Hiking and Backpacking Boots
Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Waterproof

$165, 2 lbs. 7 oz. (US men’s size 9)

Sizes: men’s 7-15, women’s 5-12


Between the days of backpacking 11 to 12 miles with up to about 7,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain and loss, the seven miles of steep and loose off-trail hiking, the need to carry eight pounds or more of water weight at times, and of course, the heat, one might speculate that our six-day backpacking trip to Utah Flats and Clear Creek in the Grand Canyon was no more than an elaborate ruse to put hiking boots to a severe test. (Some of my companions went so far as to suggest a plot to inflict physical suffering on them. Yea, whatever.) But after all was said and done, the Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Waterproof shined through all the canyon (and I) hurled at them. Here’s why.

The Sawtooth X’s strength as an all-around boot for backpackers and dayhikers begins with its support. The boot contains a rubberized, dual-density EVA midsole that delivered ample cushioning even when extra water weight pushed my pack toward 40 pounds in the canyon. And I expect many backpackers would find these boots adequately cushioned even with more weight than that on their back.

Similarly, the medium-volume fit is typical Oboz: comfortably snug from heel to midfoot, to prevent your heel from shifting and rubbing or your foot slipping forward when going downhill, with more space in the toe box than you’ll find in footwear from many other brands. No matter what your adventures, that’s the kind of fit that serves many hikers and backpackers well, especially as feet expand slightly over the course of a day on the trail.

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

Oboz Sawtooth X Mid Waterproof boots.
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The outsoles, featuring widely spaced, multi-directional lugs under most of the foot and a
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