With spring around the corner, I am excited to dig out the summer gear and hit the trail. My hiking boots have had a few months off and now it is time to get reacquainted. Starting out the hiking season I will be trying out Oboz Crest Low Waterproof hiking shoe. Based out of Bozeman, Montana, Oboz footwear has been around for over ten years. Many of the founders of Oboz left the corporate world to find their passion in creating rugged footwear for outdoor enthusiasts. With spring and mud-season approaching here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado it has been fun putting the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof hiking shoes to the test.
Initial Thoughts of the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof Hiking Shoes
The Oboz Crest Low Waterproof are a stout low profile hiker. Weighing in at 15.9 ounces, these low profile hiking shoes have a rugged design. Starting with the sole, the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof has an aggressive tread. Obviously the designers at Oboz had fun creating soles since many different tread features are present. From large siped tread in the back, smaller tread blocks in the middle, and round cleats on the sides, this shoe is built to keep your feet under you.
The fit of the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof is true to size. I wear a 10.5 in my hiking boots and this shoe fits well. The shoe is roomy in the front and snug in the heel creating a great fit around my feet. There is a moderate arch present in the footbed, which supports the sole as well as a cup around the heel. The laces utilize a pull system with locks instead of the traditional laces.
BDRY is the material that Oboz uses to keep water out and allow for breathability. This material uses a three system approach to assure dry feet. A tape sealed polyurethane bootie, hydrophobic upper mesh, and a textile lining are combined to get the job done.
Field Testing the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof Hiking Shoe
After spending some time in the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof hiking shoe I am not sure whether to identify this particular footwear as a shoe or boot. Oboz hit the nail on the head when designing the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof as it really incorporates the best features of a boot and shoe making it a great all around hiking footwear.
Oboz Crest Low Waterproof hiking shoe is outstanding in the field. Lately, I spend most of my time hiking on mud, rock, and slick compacted snow. This terrain is not very forgiving and most users this time of year use hiking aides like Yaktrax to keep their feet under themselves. In each of my hikes I fully anticipated to be spending some time on my backside due to a “Charlie Brown” style fall. To my surprise, I did not slip once. It was pretty cool to see all of the Yaktrax marks imprinted into the steep trail where I was hiking unaided. Hats off to the tread designers at Oboz as these shoes rock.
Along with the solid tread the BDRY material lived up up to its name. Even after hours of use, I had no issues with the BDRY soaking through on the wet trails. The only time my feet got wet was when I missed the trail and would post hole up to my knee in snow. Snow was down the shoe instantly but after a short time the BDRY material was able to wick out the excess moisture.
The Oboz Crest Low Waterproof hiking shoes feel solid. These shoes really feel more like boots than shoes. The stiff sole, high arch, and heavy tread are made for a long day on the trail. That being said they are quite comfortable. Even after long hikes I never had the nagging urge to rip these off and put on something more comfortable.
I would say that the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof hiking shoes are more at home on the trail than in the office. As a middle school science teacher I spend most of my day on my feet. I am not sure these would be the shoes I would crossover to the workplace with, as their stiff design is really overkill for hurdling around student desks.
One concern that was a complete non issue was the lacing system of the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof hiking shoe. The system that Oboz uses is definitely unique. The laces are stretchy and I was worried that I would not be able to really cinch down and keep my foot in place. What I found is that overall design of the shoe fits so well with the properly designed insole that my foot doesn’t move much. The need to crank down on the laces really isn’t there and lacing system is more than adequate.
The lacing system does take a bit of practice if you spend most of the time with traditional laces. The adjustment clips open and close easily and make quick work of any needed adjustments. Also, the inside upper lace hook does take a couple tries to get used to. After my first few hikes I became more than comfortable using these quick adjustment laces.
Specs on the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof taken from Oboz
- MSRP $150
- Multidensity footbead for comfort and support
- Moisture wicking top layer
- High density EVA sculpted arch
- High density EVA deep heel cup
- Nylon shank offers added support between heel and forefoot
- BDRY Waterproof Material
- Rugged Grippy Outsole
- Speed Lacing System
Final Thoughts on the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof Hiking Shoes
The Oboz Crest Low Waterproof hiking shoe fits the bill for a lightweight hiking boot to the heavy weight hiking shoe. Aggressive tread gave me confidence in foot placement even on the slickest of surfaces. Comfort from a well designed insole and BDRY material make hiking in most any conditions problem free.
Although the high country here in Colorado is still pretty socked in, where I really believe this shoe will shine is in backpacking. It is lightweight enough to feel good for many miles and heavy duty enough for me to feel confident while under-load of a heavy pack. Only if I was going off trail in really rugged conditions would I feel the need for mid or high top hiking boot. You better believe the Oboz Crest Low Waterproof hiking shoe will have its place on my first backpacking trip of the season.
For more information on the Oboz Crest Low, visit obozfootwear.com