Asgard Chelsea Review
Cons: Not fully waterproof, no foot support
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Asgard Chelsea is cute and wildly affordable, but it's not a very high-performing water shoe. If you live and work somewhere that's damp and misty without giant puddles to navigate, you'll be more than fine. But if you regularly run into more serious weather or need something for, say, fishing or farm work, this isn't your match.
Despite a shaft height of 6.5 inches, the rubber upper of the Chelsea is cut at the sides to allow for nylon gusset styling. This gusset is merely sewn into the rubber without any waterproof fortification, allowing water to leak into the boot easily. This brings the flood height of the boot down to only 2.5 inches, the lowest of all the boots we've recently tested. We are quite disappointed with this finding, as the shaft height is on the taller end for this ankle-height class. With such a low flood height, puddles can quickly become too deep.
Many online customer reviews also echo this sentiment. After extended exposure in pouring rain, many people complain about wet socks. Even if you're not wading through puddles or streams, we believe that the non-waterproof nylon has compromised the integrity of its purpose as rainwear. We did not find the nylon to be treated in any way, and so it absorbs water. For obvious reasons, this boot scored gruesomely low in this metric.
The circumference of the shaft opening measures 9.75 inches, which is also the narrowest of all the competitors, but since they aren't that tall, we are not bothered by it. However, since the nylon doesn't protect against inclement weather at all, we feel that there isn't really a point to the height and leanness of the shaft when it comes to weather protection.
Minimally constructed, we feel that all-day wear isn't the most comfortable in the Chelsea. They lack high-quality foot support, and the soles are rather stiff. The insole is nonremovable and very thin. Online customer reviews mention that the insole bunches up under the arch of the feet, and this happened to us the second time ever wearing them. It's very subtle, but when wearing thin socks, it felt like there was something poking our feet. At first, we thought there was maybe a little rock or a thorn stuck in our socks, but no, it's the insole.
Wearing thick enough socks, though, the insoles weren't bothersome. The rubber upper is flexible to allow for easy movement, even on inclines. Due to the narrow circumference of the shaft, you do have to use your hands to pull them on, aided by the pull tab. They are also fairly lightweight and easy to tote around. Overall, they score fairly high in comfort despite the insole issue and general lack of arch support.
The best aspect of this model is how well they maintain traction. The combination of lugs and wavy tread proves more than sufficient for flat surfaces, wet and dry. In our creek test, we didn't slip on any rocks, and through the snow, the only time we felt unsteady was when we were walking across an icy wooden deck. Scoring on the higher end of the spectrum for this metric, their stiff outsoles did still limit sensitivity.
Typical of most rain boots, this pair has no added insulation. When standing in a creek, we could sense the iciness of the water. Still, we feel that the Chelsea isn't as "cold" as a few others in this review, and when walking around town, our feet stayed noticeably warm (too warm on sunny days). They earn an average score here, which can be looked at in two ways: great, because they are a tad more versatile across a wider range of temperatures, and, somewhat of a concern, when you have consistently frigid weather and do need to think about how warm your feet will be over extended periods of time.
Inspired by the classy Chelsea design, this ankle-height boot has a small heel, a long pull-tab at the rear, and two long nylon gussets sewn into the rubber upper. The matte color we had the pleasure of testing is a light brown (labeled as tan on Amazon). For current colors, always double-check online, but at the time of purchase, there were 13 different options, even some with glitter.
Under jeans, the lugged sole and small heel make them seem like regular boots (maybe even cowboy boots due to the color). There is a slight line down the middle of the upper from the mold, which somewhat detracts from their elegance (and makes them look a little cheap).
This brand has an odd mix of whole and half sizes between 4 and 12. Half sizes begin at 7.5 and end at 9.5, but there is no whole size 9. We find these boots run true to size. There is some heel slip, particularly when you wear thin socks, but there is ample room for the toes and, overall, the fit is one of the best if they have your size.
Value is tricky to determine for these boots, as they are one of the most affordable pairs in our test but severely lack holistic weather protection. Since we have to prioritize the purpose of rainwear, we do not necessarily recommend them.
We think it best to think of the Asgard Chelsea as any other fashion boot that happens to be made of rubber. Keeping low expectations for practical weather protection, we still applaud their trendiness, high traction scores, and overall casual vibe.
— Sara Aranda