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Bogs Classic Ultra High Review

This boot will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable even on the longest, coldest, and wettest days
Classic Ultra High from Bogs
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Price:  $140 List | $134.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Well insulated, ideal comfort, easy to take on and off
Cons:  Lower shaft height, less traction
Manufacturer:   Bogs Footwear
By Richard Forbes ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 3, 2020
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 14
  • Weather Protection - 30% 7
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Traction - 20% 6
  • Warmth - 15% 8
  • Style - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Bogs Classic Ultra High rain boot, after a solid 4 year run as our Editors' Choice Award, have finally been bested by a new Bogs boot — the Workman. However, we still stand by our glowing words about these boots, and whether we are standing on concrete floors for 10 hours at a time or wading through snow and foot high water in cold conditions, these boots are reliably comfortable. These boots score average or above in all categories. The 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 boots with thinner material. Finally, the innovative handles at the top of the shaft make these 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 weather protection, for most users, this won't be an issue.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Classic Ultra is one of the most comfortable boots in our test and scores well in all categories. It's pleasant to use, warm, and decently good-looking. This is a phenomenal boot and well worth the price.

This boot has withstood the test of time.
This boot has withstood the test of time.

April 2020 - Takeaways and Durability after 3 years of use


We've now worn the Classic Ultra boots 3 years of heavy use and we wanted to provide a durability update, as this is one of the hardest things to test accurately.


These boots are holding up extremely well for all the use we've gotten out of them. They've seen hundreds of hours of wet weather through three Seattle winters, as well as climbing trips to Kentucky, Tennessee, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Oregon. Their most intense adventure (so far) was a 30-day long trip down the Grand Canyon rafting the Colorado River in February and March, through snow and rain with lots of wading in the river to unload boats.

Please ignore the pants  just pay attention to the boots and the muddy Colorado...
Please ignore the pants, just pay attention to the boots and the muddy Colorado...

However, after 3 years of use, some parts are showing wear. About a year and a half in, we noticed the heel studs were ripping off. We tried epoxying them back on, but one fell off shortly after. The other is still there, but it's only really held on by glue. This isn't a huge deal, but we did like the studs.

Goodbye heel studs :(
Goodbye heel studs :(

We're also seeing the neoprene start to come apart at high stretch/use areas. The stitching around the handles is starting to rip the neoprene, and pointy ankles are starting to carve small holes into the inside of the boots.


In all other ways, these are still as good as the day we got them. They're still extremely comfortable underfoot, grippy (on all surfaces they've been on), well-insulated, and totally waterproof.

Read on for all the testing details!

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.

Weather Protection


The handle 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 were originally worried that the neoprene wouldn't be completely waterproof, but even after we stretched it around with our hands underwater, it's leakproof. The 17" circumference will be enough for the largest calves, and won't hug your legs like some other models. Quick warning, though: if you do manage to get water inside the Classic Ultra, it does take the Neo-tech neoprene some time to dry out.

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 hundreds of blissful hours wearing them on all sorts of surfaces, with at least 50 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 the ankles, and the fit is snug enough that there's none of the "flop" 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. The soft neoprene shaft of Classic Ultra is also a lot more comfortable against the shins than the less insulated boots, which almost all buckled when 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.

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

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?

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 just one heel into a snugger high boot. 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 handles are... handy!
These handles are... handy!

Traction


The Classic Ultra have average traction, performing decently well on mud, wet grass, snow, ice, and creek beds — though they didn't wow us on any of these surfaces. We assume this average performance is due to the unique tread pattern, which features alternatively wavy, somewhat deep grooves. When we tried running up and down a grassy hill, we found that our feet slipped in these more than the best traction boots, which all have large studs. These boots also don't hold as well on snow as other heavily studded options. At the same time, they are great on sidewalks, and we have no worries on smoother terrain where other more heavily studded boots didn't fare as well.

The Classic Ultras are totally solid in creek beds and in the ocean.
The Classic Ultras are 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 in our test.

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

The Bogs Ultra High are delightfully warm in snow
The Bogs Ultra High are delightfully warm in snow

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 like as it means the boot doesn't flap around like some of the higher volume models.

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

Value


These boots are relatively expensive, but they're worth every penny due to their versatility and comfort. Bogs is a brand beloved by Northeastern farmers, and we fully expect to get at least 4 years out of these boots. We're certain they're worth the price and have gotten 3 years out of them so far.

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.

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 four years ago in the chilly Northern Maine winter. The Ultra High are warm, dry, and extremely comfortable, with great traction and style. The neoprene hugs the feet, and the cushioned insoles (and solid midsole) feel supportive in all manner of terrain. We recommend these boots highly.

Bogs Ultra Classic High relaxing on one of the many pebble beaches of Washington State
Bogs Ultra Classic High relaxing on one of the many pebble beaches of Washington State

Richard Forbes