Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $96 - $130 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros: Easy to get on, comfortable
Cons: Short shaft, loose fit, poor traction
Best Uses: Cold weather, casual uses around town
On first glance the Bogs Ultra Mid look like a rain boot with a strange design. The top of the shaft tapers down from the back to the front, and there are two very large gaping holes on either side of the shaft. But despite its appearance, this product definitely kept our feet warm, and it was one of the easiest boots to put on. In fact it earned the Editors' Choice award in our men's winter boot review. The rubber around the bootie is rugged enough to protect against even the most serious stubbed toes. The neoprene lining adds both comfort and waterproofness, although the holes in the side of the shaft greatly reduce the depth at which the rain boot can be used before you risk getting water, snow or debris inside. If you need a warm product with a tall shaft, check out the Bogs Classic High - Men's or Kamik Icebreaker.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Bogs Ultra Mid is a comfortable model that was the easiest to get on and off of your feet thanks to the large handles punched into the side of the upper. However, these same handles reduced its applications, and provided a way for precious heat to escape if you're using it in colder temperatures. That said, if you're looking for a less warm rain boot, this could be a major advantage to you.
The Ultra Mid is a very comfortable product. The insole is constructed with Aegis antimicrobial odor protection, which our testers were pretty fond of after they had repeatedly worn the boots with and without socks. The insole is the same as the Bogs Classic, but we found that the fit of the Ultra Mid to be a little looser than its cousin. The rubber of the shaft creased as we walked, but not enough that we felt any discomfort on the tops of our feet. If you need a rain boot with a little more foot room, check out the The Original Muck Boot Company Chore Mid. Or if you want one that provides some great comfort for casual use around a campsite on a rainy day, check out our Best Buy award winner, the LaCrosse Hampton.
The Ultra Mid measures 12 inches from the bottom to the very top of the shaft; however, its convenient pull-on handles leave a gaping hole that would allow water to pour in at 9 inches. Because of this, the point at which water will enter the boot when submerged in a lake or stream is the second shortest of all the boots we tested. We also found that the handles don't rest snugly against the tester's legs, so they could easily allow debris to enter the boot. Despite this, the rubber and neoprene are waterproof enough that you can march right through most puddles you'd find in town or in a field after a heavy rainstorm. If you need a product with a shaft of similar height, check out the Kamik Lucas2, or if you need an extremely tall shaft, check out the The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport - Men's or the Le Chameau Vierzon.
Although the 7mm Neo-Tech used in the Ultra Mid's upper is warm, the two the pull-on handles punched into the side of the shaft are large enough that they easily leak heat. Our testers were able to feel the temperature of the air outside of the rain boot through the handles. It kept our feet warm in cold mountain streams, but we think it's a little warm for warm weather use if you expect to be doing strenuous activity in them. If you need a cooler model for warmer weather use, check out the Hunter Original Short, Tretorn Skerry, or the Kamik Lucas2.
The Bogs Ultra Mid has a unique design, which makes it a bit more eye-catching than some of its competitors. The handles punched into the neoprene upper stand out and are reminiscent of denim pants that come with premade holes. The tapering shaft also adds some aesthetic flair. In the end, however, this product is a little clunky in design, and it shows. It's not a model we'd really consider fashionable. If you want a sleek and stylish boot, check out the Hunter or Skerry.
Our testers found the smoothness of the tread on the bottom of the Ultra Mid works great on hard, slick surfaces, like sidewalks around town, due to the amount of surface contact provided by the sole. However, in muddy conditions or in conditions with loose ground beneath your feet, the Ultra Mid doesn't perform so well. The tread lacks large or aggressive lugs that would really dig into soft ground. If you need a rain boot that is more suited to use in mud, dirt, or other off-road conditions, check out the Icebreaker.
Ease of Use
The Bogs Ultra Mid is one of the most unique boots we tested in that it's the only one with pull-on handles cut out from the neoprene upper. Our testers loved this feature so much that we think it's the easiest and most simple rain boot to get on your feet. Boots like the Hampton, Lucas, and Hunter Short rely on rubber or nylon pull tabs to aid in getting the boots on. One of the major drawbacks to this Bogs model, however, is that the pair weighs in at 5 pounds and 6 ounces, which makes it one of the heaviest pairs we tested with such a short shaft. If you need to wear your boots for a long period of time, the weight of this product will become noticeable quickly.
The Ultra Mid is one of the more snug-fitting boots we tested out. Though it's not a snug as its cousin, the Bogs Classic, we still think it fits better than the Tingley, and both Muck Boots that we tested. A little extra room in the toe can be taken up easily with a thick sock. The shaft is a little loose however, and lacks any way of cinching it down to the calf. If you have narrow feet, this product will be a poor fit.
The waterproof, insulating neoprene lining makes the Bogs Ultra Mid a great choice for shoveling your driveway during those early spring snow storms, for casual walks through muddy fields, or for around town errands when it's raining. However, it's important to note that the handles in the side of this model allow it to lose heat easily, and they provide a great place for snow or water to enter. Although it is constructed of waterproof materials, its handles allow water to enter in before the whole boot is even submerged, which means we wouldn't suggest it for any situation where you may find yourself fording streams, or in an environment when dirt and debris is kicked up. If you need some boots to shovel your driveway for half an hour, the Ultra Mid is a great option.
At $130, the Bogs Ultra Mid is one of the more expensive boots we tested. Though they are very comfortable and fit fairly well, we think it's a little expensive considering that the shaft can only be submerged in about 9 inches of water or snow before becoming filled with either. Additionally, though the Neo-Tech is warm, we think that the handles leak enough heat that we'd almost rather not have them at all than have the convenience of easily getting your foot into the boot. For about $30 cheaper you could get the Bogs Classic, our Editors' Choice winner. If that's still too expensive, check out our Top Pick award winner, the Kamik Icebreaker, which is only $65.
The Bogs Ultra Mid is a great rain boot for casual uses, such as shoveling the snow on your drive way, walking the dog, or working in an indoor environment with slick surfaces (think dairy farm). The low profile lugs on the tread make great and even surface contact, but aren't aggressive enough to really dig into loose dirt, mud or sand. The unique handles punched out of the upper make getting the boots on a breeze, though they compromise the "flood level" of the product by three inches, which we thought was a very dubious trade-off. All in all, we'd be a little apprehensive at paying the $130 asking price for a pair of boots with these limitations and drawbacks.
Bogs Women's Summit, $100.
Bogs Women's Classic High, $120.
Bogs Classic High, $130.
— Jared Dean
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Most recent review: August 25, 2014
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