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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Oboz Ignition Trail Running Shoe > Test Report by Sheila Morrissey

Trail Running Shoes
Oboz Ignition

Initial Report - August 9, 2008
Field Report - October 6, 2008
Long-Term Report - January 11, 2009

Initial Report: August 9, 2008

Name: Sheila Morrissey
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Shoe Size: US Women's 10 or 10.5
Email Address: geosheila(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country: Goleta, California, USA

I have been backpacking since 2005 and usually hike in Los Padres National Forest or the Sierra Nevada with friends and my dog. My pack weighs around 25 lb (11 kg), including consumables, for a weekend trip. I typically hike in trail runners.

Manufacturer: Obōz Footwear
Model: Ignition
Size: Women's US 11 (UK 8.5, EU 42.5, JAP 27.5)
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer’s Website:
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 1 lb 9.1 oz (712 g)

The Obōz Ignition shoes are dark grey, light grey and lime green trail runners. They have removable insoles and aggressive tread. What makes these shoes most unique is their bootie construction. The laces tighten over the top of the bootie, instead of over a tongue, and are held secure with lace clips close to the ankle. A note on the shoebox states, "OBŌZ Ignition shoes are built with a dynamic bootie construction, which provides a secure fit that feels like a sock. These shoes might be difficult to put on initially, but this will become easier over time. Stretching the collar before trying on should ease the process. Enjoy!"

The Ignition trail running shoes come with a number of features outlined on the manufacturer's website:
  • 3D air mesh upper
  • Dynamic bootie construction
  • Floating forefoot cage
  • TPU heel stability clip
  • Underfoot TPU protection plate
  • Anatomically engineered footbed
  • Z-grip high friction outsoles
  • Propulsion foam midsole
Oboz Ignition

The Ignition trail runners look just like what I was expecting from the photos I saw online. I didn't have the opportunity to try these shoes on before picking out my size, but I decided to get a size bigger than I normally wear so that I'd be more comfortable wearing the Ignitions with thick socks while hiking. I normally wear a US women's 10 or 10.5, but I got a size 11 in the Ignitions. The size is perfect for me and they're very comfortable with thicker socks, though I probably could wear a size smaller with regular cotton athletic socks and still be comfortable.

These shoes
were very comfortable for me right out of the box. They each have a snug-fitting heel and a wide forefoot. I can feel the cushioning under my feet and some arch support. So far, the best part about these shoes is the bootie construction. Like the manufacturer claims, it really feels like a sock, but I did have a little difficulty getting the shoes on the first time. I've never worn bootie-type trail runners before, but I already think these are just fantastic. The shoes fit very securely, but without any sort of pressure from a shoe tongue. Even with the secure fit around my ankles, they have plenty of flexibility to them and I can move my feet and ankles comfortably.

I have been wearing the shoes for a couple of days now, including on a couple of two-mile (3-km) walks on the bluffs and on the beach. I have already started filling up some of that aggressive tread with beach tar. The shoes still feel very comfortable for me. I haven't noticed the mesh bootie being any more breathable than any other trail runners I've used, but that's not a problem at all.

Field Report: October 6, 2008

I have so far worn the Ignition trail runners on one backpacking trip of about 6 mi (10 km) in Los Padres National Forest. I walked in dry weather at an elevation near 4,000 ft (1,200 m) on established dirt trails. Additionally, I used the Ignition trail runners on at least a dozen 3-mi (5-km) walks on dirt trails near sea level and for regular walking use. I have put at least 50 mi (80 km) on the shoes.

I still really like the fit of these shoes. The narrow heel and wider forefoot work especially well for me. Although I now think maybe I should have at least tried on a size 10.5, the 11 has worked for me, especially with thicker hiking socks. The bootie construction continues to be quite comfortable on my ankles and especially on the tops of my feet. I now prefer the Ignitions to my other trail runners with tongues. It was also nice to find that less debris enters the Ignitions because of the close fit around my ankles, which keeps me moving on the trail. The cushioning feels good, even while wearing a 20-lb (9-kg) pack, and the traction of these shoes seems pretty good too, but I haven't put the traction to any serious test. The tread isn't significantly worn at all at this point and no other part of the shoes is showing any problems with durability, with the exception of the insoles.

Unfortunately, I found that after a few days of walking in the Ignitions, the insoles creased a bit where they touch the sides of my heels behind my arches. I developed a callous on each foot, but because the insoles were uncomfortable, I decided not to use the shoes every day. On my backpacking trip, the insoles caused a hot spot on the left side of my right heel and a blister on the right side of my left heel. Both made me walk differently than normal, causing me to develop blisters on the balls of my feet. I have since changed the insoles to a pair I found in my some old boots and it has made my Ignitions entirely wearable and comfortable again. The insoles that came with the Ignitions now have small, very rigid creases on the sides of the heels that I cannot fix and which caused me blisters, so I will continue to use these other insoles in my Ignitions instead. Unfortunately, because these rigid creases are so small, they didn't photograph well.


  • Fit and Comfort: narrow heel, wider forefoot, no tongue
  • Bootie: snug, less debris
  • Durability: seems good so far
  • Insoles: creased on the insides of my heels and caused blisters

Long-Term Report: January 11, 2009

I wore the Ignition trail runners on one overnight backpacking trip of about 3 mi (5 km) over established dirt trails in the Sespe Wilderness of Los Padres National Forest. I was carrying about 25 lb (11 kg) of gear on my back. I also wore them during three days of hiking and car-camping in Joshua Tree National Park, where I walked on dirt trails. I used them on a couple of
day-long geology field trips in the Santa Ynez Mountains that included running around some loose shale slopes. Additionally, I used the shoes for at least another fifteen or so 3-mi (5-km) walks and jogs on dirt trails and on the beach, a few jogs on the street, and for lots of every day walking. The elevations that I used these shoes ranged from sea level to 5,000 ft (1,500 m), conditions were always dry, and temperatures ranged from 25 F (-4 C) to 75 F (24 C). I probably wore them more than 50 days during the long-term testing period, with maybe 60 mi (100 km) of trail use and at least another 40 mi (50 km) of road use.

The new insoles that I put in are working out fine. The shoes are just starting to show some wear in the rubber on the bottom of the shoes, but there's still a lot of life left in them. Basically, the lime green knobs on the bottom are starting to wear down, but the rest of the bottom of the shoes are unaffected. There aren't any holes in the material or other signs of wear on the top portions of the shoes. The inside of the heel, where I seem to have some problems in other trail runners, is also still in good shape. Even the laces are in perfect condition. I didn't notice whether the bootie loosened up at all, but it still fits snugly enough to keep out most rocks, even when I'm up to my ankles in loose shale pieces. I think the bootie design is what makes these shoes really great.

I really like the Ignitions for hiking and have already highly recommended them to others. They're still fitting wonderfully after all that use, but if I buy a new pair I'd like to at least try on a half-size smaller. However, that might be a problem. I went back to the Obōz website, which I find difficult to navigate, and was eventually able to find a list of stores nearby that sell the shoes. After some driving around town, it turns out none of those stores actually sell any Obōz shoes at all.

The Obōz Ignitions are great! The bootie design is super-comfortable and really does a great job of keeps rocks out. I was already a fan of hiking and backpacking in trail runners and I highly recommend these shoes.

  • Fit and Comfort: narrow heel, wider forefoot, no tongue
  • Bootie: snug, less debris
  • Durability: seems great so far
  • Insoles: creased on the insides of my heels and caused blisters (had to replace insoles)
  • Website: difficult to navigate, wrong store listings
This concludes my Test Series. Thank you to Obōz Footwear and for providing me with the opportunity to test the Ignition shoes.

Read more reviews of Oboz gear
Read more gear reviews by Sheila Morrissey

Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Oboz Ignition Trail Running Shoe > Test Report by Sheila Morrissey

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