Oboz Footwear makes some beastly boots… and that’s a good thing.
Last winter, I spent several months trying out two different pairs of Oboz boots helpfully provided by the company. Here’s the breakdown of each boot as you’re looking for options this winter.
Bridger 8″ Insulated Waterproof Boot
The first pair that I tested and reviewed is an updated version of the Bridger 8″ Insulated Waterproof Boot by Oboz Footwear. I first reviewed these boots several years ago, and the new generation is an improvement on an already superb offering.
There’s one thing you should know about the Bridger boots when you first try them, and it’s that they have a distinctly different “feel” to them. The boots feature a rather thick sole, the Granite Peak winterized outsole, and O Fit Insole Thermal, which cradles and cushions your foot. It provides a sensation that’s distinctly unusual on your first wear.
Though pleasant to walk in, I found it took me a while to get a proper feel for them. After two months, I still find them distracting to use while driving. However, I choose not to go for extended walks in anything but the Bridgers…except for the second pair of Oboz I’ve been trying out.
Bridger 8″ also includes 200g of their 3M Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet warm. My feet stayed very warm in these boots, and in fact, the Bridger 8″ would have received more use over the last month or so if the weather had been cold enough.
In addition to the insulation provided, the Bridger 8″ has unique B-DRY waterproofing that allows your sweat to escape while keeping additional moisture out of the boot.
Made with a rubber toe cap and molded heel kick, the Oboz Bridger 8″ boots are meant to protect from rocks and debris while keeping mud and snow from clinging to the boot.
However, I don’t find the traction as good as I would hope. In fact, I went for a short walk in the Bridger 8″ boots while still moving somewhat gingerly after a protracted lower-body injury suffered before Christmas. I was somewhat dissatisfied with the boots’ grip in the fresh snow along the side of the road. I was clearly on the edge of slipping, which made me uncomfortable. However, I haven’t noticed the same thing while walking trails, so it’s likely not a deal-breaker.
Read More: Snowshoeing Footwear: What To Keep In Mind
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Big Sky Insulated B-Dry Slip-On Boots
The second pair of boots I tested for the review were Big Sky Slip-On Boots by Oboz Footwear. These boots have finally provided me with the performance pull-on boots I’ve been searching for several years.
The boots provide a superb fit, excellent support and cushioning, and a more-than-adequate grip.
The Big Sky boots also feature the Granite Peak outsole with an EVA midsole.
As walking and hiking boots, they’re excellent, although I still prefer lace-ups. I have a difficult foot to fit, and I haven’t found a lace-less boot or shoe yet that my foot won’t rumble around in during difficult conditions.
Oddly, I haven’t found the Big Sky boots to provide the same unusual cushioning sensation as the Bridger boots. Thus, the Big Sky boots were much easier to get into.
The Big Sky Insulated B-Dry Boot also has the 200g of 3M insulation, making them incredibly warm, though not as warm as the Bridger 8″ boots.
The same B-Dry waterproofing technology is part of the Big Sky boot to let sweat out while preventing moisture from seeping in. Due to the weather, I haven’t had the chance to try them while snowshoeing. However, I’m convinced they’d be quite workable, at least for some light recreational usage.
The primary disadvantage would be the boots’ lower ankle height, but that’s not much different from using hiking boots on your snowshoe outings. You can also wear gaiters (learn how to choose which ones) to prevent the snow from seeping into your boots.
Unlike the Bridger 8″, I didn’t have any slipping incidents in the Big Sky boots. Alternatively, the treads provide an excellent grip with a temperature-sensitive Granite Peak rubber sole for traction.
Read More: Gear Review: Oboz Bridger B-DRY
Both feature the Granite Peak outsole, though the Bridger outsole is winterized. Also, both feature 200 g of 3M Thinsulate for impeccable warmth, though the Bridger 8″ outperformed in that category for me.
If you’re looking for a more extensive snowshoe outing, the Bridger 8″ are built for the trail with the rubber toe cap and molded heel kick for protection from debris. On the other hand, the Big Sky boot is built for everyday use or light recreational snowshoe outings.
Would you use either the Bridger 8″ Insulated Waterproof Boot or the Big Sky Insulated B-Dry Boot by Oboz Footwear? What recommendations do you have from your experience? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Oboz Footwear provided the boots reviewed in this article. All views and experiences shared in the article are the author’s own.
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