After wearing ankle-high hiking boots in college, I swore I would never wear them again. Heavy and clunky, I felt freed when I gave them away. Fast forward 20 years and after struggling to find a pair of hiking boots that don’t make me want to chop off my feet after a few miles, I finally discovered the Oboz Sapphire Mid waterproof hiking boots. I wore them around the house the first day and they were so light, I actually forgot they were on my feet. Soon after the first breaking in day, they became my go-to shoes for hikes and winter errand running around town. They are easy to get on, and the laces don’t catch in the opposite boot’s eyelets, an infuriating and dangerous tripping hazard I’ve experienced with other boots. My feet are always warm and dry while sloshing around, and the ankle and foot support doesn’t require you to sacrifice comfort, foot flex, or your natural walking motion. After a successful and comfortable fall and winter test drive, I’m looking forward to taking on some longer hikes and a few backpacking trips with my family this summer without having to think about my feet. The Sapphire Mid boots are stylish too—athletic, yet still feminine in dark blue with pink accents. MSRP: $160. Obozfootwear.com //