Oboz Sawtooth 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe

9.5
9.5 score
[Editors rating (9.5)] = (Gearweare.net) score (9.5)/10

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Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
If you're a trekker that enjoys hiking in all seasons and all terrains, then you'll need a stable shoe that covers all your bases, leaving you dry, protected and comfortable. The Sawtooth II Low Waterproof does all that and more.

How could I not give Sawtooth II a trial with its B-DRY waterproof membrane, luxurious asymmetrical collar, and redesigned heel counter? I was pleasantly surprised to find this low top hiking shoe strong, rugged, and stable, especially suited to long hikes. Your feet will still be comfortable at the end of an all-day hike, even with a heavy pack weighing you down.

This shoe is a little on the heavy side, but the quality far outweighs any weight concerns. For example, the design and placement of lugs provide supreme traction that is terrific on steep trails and loose dirt. Although suitable for all terrains, this Oboz shoe does its best work on technical landscapes and long hikes, providing unrivaled stability and comfort.
Oboz Sawtooth 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Waterproof

Comfortable

Good for balance

Durable materials

Excellent traction

Variety of colors

Superb arch and foot support

Cons

Slightly heavy

Upper absorbs water (but doesn't leak)

Key Features

Ease of Use

The feature standing out the most for the Sawtooth II is its ability to handle various terrains and downhill descents. Hiking over rough terrain, scrambling or boulder hopping is made easier with the outsole's clever design that provides ample torsional rigidity.

What's more, a good downhill descent needs good downhill traction. The Sawtooth II low hiking shoe provides that with its well-defined heel and sturdy, sticky rubber sole, allowing the user to dig their heels in even when tackling uneven downwards slopes.

However, this rugged rubber comes with a bit of extra weight, but this didn't bother me too much as it can help provide balance and stability when carrying a heavy pack. These shoes certainly stand out amongst the contenders for backpacking travel or camping trips.

I don't think this is non-negotiable with the extra protection, stability, waterproof capacity, and easy ride you'll get.

Comfort

You can't have a good hiking shoe without a great fit and stability. The Sawtooth II insole is not quite as plush as other low top hiking shoes I've trialled, but they're just as comfortable as the previous Sawtooth designs. Extra comfort comes from the superbly cushioned heel and forefoot, essential when hiking on flat surfaces where the heel takes most of the impact.

Oboz is known for its unique insole, which allows the shoe to meld and match every user's specific shape and construction. Amazingly this leaves the hiker with an unrivaled fit, level of comfort, support, and performance that's unmatched in the industry.

Oboz creates all their shoes with a slightly narrower heel, a little wider toe box and a nicely mid-foot snug, which aids in providing this unmatched comfort. Oboz's "O Fit" robust insole arch support, effective lacing, and side sole support also add to the excellent support system. The roomy toe box is also a wonderful addition for extra comfort and allows the user to transition well from pavement to trail.

I love walking in cool spring rain, and this waterproof shoe lets me do this without getting my feet soaked. The Oboz exclusive waterproofing system, B-DRY, is indispensable to keep your feet dry and sweat-free. This unique ability is essential on hot, humid, and muddy hikes.

It's worth noting that these shoes absorb a lot of water, a bucket test showing over an ounce per shoe. But remember, it's unlikely that you'll often have your feet planted in ankle-deep water for more than ten minutes. However, you might get stuck in a downpour and end up carrying around that extra weight. You can remedy this quickly with a bit of waterproofing wax or spray.

Materials

The materials used to make this walking shoe make it perfect for everyday use, whether that's walking your dog or scrambling up your favorite mountain.

The dual-density Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) midsole is essential in giving your feet the cushioning and shock absorption they need, along with extra stability. The clever use of a nylon shank also provides additional support underfoot. The extra rubber on the sides of the outer sole adds well needed extra grip for tackling technical trails, challenging terrain, and bare rocks.

I particularly like how the deep, chunky, zig-zag shaped lugs are well suited for shedding mud and smaller rocks. Steep downward descents, bare rock, and loose, muddy trails also didn't feel too scary with the secure underfoot. However, my balance isn't the best for scrambling, so it's nice to find a shoe that gives me a bit of extra help.

Lastly, combining the waterproof Nubuck leather (a highly abrasion-resistant material) with the Oboz B-DRY waterproof and breathable membrane was a genius move in creating a shoe that is entirely waterproof and leakproof.

Durability

The Oboz Sawtooth II is genuinely made to last with rugged durability that rivals its competitors. The upper sole's triple stitching allows the leather to stay well attached to the mesh and the invaluable rubber heel counter maintains the shape for long-lasting durability.

I was surprised to find many hikers have battered the Sawtooth II over the year with hikes, walks, and mountaineering, as it appears to fair very well with no signs of wear and tear. Most of the comments seemed to indicate that the shoe remains sturdy, supportive, and comfortable.

You might find them a little on the expense side, but I don't think this is excessive for a good hiking shoe. If you're worried about the cost, you'll be glad to know Oboz's limited 1-year warranty will cover you against manufacturing defects in materials and craft.

Comparison to Similar Hiking Shoes

If you have wide feet, you can try the Sawtooth Low II Waterproof in wide and various colors. However, some reviewers feel the new Sawtooth is slightly narrower than the old version. So if your feet are on the slim side, you may struggle to get the new Sawtooth to fit comfortably if buying the regular size.

If you're after something a bit lighter and cheaper, you can try the Merrell Moab 2 shoes or the Salomon X Reveal GTX shoes. Both are lighter and claim to do all the same things. However, the fact that they are considerably cheaper makes me wary that the quality would be inferior, but the choice is yours.

Verdict

The quality of materials and overall design of these hiking shoes stand out above the rest. I'm sure the Sawtooth II trail shoes will be your new go-to shoes for everyday walking, hikes, scrambling etc. The little bit of extra weight mentioned isn't a big issue if you think about the superior features and comfort you're getting. Overall, these shoes come highly recommended.

Being environmentally conscious is another tick for Oboz footwear, as they've been planting trees for every shoe they sell since 2007. With over 3.5 million trees and counting planted, this is a brand you can trust.