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Oboz Bridger Mid BDry Hiking Boot Review: A Sturdy and Reliable Hiking Boot

CEO Tinh Phung
Are you seeking a hiking boot that offers exceptional support, comfort, and durability? Look no further than the Oboz Bridger Mid BDry Hiking Boot. This signature product from Bozeman, Montana-based Oboz has gained popularity for...

Are you seeking a hiking boot that offers exceptional support, comfort, and durability? Look no further than the Oboz Bridger Mid BDry Hiking Boot. This signature product from Bozeman, Montana-based Oboz has gained popularity for its reliable fit, durable materials, and unmatched levels of support and comfort. However, after extensive testing in challenging terrains, it's important to note that the Bridger Mid does have a few drawbacks compared to its modern competitors. In this review, we'll dive into the specifics of the Bridger Mid, discussing its performance in comfort, weight, traction, stability, waterproofing, build quality, and more. So let's get started!

Comfort

The Oboz Bridger Mid may feel slightly dated upon first wear, but don't let that discourage you. It offers impressive on-trail comfort, with sufficient cushioning to protect your feet from rough trails and rocks. The lacing system, although somewhat rigid, secures the boot firmly in place, and the collar provides ample cushioning without creating any pressure points. The Bridger Mid is designed to ensure your feet remain comfortable throughout your adventure. Plus, its high-quality insole offers better support and a more custom fit than many other boots on the market.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (walking quickly on trail) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (walking quickly on trail)

Weight

Despite its leather build and thick midsole, the Bridger Mid surprises with its reasonable weight. Weighing in at 2 pounds 7.6 ounces (for men's size 9), it's on par with competitors in the market. Its listed weight of 2 pounds 6 ounces competes well with similar models like Vasque's Talus AT and Keen's Targhee III. For those seeking a lighter option, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid weighs just 1 pound 15.7 ounces. However, if you prefer a supportive leather build, the Bridger Mid offers an excellent balance between weight and support.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (jumping across stream 2) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (jumping across stream 2)

Traction

While the Bridger Mid competes well in terms of weight, its traction falls slightly short. The lugs are not spaced far enough apart to shed mud efficiently, leading to potential caking in muddy conditions. However, the boot's proprietary Granite Peak rubber provides adequate traction on rocks. It's worth noting that the boot's stiffness and upright design don't encourage fast hiking or boulder hopping. For more agility in these activities, we recommend considering lighter and more nimble models like the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX. Nonetheless, the Bridger Mid offers sufficient traction for most trails.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (walking on rocks near glacier) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (walking on rocks near glacier)

Stability and Support

For a boot under $200, the Bridger Mid performs well in terms of stability on the trail. Its sturdy leather build, TPU reinforcements, and nylon shanks provide a planted feel, making it suitable for heavy backpacking loads. Although the boot's height sits just over the ankle, limiting its ability to match taller and burlier options, it still offers commendable support. Additionally, the Bridger Mid's heel could be slightly wider to offer an even more stable platform. Nevertheless, it's hard to find a more supportive option within this price range.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (details from behind) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (details from behind)

Waterproofing and Breathability

Oboz's in-house B-Dry waterproof liner effectively keeps moisture out, ensuring your feet stay dry even in wet conditions. Although the leather upper may absorb water under particularly wet conditions, it hasn't shown any signs of leaking during stream crossings or light snow hikes. However, the B-Dry build, combined with the full leather upper, does tend to overheat quickly, making it less breathable compared to boots equipped with Gore-Tex. It's important to consider this when hiking in mild or hot conditions. Nevertheless, the Bridger Mid's waterproofing capabilities are commendable.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (waterproofing in stream) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (waterproofing in stream)

Foot and Ankle Protection

The Bridger Mid's traditional leather build offers excellent protection against rocks, roots, and other trail obstacles. Unlike mesh-heavy boots dominating the market, the Bridger Mid's sides cushion your feet better against rocks, and its sturdy heel counter and burly rubber toe cap provide all-around protection for your feet. Although the boot's height may not be the tallest, it still clears the ankle with ample cushioning to keep it thoroughly protected. For hikers seeking robust protection, the Bridger Mid is the perfect match.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (toe protection) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (toe protection)

Build Quality and Durability

The Bridger Mid is built to last. Its hardwearing leather upper feels high-quality, while the incorporation of metal hardware in the lacing system adds durability. The premium-quality insole ensures long-lasting comfort and support during your hikes. Although we haven't put a significant number of miles on our test boots, they have held up well on rocky terrains. However, it's worth noting that some users have reported occasional chipping or ripping of the outsole rubber on rough terrains. While we haven't experienced this issue ourselves, it's something to consider if your local trails consist of rough rock surfaces.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (hiking on trail) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (hiking on trail)

Fit and Sizing

Boot fit is crucial for optimal performance and comfort, and the Bridger Mid excels in this aspect. It offers a snug fit at the heel, ensuring it stays securely in place during extended climbs. The midfoot fit is average, but you can comfortably adjust it to your preference. The toe box provides ample room for your toes to wiggle. The Bridger Mid is available in both men's and women's sizes, and Oboz offers dedicated wide sizes for those with higher-volume feet. The included O Fit insole provides significantly better heel and arch support than stock footbeds. Overall, the Bridger Mid offers a comfortable and supportive fit right out of the box.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (lacing up beside pack) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (lacing up beside pack)

Other Versions of the Oboz Bridger

Apart from the men's Bridger Mid BDry, Oboz offers a range of other variations. The women's-specific model features identical build and design elements, with variations in colorways and weight. The Bridger Mid is also available in low-top versions, non-waterproof "Vent" models, and insulated winter versions. For those seeking additional upgrades, Oboz released the Bridger Premium, which features Vibram rubber and full-grain leather for an extra $30.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (taking break on trail) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (taking a break on the trail)

What We Like

  • The Bridger Mid offers sturdy, supportive, and well-made leather construction at an affordable price.
  • The O Fit insole provides high-quality, sculpted support, surpassing the basics found in many other boots.
  • Oboz offers dedicated wide sizes for those with higher-volume feet.

What We Don't

  • The Bridger Mid feels slower and heavier compared to its competitors.
  • The B-Dry waterproof membrane tends to overheat, even in mild conditions.
  • The lugs are not widely spaced, leading to potential caking in muddy conditions.
  • Some users have reported occasional outsole chipping or ripping on rough terrains.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (walking in front of glacier) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (walking in front of a glacier)

Comparison Table

Shoe Price Type Weight Waterproof Upper
Oboz Bridger Mid BDry $180 Light/mid 2 lbs. 6 oz. Yes (B-Dry) Nubuck leather
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP $135 Lightweight 2 lbs. 4 oz. Yes (M-Select) Leather / mesh
Keen Targhee III WP Mid $150 Lightweight 2 lbs. 2.8 oz. Yes (Keen.Dry) Nubuck leather / textile
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX $165 Lightweight 1 lb. 15.7 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Suede / nylon
Vasque Breeze AT Mid GTX $190 Midweight 2 lbs. 11 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Leather / mesh
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid $240 Midweight 2 lbs. 7 oz. Yes (Gore-Tex) Nubuck leather

The Competition

As a versatile hiking and backpacking boot, the Bridger Mid covers a broad range of needs. The Merrell Moab 2 Mid is a popular alternative, offering a lighter and more flexible build. Although the Bridger Mid is sturdier and more protective, the softer cushioning of the Moab may be more appealing to some hikers. Additionally, the Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid provides excellent value with its leather build and overall comfort. The Bridger Mid offers better support and stability, while the Targhee excels in weight and agility. Ultimately, the choice between these boots comes down to personal preferences.

The top-rated hiking boot this year is the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX. It is substantially lighter, more flexible, and has a more athletic feel than the Bridger Mid. The X Ultra 3 is the preferred choice for day hiking and light backpacking due to its superior performance in various categories. For those seeking a balance between support and protection, the Vasque Breeze AT is an interesting alternative. With its Gore-Tex liner and Vibram rubber outsole, it offers better breathability and traction. However, it is heavier and has a potentially finicky lacing system. Lastly, the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is a durable and supportive boot, excelling in backpacking trips. Although it comes at a higher price, it offers exceptional support, cushioning, and overall performance.

Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (toe protection 2) Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof hiking boots (toe protection 2)

In conclusion, the Oboz Bridger Mid BDry Hiking Boot is a reliable and well-made footwear option for hikers and backpackers. While it may feel slightly dated compared to its modern competitors, its stellar performance in comfort, support, and durability make it a worthwhile investment. Keep in mind the Bridger Mid's weight and traction limitations, as well as its waterproofing and breathability trade-offs. Despite these drawbacks, the Bridger Mid excels in providing a sturdy and comfortable hiking experience.

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