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Reviews > Footwear > Footbeds and Insoles > OBOZ O FIT Insoles > Owner Review by Richard Lyon


OBOZ O FIT Insoleā„¢ Plus Medium Arch
 Owner Review by Richard Lyon
March 2, 2020
O FIT 1

PERSONAL DETAILS and BACKPACKING BACKGROUND

Male, 73 years old  
Height: 6' 3" [1.91 m]
Weight: 210 lb [(93 kg])
Shoe size: 13 US; 47 EUR
Email address: Montana DOT angler AT gmail DOT com
Home: Outside Bozeman, Montana USA, in the Bridger Mountains

I've been backpacking for half a century, most often in the Rockies. I do at least one weeklong trip every summer, and often take three-day trips.  I'm usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000 to 10000 ft (1500 - 3000 m).  I prefer base camp backpacking, a long hike in with day trips from camp.  Though always looking for ways to reduce my pack weight, I still tend to include my favorite camp conveniences. I always sleep in a floored tent and like hot meals. Backcountry trips in winter are often planned around skiing opportunities, in summer to practice the art of flyfishing.

THE PRODUCT

The O FITs are made by OBOZ Footwear, my favorite bootmaker.  They
are aftermarket footbeds for shoes or boots. At present OBOZ offers two models, regular, which I own, and Thermal. The insoles are offered on both Men's and Women's tabs on the company's website and appear to be unisex, as a sizing chart gives men's and women's equivalents in six different shoe size regimes: US Men's, U.S. Women's, UK, EUR, Japan Men's, and Japan Women's. Each pair is sold as "trim to fit" and a website page illustrates how to undertake that operation.

Manufacturer: OBOZ Footwear, LLC, obozfootwear.com
Materials: Dual-density EVA with Poron (r) Comfort urethane pods under the metatarsals
Size: XL. Available in six other sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XXL
Weight, measured: 1.75 oz/50 g per footbed, size XL
Length, measured: 12 in/30 cm
Width, measured at widest point: 4 in/10 cm
MSRP: $29.95 US/pair

O FIT 2The Insoles now reside in a pair of
low-cut SCARPA trail runners, pictured here, that I discovered when conducting a closet cleaning late last winter. The shoes were in almost-new condition, but for some forgotten reason had no insoles, so on my next trip to a retailer I put an aftermarket pair on my shopping list. When I saw the OBOZ models I knew I had to try them. Ever since my first test of OBOZ boots, more than a decade ago, I have been a steady OBOZ customer, in no small part because of the fit - they were the first pair of hiking footwear for which I didn't need to purchase special insoles. Why not see if the insoles help the fit of other shoes and boots?

FIELD CONDITIONS

I wore this trail runner-insole combination on probably two dozen day hikes, each 2 to 12 miles [3-20 km] in length, mostly on established trail but occasionally for rock- and scree-hopping and bushwhacking. Also I regularly don these shoes for everyday wear around town. The shoes with the insoles have experienced rain, snow, sleet, mud [plenty of mud - I live on a dirt road, and many trails in the Bozeman vicinity have stretches where mud cannot be avoided], and a stream crossing or two, as well as the normal dusty trail. Temperatures have ranged from well below freezing to 90 F [32 C]. Because of my feet's eccentricities, discussed below, I normally wear midweight or heavier socks even in summer for a snug fit. My day pack weight varied from 5 to 25 pounds [2-12 kg], a bit higher once or twice when doing trail maintenance or serving as a group's pack horse.

PERFORMANCE

Fit. Sizing is near-perfect. The XL size, said to fit men's U.S. shoe sizes 11.5-12.5, fit my size 47 SCARPAs exactly - no trimming required. [I took the shoes to the retail store to choose the proper size, and the store clerk kindly allowed a test.] Since acquiring the Insoles they have not slipped around in the shoes; they still fit exactly.

Comfort. Everyone's feet are different; each of us has idiosyncrasies that require careful attention when sizing footwear. That goes especially for athletic footwear, which get the heaviest use in the toughest conditions. I've never relied on others' recommendations on fit [and I don't expect anyone else to rely on mine]; unfortunately it's trial and error. Different manufacturers use different designs, lasts, materials, and even measuring tools; not every size 13 US is the same length. I have narrow feet [B width the last time I bought street shoes] and skinny ankles in particular, and a relatively high arch. Until I found OBOZ I had to tailor off-the-shelf footwear with insoles and sometimes extra inserts to keep my ankles from slipping from side to side, a sure cause of blisters on my heels. That meant checking out the shoes or boots and various insoles, often with different socks and sock combinations [such as two pairs of socks or sock liners]. This experimentation has pointed me to a few cobblers whose products complement my anatomy, OBOZ in particular but also SCARPA, whose ski boots I wear regularly.

Against this background I've found the SCARPA-OBOZ marriage has been just great for my feet. The insoles fit exactly and their so-called "medium arch" has cushioned my feet as has no other - except my several pairs of OBOZ boots.
When extolling the fit in my reviews of those boots perhaps I gave the insoles, which are standard equipment on this manufacturer's boots, insufficient credit.  In any case I am thoroughly happy with the insoles.

Durability. Wool socks, which I wear year-round, and heavier knit weight mean much perspiration. On breaks in longer hikes I often take off my shoes at rest stops to allow my socks to dry. The insoles have borne the sweat admirably. I have not noticed any discoloration or excessive or unusual odors, and definitely no deterioration of the EVA or urethane. So far so good.

Care. Following my usual custom I lift the insoles from the shoes upon returning home from a hike to facilitate drying. I probably ought to give them a bath to remove accumulated sweat, but as I wear them often in the front country in winter I haven't yet taken them out of service to do so. I treat other insoles to an hour's soak in cold water with a small dose of unscented, non-detergent soap and then air-dry them. That's what these insoles can look forward to.

WHAT I LIKE

Fit and comfort.

WHAT I DON'T

Not a thing.











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Reviews > Footwear > Footbeds and Insoles > OBOZ O FIT Insoles > Owner Review by Richard Lyon



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