Review: Oboz Bridger Bdry Mids
Oboz’s most popular hiking boot is the Bridger. It’s a well-known hiking boot. This versatile hiking boot is perfect for day hikes and backpacking. The Bridger is the middle linebacker in a football team. It is strong enough to compete against larger, heavier linemen (backpacking boots), but athletic enough to run over shorter distances with tight ends (hiking shoes).
The Bridger is best for moderate-to-difficult trails that require more support and durability. The Bridger is not the lightest boot so it is not ideal for those who are looking for a fast and easy hike or for shorter walks on flat terrain. It’s still the most durable hiking boot I have ever owned. It is a great value for money, offering above-average comfort, support, performance, and value at a price of less than $200. It’s my favorite hiking boot right now for long, hard hikes and occasional backpacking trips.
foot and ankle support
Hikers and backpackers prefer hiking boots because of their support. The Oboz Bridger Mid offers moderate protection for the ankle and foot.
- Sturdy outsoles to protect and cushion your feet’s bottoms
- TPU chassis with nylon shank to provide additional midfoot support and torsional rigidity
- Nubuck leather uppers are for protection over the ankle
- Rubber toe caps and molded heel counter (ankle support).
Although it isn’t the most tall boot, its sturdy construction and torsional rigidity (resistance side to side twisting), should be able to support hikers like me who require extra foot and ankle support. Bridgers have been my go-to boot for more than 2000 miles without any ankle issues. I also have a history with sprained ankles.
The forefoot is flexible enough to handle moderate terrain. This boot is a great choice for hiking boots, as it is sturdy enough to backpack but flexible enough to hike moderately difficult trails.
The Bridger is a mid-duty hiking boot that weighs in at about 2.5 pounds. These boots weigh 2.5+ pounds per pair depending on your gender and size. (My size 12 wides weigh 2 pounds, 11 ounces per pair.) A lighter boot will provide less support, cushion and durability if you are all about the ounces. This solid, mid-weight hiking boot is for you if support, comfort and durability are more important to you.
Oboz footbeds are the best in the outdoor market, according to my experience. Oboz is the only company that makes hiking boots with an insole that cushions and supports your feet. Their OFIT insoles are orthotic-quality. They have a reinforced heel cup and legitimate arch support. These insoles, which retail at $30, are a significant upgrade from the poor foam insoles found in most hiking boots (even those that cost $200+).
That’s not all. These insoles are supported by stiff TPU chassis and cushioned EVA outsoles. All of this adds up to a well-padded ride that protects your feet from the trail’s pounding. It’s a great hiking shoe footbed. A soft, yet sturdy base that is comfortable for my tired feet and ankles.
Comfortable hiking boots are the best option if you want cushion and support.
Oboz has kept costs low by using Oboz BDry, their proprietary waterproofing. My experience with B-Dry membranes is that they are reliable. They aren’t as reliable and breathable as Gore Tex membranes or eVent membranes.
The waterproofness of my first pair was almost complete when I had to retire them. My second pair of Bridgers gradually developed microscopic leaks, which left my feet wet (not soaked) after many miles of snow, slush or puddles.
Your boots can be waterproofed and breathable by cleaning and re-applying DWR treatment. Your Bridgers will be waterproof right out of the box. But you’ll eventually want this Nikwax two pack of cleaning gel + Nubuck/Suede Proofing to maintain their waterproof-breathable membrane and external DWR treatment.
Although we all have different comfort levels and I can wear them year-round, they are comfortable. (My feet aren’t too hot in summer, and they stay warm in winter. I would rate their overall waterproofing and breathability as average.
The Oboz Bridger’s aggressive traction is a huge plus for me. Oboz’s Granite Peak outsoles have a deep heel brake and V-shaped lugs. They also have angular ridges which dig in to loose or soft surfaces. This tread is particularly useful on steep descents where the majority of serious falls occur. This tread is more suited for steep descents than hiking boots and allows me to pass hikers half my ages.
These outsoles are not suitable for flat trails, where you feel the heel brake. They also don’t match well with slick rocks. It excels on steeper terrain, such as snow, loose rocks and scree.
sizing and fitting
Bridgers are able to fit more people than other brands, having personally helped hundreds of hikers through a backpacking and hiking shop.
Oboz have a sculped fit at the heel and a standard fit in both the toe box and midfoot. These might be a good option for anyone who has experienced heel slippage with other brands. They work well for narrow to average feet. The Bridger also comes in wide sizes, giving you more space in your forefoot or toe box. This makes the Bridger an attractive choice for hikers with wide feet, such as me.
The Bridger should be purchased half a size larger than the average shoe size (standard fit). (For the best fit, refer to my fitting guide.
Oboz excels in this area as well. I have never owned a more durable hiking boot than the Oboz Bridger Mid. My first pair of boots lasted over 1200 miles of intense hiking. My second pair lasted hundreds of miles longer than any of the boots on my list. Bridger’s nubuck leather is durable and the outsoles are more resistant than any other brand I have worn.
The Bridger mid-weight hiking boot may be twice as durable as the average hiking boot, and four times as comfortable as lightweight trail running shoes. They are also less expensive over the long-term and not as harmful to the environment than most trail runners, hiking boots, or budget-oriented hiking boot.