Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoes Review

Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoes Review

Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoes are ventilated, non-waterproof shoes for hikers and backpackers who want shoes that are lighter weight and less constricting than hiking boots but are more stable and protective than trail running shoes. While they look similar to Merrell Moab 2 Low Vent Hiking Shoes and KEEN Targhee III Low Hiking Shoes, they provide much better arch support and a stiffer feel, without compromising on front toe space or comfort. The Sawtooth II Low is also available in the wide sizes required by a third of hikers.

Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoes

Foot Protection
Traction
Stability
Sensitivity
Comfort
Weight
Durabiility

Roomy Toebox. Available in Wide Widths

The Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoe is a lightweight hiking shoe with a roomy toebox and excellent traction. It's available in wide sizes and comes with an excellent insole for added support.

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I got turned onto Oboz hiking footwear this past winter, when I tried the Oboz Bridger 10″ BDry Winter Hiking Boots (see review), which is a very warm 400 gram insulated boot that shares many of Sawtooth’s II characteristics, including a deeply lugged sole and sturdy heel counter that helps lock your heel in place and can help prevent plantar fasciitis. The Sawtooth II Lows are hiking shoes, however, so far less warm and bulky than insulated winter boots. They’re still quite supportive in the heels and cup them to help prevent blisters and the pronation (rolling inward of the heel) that can lead to heel pain.

The Sawtooth || Low Hiking Shoe has a angled heel counter that helps lock your heel in place while aggressive side lugs provide a bumper against side impacts.
The Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoe has an angled heel counter that helps lock your heel in place while aggressive side lugs provide a robust bumper against side impacts.

The protection around the outside of the shoes is excellent for hiking in rocky terrain. A beefy toe cap protects your tootsies, while over-size side lugs provide lateral protection and traction. While the leather uppers give the shoe some structure, they also help shield against side impacts during rock scrambling and off-trail.

While the Sawtooth II Low’s have mesh sides, the inside of the shoe is lined to reduce friction and help eliminate blisters. This also prevents dust and sand from penetrating into the interior of the shoe and making your socks dirty, while still allowing sweat and moisture to evaporate through the external mesh. The interior lining also provides a surprising amount of insulation in cooler weather, making the shoes good for cold days in spring and autumn when the trails are covered in snow, ice, or mud.

Oboz makes a lot of hay about the “O Fit Insoles” that they include in their boots and shoes. They’re actually pretty good and provide more arch support and heel cup support than the crappy insoles most hiking shoe and boot manufacturers include. They’re quite similar to Superfeet’s Carbon insoles (thin insoles designed for low volume trail runners) in terms of arch support and durability, but provide significantly less support and durability than Superfeet’s Green insoles (designed for hiking boots). If you use Superfeet Carbon insoles today, you can probably stop buying them if you use the SawTooth II’s, a saving of $55, which is quite a perk.  On the flip side, the SawTooth II Low’s have enough internal volume to fit a Superfeet Green insole, which is a big plus if you need to use them for arch and heel support.

The Sawtooth Low has big lugs that provide excellent traction in mud
The Sawtooth Low has big lugs that provide excellent traction in mud

The Sawtooth II Low’s run true to size in terms of fit and are available for both men and women, in regular and wide sizes. The O Fit Insoles ($30) are also available for sale separately, which is useful if you need to replace them or want to try them in other shoes you own.

Recommendation

Oboz’s Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoes are comfortable and stable low hikers for people looking for a supportive yet lightweight hiking shoe that provides plenty of toe box room and protection. Available in regular and wide sizes for both men and women, these ventilated, non-waterproof hiking shoes come with an innovative insole (also sold separately) that compares favorably to Superfeet’s Carbon insoles. An aggressive contoured sole and deep lugs provide excellent traction in mud and rain, while leather uppers provide excellent durability and value.

Disclosure: Oboz provided the author with a pair of shoes for this review.

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4 comments

  1. I bought some “Merrell Moab 2 Vent Low Hiking Shoes” a couple of years ago. For some reason I chose them over the Oboz Sawtooth. I’m so disappointed in the Merrells! The fabric in the heel area wore clear through, causing me to get blisters with even around-town walking. And I wasn’t even using them much for hiking. I had to line the heel area with Gorilla tape to be able to stand to wear them. And the uppers don’t seem to be wearing that well on the outside either.
    About 6 months ago I bought some Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hikers and love them. They are way more supportive, feel more precise (Merrells seem clunky), and feel lighter than the Merrells. Plus, they don’t seem to be showing any wear after substantially more hiking than I did in the Merrells. I am totally sold on the Oboz, to the point where I have reached out to a few friends I know who had the Merrell Moabs also. I’m totally sold on Oboz and will be buying some other styles.

  2. I bought my first Obozs’ last year and will not wear any other shoes again. I had to contact the company and they were less then helpful but the shoes are amazing.

  3. I have what has been termed as “athletic” feet, “duck” feet, etc. Trying to find a suitable hiking boot has been a nightmare. I have Merrell Moab 2 hiking boots and suffered tremendous blisters after a day hike. I have very narrow heels, a low-medium arch, and wide feet. I need lace-up boots (high or low) in order to tighten the arch area. I just happened to find a review on the Oboz Sawtooth Low B-Dry hiking boot and ordered a pair. I love everything about the boot but the LACES. The laces will not stay tied without fashioning a sailor’s knot. I know I can replace them with after market laces but the color of the boots are unique as are the matching laces. For a hiking boot that receives rave reviews and costs an arm and a leg I expect laces to stay tied. Any suggestions?

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