Oboz boots, designed in Bozeman, Montana, are comfortable from the start and provide good stability on backcountry trails. The Luna Low women’s boot exemplifies the Oboz philosophy of building a boot that needs no breaking in.
Tough enough to stand up to the rigors of High Sierra backpacking, the boot is designed with the hiker in mind and is constructed of high quality materials. The bottom of the Luna boot is made with high traction rubber and sturdy lugs to propel the hiker down the trail. Torsional stability and protection from uneven surfaces is provided by the TPU Chassis sandwiched between the outsole and upper. The beefy BFit insole provides better arch support than the average hiking boot. The upper is made of synthetic leather and abrasion resistant fabric that cleans up easily. Nylon mesh linings wick moisture away from the foot to reduce blistering and increase comfort.
The Luna Low boots in the Golden Glow color were attractive, with yellow accents against light gray. The boots were comfortable right out of the box and the roomy toe box was appreciated. A half size larger than the street shoe was tested, which is the reviewer’s usual strategy for backpacking to allow for foot swelling with heavy exertion.
On a rigorous two-day trip to Yosemite with a 25 pound pack, the boots performed well. The first day involved 11 miles of steep uphill from Tuolumne Meadows to Cathedral Lakes while the second day included 11 miles of equally steep downhill to Yosemite Valley. No blisters were experienced when paired with Injinji toe socks. The boots breathed well and wicked moisture away in warm temperatures. When the thermometer soared to 95 degrees the feet felt hot unless they were submerged in an icy stream, through no fault of the boots. Though fatigue was experienced at the end of the day the boots remained comfortable and were grippy on slippery Sierra granite, especially around lakes and streams. No foot pain or structural issues were noted.
The boots have been used all summer for day hikes and backpacking trips, yet the thick lugs show barely any wear on the bottom. When dusty from trails that are drier than usual from the protracted California drought a quick rinse from the garden hose brought them back to life and they dried quickly, even when soaked.
The founder of Oboz, John Connelly, a 30-year veteran of the shoe industry, thought he could do better. He created Oboz with two other shoe industry veterans, who developed a proprietary grippy rubber graphite sole instead of using Vibram and designed shoes built for the trail. The company is eco-friendly and blew the socks off of competitors when Backpacker Magazine challenged shoe manufacturers to reduce their impact on the environment. By using recycled materials, they were one of only five companies to rise to the challenge with a concept boot (never commercialized). They have a strong sense of ethics, donating trail-worthy shoes to local non-profits, employing carbon offsets to shipments, employee travel and more, and obtain 100% of their electricity from wind. They also plant a tree through Trees for the Future for every pair of Oboz shoes sold.
Oboz Luna hiking boots are comfortable enough for long miles with a pack and sturdy enough for Sierra granite. There is no breaking in period required and the wide toe box keeps toes happy.
Oboz Luna Low women’s hiking boot
Available for $125 from Oboz, REI and Zappos and other retailers
Weight (provided by company): 1 lb, 9.2 oz
User verified weight: 1 lb, 13 ¾ oz per pair (size 9.5 women’s)
Disclosure of material connection: I received a sample for testing purposes but the opinions expressed are solely my own.