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77889Re: [backpackgeartesters] EDIT: FR - Oboz Bridger Boundary Hiking Boots by Joe Schaffer

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  • Jlee Snow
    Feb 11, 2014
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      Thanks for the edits, Jamie. I hope I've got this right now.


      January 27, 2014

      Field Conditions:

          I've logged 55 miles (89 km) in these boots since new; 22 (36 km) hiking and 33 (53 km) backpacking. I started off wearing the boots in the house for a couple hours; at work for a weekend; a 3 mile (5 km) sidewalk hike; and then hikes of 3-6 miles (5-10 km) in the East Bay Hills around the San Francisco Bay Area (California, USA.) I've done no defensive taping and I've had no blister issues--fairly remarkable as I've always gotten at least one blister on the warp-speed 7.5 mile (12 km) hike to Wildcat Beach in Pt. Reyes National Seashore (California USA). This most recent backpacking trip was last week, 15 miles (24 km) in 3 days; 6 hours walking gravelly trail & road, occasional mud and dirt with a 40 lbs (18 kg) start load. Two other trips started with 30 lbs (14 kg); and one other with 40 lbs (18 kg). I always wear a light liner and a medium hiker sock combination. Since it doesn't precipitate in California anymore, I have not put the boots to pace in snow or rain.


          An initial bit of tightness over the metatarsal arch eased quickly. I usually wear a wider size, but I've had no irresolvable fit issues on these regular 9's. I found little break-in necessary. They started off more comfortable than I would expect in a backpacking boot. The only fit nit I have is that the left tongue breaks right at the inside front of my ankle bone. I must either layer a sock over the spot or fold that edge of the tongue to the outside.

          Oboz positions these boots as hikers. The boots are so incredibly light I had reservations whether they could deliver the lateral support and rubble isolation I prefer. So far I've put lateral support to the test twice and walked away without sprains. The shoe provides much more stability than I thought it would. Rubble isolation seems at the margin of my preferences for backpacking. As long as the total load gravitates below 210 lbs (95 kg) my arthritic feet appreciate the lightweight comfort and I would choose these boots over any others I've tried. Above that threshold the sole isn't stiff enough to keep from yielding to the contours of the rubble and I get footsore. For hiking and for lightweight backpacking I am thrilled with these boots.

          The heel under bite eliminates the slap I'm used to which so aggravates foot and shin issues, especially on downhill strides.

          I'm always amused at folks who praise something for being light, then offer their wish list of add-ons. I miss having a boot strap to help pull the boots on, particularly since the laces don't like slipping through the fabric loops. I could spend a second loosening the laces, but I'd rather not fiddle to adjust my shoestrings any more than my Type A behavior. I'm also habituated to tying a surgeon knot between the second and third eyes; and though I still could, getting the boots on and off would be complicated a bit when laces don't slip easily. Of course since they don't slip easily, a surgeon knot seems unnecessary. Lastly on laces, the top hooks seem a little too far apart and the lace tends to squeeze over the top of the tongue when tightened.

          The aggressive tread grabs a lot of dirt for great traction. I've not yet tested them for granite grip.

          Durability ranks high on my list when buying premium product. A thread at the top side of the tongue has come loose. I don't know whether this will ever matter. The little bitty nubbins on the lugs have worn appreciably (as I can't imagine they wouldn't.) No other signs of degradation have become noticeable and I look forward to putting about 800 miles (1,300 km) more on these boots over the next several years to have a final opinion on how well they endure.

          They could stink now, but they don't. I've asked for corroborating opinion; perhaps for a subsequent report I may find someone to oblige the request.

      This concludes my Field Report, the Long Term Report will be posted in two months.

      On Monday, February 3, 2014 9:19 PM, "jdeben@..." <jdeben@...> wrote:
      Hi Joe,

      Thanks for getting your FR in early.  I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get to it.  I’ve had a weird bout of vertigo recently and sitting up has been a challenge let alone trying to read or type.  I’m feeling a bit better now so here ya go.
      First off, I think BGT wants writers to send a CC directly to the test monitors in addition to posting it to the yahoo group.  No worries this time, I saw it, but for the future it is helpful.  Second, I noticed that in your FR HTML version all of your IR is missing after  “Observations:”.
        The IR portion does not need to be included in the text part you post to the yahoo group but in should stay in the ever growing HTML version so that when we are done you have all three reports present in the single Combined Test Report.  Does that make sense?

      As for the rest of your FR, I f
      ound just a few things for you to fix.  When you are done please repost so I can check the layout with the IR included and then we can get’er uploaded.  My edits, suggestions and comments are marked with ## just below a snip of your words. 

      Jamie DeBenedetto
      Oboz Bridger Boots Monitor
      You - An initial bit of tightness over the metatarsal arch eased quickly. I usually wear a wider size, but I've had no unresolvable issues with the fit on these regular 9's.

      ##Edit – I’m pretty sure “unresolvable” should be “irresolvable”.  You can keep it if you like, I make up words all the time to suit hiking jargon needs so who am I to judge. 
      You - The heel underbite makes for a perfect strike and wonderfully smooth stride.

      ##Edit – my spell checker doesn’t like “underbite”  I’m thinking it needs to be two words.
      You - The stock footbed is the best I've seen

      ##Suggestion – This paragraph is very similar to the one on the same topic in your IR.  I’d recommend removal or adding comments more germane to performance under weight now that you’ve had a chance to evaluate that aspect.
      You -     Laces appear to be made to last the life of the boot; and fat enough for a firm grip.

      ##Edit – The entire paragraph starting with this sentence needs to be removed. It’s the same one from your IR, which will already be included when the IR is added to the top of the total report.
      You -     I miss having a boot strap to help pull the boots on, partcularly since the laces don't like slipping through the fabric loops.

      ##Edit – “particularly”
      ##Last Edit – you’ve forgotten to include the mandatory closing statement for the reader, something along the lines of “This concludes my Field Report, the Long Term Report will be posted in two months time.”  And then of course your version of this line is to be dropped once you add your LTR to the final Combined Report.  That’s supposed to be done after the IR as well but that’s moot now.

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