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Hands-on Gear Review
Bogs Ultra Mid Rain Boot Review
Cons: Relatively poor water resistance, lacks good traction
The first thing our testers noticed about the Bogs Ultra Mid Rain Boot is its strange design. The top of the shaft tapers down from the back to the front and there are two very large gaping holes on either side of the shaft. These holes make it one of the easiest boots to put on fast. The rubber around the bootie is rugged enough to protect against even the most serious stubbed toes. It's also quite warm and actually earned the Editors' Choice award in our men's winter boot review. The neoprene lining adds both comfort and waterproofness, although the holes in the side of the shaft sharply reduce the depth at which the rain boot can be used before you risk getting water, snow or debris inside. If you need a warm product with a taller shaft, check out the Bogs Classic High - Men's or our champion of the chill, the Kamik Icebreaker.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Bogs Ultra Mid Rain Boot is a comfortable model that was the easiest to get on and off of our feet thanks to the large handles punched into the side of the upper. However, these same handles reduce its applications, and provide a way for precious heat to escape if you're using it in colder temperatures. That said, if you're looking for a less warm rain boot with some rugged utility, this could be a major advantage to you.
The Ultra Mid doesn't offer great water resistance. It measures 9.5 inches from the bottom of the sole to the lowest point of the shaft; however, its convenient pull-on handles leave a gaping hole that would allow water to pour in at 8.5 inches. The wide circumference of 18 inches at the top of the shaft provides plenty of room for rain, snow, and debris to fall inside, too. If you need a warm product with an extremely tall shaft for increased water resistance, check out the The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport - Men's.
The Ultra Mid is a comfortable product. The cushy insole is constructed with Aegis antimicrobial odor protection, which our testers were pretty fond of after they had repeatedly worn the boots with and without socks. The rubber of the shaft creased as we walked, but not enough that we felt any discomfort on the tops of our feet. If comfort is your top priority over warmth and rain protection, check out the LaCrosse Hampton.
Our testers found the smoothness of the tread on the bottom of the Ultra Mid works great on hard, slick surfaces, like sidewalks around town, due to the amount of surface contact provided by the sole. However, in muddy conditions or in conditions with loose ground beneath your feet, the Ultra Mid doesn't perform so well. The tread lacks large or aggressive lugs that would really dig into soft ground. If you need a rain boot that is more suited to use in mud, dirt, or other off-road conditions, check out the Icebreaker.
Although the 7mm Neo-Tech used in the Ultra Mid's upper is warm, the two handles punched into the side of the shaft and gaping circumference at the top of the shaft are large enough that they easily leak heat. Our testers were able to feel the temperature of the air outside of the rain boot through the handles. This model passed the five minute mark in our ice water test, but didn't keep our bare feet as warm as the Icebreaker or Arctic Sport. Still, we wouldn't want to use this product in temperatures rising above 70°F (21°C). If you need a less warm model for warmer weather use, check out the Hunter Original Short or the Le Chameau Vierzon.
This rain boot has a unique design, which makes it a bit more eye-catching than some of its competitors. The handles punched into the neoprene upper stand out and are reminiscent of denim pants that come with pre-made holes. The tapering shaft also adds some aesthetic flair. In the end, however, this clearly clunky rain boot isn't a model we'd really consider fashionable. If you want a sleek and stylish boot, check out the Hunter.
Ease of Use
This is one of the most unique boots we tested due to its pull-on handles in the neoprene upper. Our testers loved this feature so much that we think it's the easiest and most simple rain boot to get on your feet. One of the major drawbacks to this Bogs model, however, is that the pair weighs in at 4 pounds and 12.5 ounces, ranking fourth heaviest even though it's the fourth shortest in our review. If you need to wear your boots for a long period of time, the weight of this product will become noticeable quickly.
We tested a pair of size 11 Ultra Mid Rain Boots on our size 11 feet. The Ultra Mid is one of the more snug-fitting boots we tested out, though it's not a snug as its cousin, the Bogs Classic. A little extra room in the toe can be taken up easily with a thick sock. The shaft is a little loose however, and lacks any way of cinching it down to the calf. If you have narrow feet, this product will be a poor fit.
The Ultra Mid is great for wet, smooth surfaces where its shallow lugs can get better purchase. It's also warm enough to be the pair you quickly throw on to run out in the rain or to shovel a snowy driveway.However, its low height prevents it from being useful in deep mud, water, or snow, and its lack of aggressive lugs will steer you away from loose and muddy terrain.
At $130, the Bogs Ultra Mid Rain Boot is one of the more expensive boots we tested. Though it is very comfortable and fits fairly well, we think it's a little expensive considering that it doesn't provide great water protection or truly impress us in any metric except ease of use.
The Bogs Ultra Mid is a great rain boot for casual uses, such as shoveling snow, walking the dog, or working in an indoor environment with slick surfaces (think dairy farm). The low profile lugs on the tread make great and even surface contact, but aren't aggressive enough to really dig into loose dirt, mud, or sand. The unique handles punched out of the upper make getting the boots on a breeze, though they compromise the "flood level" of the product by an inch, which we thought was a very dubious trade-off. All in all, we'd be a little apprehensive at paying the $130 asking price for a pair of boots with these limitations and drawbacks.
— Ross Robinson & Jared Dean
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