests, making them one of the taller boots in this review. Initially, these boots have a relatively stiff upper shaft, but it quickly breaks in to have a more moderate flex while still being plenty supportive. They also offer plenty of lateral support and a torsionally rigid mid and outsole, which is a benefit when walking on uneven and slippery surfaces.

The Bridger 10 has a great fit. It is snug and precise and that...
The Bridger 10 has a great fit. It is snug and precise and that makes them suitable for everything from household chores to serious winter hiking.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Ease of Use


These boots have a relatively standard lace-up closure that provides a very secure and snug fit. As lace-up boots are concerned, the Bridger's closure is about as user-friendly as they come. The round laces crisscross the boot. They start in two sets of webbing loops by the toe and move up into two sets of fixed metal loops, then one more webbing loop, and they finish with three sets of metal speed lacing hooks to the top. Lacing these boots is quick and easy. As winter hiking boots are concerned, the Bridger has the most user-friendly lacing system we have used.


Due to their generally snug fit, they do require a little effort to pull on and off. It's not that challenging, mind you, and it results in a snug and supportive fit, but it pales in comparison to roomy slip-on models.

Oboz added a small rubber shelf on the boot's heel that keeps snowshoe straps in place and is a surface to grab with your toes if you take your boots off with your feet. They've also included a small metal D-ring at the base of the laces that makes attaching a gaiter quick and easy.

They aren't as user-friendly as slip-on models, but the lace system...
They aren't as user-friendly as slip-on models, but the lace system on the Bridger 10 is about as simple and secure as they come.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Traction


The Bridger 10 boasts impressive traction thanks to their winterized Granite Peak Outsole. The outsole is identical in shape and lug design to their standard hiking outsole but features their winter rubber compound, which they claim grips in a greater variety of conditions. The outsole features a deep and aggressively lugged design that has sharp edges in all directions. These lugs grip well while hiking both up and downhill, and they provide good bite on steep sidehills. The design bites well in both soft and firm snow surfaces, and all of the lugs have a little bit of siping (i.e., small slices that increase surface area) that adds to their grip on very firm snow and icy surfaces.


When we tested these boots head to head against others on a very slippery ice patch behind our lead tester's house, the traction performed admirably.

The deeply lugged sole with winter rubber proved to offer plenty of...
The deeply lugged sole with winter rubber proved to offer plenty of traction.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Value


Getting your feet into a pair of these boots will certainly set you back a little bit. In this case, we feel these boots still represent a good value considering the comfort, warmth, waterproofness, and traction they provide. We also like the attention to detail and quality craftsmanship, which appears to be top-notch. These boots will likely last you for years of faithful service.

The Bridger 10 is a great boot for all activities.
The Bridger 10 is a great boot for all activities.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Conclusion


Testers are very impressed with virtually every aspect of the Bridger 10. The sizing runs a bit on the small side, and those on the upper end of a whole size should consider sizing up a half size. Beyond that, we these boots to have a snug and precise fit with a moderately stiff upper that provides excellent support when hiking or snowshoeing. They are the warmest boots in this review, with 400g of Thinsulate insulation and a heat-reflective insole that helps keep your feet toasty warm.

Out testers also found them completely water-resistant, with a waterproof breathable B-Dry membrane that genuinely works. The lacing system is user-friendly, and the outsole provides excellent traction on all surfaces and conditions. If you're looking for a boot that can do it all, from serious winter hiking or snowshoeing to chores around the house, we don't think you'll find a better boot than the Bridger 10.

Jeremy Benson