In the past, I haven't been a big fan of trail shoes that straddle the line between light trail runners and heavy-duty hiking boots. With the release of the Cirque Low Waterproof from Oboz, I'm converted. If day hikes are your thing, these shoes are for you.
The first thing I do with any shoe is take out the insole and check the arch. My feet need arch support like mornings need coffee and most factory insoles just don’t cut it. When I removed the insoles from these, I was pleasantly surprised to find solid built-in arch support.
As soon as I put on the Cirques, I loved the overall feel: just enough heft to feel like they’ll protect my feet and handle anything I throw at them without weighing me down. The laces hold tight and have metal grommets on the last eyelet for added durability. Initially I could feel those eyelets digging into my feet a bit when I first put the shoe on, but a quick adjustment of the tongue, socks, and laces easily remedied the problem.
The look is a bit of a departure from many past Oboz models—in a good way. With fewer rounded edges in the design and more breathable material exposed on the shoe surface, it looks clean and prevents my feet from overheating, which is a problem in many other waterproof shoes.
Speaking of waterproof, one of the quickest ways to get your feet wet is damp grass, and wet feet lead to blisters. On a recent hike through soaked grass and even some snow, I was impressed with how well the B-Dry membrane kept my feet dry, comfortable, and blister-free. Traction can be another major concern in wet conditions and the tread on the Cirques trampled that concern within the first few steps. Their dry traction is great too and overall, on whatever surface I find—from wet rocks to sandy trail—every step with the Cirque Low Waterproof feels rock-solid.
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