OR -Oboz Sawtooth - Alex Legg
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Oboz Men's Sawtooth Shoe
Owner Review by Alex Legg
December 17th, 2012
Name: Alex Legg
Height: 6'4" (1.9 m)
Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Email address: alexlegg2 AT yahoo DOT com
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona, USA
I grew up backpacking in the Rockies. I hike ranges throughout Arizona and Colorado year round. I carry a light pack, mostly water. I prefer a tarp shelter to my heavier 2-person tent. I do many day hikes and I also spend as many as 5 days out at a time. Temperatures range from below freezing to above 100 F (38 C), and elevations from 2,000 ft to 14,000 ft (610 m to 4,300 m). I bag a mountain almost every weekend, and I walk my dogs 4 miles daily through deep sand and overgrown mesquite trees in our local washes.
Product Information and Specifications:
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Listed Weight: 15.6 oz (442 g)
Measured Weight: 16.4 oz (468 g)
-Nubuck leather and high abrasion textile upper
-3D Molded external heel counter
-2 Part midsole: Dual densities of EVA, Nylon shank
-High friction non-marking carbon rubber outsole
-BFit Standard Insole
Size Reviewed: 13
Color Reviewed: Charcoal & Shadow
MSRP: $110.00 US
The Oboz Sawtooth shoes are a breathable, mid weight hiking shoe designed with a rugged and durable look. The upper portion of the shoes are made of leather while the heel and sole are made of rubber. The shoes have a loop on both the tongue and the heel to assist in stuffing my large feet inside. The laces are secured through nylon loops except for the top where there is a hole punched through the leather strengthened by a metal loop. The soles of the Sawtooth wrap up onto the side of the shoe giving durability and traction to the lower side portions. The BFit standard insole is inside the shoe, I assume this comes with most of Oboz shoes.
The Oboz have been all over southern and northern Arizona with me so I will only list a few locations below.
I wore them on a trip to Coconino National Forest for an accent of Mt. Humphrey's. The elevation ranged from 8,400 ft to 12,637 ft (2,560 m to 3,866 m) and the temperatures ranged from 32 F to 65 F (0 C to 18 C).
I took the shoes on another 3-day, 2-night trip in Coconino National Forest for an accent o Mt. Baldy. The elevation ranged from 8,500 ft to 11,400 ft (2,591 m to 3,475 m) and the temperatures ranged from 35 F to 55 F (2 C to 13 C).
I wore them on multiple trips to the Rincon district of Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona. The temperatures ranged from 32 F to 80 F (0 C to 27 C), and the elevation ranged from 5,400 ft to 9,453 ft (1,646 m to 2,909 m).
The Oboz have also been with me on numerous excursions in the Sonoran desert around Tucson. Elevation has been around 2,500 ft to 2,700 ft (762 m to 823 m) and temperatures have ranged widely from 45 F to 105 F (7 C to 42 C).
Performance in the Field:
First off, these are some really comfortable shoes. After having foot surgery, I have trouble finding shoes that are not too tight, while still being strong enough to handle the mountains. The Sawtooth shoes have great traction and are very breathable. Having worn them in hot climates I can attest with full confidence to their ability to let air in and keep my feet comfortable. I was able to put quite a lot of miles on the shoes and the tough soles showed little wear at all. This was a surprising find for me as I generally kill the soles of my shoes extra fast.
I noticed continually that while walking downhill my toes were never cramped or stuffed into the front of the shoes. This is a big problem for me with most shoes and boots that I take into the hills. These Oboz are easily the most comfortable shoes I have worn to date while going down steep grades. They also do well holding traction and keeping my comfort level high while going uphill. I have experienced a few hotspots and blisters, but nothing cronic. I honestly think that when I hike as many miles as I do, hotspots are unavoidable regardless of the footwear I have on and it is just necessary to know when to stop and treat them.
I have never been a big fan of the laces on these shoes. They tighten up well and seem pretty strong, but the problem for me is that they come untied a lot. I literally tie a triple knot in an attempt to keep them from coming undone while I'm hiking. This is not a huge issue, but it has been an annoyance for me while trying to clock in lots of miles before the sun goes down. Perhaps if I learned how to tie some specialty knots I would have better luck.
The biggest problem that I have had with the shoes is that the rubber toe rand separated from the toe. It started slowly and got worse quickly. Once separation occurs, it is impossible to slow it down or to keep dirt and grime from getting caught in the gap. Not to mention that ascetically, I begin to look a little more homeless than usual. I contacted customer service and Oboz got me a new pair of shoes with no questions asked. They apologized and mentioned that they were aware of this issue arising with the Sawtooth line and they were actively looking for an answer to fix the problem. After receiving my replacement, I walked and walked all over the state of Arizona before experiencing the same problem a second time. At this point I was irritated and told the company that I would just attempt to repair the shoes myself. It took about two months before I realized that no matter how hard I try, I am no cobbler. I wrote to Oboz and apologized for making negative, disgruntled comments about their shoe durability and asked if they had an answer. Turns out they did and I was given another replacement shoe.
It seems that even though I assumed the problem had to do with over seas manufacturing, the real cause lied in the fact that the rubber toe rand was glued to a piece of leather. The rubber can be glued to rubber and have a very strong hold, while in the case of my Sawtooth shoes, the rubber to leather glue lacked long term adhesion. I was offered a pair of similar shoes from Oboz that has the rubber toe rand glued to a rubber section on the body of the shoe. I have been assured by the company that this different setup has not ended in failure for other clients.
I have to say, the customer service I experienced from Oboz was exceptional. I received fast responses to all my inquiries and was offered replacements free of charge each time. I have read many other reviews of their shoes and it does not seem like a lot of people are having trouble with the Sawtooth shoes. Perhaps I got a couple pairs of duds or something. In my opinion, the comfort of these shoes makes me feel very open to trying Oboz on for size again in the future. I am overly happy with the customer service I have received and I would still recommend the shoes to friends. I also have to take into account the fact that I put an alarmingly large amount of miles on my footwear in comparison to many of my other avid hiking friends and that I tend to destroy almost all shoes and boots that I own far before my friends who wear the same products.
The comfort of the shoes and the great customer service have made Oboz a good choice in my opinion. I really enjoy wearing these shoes and I feel no pain from my healing foot. Once all the kinks get worked out with the toe rand issue I think Oboz will be keepng outdoor lovers happy for a long time to come.
1. Really comfortable
2. Great customer service
3. Good traction
1. Toe rand separation
2. Laces like to come undone
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