When we think of rain boots, we imagine a boot much like the Baffin Enduro: thick rubber, stiff but comfortable enough to walk in for hours, waterproof up to our calves, and ruggedly utilitarian. With a 16.25 inch shaft, we found we don't need to worry about how much we're splashing around because the water won't get in. The Gel-Flex shock-absorbing heels and midsoles make these boots far more comfortable than they look like they should be. And these boots are easy to slip in and out of due to their large circumference. Best of all, these boots don't cost a ton with an MSRP less than half of some of the more expensive models we reviewed.
Baffin Enduro Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Highly waterproof, stiff construction for rough terrain, great traction
Cons: Looser fit, lacks insulation
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Baffin Enduro is, without hesitation, the best deal in our test. It performed better than 80% of the boots in the test and cost less the majority of our fleet. This is an absurdly good deal, for a boot that will stand up to a lot of use and abuse. If you have to have insulation or extreme comfort, go for one of the other award winners, but with thick socks and a decent insole, you can go far in the Enduro.
The shaft on the Enduro is a relatively tall boot and measures in at a respectable 16.25 inches. Like a rain boot should be, they are 100% waterproof and look to stay that way for a very long time.
These boots will be enough for any storm that might find you, and if you plan to be in deeper water than these can handle, you should probably look into fishing waders.
The Enduro is on the stiffer end of boots we tested, but this doesn't mean they're not comfortable underfoot.
Due to their Gel-Flex shock-absorbing heels and midsoles, they feel pretty good on hard surfaces, and we were able to wear them for long periods without much pain. Since these do fit a little looser, they flap around slightly as we walk in them, though this doesn't cause any big issues. Their biggest issue regarding comfort is how much the rubber folds in and presses against our shins, though this issue was not as bad as it was in the other thinner rubber boots. This only felt like an issue on steeper hills, but different testers found it to be variably unpleasant.
The Enduro has an impressive amount of traction due to its large and tightly studded outsole. We found these were reliably near the top of the pack when it came to snow, ice, wet grass, mud, and streambeds.
Even when we ran up and down wet grassy hills, we didn't feel like we were going to slip in these boots. They also did better than most on ice and slight powder over ice, both surfaces that challenged all the boots in the test.
The Enduro boots are uninsulated, which kept us comfortable in warmer temperatures (though we still wouldn't want to wear them much above 60°F).
However, with decent socks, even these uninsulated boots do well in the snow and cold water of the Puget Sound, potentially due to their thicker rubber. They didn't hold up as well in the ice-water test; our feet felt the cold almost immediately and were uncomfortable after 30 seconds. However, this was not a remarkably bad performance, as all the uninsulated boots struggled with this test.
Ease of Use
The Enduros are simple boots to use. They have the second-largest circumference in the test (17.5") and are easy to put on and take off while standing. To put the Baffin Enduro on, literally, all you need to do is put your foot in and push down. Many of the softer boots buckle at the ankle, but the stiffer Baffins let your feet slide right in. And you can use the slight lug at the back of the boot to kick them off (again while standing).
These boots were not the easiest to hose off, as gravel got stuck between the deep lugs. And while these boots were quite heavy (at 5.49 lbs), we didn't find that they weighed us down too badly.
Our testers found the Enduro boots to be relatively controversial, with some testers giving them high marks, while others found their utilitarian styling to look a bit dumpy.
These boots wouldn't look out of place paired with Carhartts in a casual bar, but you'd be hard-pressed to dress them up at all. The unique pyramid patterning around the base of the shoe (and featured in a mysterious circle on either side of the ankle) adds some interesting texture to the boot but also destroys the possibility that anyone might mistake these for anything other than heavy-duty rain boots. Some testers said they thought the boots look like they were modeled by the same people who design Tonka trucks, which is a little unfair but hard to argue against.
These size 12 boots fit our size 12 feet well, with around a 1/2 an inch of forward and back space, and fit relatively accurately width-wise on our D width forefeet. We suggest they'd measure in at a D width. They have a lot more volume in the ankle area, which leads to some flapping as our ankles move in the boot, though with good socks this has not resulted in any blisters.
These boots are a great value. They're built stiffly enough that we don't have any concerns about durability, and the outsole is solid and will last well on a variety of surfaces. The only place these boots cut any corners is with the insole, which is pretty flimsy (though not as bad as some in the test). If you have to have the best of the best, go with one of the other (significantly more expensive) award-winners, but these are the best bang for your buck.
The Baffin Enduro boots are a fantastic option for those who aren't looking to break the bank, yet who need reliable and highly waterproof boots with great traction. If you're not looking for lots of comfort and warmth, it's hard to justify getting any other boots. Here's a quick breakdown on the math: if you want to get a better pair of boots than these, you'd have to spend more than twice as much money. Are the Editor's Choice and other Top Picks more than twice as good as the Baffin? If you have particular needs, yes. Otherwise, get the Enduro. You won't be disappointed.
— Richard Forbes