As you’ll read below, Oboz Footwear makes darn good boots. But before we dive into rugged soles and durable uppers, let’s talk trees.
Trees are important. Trees stabilize soil. They provide shade for other plants to thrive. Trees provide food. When properly managed, trees and forests provide sustainable income. They also help offset climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing carbon in their trunks, branches and roots. Trees are pretty and pretty darn amazing.
In the early 1970s. Dave and Grace Deppner were Peace Corps volunteers in the Philippines. They helped reforest heavily eroded and damaged farmlands. They did this by helping villagers plant trees and develop forest gardens. When they returned to the United States, the Deppners continued their work, eventually founding Trees for the Future in 1989.
To date, Trees for the Future has planted over 115 million trees in dozens of countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, stabilizing and revitalizing hundreds of thousands of acres of soil and rebuilding local communities.
Watch this 2013 video to learn more about Trees for the Future, their ethics and their work. You’ll be surprised how far these trees canopies extend.
Earth Day 2016: Let’s Get Planting
In honor of Earth Day, Trees for the Future is seeking to raise $400,000 by April 22, 2016. That’s enough money to plant an additional 4 million trees.
Oboz Footwear is a partner in this effort. Oboz Footwear already donates one tree for every pair of boots and shoes sold, but for this effort, Oboz is offering a 1-to-1, dollar-for-dollar match up to $5,000.
If you’d like to help, please visit the Oboz Footwear fundraising page.
I’ve made a modest donation. I hope you’ll join me.
After a winter of buckling into ski boots and clicking into bindings, warming days signal a switch to sturdy hikers and happy trails.
So far this winter and spring, I’ve put solid miles on three pairs of Oboz footwear.
Here’s a quick rundown of my impressions.
Emerald Peak: All Around Winner, Aprés Ski Fave, Snow Boot Substitute
A low-top hybrid, the Emerald Peak is a lightweight shoe with a boot’s sole (and soul).
Tough enough to handle rocky trails, I appreciate the solid traction on snowy and icy sidewalks. While your ankles are going to get wet if you stomp off into a snow bank (or foolishly try them snowshoeing, as I did), the Emerald Peak will help you keep your footing when the going gets slick. I found myself wearing them to and from skiing more often than not.
With warmer weather and drier trails, I’m using these shoes when I walk on dirt, or hike on moderately rocky trails. The sole is really solid and I find them a bit too stiff for pavement and sidewalks.
Which leads me to my next choice: the Echo.
Echo: Lightweight and Flexible for Walking, Running and All You Do At Home
More lightweight and flexible than the Emerald Peak, the Echos are suitable for short hikes, long walks and even some light trail running. A good choice for an all-in-one travel shoe, they are low profile and bridge the gap between sneaker and sport-sandal. The mesh uppers are breathable and quick drying, with an elasticized drawstring closure.
After the first wearing, my Achilles tendon was sore right at the spot where the top of the shoe hits my ankle. I had the shoe on too tight. I’ve since loosened them up, with no corresponding loss of support or fit.
I think they are a solid choice for spring, summer and fall, for trail and water. Use them for travel, exercise, recreation, or for pampering your feet as you go about your day, chores and all.
Bridger Mid B Dry Hiking Boot: Natural Fit and Comfort, Perfect for Rough Stuff
The only true hiking boot of this trio, the Bridger Mid B Dry is awesome. From the moment I put them on they’ve been comfortable, warm (I have mostly used these on snowy trails) and ultra-supportive.
And did I say that they are immediately comfortable? The width suits my medium foot perfectly and the length is true to size. And I’m not the only one who thinks so: a friend who works at REI in Minneapolis recently told me that of all the boots they sell they have the fewest returns with Oboz. The fit is that good.
I also think the Bridger boot looks sharp. I have the boots in Walnut, which is a fancy way to say brown. The upper is made of Nubuck Leather and a B Dry waterproof, breathable membrane. My feet have stayed nice and dry in moderately wet conditions. Had I been hiking in more adverse conditions, in colder temps or on wetter winter trails, the boot also comes in an insulated version.
I went for the year-round model. I’ll see what happens this summer when I ford some streams.
So far, so very good!
As stated above, I am a 2016 ambassador for Oboz Footwear and I receive product to use and review. All opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
- Costa Rica Rainforest Hiking: An Experience in Sight, Sound and Touch, July 21, 2014.
- Spring Escapes: Tropical Hiking on Maui, Snow-Filled Family Time at Alta, February 26, 2014.
- Keep Family Hiking Fun, April 29, 2013.
- Family Hiking, Camping and Getting Outside: Tales from Two Mamas, July 27, 2012.
- Climb High and Touch the Sky: Hiking Courthouse Mountain in Colorado’s Cimarron Range, September 15, 2011.
- Getting Outside: Family Hiking on the Colorado National Monument, June 23, 2011.
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