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Bogs Classic Ultra High Review

The Ultra High boot will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable even on the longest, coldest, and wettest days.
Classic Ultra High from Bogs
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $135 List | $134.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Well insulated, ideal comfort, and easy to take on and off
Cons:  Lower shaft height, less traction
Manufacturer:   Bogs Footwear
By Richard Forbes ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 12, 2018
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 13
  • Water Resistance - 25% 6
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Traction - 20% 6
  • Warmth - 10% 8
  • Ease of Use - 10% 9
  • Style - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Bogs Classic Ultra High rain boot wins our Editors' Choice Award because it continually surprises us with its comfort and warmth, no matter whether we were standing on concrete floors for 10 hours at a time or wading through snow and foot high water in cold conditions. No other boot is as reliably comfortable, and the Ultra Classic High scored average or above in all other categories. Its 7mm Neo-Tech insulation is enough for sub-zero temperatures and helps this boot fit like a flexible glove, with none of the shin-jabbing we found in thinner shafted boots. Finally, the innovative handles at the top of the shaft make these boots a breeze to put on (with no awkward pulling and stomping) and also make them easier to carry and hang. While these holes do sacrifice some water resistance, most users won't be in more than a foot of water anyhow.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award   
Price $134.95 at Amazon$129.93 at Amazon$49.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$64.95 at Amazon$92.88 at Amazon
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Pros Well insulated, ideal comfort, and easy to take on and offExtremely warm, grippyHighly waterproof, stiff construction for rough terrain, great tractionAffordable, well-insulated, great tractionGrippy, cushioned, well-insulated
Cons Lower shaft height, less tractionToo warm for most uses, too tight to easily slip on and offLooser fit, lacks insulationNot as comfortable as other modelsHeavy, loose fit
Bottom Line The Ultra High boot will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable even on the longest, coldest, and wettest days.The Arctic Sport will keep you warm when all else fails, though they'll be way too warm in normal conditions.This workhorse boasts a very fair price for such a rugged boot.While we loved many of the innovative aspects of these boots, we wish the boot had more support underfoot for all day comfort.Bulky, heavy, and capable - these boots are best if your chores take hours in rough conditions.
Rating Categories Bogs Classic Ultra High Arctic Sport Baffin Enduro Kamik Icebreaker Chore Hi
Water Resistance (25%)
10
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6
10
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9
10
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7
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5
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6
Comfort (25%)
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7
10
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3
10
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7
10
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6
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5
Traction (20%)
10
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6
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9
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8
10
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7
Warmth (10%)
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8
Ease Of Use (10%)
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9
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6
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7
Style (10%)
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5
Specs Bogs Classic Ultra... Arctic Sport Baffin Enduro Kamik Icebreaker Chore Hi
Weight of pair (lbs), size 13 5.76 lbs 5.74 lbs 5.49 lbs 4.58 lbs 6 lbs
Flood Height (in inches - from bottom of sole to lowest point at top of shaft) 12 in 17.6 in 16.3 in 14.3 in 15.5 in
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Lining/Insulation 7mm waterproof Neo-Tech insulation Fleece Synthetic Moisture wicking removable Zylex liner Synthetic
Circumference (inches) 17 in 15.25 in 17.5 in 16.5 in 17 in
Upper Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber with waterproof adjustable nylon collar Rubber
Insole Aegis antimicrobial contoured insole EVA molded midsole with contoured footbed and 2mm thermal foam underlay Gel-Flex shock-absorbing heels and midsoles 11mm Zylex insole 6 mm Nitracel EVA
Outsole Siped self-cleaning non-slip rubber MS-1 molded outsole Rubber TRACKER synthetic Rubber Traction rubber
Unique features Easy to put on due to handles, easy to take off due to heel studs, neoprene shaft Neoprene shaft, thick insulation, and aggressive outsole Aggressive outsole Drawstring, Zylex liner Gussets in back for adjustability
Sizing info Order next size up Order next size up Order your true size Order next size up Order next size up

Our Analysis and Test Results

The worst part of the Bogs Classic Ultra High is their name, so we're going to call them the Classic Ultra for the rest of this review. The Classic Ultra is undoubtedly the most comfortable boot in our test and scores well in all categories. It's so pleasant to use and scores highly in warmth and style. Its only average scores are in water resistance (due to the holes) and traction (in which it was perfectly adequate but not extraordinary). This is a phenomenal boot, and well worth the price.

Performance Comparison


These boots are comfortable and warm enough for everything  from stomping in puddles to long days on farms.
These boots are comfortable and warm enough for everything, from stomping in puddles to long days on farms.

Water Resistance


The holes in the Classic Ultra start at 12" (from the bottom of the sole). If you're looking to spend your days calf-deep in water, these boots won't be enough, but for most applications - wading around the Puget Sound, crossing creeks, and exploring soggy Seattle neighborhoods - these boots will keep you nice and warm. We worried that the neoprene wouldn't be completely waterproof, but even after we stretched it around with our hands underwater, they were leakproof. The 17" circumference will be enough for the largest calves, and won't hug your legs like some other models. Quick comment - if you do manage to get water inside the Classic Ultra, it does take the Neo-tech some time to dry out.


If you do need the highest boots, there are boots with 5" more shaft height. And if you're not so worried about shaft height, and want them to be slightly more comfortable in warmer weather, check out some of the lower boots.

While the handles seriously lower the shaft height  we loved them for how easy they make carrying and putting the boots on
While the handles seriously lower the shaft height, we loved them for how easy they make carrying and putting the boots on

Comfort


The Classic Ultra are phenomenally comfortable, and we've spent over a hundred blissful hours wearing them on all sorts of surfaces, with at least 20 hours on concrete as well as time on snow, mud, grass, and creek beds. When one of our testers headed to the Grand Canyon in February for a month-long raft trip, he brought the Classic Ultra, and they kept his feet dry and warm in camp despite snow and freezing rain.


The neoprene does a great job of hugging while not constricting our ankles, and the fit is snug enough that we didn't have any of the "flop" we found in looser boots. Some of the comfort is due to the cushioned Aegis antimicrobial odor protection insoles, which are some of the thickest (and least smelly) insoles in our test.

This might not seem like a big deal, but the soft neoprene shaft of Classic Ultra is a lot more comfortable against our shins than the less insulated boots, as they almost all buckled as we tested them on steep hills.

This is the thickest  most comfortable insole in our review.
This is the thickest, most comfortable insole in our review.

These boots are good with the built-in insoles but are even better with a supplementary insole, which made them more supportive and a little snugger, for even more control over the boot.

Decisions  decisions: how warm is it? Do we want to wear sandals or boots?
Decisions, decisions: how warm is it? Do we want to wear sandals or boots?

Our biggest question for these boots was "how warm is too warm for these boots?" In our excitement to wear these boots, we often found them on our feet in warm conditions, which was uncomfortable due to their insulation.

Traction


The Classic Ultra have average traction, performing decently well on mud, wet grass, snow, ice, and creek beds, while not wowing us on any of these surfaces.


We assume this is due to the unique tread pattern, which features alternatively wavy, somewhat deep grooves. When we ran up and down a grassy hill, we found that our feet slipped in these more than the best traction boots, which all had large studs. And these boots didn't hold us as well on snow as other heavily studded options. At the same time, these boots were great on sidewalks, and we had no worries on the smoother terrain (while other more heavily studded boots didn't do as well).

The Classic Ultras were totally solid in creek beds and in the ocean.
The Classic Ultras were totally solid in creek beds and in the ocean.

Warmth


These boots are prepared for hard conditions with 7mm of Neo-tech insulation, supposedly warm down to -40°F. Since the Pacific Northwest doesn't get that cold, we'll assume that's true until we get a chance to test them in colder temps. We did use them at 20°F and found them to be perfectly comfortable at those temperatures, as long as we were moving. In our ice water test, we were comfortable sitting motionless (and without socks) for 15 minutes - the second warmest boots.


Keep in mind that the Classic Ultra is well-insulated, and won't be ideal for temperatures over 50°F.

We loved how warm these were in the snow  and they were only outperformed by the heavier-duty Arctic Sport.
We loved how warm these were in the snow, and they were only outperformed by the heavier-duty Arctic Sport.

Ease of Use


We initially expected the handles and heel studs to be a gimmick but found them to be phenomenally handy.


We could have both Classic Ultras comfortably on our feet (using the handles) in the time it would take us to jam one heel into a snugger high boot.


And we'd have kicked off both Classic Ultras with the heel studs and be drinking a pleasant beverage in the time it'd take to fall over while trying to pull off the smaller circumference high boots. You can also hang the boots from the holes (with a carabiner), or carry them easily with a single finger, while other boots require a bit more work to carry.


These boots are extremely easy to hose off, as the grooves on the bottom don't hold too much mud. And while these boots are heavy at 5.76 lbs, that just made them feel safe and cozy and didn't bother us at all.

Style


Our testers gave this boot high ranks. We're personally not certain how this happened, but it seems like our elite group of style experts liked its more rugged utilitarian look, though everyone agreed the holes are a little strange.


People are going to notice if you're wearing this boot, but chances are they're just jealous of how warm and dry you look.

We loved slipping on a pair of comfortable rain boots after pulling our feet out of overly tight climbing shoes
We loved slipping on a pair of comfortable rain boots after pulling our feet out of overly tight climbing shoes

Fit


These size 13 boots fit our size 12 feet relatively snugly, with a half-inch of forward and back wiggle room, and minimal wiggle room left and right (for our D width forefeet), so we'd expect they'd measure in at a D/E width. They don't have much extra volume, which we liked as the boot didn't flap around like some of the higher volume boots.

The top hand hole made it so easy to slip these on!
The top hand hole made it so easy to slip these on!

My feet are toasty warm even when fully immersed  even though the ambient air temperature is somewhere around 25 degrees without windchill.
My feet are toasty warm even when fully immersed, even though the ambient air temperature is somewhere around 25 degrees without windchill.

Value


These boots are relatively expensive, but for the fact that they're so versatile and comfortable. Bogs is a brand beloved by Northeastern farmers, and we fully expect these boots to last for years to come. We're certain they're worth the price and have gotten a bunch of use out of them so far.

This model is so great that it's hard to stop gushing about it  even though this is the end of the review.
This model is so great that it's hard to stop gushing about it, even though this is the end of the review.

Conclusion


We would have loved to have had these boots during our years of cold farmwork, and one of our testers can only imagine how happy he would have been to have these boots two years ago in the chilly Northern Maine winter. These boots are warm, dry, and extremely comfortable, with great traction and style. The neoprene hugs our feet, and the cushioned insoles (and solid midsole) feel supportive and help us go wherever we want. While there are some other solid competitors in this test, we reliably found ourselves slipping these boots on when the tests were done.


Richard Forbes