Oboz Sawtooth II Insulated 8″ Hiking Boots (new in fall, 2020) have 200g Thinsulate insulation and are rated to -25 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for hiking in cool, wet weather and milder winter conditions. They’re comfortable but quite supportive with a rigid heel counter and stiff upper that provides excellent ankle support.
I’ve been doing a lot of off-trail day hikes this autumn and needed a pair of warm waterproof boots with good traction to hike through wet leaves, muddy bogs, light snow, and chilly temperatures. While I wear trail runners in warmer weather, I always switch to insulated boots when the temperatures drop below freezing at night. I’ll still switch to 400g insulated winter boots for much longer hikes in deep snow and colder temperatures, but these Sawtooth II’s are perfect for autumn hiking in New England down to about 15 degrees F.
Specs at a Glance
- Type: Waterproof Breathable (B-Dry)
- Insulated: 200g Thinsulate
- Temperature Rating: Minus 20F
- Fit: Runs about 1/4 size small.
- Closure: Lace
- Height: Over the Ankle (8″)
- Weight: 40.4 oz/pair
These Sawtooth II Insulated 8″ Boots are waterproof/breathable mids insulated with 200g Thinsulate. This is a pretty standard form and amount of insulation for “warmer” winter boots that I typically wear for autumn hiking and in light snow. While they are rated down to 20 below zero by the manufacturer, I typically wear them in temperatures between 15 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit when we start to get overnight frosts. At those temperatures, they keep my feet warm and dry, without generating an overwhelming amount of sweat when I hike.
These Sawtooth IIs are built like a lot of other Oboz Boots. They have a burly sole with deep lugs that protrude along the sides of the boots. These provide noticeably better traction than a more conventional sole (without side lugs), especially when hiking off-trail because they have a much larger surface area for traction in wet leaves and for edging on rocky outcrops. If you look closely, you can also see a topographic map etched into the sole of the boots, a common characteristic of Oboz boots.
The upper half of the boots provide a lot of ankle support, something I appreciate because I sprained my ankle earlier in the summer. In addition to a stiff upper, the Sawtooth IIs have a very rigid heel counter that prevents pronation and does not break-down with use. It honestly took me a little while to get used to the rigidity, but I’m glad it’s there because it locks my heel in place.
The boots have a gusseted tongue that prevents water from entering the boot if you submerge your foot in water or mud and there is a lot of impact protection in the toe and along the boot’s sides. The top of the collar is fleece-lined for comfort, there’s a gaiter ring over below the laces, with enough clearance in the arch of the sole to wear a gaiter with stirrup straps. The hardware on the uppers is metal, which is good for durability, and there is a pull loop above the heel to help pull the boots on.
The Sawtooth II’s like all of Oboz boots come with an excellent supportive insole, also sold separately, and not the foam junk you find in other manufacturer’s boots. It’s insulated with a mylar coating on the bottom to reflect body heat and a felt covering to provide extra warmth. The Sawtooth’s also have a nylon shank in the midsole for added foot protection and stiffness.
The Sawtooths II’s are waterproofed with Oboz B-dry and I haven’t experienced any leaking despite numerous shallow stream crossings and lots of wet mud and leaves. Overall, I’m quite pleased with these Oboz Sawtooth II 8″ Insulated Boots and plan to keep using them for the rest of autumn and into winter.
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