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Backpacker Magazine – August 2009

Gear Review: Oboz Sawtooth Boot

If you're hiking rugged terrain, this $100 boot is for you.

by: Berne Broudy

Oboz Sawtooth (Courtesy photo)
Oboz Sawtooth (Courtesy photo)

Best for Rugged Terrain
The aggressive lugs and pronounced heel cut on this nubuck leather hiker held fast whether we were climbing rocky, scree-choked gullies or descending mud-slicked trails. After tackling Mexico's loose and rocky Paso de Cortes Trail between Popocatipetl and Iztaccmhuatl volcanoes, one tester said, "The nylon shank makes the sole feel impenetrable to any size stone–it's like these boots were designed for volcanic scree and rocky cliffs." The sole has superior torsion control on steep terrain, but isn't so stiff that it interfered with striding; one tester's feet felt great after going 24 miles with a 30-pound pack. The ankle cuff started out stiff but softened after a few outings, and testers praised the roomy toebox and snug midfoot, which together eliminated toe bang on descents. And the Sawtooths proved the most durable in the test, thanks to extra layers of leather in high-wear areas.

Eco points: In a partnership with Trees For The Future (, Oboz plants a regionally appropriate tree in Africa, Asia, or Central America for every pair sold.

Best for: wide, high-volume feet.
Sizes men's 8-12, 13, 14; women's 6-11
Weight 1 lb. 15 oz.
Price $100

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Muriel Sower
Apr 03, 2012

They're very comfortable and great on trails, but if you're off trail and switchbacking on a steep terrain, they do NOT hold an edge...they keep rolling over and I was almost falling out of them.

Sep 04, 2010

These shoes deserve every kudo they get. I've worn them on long trails in the Shenandoah National Park, Mt. LeConte in the Great Smokies, 13,000' peaks in the southern Rockies and Sangre de Cristo, bushwhacked along the Rio Grande, and hiked up talus slopes in Yosemite and most recently, up the mix of sand, dirt and rock trails on Mt. Whitney. The shoes are light, durable, and provide great support and traction in rough terrain. That said, for something like Whitney with miles or rock trail, the better ankle support of a higher boot is advisable. But that just means I'll be looking for an Oboz hiking boot. I've recommended the Sawtooth to two friends, and they're just as delighted with them as I.


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