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ProView – Oboz Men’s Cirque Low

Last summer, and friend and I foolishly agreed to a run/climb combo of the fabulously remote volcano Glacier Peak in Washington’s Cascade Mountains.  Fast and light.  That was the goal.  This peak is normally done over 3-5 days minimum due to the distance and remoteness. The day was 18 hours straight, 36 miles, and over 11,000 feet of elevation gain.  My shoe game was off though, and my feet were destroyed.  I learned a lesson that day.  Be extremely careful what you put on your feet for extended periods of time, and bring several pairs of socks.  

Oboz Men's Cirque Low

Product Description: The Men’s Cirque Low is a technical peak bagger designed specifically for fast ascents. We achieved lightweight performance with our A3 Chassis™ whose innovative construction delivers a set of active design features. Topped with a breathable mesh upper and anchored by the Tempest outsole with beveled, multi-directional treads for performance braking, traction and support.

Offer price: MSRP: $125.00

  • Quality
    (4)
  • Features
    (4.5)
  • Fit
    (3.5)
  • Durability
    (5)
  • Eco-Friendly
    (4)

Summary

If you are looking for a comfortable, low ankle hiking shoe, this one is perfect.  If you’re looking for a long-distance, versatile mountain boot that doesn’t weigh you down or more extreme (read rocky) terrain, this one is perfect.  If you want a lightweight and sturdy boot that can cover almost any kind of terrain and diverse geography all in one day, this is the shoe for you.

Overall
4.2

Pros

  • It’s both a sturdy hiking boot and a lightweight mountain shoe.  The perfect blend.

Cons

  • The toe box could be wider but makes sense to be tight when encountering rocks/roots.

Fast forward to fall 2019.  We had been dreaming of this magical loop through the heart of the North Cascades.  Two days, 43 miles, somewhere around 9,000 feet of elevation gain and an overnight in a small settlement wedged between fjord-like Lake Chelan and the jagged easter slopes of the Cascades; Stehekin.  I needed a shoe that could go the distance. 

I knew a lot of the terrain would be in the alpine with rocky talus fields.  I needed something stiff, durable, and comfortable in my hiking shoe or boot.  After several attempts at making a La Sportiva shoe work (they were all too tight or narrow for my feet) I found the Oboz Cirque Low alpine hiking shoe.

Fit

Training with them for several months prior to our trip, I knew they were the right fit.  Right away you notice the stiffness without sacrificing the agility. They feel like a perfect combination of a light trail shoe and a true hiking boot.  Great absorption on the down hill’s, confidence-inspiring on big and rocky terrain, and comfortable all day through a diverse and alpine environment.  The A3 Chassis is a brilliant design that allows the shoe to remain stable on rocky and different angled terrain while remaining natural feeling and lightweight. 

We started on the wet west side of the mountains, where a thick forest of douglas fir tower over the trail, and puddles of mud were at every switchback.  On top of Cascade Pass, we stopped for some photos.  As we turned the corner, a healthy black bear greeted us with his nose in the blueberry bushes and his back end to us.  We graciously moved out of his way, luckily had the camera already in hand, and watched him glide over a sea of blueberries and rocks like a giant black wind.

Once over the pass, we had a solid 15+ miles of rocky, then bushy, then flat, then narrow trails until we reached the spectacular Stehekin Valley Ranch, where we were greeted with a buffet style Prime Rib dinner before crashing into a cozy bed.  

The next day, we hiked up the Pacfic Crest Trail, passing friendly hikers and arriving at our final destination of Rainy Pass on Washington’s North Cascade Highway.  After 43 miles, a lot of sweat, and every imaginable type of mountain terrain, my feet were surprisingly NOT IN PAIN.  

The Final Word

The Oboz Cirque allowed my feet to breath while remaining dry when we encountered rain (which we did) and puddles (they were countless).  This is exactly what I am looking for in a long distance hiking shoe.  Stability, breathability, and comfort.  The Oboz nails all three. 

If you are looking for a comfortable, low ankle hiking shoe, this one is perfect.  If you’re looking for a long-distance, versatile mountain boot that doesn’t weigh you down or more extreme (read rocky) terrain, this one is perfect.  If you want a lightweight and sturdy boot that can cover almost any kind of terrain and diverse geography all in one day, this is the shoe for you.

Find Oboz Men’s Cirque Low on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Dave Summers
Alpine Photographer

Dave Summers is an alpine photographer @davesummertimes and an outdoor enthusiast residing in the Pacific Northwest, climbing and skiing everything within a long day’s drive of Seattle or Leavenworth.  Over 15 years of big mountain climbing and backcountry skiing around the world, including the Himalayas, Alps, and Alaska, he occasionally returns to his home in Boulder, Colorado for some good old fashioned Eldo sessions. 

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