By: Levi Opsatnic
As we approach another shift of the seasons, most of us have two things on our mind: colorful leaves and autumn hikes, and while this article doesn’t exactly discuss either of those topics in length, the company whose history we’ll be discussing is responsible for contributing to the new growth of leaves as well as keeping your feet comfy while enjoying those hikes. At Appalachian Outdoors, we’re quick to pick up on quality footwear and we’ll never turn down environmental dedication as a byproduct, so if you haven’t figured it out yet, we’ll be diving into Oboz and how this company works to be a true pioneer of the trail.
Oboz started their story in the year 2007 whenever a group of outdoor-industry veterans set out to create a footwear company that did something different and conducted business a little better than some of the other entities on the market. While this team had an idea, they didn’t quite have a name chosen, however, a clever play on words met genius simplicity whenever the team came upon this: “Outside + Bozeman = Oboz.” Sweet and to the point, their choice in this name does a fine job at representing their brand but it also details their backyard and where this brand’s legacy began. Noted for its outstanding displays of Mother Nature, Bozeman, Montana offers all of the hiking and exploration that you’d need and is the testing ground that allows Oboz to excel in footwear construction to this day.
While Oboz set out to blaze their own trail, quality is at the top of their list and has been since the beginning. In fact, every pair of shoes that Oboz makes is worked on by 140 different people before hitting the market–not the easiest of tasks, but in the end, you’re left with a better pair of shoes that was handcrafted in just the right way. Also noted for having one of the best stock insoles on the market (now available to purchase here. Oboz starts with a base that gives consistent support and comfort where you need it most. But Oboz isn’t a one trick pony, as their entire footwear production process is centered around quality craftsmanship that allows their consumers to comfortably enjoy their time spent outdoors.
Creating shoes for the outdoors is surely high on their list of priorities, but Oboz also sets a goal to plant one tree for every pair of shoes that they sell. Partnering with Trees for the Future, Oboz‘s mission is “to help reduce CO2 and improve biodiversity while creating sustainable sources of crop shade, soil rehabilitation, food, windbreaks, medicine, mudslide control and more for communities that need them.” Oboz’s generosity doesn’t stop there, considering that they also donate all of their unsellable shoes through Project Sole, power their headquarters entirely with clean wind power, carbon-offset their shipments by working with Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and always take a green approach to employee commutes. Certainly a tall list of orders for a company that’s known for their hiking shoes, but Oboz considers these endeavors to be just as important as their footwear and has currently planted over two million trees and lowered their environmental impact considerably. This combination of feats coupled with trustworthy footwear should allow all of us a little more peace knowing that by supporting Oboz, you’re also increasing the number of tress for everyone to enjoy as well as a more environmentally-progressive planet.
Combining a love for the outdoors and what it offers with a dedication to comfortable feet, Oboz is a footwear brand that marches to the beat of its own drum and sets a pace like few other companies can. At Appalachian Outdoors, we’re proud to have a range of Oboz footwear on our shelves. And although it can be difficult to find a hiking shoe that fits all of your needs, it’s even more difficult to find a company like Oboz that sets their sights far beyond a comfortable shoe, so the next time you’re on the market, consider picking up a pair of Oboz for a comfortable fit that offers much more than just that.