Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Cut Hikers
Those who spend a lot of time on the trail know that a hiking boot can make or break a hike. A boot that doesn’t fit well can lead to a miserable time while a comfortable boot can feel like you are walking on a cloud. There are a lot of options out there for hikers so I wanted to share my thoughts and to give some more information towards your decisions. This week I review the Oboz Sawtooth X Mid cut hiker.
As a disclaimer I would like to mention that I was sent this pair of Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Hiker so that I could write this review. All opinions on this page are my own and based on my own experiences with this pair of shoes. I am not compensated for the opinions on this review. Your experience with the shoes may be different.
Before I get into my opinions I wanted to share some of the specs on the Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Waterproof. In describing the Sawtooth Oboz kept it short and simple, “We think you’ll give it a “10”. (A play on this being the Sawtooth X) Here are the rest of the specs from Oboz.com.
- Regular and Wide options for all sizes.
Standard Width – Men’s standard width is C in the heel and D in the forefoot (according to Brannock Device®). Patterns and materials in a given model may influence fit. We always recommend trying our footwear on to ensure the best possible fit.
Standard — Medium-High volume feet tend to be wider with higher arches and insteps.
19.4 oz./550 grams
- Oiled nubuck
- Cordura Fabric mesh
- TPU heel counter
- B-DRY Waterproof Membrane
- 100% RPET Repreve Laces
- 100% RPET Repreve Webbing
- Micro-injected PU window
Canteen, Charcoal, Green Clay
*All spec information directly from Oboz.com
What I liked
There is a lot to like with the Oboz Sawtooth X Mid hiker. I was blown away by the grip that these boots provide and that was my favorite feature. I also felt they did a good job of protecting my foot and providing support to make my hike more enjoyable. Here is a breakdown of what I liked about the Sawtooth X.
It took me a bit to get the laces right but as soon as I did I really liked the fit of the Sawtooth X. It is a firm shoe that really hugs and holds the foot. I feel like I can walk with them untied and loose and wouldn’t have any slipping because they foot bed does such as good job of holding the foot. There is a bit of restrictiveness that takes a bit to get used to especially if you are used to looser footwear.
The nice thing about the fit of the Oboz Sawtooth X Mid is that your foot is not going to go anywhere while you are wearing it. The rigidness keeps going all the way up the ankle near the upper portion and the collar. This stiffness provides a lot of support for the foot and ankle. For me it was a little too much but more on that later.
Overall the fit of the Oboz Sawtooth X is really solid. The hiker is well made and the foot is fully supported and, once adjusted, the foot can slide in and out with ease.
I am not really a style guy. I am more interested in how a pair of boots or shoes perform. But I also know that a lot of people when trying shoes on are checking two things: how they look and do they fit. So I will include a bit about the looks in here.
I think the Oboz Sawtooth X are a stylish and sleek looking boot. They are firmly built and have a strong feel to them but they don’t look boxy or bulky. The pair I got are gray with black trim and my favorite part is how cool the tread looks. I know that is more of a personal preference but I think they look like a tough pair of hikers which I like.
In my mind I think the grip is the most important aspect of a good hiking shoe. If you can’t make your way around the dirt, rocks, mud and other obstacles on the trail, nothing else really matters. A shoe with great grip can make for an enjoyable day on the trail while bad grip can make you miserable in a hurry.
The Oboz Sawtooth X has some of the best grip that I have ever experienced in a pair of hiking footwear. I had more confidence in my feet with these shoes than I think I ever have. I was really impressed. Let me break it down a bit further based on my slip scale.
On a slip scale from worst to best of: Oh-HOLY COW–NO NO NO, Woah, Not Bad, I Got This, No Worries!
- Flat Dry ground that is dirt or rock: No Worries
- Flat ground that is a little damp or muddy: No Worries
- Loose dirt: No Worries
- Walking across rock boulders: No Worries
- Declining down a flat rock: No Worries
- Scree: Not Attempted
- When bottom of shoes are wet: No Worries
This is my first perfect score on a slip scale I have ever given! I really didn’t have any issues at all while hiking in my Oboz Sawtooth X Mid. My foot hit the ground and stayed exactly where I expected it. Here is a bit more broken down by different terrains.
Bouldering and Rock Walking
I didn’t do a ton of bouldering in the Oboz because I was testing them in winter mostly. On the other hand the boulders that I did walk on had an extra degree of difficulty in the form of ice and snow on them! The Sawtooth did great walking on boulders. There are several layers of tread including on the edges and down the middle which makes walking on uneven rocks and boulders fairly easy.
Snow, Slush, Ice
This can be a tricky one for a lot of shoes and boots but the Oboz Sawtooth X handled snow and slush really well. I went longer using my shoes before adding microspikes than ever before in the Oboz. Now, ice can get pretty brutal and I never recommend hiking on ice or super slippery conditions without traction. However, the Oboz made the spikeless time in regular snow last much longer and I had confidence as I was walking through snow with these hikers on.
You know those times you walk through the snow melt or puddles in the parking lot and then the bottom of your shoes are damp and they get a little slick? Well, I didn’t have any problems with that at all with the Oboz Sawtooth X. Even when the tread is a little damp the grip is still really good even on hard surfaces like concrete.
No problems at all on the dry trail. Even on declines where the tread can have a tendency to slip a bit I never had any problems with these.
I really don’t like hiking in mud and each hike in mud can be a different adventure on its own. In thinner mud that isn’t too flowing, the Oboz Sawtooth X did just fine. When the mud is as deep as your shoe and flowing down the trail like a river you are going to run into some problems no matter what shoes you are wearing.
After the grip, I think the pad is the most important part of any hiking shoe. Especially if you hike in a place as rocky as Colorado like I do. I have the added concerns of being a bigger guy and a hefty hiker. So I put a lot of pressure on the pad of foot. If the pad isn’t strong enough I usually run into really painful feet about halfway into the hike.
While I haven’t worn the Oboz Sawtooth X pad down yet, it has held up remarkably well. I can walk across the tiny jagged rocks that you can feel pushing through the bottom of some boots with no problems. They have handled walking on solid rocks with no concerns as well. So the pad definitely has protected the bottom of my foot from trail debris. Another important part of the protection is the kick guard that wraps an inch high around the toes and stretches over two inches on the inside and three inches on the outside to help protect your toes from debris just above ground level.
I have done several hikes, probably up to about a dozen now and close 50 or 60 miles, and I have seen no degradation in the comfort of the pad on these boots from the inside. My foot is just as comfortable on the inside as the first time I tried them on. I feel that the protection of my foot will last for a long time with these since I am not seeing any issues so far.
Again, rock solid effort in the waterproofing. While I did not get to test the Sawtooth X in a big puddles or crossing streams because I was testing in the winter, the waterproofing to keep the snow and snow melt away from my foot was outstanding.
While waterproofing is a bit more dramatic when you swamp a boot in a creek or stream, the constant assault by snow and slush can cause big problems on a longer winter hike. The Sawtooth never flinched with having snow covering and melting and the snow just brushed away with ease.
The seal of the Sawtooth X are also really well made. My foot looks and feels completely secured and held water tight. There are no loose spots or a floppy tongue that might create a leak. Nothing but solid craftsmanship and a very well sealed hiker.
What I didn’t Like
While I liked most if not all of the Oboz Sawtooth X Mid hiker they will take away my blogger card if I don’t find something that wasn’t for me.
For me the only complaint that I have is the stiffness in the ankle material. I like to have a little bit of flexibility around my ankles so I can walk more naturally on different terrain. The Oboz Sawtooth X has a very rigid ankle, which many people may like, but it wasn’t my favorite. I will admit that the added support was nice but I didn’t need at all times.
I do like the rigidness of the rest of the material however. The boot is very sturdy and I might be better off trying one of the low level Sawtooth to see if it fits my foot a little bit better.
Video Review of the Oboz Sawtooth X Mid
Before my final thoughts here is a quick video review of the Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Hiker. If you enjoy the review make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to see my new content.
Wrap Up of Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Hiker
Overall I really enjoyed the Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Cut hiker. The boot is really put together well and provides a lot of foot support. The overall fit is sturdy and there is good heel capture while walking and the boot really hugs the foot with every step. The grip and traction of the Oboz Sawtooth X is really good. I think this might be the best traction I have had with a hiking boot. The grip handles most conditions extremely well and even worked well in snow deeper than I am usually comfortable with.
The only thing I didn’t really love was the stiffness of the upper section and into the collar of the boot. At times it felt like my foot got a little restricted in some of my movements, especially longer flat hikes where I like a little bit of flexibility in my ankle. But for those who are looking for extra support around the ankles this could actually be a good thing.
Overall though this is a really nice pair of boots and I have enjoyed my time on the trail with them. I think they would work out for both the beginner hiker and those with a few more miles under their belt.
More from the Fatman
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