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by Jeff in BoulderfromWet traction non-existentI'd been considering this shoe for a long time, I read all the reviews, and talked to a customer at REI who said they were the best shoe he ever bought. I finally bought them, a couple months before a trip to Wales and Italy. I wanted really badly to like these shoes, but I hated them. To the point that I considered buying new shoes in the SudTirol in Italy. Their wet traction is terrible. Once in Wales while walking on the sidewalk I came to an intersection and just went sliding out into traffic, like I was on roller skates. While walking on the Clawdd Offa (Offa's D*ke - REI won't let me spell it out) trail, I slid and fell 3 times, while my wife with her Vasques had no problem. In the Dolomites I slipped and slid on rock or pavement. The shoe also seems to lack any torsional stiffness, sometimes I would step on a rock and the front of the shoe would twist almost 90 degrees, resulting in the ball of my foot resting on the side of the shoe. My heel stayed put, but the rest of the shoe rotated around my foot. I have a fairly wide foot, and I had the shoes laced pretty tight, so I don't think it was a fit problem.
After returning to Boulder, I wanted to give them one more try, so I took them on a short walk and slid on a flagstone sidewalk. That was enough.
Basically, for a waterproof hiking shoe, I found the performance to be seriously lacking. I returned them to REI, where the associate wondered if there was a manufacturing defect. Given that so many people love these shoes, I can't discount that theory. But I won't be giving them another try.
Date published: 2012-08-02
Rated 2out of5
by daybreakfromwanted these to be my new hiking shoes!Wanted these to be my new day and extended weekend hiking shoes. Ordered two sizes to make sure I got it right. Love the ruggedness and traction but the insole has the heal set up so high it feels like your walking at an angle and allows your heal to slightly lift out of the shoe regardless of how tight you lace them. Could try a new insole but for the price it should be dead on. Pull the insole and your heal drops perfectly into place. As far as "no break in" these shoes are mac trucks for your feet. Don't be misled, they need to be broken in before a serious hike.
Date published: 2012-08-08
Rated 3out of5
by clay tillerfromNot the originalThis is my second pair of Firebrands. I bought the first pair for day hikes and ended up wearing them all day, every day because they were the most comfortable shoes I ever had. I've had the Firebrand IIs for two weeks and unfortunately I can't say the same for them. I have very narrow feet and no arch at all. I bought the same size IIs as the original and had to return them for a larger size: too narrow. Also, the arch support, which was a real feature on the originals, is now excessive and uncomfortable. I wear them every day for my daily woods walk with the dog, but exchange them for my Mephistos afterwards. Another reviewer suggsts changing the innersoles for those from the originals. I'll try that before giving up entirely on Oboz. A great shoe for somebody, but not for me.
Date published: 2013-10-30
Rated 3out of5
by joeryanfromGood shoes, but hotSolid shoe. Somewhat heavy as a result. Good traction. Initially felt wobbly -- side-to-side motion, easily rolled, but after four weeks of daily use, they seem more stable. Only problem is that they are hot, more so than any other hiking or running shoe I have ever worn. Must be the water-proofing. It's summer, and I end up the day with wet socks and have to take the shoes off to cool my feet. Will put these away until fall, I guess.
Date published: 2011-08-18
Rated 3out of5
by BlueRidgeHikingfromRuns hotLoved my Oboz Sawtooth shoes, but wanted to upgrade to waterproof. The Firebrand don't breath well and the sweat build up led to blisters. The shoes also placed my feet higher off the ground and felt less stable. They look great, have a good toe box, and have better arch support, but the cons are sending me back my Sawtooths.
Date published: 2011-12-28
Rated 4out of5
by ReekfromGreat Shows So FarI've been on two long hikes and so far I love these shoes. Only one tiny blister so far. They are comfortable and grip rocks and various terrain quite well.
Date published: 2013-04-03
Rated 4out of5
by PearsfromComfortable feet againSo far, I'm thoroughly enjoying the comfort of hiking in a variety of terrains. Time will tell with regard to durability which has been a problem with previous products for the same purpose
Date published: 2013-06-19
Rated 4out of5
by AirForceDougfromSturdy and Fits WellThese are great light hikers. They fit well and feel comfortable on the trail. Great on sharp and uneven terrain, but probably a bit too stiff for paved surfaces (not that such matters to me...I've only worn them around town to help break them in. No warm spots, but I haven't worn them on any hikes over 5 miles yet. Just wish they came with speed laces.
Date published: 2013-05-19
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Oboz Firebrand II Hiking Shoes - Men's Customer Reviews