Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $96 - $110 | Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros: Warm, comfortable, versatile tread
Cons: Not ideal for summer
Best Uses: Cold weather
The Bogs Classic High rain boot is a rugged model that offers great protection from rain, mud, dirt, and anything else Mother Nature can throw at it. And because it's armed with 7mm Neo-Tech insulation, it is well-prepared for sub-zero temperatures. In fact, the Bogs Classic High was such a high performer that we've given it our Editors' Choice award! We also found throughout our testing that the Classic has some of the most versatile tread of any of the boots we tested. In addition, they are one of the most comfortable pairs of rain boots we tested. If that's not enough, we also think that it is one of the best fitting models of the 10 pairs we put through rigorous testing. And with a fairly modest price tag, we think they are well worth the cost.
The only serious drawback is that the insulation works so well that they are best used in cooler weather. Warm temperatures make these boots too warm and will result in sweaty feet, which will make using these boots quite unpleasant (although the antimicrobial odor protection insole will at least keep them smelling fresh). If you need a mild weather rain boot, check out the Le Chameau Vierzon, or Hunter Original Short.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Bogs Classic High is a great choice if you find yourself needing a rain boot that's comfortable, warm, and has good traction. Our Editors' Choice winner is quite warm and comfortable, and overall performed well in a wide array of metrics, so it certainly comes highly recommended. The main drawback is that it's too warm for use in warm weather, limiting the seasons for ideal use. The Kamik Icebreaker of this product received the Top Pick for Cold Weather in the Best Rain Boots Review.
The Classic High is one of the more comfortable rain boots we tested. It has an Aegis antimicrobial odor protection insole, which provides some cushion and slaughters odor-causing microbes in droves. This model's insole is one of the thickest, along with the Bogs Ultra Mid Rain Boot which has the exact same insole, and the Kamik Lucas2. The bootie on the Classic fit snugly all around our testers' feet without being uncomfortable. Additionally, because the boot fits so well, there is less rubbing and sliding due to improper fit, which in turn means a better experience overall. The boot does stretch slightly, allowing for a more conformed and personalized fit. Even the shaft is comfortable enough that we didn't mind its presence, which is more than we can say for some of its competitors with taller shafts, like the Vierzon. If you want the most comfortable boot, and don't have a need for the tall shaft, check out the LaCrosse Hampton, which has the shortest shaft of all.
The Classic has a shaft that measures 14.5 inches from the bottom of the sole to the top of the shaft. Although it's not the tallest product we tested (which is the The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport - Men's), we found that for most uses the Classic is well-suited for the situation, especially if you find yourself using it for around town use, doing work around the yard, or shoveling early spring snow from your driveway.
Unless you plan on trying to ford a raging stream, this product is tall enough to keep your feet dry through mud, wet fields, or when you're walking through some deep puddles downtown. Our testers also liked that the gap between the top of the shaft and our testers' legs was minimal, despite having no mechanism or method for cinching down the shaft to the leg, like the Kamik Icebreaker which uses laces, or Vierzon which has a gusseted shaft and buckle. The neoprene upper repels water easily, although if the interior of the boot gets soaked it takes a day or two for the Neo-Tech to fully dry out. If you don't need excessive height on your rain boot, check out the Hampton or Tretorn Skerry.
The Bogs Classic High comes fully loaded with 7mm four way stretch Neo-Tech insulation; Bogs designed this product to provide warmth for temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, none of our testers live near such low temperatures to truly test the claim. During our late spring and early summer testing period, we found this model to be just plain too hot, but we think it'd be a great ally colder temperatures. It's so warm, in fact, that our feet easily overheated inside the boots while we were sitting on the couch with our feet up. The liner does wick away moisture well enough that it takes some time before our feet begin to feel soggy and wet from our own perspiration. But in colder winter temperatures, your feet are going sweat less (depending on your activity level, of course), and so the warmth is a welcome relief from sub-freezing temperatures. However, if you need a boot that is more suited to summer conditions, check out the Hunter Original Short or the Lucas2.
We love how well the neoprene upper keeps our feet warm, but we think it is a bit of an eye sore. This model looks a little cumbersome, and lacks subtlety that would allow you to walk around downtown without getting cockeyed stares. The mid-height of the shaft is a slight saving grace when we compare it to a boot with a tall shaft, like the Muck Boot Arctic Sport, or Vierzon. However it is still a noticeable feature of the footwear. If you want a stylish boot, we suggest taking a look at like the Hunter or Skerry, both of which have mid-height shafts like the Bogs Classic High. If you don't require the mid-height of the shaft, the Lacrosse Hampton is a great option for the style conscious fashion connoisseur.
The tread of the Classic doesn't have deep and aggressive lugs like the Icebreaker or Vierzon. Rather, it has alternating round lugs and long bands running laterally across the bottom of the sole. Surprisingly, it's not even remotely similar to the other Bogs model we tested, and we found the Classic to have better traction overall than the Ultra Mid. While we tested the boot out by exploring a nearby riverbed, we also found that the Classic performs well on loose terrain thanks to the variety of lugs on the tread. The grooves are deep enough that the sole really digs into the earth, allowing our testers to fully push off without fear of our feet sliding out from under us. We also found that the tread had enough contact with harder surfaces that we weren't worried about slipping on wet rocks, and it proved to work equally well on wet pavement. If you're looking for a good middle ground between aggressive treads and smooth treads, the Classic is a great choice. However, if you're going to spend most of your time on pavement, check out the Hampton or Ultra Mid. Otherwise, if you need a more aggressive tread, check out the Kamik Icebreaker or The Original Muck Boot Company Chore Mid.
Ease of Use
Weighing in at 4 pounds and 4 ounces, the Classic falls in as a mid-weight product compared to the rest of the models we tested. Although it isn't extremely light, we thought the trade-off for its performance in other metrics was well worth the few extra pounds. We also found this model to be easy to get on but a little frustrating to get off, since it fits so snugly around our feet. We also loved that because it fit so well, we never felt like we were wearing heavy-duty flip-flops; with some of the competitors, the looser fit made us feel like we had to curl our toes or focus on picking up our heels just like when wearing a flip-flop. Despite the ease of putting on the Classic, we still have a special affinity towards the Ultra Mid with its incredibly convenient handles punched out of the neoprene upper.
The Bogs are one of the best fitting boots we tested. The booty is a snug fit all around our foot, without causing any hot spots, or pressure on the tops of our foot from rubber bending mid-stride. Our feet hardly slide around inside the bootie at all, unlike the Adult Chore or Arctic Sport. Additionally, the gap between the top of the shaft and our calf was one of the smallest of all the products we tested (except for the boots with way to cinch down the shaft, such as the Icebreaker and Vierzon). We also had to use less effort in lifting our feet because of extra space in the heel. Some models we tested, like the Tingley General Purpose Knee Boot, felt as though we were wearing flip-flops, and we had to concentrate on lifting our feet extra high when stepping over any obstacles.
The Bogs Classic High has such great insulation that it makes them ideal for use in the temperatures lower than 50 or 60 degrees. Though there is nothing physically stopping you from using them in warmer temperatures, the insulation works so well that it would be a matter of time before you find your feet swimming in their own perspiration. The tread is also versatile enough that it can be used for off-road terrain, as well as hard, slick surfaces around town. Although the look of this shoe may keep you from wanting to go out into a fashion savvy environment, it is a more than appropriate style for yard work.
At $110, the Classic falls into the middle of the price range of all the pieces we tested. Because of how well it performed in various categories, we think that this is a great price for this product. Especially since it has such a great and versatile tread, great insulation and fit, it's hard to be disappointed with this model. However, if $110 looks like it's going to break your bank, you might want to check out, the Kamik Icebreaker, which is significantly less and won our Top Pick award.
Overall, the Bogs Classic High offers great insulation to keep your feet warm and cozy throughout in cold temperatures. Our Editors' Choice winner has a tall enough shaft to keep your feet dry from rain, puddles, mud or whatever you may find yourself standing in. It's also noticeably comfortable thanks to the plush and thick Neo-Tech insulation, and the versatile tread will allow you to go from soft and loose terrain to the hard, slick surfaces you'd find around town, be it a sidewalk or pavement. Additionally, although everyone's foot is different, it fit our testers feet better than any other model we tested. And did we mention that is one of the warmest ones we tested?
Bogs Women's Summit, $100.
Bogs Women's Classic High, $110.
Bogs Ultra Mid Rain Boot, $126.
— Jared Dean
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Most recent review: August 25, 2014
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