If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you know how important it is to have a pair of quality hiking boots or shoes. You know that footwear used for traversing miles upon miles of challenging terrain needs to be lightweight, comfortable, and protective.
However, knowing which brand of shoes to go with is a whole another story. With so many different shoemaking brands on today’s market, it can be extremely difficult to choose just one of them and go with its products, even if you’re an experienced outdoorsman.
If your search for ideal trekking footwear has boiled down to boots and shoes made by Salomon and Oboz, I am here to help you out. In this Salomon vs Oboz showdown, I’ll compare these famous brands and aid you in making the right decision.
|Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Boots||Oboz Arete|
|Weight||3 lb||8 oz|
|Material||Polyurethane coated leather||Weather-resistant Jacquard woven mesh|
Table of Contents
- 1 Salomon – A General Overview
- 2 Salomon – Popular Products
- 3 Oboz – A General Overview
- 4 Oboz – Popular Products
- 5 Salomon vs Oboz – The Verdict
Salomon – A General Overview
The full name of this company is Salomon Group and it’s a globally-operating manufacturer of outdoor equipment based in Annecy, France. The brand was established in the same city 75 years ago – in 1947 – by François Salomon.
Salomon started out as a simple metalworking shop. Later, it ventured into the skiing business and started making cable bindings and steel edges for skis, using its knowledge and experience in metalworking.
The skiing equipment was Salomon’s main focus all the way until the late 1970s when the company launched its very first footwear product – the SX90 ski boot. During the following decade, Salomon acquired an American golf equipment manufacturer called Taylor Made Golf.
In 2005, the company was bought by Amer Sports, based in Helsinki, Finland. However, its headquarters remained where they always were – in France.
As a brand that was founded by those who knew everything there is to know about cold-weather conditions and alpine sports, Salomon is undoubtedly a trustworthy brand. The driving force behind the company’s huge success is its vision of designing high-quality, reliable outdoor equipment.
Salomon’s shoes and other products cater to a variety of sports markets, such as hiking, trail running, adventure racing, climbing, snowboarding, and skiing in over 40 countries.
Just like in the case of other popular footwear brands, Salomon’s shoes and boots are made out of a variety of different materials. In terms of performance, the brand’s products range extensively: there’s something for every type of outdoor activity.
Besides the fact that it uses various materials to produce footwear of the highest quality, Salomon also utilizes a number of innovative technologies. Its X Ultra Mid 3 GTX shoes, for example, are considered by many to be among the most cutting-edge hiking shoes available on today’s market.
Along with the waterproofing technology called Gore-Tex – which is used by a myriad of other shoe brands as well – Salomon also equips its footwear with Contagrip soles. These provide unmatched traction on rocky terrain.
Other technologies used by Salomon include SensiFit, Advanced Chassis, and OrthoLite. All of these work toward providing the wearers with the best possible comfort, stability, and breathability.
Finally, most of Salomon’s boots and shoes come equipped with gusseted tongues (these prevent the dirt from getting inside the shoe) and rubber toe caps (for added protection). The result of all these bells and whistles is the higher cost of Salomon’s footwear. It goes without saying that its shoes and boots are definitely worth the price, though. If you are interested in products similar to Salomon, read our Keen vs Salomon hiking shoe comparison as well.
Salomon – Popular Products
Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Boots
Praised by many outdoor enthusiasts as the best hiking shoes you can get on today’s market, Salomon’s X Ultra Mid 3 GTX boots are truly something special.
Comfortable, supportive, and relatively lightweight, they provide phenomenal all-around performance. They sport Salomon’s proprietary SensiFit speed-lacing system as well the Contagrip sole which ensures good traction on all types of terrain.
While not the best shoe out there when it comes to breathability, X Ultra Mid 3 GTX effortlessly sheds water, snow, and mud thanks to its Gore-Tex liner. All in all, a great choice for any backpacker.
- Fantastic all-around performance
- Very supportive & comfortable
- Good traction
- Could be more breathable
Salomon Speedcross 5 Shoes
Extremely popular among trail runners, the Speedcross 5 offers unmatched traction and is comfortable right out of the box.
The insanely deep and aggressive lugs of these shoes are definitely its biggest selling point. However, these shoes are also very protective, which can come in very handy if you ever decide to use them for off-trail adventures.
One thing I particularly like about Speedcross 5 is that it has a very wide toe box – it doesn’t feel as restrictive as the previous iteration did. The shoe also cushions the foot on all sides and requires no break-in time. Check out our Salomon Outline GTX hiking shoe review as well.
- Best traction on the market
- Very protective
- Wide toe box
- High heel counter
Oboz – A General Overview
Established in 2008, Oboz got its name from a combination of two words – “outdoors” and “Bozeman” (the city in Montana where the company’s headquarters are). It was founded by John Connelly, who decided to give the company this name due to his love for the backcountry surrounding his hometown.
More than a decade later, Oboz is one of America’s most-renowned outdoor footwear brands and a subsidiary of the New Zealand-based Kathmandu Holdings. Even though it’s not an independent brand anymore, its HQ is still located in Bozeman, Montana.
Most of the company’s footwear is made in Vietnam. From there, the boots and shoes are shipped to California and then distributed to retailers everywhere around North America.
Besides its love for the outdoors, another exceptional aspect of Oboz is the fact that this brand supports a number of environmental initiatives. The two most important ones are One More Tree and Trees for the Future.
In its 15 years of existence, Oboz has planted millions upon millions of new trees. That’s because the company plants a tree for every footwear product it sells – a part of the aforementioned One More Tree and Trees for the Future initiatives.
The most celebrated out of all of the brand’s proprietary technologies is undoubtedly the O Fit insole. This is one of the best insoles in today’s outdoor footwear industry and one that provides outstanding stability and support.
One of the main culprits behind the high quality of these insoles is the fact that each of them comes with a Deep Heel Cup. These provide superb cushioning and unmatched support. To ensure neutral foot placement, each insole also features an Eva-Sculpted high-density arch.
Just like Salomon, Oboz also makes its footwear from all kinds of materials sourced from everywhere around the globe. Obviously, the choice of material depends on the purpose and style of a particular pair of trekking boots or shoes.
Oboz’s midsoles are lightweight but still provide an exceptional amount of stability and protection. The brand’s outsoles, on the other hand, ensure traction that is much-needed for the safe traversal of rugged terrain.
The last thing worth mentioning here is that the company claims that all of its boots and shoes pass through the hands of over a hundred experienced employees before reaching the retail stores. In other words, high quality and finesse are guaranteed.
Oboz – Popular Products
Oboz Arete Low Shoes
Offering excellent stability and running shoe-like comfort, Oboz Arete Low is a great deal. It has a high-quality insole, its interior feels supple and soft, and its midsole is well-cushioned.
Furthermore, Arete Low provides its wearer with a surprisingly stable ride and is an excellent breather. And even though this is a very lightweight hiking shoe, it is quite durable and hard-wearing.
Unfortunately, the traction offered by these shoes falls short on wet surfaces. However, I still consider them to be a pretty good choice for casual hikers looking for low weight and above-average stability.
- Running shoe-like comfort
- Nimble & agile
- Very stable
- Not the best traction
Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry Boots
These fantastic boots from Oboz are full of intelligent design details. Just as I expected, they are more than capable of dealing with exceptionally snowy and cold, wet conditions.
Besides the well-known O Fit insole, which provides a perfect fit, this boot also sports a well-made midsole that promotes lateral stability. There is also a PU toe box that guarantees substantial toe protection and the Thinsulate insulation that works great even when damp or wet.
All this attention to detail really pays off – the Bridger Mid B-Dry Boots are extremely durable and stand as a wonderful option for all those who enjoy hiking during the winter months. If you are interested in Oboz, read our Oboz vs Keen hiking shoe comparison as well.
- Great for winter hiking
- Stable & protective
- Very durable
- Take some time to break-in
Salomon vs Oboz – The Verdict
No shoes available on today’s market are as feature-rich as the ones offered by Salomon. If you want your trekking shoes to be jam-packed and useful on pretty much all kinds of terrain, Salomon is a great option.
On the other hand, if you’re really serious about your outdoor adventures and often hike in truly extreme conditions, go with a pair of quality Oboz boots.
This brand’s footwear is often very rigid, protective, and durable – just what you need to traverse genuinely difficult terrain during your multi-day hiking escapades in the backcountry.
I love hiking. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.