Oboz has gotten their fair share of recognition for such a young brand. Without a doubt, the folks driving the product line know a thing or two about building outdoor footwear that caters to the right audience while simplifying the construction process and standardizing on a few common elements. Such is the case with the new Oboz Hardscrabble trail runner, which leverages existing mid and outsoles but adds a new upper and insole.

Oboz Hardscrabble Features:

  • Synthetic Leather and Fabric Upper
  • 3-Dimensionally Molded Asymmetrical Heel Clip
  • 3 Part Midsole
    – Dual Density Posted EVA
    – Full Forefoot EVA SuperSkin Plate
    – Nylon Shank
  • High Friction, Non-Marking Outsole
  • Ignition Outsole
  • Strobel lasted
  • Radial Fit System
  • BFit Deluxe Insole
  • Weight: 14.6 oz
  • MSRP: $110

Oboz Hardscrabble Review

Definitely not a race-day shoe and likely not the choice for someone who does a ton of trail running, but definitely well-suited for the outdoor cross-trainer as the Oboz Hardscrabble can do just about anything — gym duty, trail running, day hikes, scrambling, etc.) While this shoe doesn’t specialize in one particular area of adventure, it is a solid all-rounder for those seeking a light hiker, trail runner and urban chic.

As always, I pushed the limits of these shoes beyond their intended purpose. How about an 8 mile run with 2 miles on pavement and 6 miles on dirt? Well, that’s the kind of thing I tested these with.

Quite honestly, they deliver a fairly-smooth stride on the road, but the chunky outsoles and heavy weight really bogs them down after awhile. Once on the dirt, they become instantly more comfortable. With traction aplenty, the Hardscrabbles can make their way up or down any trail with the best of them. When things slow down and hiking is more in order, the Hardscrabbles become even better.

As I mentioned, these are really an outdoor cross-training shoe that can dabble in a little of everything. To shoot straight, these shoes are really best-suited for light hiking. With a supportive midsole and foot-snugging uppers, you could honestly carry a decent load for a few miles.

I found the uppers to be a bit on the high-volume side for my feet. I nearly max them out when laced up to my liking. I felt most comfortable with the midweight Bridgedale X-Hale Multisport socks. I appreciated the BFit Deluxe insole (see below) and can say that it is one of the most comfortable insoles out of the box — offering support and stability where needed. I did run in them with the standard insole and SOLE Dean Karnazes insoles and still preferred my DK’s, but they will be far and above what other manufacturers are providing.

Good Hardscrabble

  • Traction aplenty
  • Comfortable on the trail
  • Included insoles are the most supportive standard insoles I’ve tested
  • Gussetted tongue keeps out debris
  • Great light hikers or around-town cruisers
  • Despite chunkyness, they do have a smooth stride
  • Trail support and foot protection is spot-on

Bad Hardscrabble

  • A bit clunky for long-distance running
  • Running on the road is not recommended
  • Breathability is acceptable, but not outstanding
  • Volume is very high (I almost can’t cinch them down enough)

Bottom Line: Oboz Hardscrabble

Looking for a light hiker that can also run when needed? Be sure to check out the new Hardscrabble from Oboz.

Buy Now: Oboz Hardscrabble at REI.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

Leave A Reply