New Jack – Obōz Bridger Bdry Mids Review
Introduction – These Boots Are Made for Walking
Whilst even though I’m on a temporary hiatus I thought I’d dust off the blog and run up a review on my new boots, the Obōz Bridger Bdry Mids in Maple.
I recall as far back as my formative years, when attending high school I’d clock up considerable mileage on foot walking the three miles there and back again.
As such, I actually consider walking not only enjoyable, but a past time too.
It was then, I started to take a keen interest in footwear and enabled by fathers time in the Marines, and ever intrigued by his latest and greatest boot he’d purchased for duty as a Police Officer I heeded and absorbed no end of solid advice on what makes a good boot, and there subsequent maintenance and care.
Now, whilst in more recent years, due to my own career, I’ve not only been issued a slew of high end boots for duty – such Lowa, Alt-Berg and Meindl, I’ve traditionally worn, in all weathers a high boot not only for ‘PlasticDeth’ (Airsoft, MilSim – whatever your preferred nomenclature is) but, walking to and from work, and out and about in everyday life.
Why? well, despite living in leafy suburbia and my daily commute into the city, you’d be amazed the amount of mud, gravel, sand there is to traverse and not forgetting snow, ice and frost and of course the United Kingdom’s ever abundant precipitation.
In my teens I was very much taken by high end skate wear, however, I was alway crestfallen when they picked up dirt and grime or worse, not cope with the inclement weather or withstand the daily tread of urban environments.
I must confess, my like my daughters beloved Peppa and George, I too have a propensity to walking through muddy puddles. I take no end of pleasure, and affirmation putting the latest and greatest boots through a little bit of ‘water torture’ too …
Obōz Bridger Bdry Mids ‘Maple’ Boots
I discovered Obōz whilst seeking to replace my much loved and subsequently third pair of Salomon Quest 4D GTX’s in the ubiquitous ‘Absolute Brown’ – a truly superb boot, and as they where becoming harder to find in that color way, I turned elsewhere.
Initially looked long and hard at Crispi’s ‘Nevada’ boots, but being unable to settle upon an agreeable price, let alone find my size I was dissuaded by conflicting size conversion. However, it was here Obōz popped up on amongst my searches and with additional recommendation from Gear Whores Anonymous I was compelled to take the plunge and jump all in …
Here, disaster struck, and the fledgling Obōz had no distribution outside of the States, nor could I find any in stock or at reasonable price without exorbitantly priced shipping costs.
Fortunately, my new boot dilemma was solved in the form of AKU’s ‘Pilgrim’ GTX’s and whilst they are just about serviceable, they’ve been retired after over a years very heavy use and abuse, I’m sure I’ll pick up another pair of those too, in the future.
So, again in need of new footwear, I found a UK based company stocking not only a wide selection of Obōz footwear, but my ‘grail’ the Bridger Bdry Mid – in the Maple color way too, with 40% off, I doubled down without a moments hesitation.
Outside + Bozeman = Obōz.
Based in Bozeman, Montana. Revolutionary footwear in groovy designs. Technical does not have to be dull! Obōz has just what you need when it comes to trail shoes, hiking shoes, hiking boots and mountaineering boots. Oh, and casual wear of course.
FACT: Being the good guys that they are, they plant a tree for every shoe sold.
• Waterproof Nubuck Leather
• BDry Membrane: Keep dry when the trail isn’t. Our proprietary BDry membrane blocks water from wet trails while wicking sweat away.
• Moulded Rubber Toe Cap
• Moulded Heel Counter: Snug heel hold that’s built to last. We mould this heel counter, making it extra durable against collapse.
• Construction: Board Lasted
• BFit Deluxe Insole: A supremely supportive insole, engineered specifically for our shoes. The BFit Deluxe Insole stabilizes arches, protects high-impact zones, and costs nothing extra.
• Midsole: Dual Density EVA
• TPU Chassis – Lightweight, powerful armoring and stability. Our TPU Chassis provides featherweight, effective armour underfoot, reducing stone bruising and torsional twist.
• Nylon Shank
• Outsole: Granite Peak
• Weight (approx.): 539 g
Review – A First Impression
Without a doubt it’s a great looking boot, well – in my opinion, and I’d wager as many of the aesthetics seen here are carried across the range of Obōz’ boots, it’s certainly proved popular with the ever growing legion of Obōz .
I’m a huge fan of the Maple Nubuck Leathers colorway, it offsets nicely against the orange and black furniture surrounding the boot, and it’s washed grey green Pantone suitably subtle and reserved for any setting.
More in importantly, the Nubuck is proofed offering the boots it’s initial first defense against precipitation and standing water.
I take no end of pleasure seeing water bead of any apparel and these boots are no exception.
Already trialed out in heavy rain and slick mud, the Bridger Bdry’s seem almost hungry for more abuse, the wetter the better.
It was here too, traversing through rain filled and slick muddy pathways the ‘Granite Peak’ outsole and TPU Chassis combined with the boots midsole’s dual density EVA really shined and performed solidly – offering real grip and traction, switching seamlessly from inch this mud to gravel within a beat and no impact on positive tread.
The outer soles patented ‘GranitePeak’ is aggressively cut and toothed elevating the foot and the rest of the boot, giving a generous elevation off and away from whatever terrain you are traversing.
Whilst it wore quickly, when worn on concrete, the outer sole does have a beveled texture and this gives the grip a nice tacky tread, especially when the deck is wet or slick from either rain or frost.
That said, other than the fine texture the soles have shown zero fatigue, damage or otherwise – they’re as tough as they are aggressive looking.
The boots rubberized toe cap pushes debris, dirt and dust and moisture away from the boot with ease, and here I’m happy to report its generously oversized so as you’d expect, offering not only protection from unwanted bumps and scrapes but admirably over performs.
Likewise the rear of the boot nylon shank offers protection and assists with a solid posture of the foot when laced securely against the ankle, despite being a lower cut mid boot, particular with the rear of the boots mouth being scalloped to allow great movement I nonetheless felt assured by the boots support.
So, essentially the two part sole forms a base, or rather platform within which the boots Nubuck outer and proprietary GoreTex lining sits, which is further protected by the rubberized cap and nylon shank.
However, Obōz haven’t stopped there, and put in the own in house designed Bfit Deluxe Insole, superior support, stabilizes arches, protects high-impact zones – it’s perhaps here thar truly the Bdry’s quality and innovative design is best represented.
All of the above is finished off with generously thick laces, which naturally secure the boot and lock off the tongue and mouth of the boot.
They fit true to size, and when properly opened and released utilizing the lace system they are very easy to don abs doff, and of course as easy to securely cinch too.
It’d be remiss of me to not mention the boots weight, at only 539g these are barely noticeable when worn, when you can tear your eyes away from how good they look that is …
I’m already an immediate fan, and as it stands today highly impressed, and as such looking at the slightly higher cut variant in black for work, particularly when duties call upon us to explore some unforgiving and muddy terrain.
I’d argue, despite the competitive price point, Obōz have very generously over engineered a very high end boot. The Bridger Bdry gives many of its high end competitors a serious run for their money. I’d best describe these as ‘foot armor’ – with its two part component outer sole offering abrasive traction and protection, the midsole giving substantial shock absorption too. Leaving the inner sole to cushion, support and assist the foots natural articulation and tread, rubber toe cap and nylon shank covering the front and rear – Obōz has your back.
Don’t just take my word for it, Rich over at the Reptile House, lauded them as the boot communities best kept secret and warmly welcomed me into the ‘secret cabal’ of Obōz faithful.
I’d encourage any outdoors enthusiast, experienced or casual walker or explorer – or even for that matter die hard exponent of ‘Plastic Deth’ to duly consider Obōz when looking to purchase a new boot. A truly welcome, and warmly received entry to the ‘gear locker’ – S23
Boot Maintenance and Cleaning
Brush/rinse off the mud after each hike. Taking a moment to wipe off the dirt or mud when you return home is a good habit to get into. Better yet? Do it at the trailhead and it will save you having to clean out your car of those mud tracks!
Several times over the hiking season (or more if you hike year-round, lucky!) thoroughly clean your boots. It’s important to use the correct cleaning agent; avoid solvents, petroleum, and detergents, and never put your booths in a washer or dryer. A great option is Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel.
After you’ve removed as much of the dirt and mud as you can, rinse with clean water to damped the boot surface. Shake your cleanser well, and press applicator to break the seal before brushing over the area of the boots you want to clean. Don’t worry, you can apply generously! If an area is really grimy, you can scrub the area with a stiff brush.
If your boots need to be re-waterproofed, you can then apply a leather conditioner or waterproofing product.
Air dry and plan your next adventure!
*Bonus Section – Danish Endurance Merino Wool Socks
For years, I’ve eschewed perhaps the most vital part for truly enjoying and optimizing any boot I’ve owned, socks !!!
Whilst I’ve used either good quality cotton or wool socks, or generic thicker twill boot socks – I’ve missed out on what some of the hiking and trekking ‘boot communities’ have been enjoying for decades.
I’ve a few other brands to try, but initially opted for Danish Endurance’ Merino Wool Hiking Socks in Forest Green no less.
Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking Socks are the perfect hiking partner to help you perform at your best.
These socks are designed to keep your feet dry, warm and comfortable.
The cushioning will prevent your feet from getting blisters, aching and optimize ventilation.
1) Premium craftsmanship for durability
2) Perfect Anatomical fit
3) Optimum padding to prevent blisters and wick away perspiration
Constructed from 33% Merino Wool, 33% Acrylic and 33% Polyamide plus 1% Elastane – these are an ingenious hybrid of Boot, Sports and Support sock all rolled into one.
The thick Merino Wool panels offer warmth to the toes, heel and lower ankle. Acrylic calf and upper foot stretches to promote correct articulation and Polyamide stretch panels proffer support.
These compliment the boots no end and will be surely stocking up on more imminently – S23
S23 FAMILIA Mk 1.5 ‘Beer Mat’ 2018 Anniversary Edtn.
Qty Remaining: 54
**LIMITED TO A MAXIUM TWO PATCHES PER ORDER – THIS IS A PRE ORDER PLEASE ALLOW 2-3 WEEKS FOR DELIVERY**
Pre Order the classic ‘Beer Mat’ Cloth Patch – now, new, improved, and rejuvenated for 2018 we are proud to offer the limited Mk 1.5 ‘Beer Mat’ classic edition for 2018. Strictly Limited run to only 100 pieces, only a maximum of two patches per order – never to be repeated.
This is a redesigned variant of the original Mk I ‘Beer Mat’ originally produced by ToySoldier for us, which was subsequently put out as a ‘give away’ – the original patches went as far as Finland, Norway, Japan, Australia, United States, Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and of course all over the United Kingdom – S23