I have been trying out the Oboz Ignition trail runner along with the END Stumptown 10 and 8.5 these past couple months. My opinion about trail running is if your going to go, get far and get dirty. Trail running provides the chance to get away from the mundane neighborhood loop. There are a lot of choices out there for trail runners and hopefully I can relay some knowledge to keep your feet happy on the trail.
About Oboz Footwear
Pronounced “Oh!-Boze”, this Bozeman company uses the saying ‘True to the Trail’ as a motivation to provide solid footwear for your outdoor demise. Their philosophy is make time for getting outdoors despite the whirling time suckers that consume us and strive to minimize our carbon footprint. I’m looking forward to calling up their number to compliment them on their shoes and listen to their recent bike ride story. Nice to see a company run by people who can relate to their audience.
The Oboz Fit
After using the Ignition for a couple 4 mile runs I couldn’t describe how the shoe formed around my foot. Later I found the technology is called the Radial Fit System which fits perfect to how it feels. Some shoes I have worn in the past do a good job wrenching a gripping fit around the arch but can cause soreness after a while. The Oboz have a good stable fit without cutting blood to the toes. The rocker in the Ignition is a bit more aggressive than I have seen in other runners.
The rocker made it nice for uphill jaunts keeping my toes higher than I am use to. The heel cup is also more snug and stable than other shoes I have tried. I telemark in the winter so believe me when I say, “I hate heel lift”. The TPU cup and plate work together to protect your feet from rocks while maintaining stability. The toe box is fairly wide which I appreciated to give my toes room. I did notice a bit of a hot spot on the outside of my pinky toe after a run, but I never noticed it again.
The leathery upper is key for those wet muddy days. I also think the leather helps preserve the toe bend area. I have had shoes wear out very quickly because that area was just made with mesh. I can tell Oboz paid close attention to detail for common complaints with trail shoes.
The Z-Grip rubber has a lot of bang without the bulk. Compared to the END trail runners, the Oboz sole is definitely a lot heavier but with that comes more stability than the END line. It is up to the runner really, if your ankles can compensate for the stability than END is a good choice. Personally it was a toss up because running in the Oboz really doesn’t require extra thought on how stride or place your feet.
The Z-Grip is grippier than a rubber glove in the ER.
Who doesn’t show of their new trail runner at dinner? The no tongue design isn’t ideal for everyday use. I don’t normally care for the slip-on style footwear, but once it’s on, you’re set for a stellar run. The benefit of this shoe is you can leave it on after a run so really you could probably shower and sleep with them until snow falls. The Ignition was also comfortable for a backpacking trip I recently did, once again that sole is plenty stable.
The 27oz. Ignition may seem a lot heavier than an END shoe but don’t let weight be your boss. The breathability works well in wet conditions and would be a great stable addition to your trail runner quiver.
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