Bogs Workman Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight, great traction, adjustable fit, everything you want in a boot
Cons: A bit pricy, cushioning in midsole is slightly lacking
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$129.67 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$141.50 at Amazon||$134.99 at Amazon||$179.95 at Amazon||$55.00 at Amazon|
|Pros||Lightweight, great traction, adjustable fit, everything you want in a boot||Extremely warm, grippy||Well insulated, ideal comfort, easy to take on and off||Great looks, extremely warm and comfortable, versatile||Highly waterproof, stiff construction for rough terrain, great traction|
|Cons||A bit pricy, cushioning in midsole is slightly lacking||Too warm for most uses, too tight to easily slip on and off||Lower shaft height, less traction||Expensive, included wool insole can be too warm for all conditions||Looser fit, lacks insulation|
|Bottom Line||You won't go wrong with these boots, no matter what you're using them for||These boots are too much for urban use, but are perfect for those who require top-notch warmth and water resistance||These boots easily won our testers' hearts due to their uncompromisingly solid construction, comfort, and warmth||If you want a boot that looks and performs as good as it feels, this may be the boot for you||If you're looking for a classic rubber rain boot, this is the best one we've found at a solid price|
|Rating Categories||Bogs Workman||Arctic Sport||Bogs Classic Ultra High||Blundstone Thermal Chelsea||Baffin Enduro|
|Weather Protection (30%)|
|Specs||Bogs Workman||Arctic Sport||Bogs Classic Ultra...||Blundstone Thermal...||Baffin Enduro|
|Weight per Pair (lbs)||4.97 lbs||5.74 lbs||5.76 lbs||2.93 lbs||5.49 lbs|
|Flood Height (inches from bottom of sole to lowest point at top of shaft)||14.75"||17.6"||12"||6.7"||16.3"|
|Mouth Circumference (inches)||16"||15.25"||17"||9.75"||17.5"|
|Lining/Insulation||7.5MM Neo-Tech waterproof insulation||Fleece||7mm waterproof Neo-Tech insulation||Thinsulate||Synthetic|
|Upper Material||Neotech/Rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Leather + Elastic||Rubber|
|Outsole Material||BioGrip slip resistant outsole||MS-1 molded outsole||Siped self-cleaning non-slip rubber||TPU Outsole||Rubber|
|Insole||Modular Algae-based EVA footbed||EVA molded midsole with contoured footbed and 2mm thermal foam underlay||Aegis antimicrobial contoured insole||Removable sheepskin insulated insole||Gel-Flex shock-absorbing heels and midsoles|
|Unique Features||Seamless Construction to reduce weight + Heel Lock||Neoprene shaft, thick insulation, and aggressive outsole||Easy to put on due to handles, easy to take off due to heel studs, neoprene shaft||Cushioned Midsole||Aggressive outsole|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular||Regular||Regular + Wide||Regular|
|Sizing info||Order next size up||Order next size up||Order next size up||Order next size up||Order your true size|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Workman is easily our new favorite boot in this review. They take all the best parts of the Bogs Classic Ultra High, which won the Editors' Choice Award for the last 3 years, and improve on it. We're most impressed by their weight savings — these full-size boots weigh in just below 5 lbs per pair for a men's size 13, which is way lighter than any other serious workboot in our test. With such big weight savings, you'd assume these boots would have similarly big concessions in other areas, but we haven't found any yet.
The Workman has a shaft height of 14.75", making them suitably tall for almost any reasonable use. If you know you'll be wading through the worst weather possible, you might need something taller, but for most people and situations, this height will be sufficient.
This boot uses a new type of neoprene — Bogs calls it "Seamless" — and we're hoping that it proves as reliably waterproof over the long term as their old type (which is on their Classic Ultra High) because this new neoprene is definitely what makes these boots so lightweight.
The variety of boots in this test requires us to rate this section pretty flexibly because "comfort" is relative to the boot type. No protective workboot will ever feel as comfortable as a sneaker because the things that make it a good protective workboot (stiff midsole, high shaft, etc.) get in the way. With that in mind, we love how comfortable these boots are.
In particular, their light weight makes a huge difference. Bogs advertises them as "30% lighter" but doesn't say what they're being compared to. However, they're around 15% lighter than the Classic Ultra High, which feel and fit very similarly. But this doesn't fully illustrate how much lighter they are than the competition — the only workboots that are lighter are much less insulated and protective. This lighter weight means these boots are easy to wear for long days, as any weight savings puts a lot less strain on your legs.
On top of their weight, these boots have many additional features that help bring them to the next level. We like the supportive "rebound" cushioning midsole system, though we couldn't really differentiate them from the older Classic Ultra feel (which we also like). Bogs also put a new technology called "Max-Wick" into these boots, which supposedly helps them breathe better in warm weather, though we couldn't feel much of a difference.
One of our favorite new innovations in this boot is the modular insole setup — the boots have two pairs of insoles, which, when combined, work well for those with standard width feet. However, those with wider feet can remove the lower insole and get significantly more room in the boot. When we removed the secondary insole, this also gave us enough room to put on extremely thick socks in colder temps. We've never seen this type of modular insole setup, and we love how simple but effective it is at making these boots comfortable for everyone. And as a side benefit, the insoles are somehow made of eco-friendly algae, which is the first nod toward sustainability that we've seen in the rain boot industry. While we don't think that algae insoles will fix the world, we do appreciate the effort.
Our other new favorite aspect, the "heel-lock" setup — may be slightly polarizing. This is a cushioned collar sewn into the heel of the boot and is designed to wrap around the Achilles tendon to lock the heel down in place. Our main tester has narrow heels that are always moving around in laceless boots and really appreciates this new design. In the Classic Ultra High, which doesn't have this collar, our heels rubbed a divot into the neoprene at the back of the heel, so we think this new collar setup may help the Workman boots last longer. However, while we love the heel-lock collar, it did take some getting used to, and we recognize that it may not work for everyone.
In keeping with the rest of their changes, the Workman addresses the poor grip pattern of the Classic Ultra High. The Workman comes with a much more aggressively studded outsole, a significant improvement from the older model. This new outsole made us feel confident on all sorts of loose and wet terrain, from damp pine needles to wet river rocks.
This new outsole pattern brings the Workman up into competition with the most grippy boots in our test — exactly what we exact of our Editors' Choice!
The Workman comes equipped for cold weather with 7.5mm of Neo-Tech waterproof insulation. When our feet got chilly, we found ourselves reaching for these boots because we knew they'd warm us up. They did extremely well in our ice water immersion test, and we found they were in the top-tier for warmth all around. The double insole setup even kept the bottom of bare feet warm in our testing, something we appreciate a great deal!
We can't corroborate Bogs expansive claims that the Workman is "comfort-rated" to -72 degrees Fahrenheit, as we don't have access to that kind of temperature in our region, but we do know they were cozy on sub-freezing mornings in rural Maine.
As always, we do want to provide the caveat that these boots are insulated enough that they're not very comfortable in warm conditions (above 50 degrees Fahrenheit), even despite their "Max-wick" technology.
The Workman boots are pretty standard Bogs rainboot fare — they're chunky, with a molded-rubber wrap around the foot and a new more aerated-looking neoprene above the ankles. Our testers didn't mind their true-to-function design, and we felt totally comfortable wearing these around town in the wet fall.
The Workman does have a larger profile than some of the other boots in our test, but this didn't alter our opinion of their aesthetic.
A size 13 fit our size 12 feet extremely well, featuring a half-inch of forward and back wiggle room, and minimal wiggle room left and right (for our D-width forefeet). We think they'd measure in at a D/E width. They also have the heel-collar setup we mentioned above, which helps the foot feel snugger in the heel. And we love the modular insole setup, which allows the wearer to dial in exactly how they want the boot to fit volume/width-wise.
After hundreds of hours wearing Bogs boots, we haven't found a pair that we didn't think were worth the price. However, we're even more confident in the Workman boots because all the major issues have been addressed. We've gotten years of use out of our other Bogs, so we're very confident that these will withstand all the abuse you can throw at them.
We're extremely excited about adding these boots to our lineup. The Workman takes everything great about a rain boot — their protectiveness, warmth, traction, ease of use — and somehow fixes everything that's typically awkward like the clunky weight, loose heels, and sometimes sloppy fit. These boots address what we want so precisely that they almost feel like they were designed after reading our commentary on other boots over the last few years.
— Richard Forbes