A robust, protective and stylish shoe for everyday wear and day hikes.
Hiking shoes that hit the trail like boots, feel lightweight and streamlined, and have a stylishly casual look? Yes, the Oboz Hyalite Low Hiking Shoes offers all that! The feel of their super low cut may take some getting used to, but once you’ve adjusted these versatile shoes will end up being the only shoe you end up wearing — wherever your adventures take you.
Oboz Hyalite Low Hiking Shoes: the stats
|Best use:||Day hikes and everyday wear|
|Weight:||14.9 oz / 422 g (Men’s UK 9)|
|Waterproof:||Only water resistant|
|Uppers:||Split suede leather and rubber|
Features of the Oboz Hyalite Low Hiking Shoes
UppersThe split suede fabric make the uppers naturally highly water resistant and very abrasion-resistant. The uppers also feautre durable rubber sections at the toes and heel to further add to the overall robustness of the shoes and their ability to deal with tough conditions on and off the trail.
The lacing system combines ghillie laces on the lower part of the shoe to maximise the adjustability, and normal lacing for security through the middle of the foot. The laces also feature a webbed heel locking lace loop which helps to keep heel movement to a minimum.
Lugs and grip
Despite the relatively shallow lugs (compared with more technical hiking shoes and boots), the Hyalites still manage to provide excellent grip on varied terrain. The soles are durable and supportive to give the feel of midweight hiking boots without the bulk and weight.
The Ofit Insole features a sculpted arch and deep heel cup that provides excellent support and cushioning. Depending on your foot shape, however, this may alter the overall feel of the shoes compared with what you may be used to. Read on for more information.
Oboz Hyalite Low Hiking Shoes review
Although on the skinny and boney side, I don’t have awkward-shaped feet. Most other new shoes and boots feel pretty good after one wear. So I was a little concerned that these low cut hiking shoes should need any ‘breaking-in’ at all. It took a good few wears to feel comfortable in them. The main issue was a slight pinching low in the heel where the insoles raise my feet a little higher up in the shoe than I am used to.
And although I really wanted to like them, in truth, I almost gave up on them.
However, I continued wearing them for short outings (into town mainly), and I am VERY pleased I did. Once the insoles ‘settled in’, and compressed ever-so slightly they felt much better. Finally I am able to appreciate and enjoy all the multi-purpose, sturdy, good looks that the Hyalites promised.
Support and fit
The insoles provide a load of support, both through the arch and through the heel. For me, this feels a little too much and I feel that my foot sits high in the shoe. The result is that the low cut design feels extra low and leaves my ankles feeling slightly vulnerable on steep side-angled terrain. So, this can take a little bit of getting used, depending on the style of your previous shoes.
Grip and stability
As with all hiking shoes, the Hyalite’s lack the ankle stability that you get from boots. And because my feet sit high up in the shoe I feel they are even less protected at the ankle than I would prefer. However, they certainly make up for this with their mega grippy outsole that deals superbly with almost all types of terrain and conditions. In combination with the midsole, the overall sole of these shoes feels more like that of a hiking boot: solid, protective, trustworthy and long-lasting. The sole is also on the stiff side for hiking shoes, which further adds to the feeling of robustness, regardless of the terrain.
The solid sole isn’t the only feature that adds a comforting layer of protection to my feet. The Hyalites also have a rubber rand that stretches around the back and sides of the heel, plus another panel of durable rubber over the front and sides of the toe. This gives them the look of an approach shoe, but with less flexibility and more robustness.
What I love the most
What I haven’t mentioned so far is how well these ‘hiking’ shoes fit into everyday life. They have a casual look that doesn’t scream ‘technical outdoor geek attire’ at innocent passers-by!
But that’s not what I love the most about them. It’s their boot-like, protective sole without the associated weight and bulk that I really love. Because of this, the shoes feel robust and pretty bomb-proof (for hiking shoes).
What I don’t love so much
As mentioned, the Hyalites took a little getting used to and were not instantly comfortable. The heel cup was a little on the stiff side to start with. I also feel slightly vulnerable at the ankles due to my feet sitting high up in the shoes on the highly contoured insoles.
Although not immediately comfortable, the Oboz Hyalite Low Hiking Shoes offer superb versatility for everyday wear and day hikes on tough and varied terrain. They lack a little support at the ankle that one would expect from more technical hiking shoes, but they feel super protective through the robust and sturdy sole.
Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.