Gear Review: The Oboz Katabatic Hiking Shoes - Trail Tested & Approved for Your Summer Hikes

Wearing Oboz Footwear in Zion National Park

Are you ready to hit the hiking trails this summer?

As you continue to crush your 52 Hike Challenge 2023, you will be getting out there a lot this summer – at least once a week!

That’s why it’s so important that your feet are comfortable while you’re exploring. That way, you can focus on enjoying all your hikes instead of stressing about hot spots and blisters.

Temperatures are warming up, and it’s the perfect time to trade in your hiking boots for a lighter, more breathable option.

Luckily, we took it upon ourselves to research the very best summer hiking shoe for you and your 52 Hike Challenge summer hiking adventures:

The Oboz Footwear Katabatic Collection.

These new light hikers were just released, and we got the opportunity to experience them firsthand – or should we say firstfoot?

Our team tested their Katabatic shoes on trails in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Wisconsin and more.

Here are some of our top takeaways we think you will love:

  • The Oboz Katabatic Collection is extremely lightweight and breathable.
  • These hiking shoes have amazing tread, providing traction on various terrain.
  • The fit is comfortable and secure for all types of feet.
  • The shoe not only feels good – it looks good too!

Summer Hiking In The Oboz Katabatic Collection

At 52 Hike Challenge, we love Oboz because they have great quality hiking shoes and as a company, they really care about their customers’ feet – and the planet. In fact, they plant a tree with every purchase.

If you’re ready to treat your feet to a new pair of hiking footwear that will positively impact your trail experience (and the planet), then the Oboz Katabatic Collection is for you!

Read on to hear insights from 52 Hike Challenge co-founder Karla Amador and our lead content creator Mandi Carozza on how the Katabatic shoes fit & perform and why they’re a great choice for your 52 hikes.

Did you hear? Oboz Footwear received their B Corp Certification in 2023, which means they “meet stringent standards for positive social and environmental impact alongside 6,000+ companies globally.”


Unboxing The Oboz Katabatic Hiking Shoe

Your new Oboz hiking shoes arrive in a recyclable box with Oboz signature branding that will make you excited to get out there and explore the world.

Karla: “Boy are they pretty” - were the first words out of my mouth. When I first unboxed my fast and light hikers, I was so excited as I am an avid trail runner shoe user for smaller walks and hikes (up to 5-miles.) I especially love these kinds of shoes for traveling as they are comfortable and functional to wear in cities and while sightseeing. I received the Katabatic Low in Snow Leopard and was blown away by their modern, sleek, and stylish design. 

Mandi: Hello beautiful! I was so excited to receive these lightweight and breathable light hiking shoes since I spent most of the winter season hiking through Arizona and Utah. I love that the Snow Leopard color perfectly complements the desert trails I was hiking on. I could tell they would be perfect for my needs, and I was stoked that they were cute (and comfortable) enough to wear out and about.


The Katabatic Collection was designed with the intention of serving you on any trail you decide to hike. With the ability to adapt to various terrain, these hiking shoes succeed at supporting your feet and can even increase your endurance and on-trail energy efficiency.

Here are some of the key features of the Katabatic Collection:

  • O FIT Insole® and Ortholite®: O FIT Insole® featuring Ortholite® Eco™ Originals™ and Hybrid™ eco contents with fully recycled moisture wicking top layer.
  • Trail Tread: Oboz’s most-tested rubber compound boasts superior slip-resistance, enhanced durability, and improved elongation and tensile strength.
  • B-DRY: Improved B-DRY lining adds increased waterproofness & breathability, is 100% recyclable and made from 25% post industrial waste.
  • Last: Gender specific last construction for a more custom fit.
  • Mesh Upper: Allows feet to breathe but keeps out trail debris.
  • Rubber Heel Counter: Protects the heel while providing support on uphill pursuits.
  • Midfoot ESS Plate: Provides protection from trail debris and torsional rigidity on off-camber trails.
  • TPU Overlays & Toe Cap: Provide durability and protection on the trail.


Oboz Katabatic: Lightweight Hiking Shoes For Summer Hiking

The Katabatic light hikers are just that: a lightweight option for summer hiking and any adventure where you want your feet to breathe easily. The women’s Katabatic Low Hiking Shoes weigh just 9.8 ounces, and the waterproof version weighs in at 11.6 ounces.

Karla: I put my hiking shoes on right away. The fit was just right, they looked good, felt comfortable and had plenty of cushioning. I took them for a 5-mile hike on a sandy and desert hike in New Mexico. They held up well on the hike and  I didn’t have any sand inside my shoes. They were very comfortable throughout the hike. 

Pro tip: I always recommend breaking in new shoes on shorter walks and hikes, but I can honestly say, I had zero issues hiking with these right out the box. If you do choose a longer hike when breaking in new shoes, it would be a good idea to carry a backup pair of hiking shoes to switch into whenever you feel the need to. 

Mandi: The Katabatic light hikers were super comfortable right out of the box. My first hikes were in the mountains of Phoenix, and I loved that the shoes provide ankle support on rocky trails. My feet didn’t sweat while hiking in hot temperatures, and I didn’t slip on steep terrain. The fit felt so good that I was motivated to run certain sections of the trail.


Best Hiking Boot & Shoe Brands - Oboz Footwear

We hiked in our Oboz Katabatic shoes all over the United States. Here’s what we thought!

Karla: I continued to wear my Katabatic shoes on my following hikes around New Mexico. One of the hikes I went on in Bandelier National Monument had a lot of ladders, they held up well and I never had any slipping or grip issues. I also took them with me to Petroglyphs National Monument, which is sandy. I was pleased there was no sand inside the shoes again, (something that I have encountered with similar types of shoes.) I’ve also taken these on rocky terrain without any issues. For the Oboz Fast Trail Challenge I brought these with me to Colorado and hiked in Canyon of the Ancients and Mesa Verde National Parks. I even ran across another woman with the same shoes on one of the hikes. The next test was taking them up a mountain where they held up without issues. I’ve put around 50-miles on these shoes since I received them. Lastly, I decided to put in my Oboz shoe inserts, which has actually made them even more comfortable. 

Pro tip: Using inserts can help with foot pain, arch support and overall comfort. For me personally, I have a high arch and most standard shoe inserts are not comfortable enough for me. I always add in inserts specific to my foot needs which makes a world of difference in my comfort, especially when hiking for long periods of time. 

Mandi: I have taken my Oboz Katabatics on the red rocks of Sedona, through the canyons of Utah and up the mountains of Western Montana. While the terrain differed significantly in each place, these shoes continued to support me on all my adventures. They perform well on sand, rocks, meadows and more. I even wore them for some mild rock climbing/scrambling. One of the most memorable hikes I took them on was in Sedona where I climbed up to the Subway Cave. The first person I saw at the top was wearing Oboz Sawtooth X! I complimented them on their choice because those are my preferred hiking boots.


Oboz Footwear Best Hiking Shoes

After a combined 100+ miles of hiking in the Oboz Katabatic Collection, we can say with confidence that we love this hiking shoe!

Karla: As an avid fast and light hiking advocate I would say don’t hesitate to try the new Katabatic shoes out. I’ve worn them around the city, on walks and mountain tops. They come in an array of colors and you can get waterproof ones too. 

Mandi: From the deserts of the Southwest to the forests of the Northern Rockies, Oboz Katabatic shoes are not just designed to look good, but they also feel good – no matter where you explore. I will be spending a lot of time hiking in the Sawtooth Mountains in the coming months, and I definitely see them being my go-to summer shoe!

As you can see, we are incredibly pleased with the performance of the Oboz Katabatic Collection, and these light hikers will definitely be a staple in our summer hiking adventures.

With lots of colors to choose from, an unmatched fit and next level terrain versatility, these light hikers are game changers.

We hope you love them just as much as we do!

Shop for your new Oboz Katabatic hiking shoes here.

Order The Best Hiking Shoes For Your Summer Hiking Adventures

Did you know? Oboz Plants a Tree for Every Pair Sold. So you can feel good about your purchase too! Oboz has planted 5 million trees and counting since 2007! 

1 comment

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