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Hands-on Gear Review

Hunter Original Short Review


Rain Boots

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Price:   Varies from $125 - $155 online  —  Compare at 4 sellers
Pros:  Stylish, lightweight
Cons:  Not very warm, mostly limited to urban use
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Hunter

Overview

If you are looking for a rain boot with a sleek, classic look, then the Hunter Original Short may be just for you. Although this product doesn't overwhelm with great traction or comfort, it does provide adequate protection from the weather. It's ideal for rainy days from mid-spring through mid-autumn since its inner liner isn't warm enough to hold off frigid temperatures. The tread of this boot performs best around town and isn't recommended for off-road use. If you prioritize fashion over function, this attractive around-town rain boot may be just the piece you're looking for.

If you need a rain boot for the cold weather, be sure to check out our Editors' Choice award winner, the Kamik Icebreaker.

RELATED: Our complete review of rain boots - men's

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Ross Robinson & Jared Dean

Last Updated:
Sunday
December 13, 2015
The Hunter Original Short is a very stylish rain boot that has provides a decent amount of protection from precipitation. However, it lacks the traction needed to be used in conditions with loose soil, mud, or sand. Since it lacks an insulating liner, this product is more ideal for warmer temperatures and is not suitable for winter use.

Performance Comparison


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The handsome looks of this product were enough to make reviewer Ross Robinson crack a smile.

Water Resistance


The shaft of this rain boot measures 12.125 inches from the bottom of the sole to the top of the shaft. It's hardly tall enough to wear through deeps streams or deep mud pits, but it'll definitely work well if the deepest body of water you encounter is a puddle on a sidewalk. Additionally, the top of the shaft is wide enough that it leaves a gap between the tester's leg and the shaft, which allows for debris and water to enter inside.

If you like the style of this boot, but need more protection from water, Hunter also makes a tall version of this boot.

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Don't expect to tighten the shaft around your calf using the buckle on the side; it's merely decoration.

Comfort


Although this product has a thick sole, its overall comfort could definitely use some improvements. While testing it on sidewalks and roads, we thought that it was comfortable enough to wear for some time. However, when we switched up the conditions, we found that in rough terrain, we could feel the rocks, twigs, and unevenness of the ground through the sole. If you need a sturdy work boot that is comfortable on off-road terrain, consider the Bogs Classic High - Men's. Or if you just need a comfortable and casual boot to keep your feet dry while you casually walk about town, check out the LaCrosse Hampton, our Top Pick for Mild Weather.

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This product was fine to wear around town for several hours on end, but didn't provide the cushy comfort that other models brought to the table.

Traction


This product's tread features lateral grooves; it doesn't have individual lugs, but rather a smooth surface broken up by shallow grooves. We found that this worked fine for some situations, like walking around town or playing with your dog in a grassy park. However, the moment the ground becomes slick with mud or loose dirt, the Hunter Original's ability to maintain significant traction is reduced. If you need something with deep and aggressive lugs, check out some other products from this review, like the The Original Muck Boot Company Chore Mid.

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The tread of the boot is pretty even. A few deep grooves allow for some traction off-road, but we found that it's better suited to the pavement than anything else.

Warmth


This rain boot has one of the thinnest liners we tested, comparable to the Le Chameau Vierzon. As we tested the boots in cold mountain streams, it didn't take long for us to notice the change in temperature. In our ice water test, it took just over a minute for our bare feet inside to feel cold. The Hunter is ideal if you are looking for a rain boot primarily for milder conditions.

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The all rubber boot is completely waterproof. With minimal insulation, it's easy to feel the cold water rushing by.

Style


The Hunter Original is, hands down, one of the most stylish boots we tested. The height of the shaft, along with the sleek all-rubber construction, its narrow profile, and decorative buckle, all combine for a refined take on the classic rain boot look. We also loved the rise in the heel, which we think makes this model look like rubberized cowboy-boots.

If your main concern is looking as sharp as possible while wearing rain boots, this is your best option.

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Girls and guys agree, the Hunter is fit for nights out on the town. Our reviewers received more compliments and thumbs-up for this model more than any other.

Ease of Use


This rain boot doesn't have any features, such as pull-on tabs or extra rubber stumps on the heel to help with putting these shoes on or taking them off. The narrow profile of this model also means that the shaft squeezes your foot as you pull it out, which makes it more difficult to remove. The narrow profile does have the advantage of reducing the bulk of the boot to feel more like wearing a regular pair of shoes, which is much more than models like the The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport - Men's or Bogs Ultra Mid Rain Boot could say. This product is also relatively light among the mid-height boots we tested: 4 pounds and 5 ounces.

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This product lacked features that the other boots had for easier on and off action.

Fit


The size 11 we tested fit similar to most rain boots on our size 11 feet; a little more roomy than we wanted, but overall fine. The biggest area of dead space was above the toe box, which we didn't find necessary. Our heels slid up and down slightly against the back of the shaft. Again, this is something we experienced frequently. Although there are buckles on the side of the shaft, they are merely decorative and will not cinch down the large gap between the shaft and your shin.

Best Applications


This Hunter boot lacks the ability to really be used in serious working conditions. The tread is too smooth for off-road use and is limited to casual around town use. If you want to look stylish while you walk your dog or hit the local hotspots in grim weather, this is a great choice. Also remember that these rain boots provide very little warmth, which may or may not be a positive for you.

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This model does stand out in a crowd, but for all the right reasons.

Value


Costing a hefty $140, we think that these boots fall short of truly being worth their price, unless you have deep pockets and desperately need a stylish and fashionable rain boot. We think they are great for around-town use, but they lack the versatility that some of their competitors offer. If you're looking for a better deal on a stylish rain boot, consider the LaCrosse Hampton, an ankle-cut boot that only costs $100.

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This model is valuable to the fashion-conscious, but totally inappropriate as a work boot around the farm.

Conclusion


Generally, the Hunter Original Short does protect your feet from getting wet in a heavy rain, but for anything more than that they fall short of the marks received by most of the other boots we tested. The one exception is, of course, style. This piece exhibits excellent style for a rain boot compared to the majority of the clunky looking boots we tested out.

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The Hunter adds a stylish finish to an outfit for a rainy day. The fashion police definitely won't stop you because of your footwear.

Other Versions


Original Short - Women's
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  • Women's version
  • Stylish and functional
  • $140

Hunter Original Tall
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  • 100% rubber
  • Extra tall for walking through those deep puddles
  • $155
Ross Robinson & Jared Dean

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: December 13, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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Amazon $124.99  -  14% off!
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REI $145.00
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by Ross Robinson & Jared Dean

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