A versatile hiking shoe for long distance trails as well as everyday wear
The Oboz Sapphire Low B-Dry Hiking Shoes provide the easy comfort of lightweight trail shoes without compromising on the robustness and stability of hiking boots. They are an ideal option for wearing out and about as well as hiking in a variety of terrains and conditions, minus the bulk of boots.
Oboz Sapphire Low B-Dry hiking shoes: The stats
|Weight:||700g / 1.54lbs (per pair)|
|Uppers:||Nubuck leather with B-Dry waterproof membrane|
Features of the Oboz Sapphire’s
UppersSoft nubuck leather makes up the main part of the uppers, with synthetic toe bumpers and side panels for extra protection. Nubuck is naturally water resistant but the B-Dry membrane backs this up to make the shoes fully waterproof.
Sole: grip and lugs
The tough rubber soles are hard wearing yet ‘sticky’ enough to perform pretty well on dry rock. Plus, the lugs are moderately aggressive providing loads of traction on loose ground and muddy trails like.
The ghillie lacing system keeps the laces completely on the outside of the shoe (rather than looping into the shoe). This makes the shoes really easy to tighten and adjust, with the top metal eyelets adding to a very secure tie. Plus, these are the kind of laces that actually stay done up!
Inner sole and midsole
Oboz have developed the OFit Insole which provides good structure and support throughout the foot with ample cushioning. The top layer of the insoles are moisture wicking, too. And the midsole combines three layers of protection and support that is comparable to a heavier-weight hiking boot.
The low ankle has a leather cuff that is relatively stiff, yet plush with cushioning. This provides good support without rubbing. However, it can take a little breaking in to soften the cuff to a point of comfort, especially on uneven terrain.
Oboz Sapphire Low B-Dry hiking shoes review
Fit, comfort and support
The Sapphires are designed specifically for women’s feet. And although they provide plenty of support through the arches and heel, my feet feel in a very neutral position. As as result, the shoes provide my favourite sort of comfort: unnoticeable! There is plenty of room in the toe box, but it’s not overly spacious. My feet barely move within the shoes.
The cuff at the low ankle is a little on the stiff side, especially compared with the easy fit of the rest of the shoe. This means that on uneven terrain I feel the cuff digging into my ankle bones slightly. This is softening the more I wear them. So just something to be aware of during the first few outings. The flip side of this means that the ankles actually feel very supportive, considering the low cut. Hopefully the support will remain as the cuffs soften with time.
Grip and stability
I’m super impressed with the grip. The soles deal with loose, dry trails brilliantly, providing equally good grip on dry rocks. But they hold their own in wet and muddy conditions on steep terrain, too. There’s also a map molded in the bottom of the shoes featuring Swiftcurrent Mountain, located in Glacier National Park!
The midsoles are relatively stiff for hiking shoes. The combo of the dual density EVA midsole and a TPU chassis provides superb protection that is similar to a lightweight hiking boot. And the stiffness this provides means that there is a ton of underfoot stability which makes me feel very confident on awkward and rocky terrain.
As well as the aforementioned reinforced soles, the Sapphires also don’t scrimp on their bumper-style protection. Aesthetically, the bumpers are fairly discreet. But they are actually comparable to Keen hiking shoes, just more streamlined and subtle. Sure, the toe-bumper ain’t ever going to compete with Keen’s signature feature. But overall, Oboz have somehow made these shoes much more robust than they look, helping them cope very well with rough, rocky terrain.
The B-Dry membrane, coupled with the nubuck level uppers, provide excellent waterproofness. Even paddling through shallow water is manageable, providing you don’t go too deep! The gusseted tongue helps to keep water from getting in through the laces, and the main way feet end up getting wet on the inside is from water seeping down through sodden socks.
These mid-weight walking shoes are too stiff and heavy to be worn for short distance trail running. However, their easy fit and excellent stability make them ideal for long distance hikes as well as everyday wear. And because of their stylish design they’re a really good option for sightseeing and day trips that aren’t hiking focussed.
What I love the most about the Oboz Sapphire’s
I love how easy they are to get on and off. This sounds a little silly, but for everyday wear, when I’m in and out of them all day, this is super important. The laces are just so easy to adjust and loosen. And the easy fit means that they feel great in whatever socks I have on. Other technical shoes I’ve worn need very specific socks to feel the best. Any socks will do in the Sapphires!
What I don’t love so much about the Oboz Sapphire’s
To get maximal support around the ankle, the laces need to be tied really tight. On my feet this results in the cuffs digging into my ankle bones when I’m on uneven ground. As mentioned, this is softening with wear.
Versatile, comfortable, super stable and highly supportive. The Oboz Sapphire Low B-Dry hiking shoes also look sleek and classy making them ideal for short hikes, sightseeing, day tripping, everyday chores and even for more committed, long hikes. Allow for a little break-in time around the cuffs, depending on your feet. Otherwise, hop into stable comfort and get trekking!
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.