Kamik Lars Lo Review
Cons: Flexible underfoot, less waterproof (due to height)
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Lars Lo is a great deal for a low rain boot. They look pretty good, they come up high enough to keep out precip without constricting the ankle, and they're easy to get on and off. But we can't give this boot any awards because we have two qualms with it, both of which have to do with the grey stripe on the side. We wish this midsole layer weren't so spongy (because you can feel whatever you're walking on), and we wish it weren't light grey (because it messes up the otherwise svelte aesthetic).
The Lars Lo boots are water-resistant up their 6.125" shaft. You can wear them in up to 6 inches of water — but if you do, you'll almost certainly get splashed (or worse). They keep the rain out for the most part, but we've jumped in shallow puddles and gotten some water inside. So, if you love puddle-jumping, or if you need to be in deeper water regularly, you'll be better served by a higher boot. But if these are for just around town, the boots are a great height.
We like how cushioned the Lars Lo are — they feature a softer footbed and are generally softer underfoot than any of the other shoes in the test — but this comes at a cost. A more flexible cushioned shoe is less rigid, which means we could easily feel the ground underfoot. This is fine if you're spending a lot of time on hard flat surfaces, but when walking on rocks, roots, and broken concrete, you'll feel it all through the boot.
This is one of the most flexible boots in our test, and after long days on rough terrain, the difference is noticeable — we wish these boots were just a little stiffer. Because they're not, we only recommend them if you're not planning on getting out of the city.
The Lars Lo have a somewhat cushioned insole, but it will probably pack out after a few months of use. Our test pair started to show wear in just a couple of months, so we recommend looking into a supplemental option.
Perhaps due to the spongy flexibility, the Lars Lo feel like they do a solid job sticking to slippery surfaces. For instance, when we stood on wet rocks, we could feel the boot conform around the substrate — this cost them points in the comfort category but seems to help them stick. However, they don't feature the huge lugs of the beefier boots, so overall they aren't the most grippy boots. The ultimate takeaway is this: if you wear these in the city, you won't be slipping unless you're on black ice, and then no rain boot will save you.
The Lars Lo boots are slightly insulated and did relatively well in our cold-water immersion tests, but they still aren't heavily insulated enough for long days outside in the snow. They would probably be ideal between 25 to 55° F. Anything warmer (and depending on how hot your feet run), you'll probably be uncomfortable (we were). And anything colder, and you'll probably feel the cold seeping in after a bit (though thicker socks might let you stay out longer).
When we asked our style consultants, the Lars Lo boots were consistently runners-up to almost all the other low boots, and it's for one grey reason. Why is there a grey midsole stripe on the side of the boot? In our opinion, it's a bit offputting and draws attention for the wrong reasons. We tended to appreciate more subtle styles that don't draw this kind of attention. Other low boots in our review don't even look like rain boots, but the grey stripe on these gives them away immediately.
These size 13 boots fit our size 12 feet like gloves (in a good way). They have around 1/4" of forward and back wiggle and minimal extra room width-wise for D width feet. Thicker socks will fit, but it pushes the limits a bit.
These boots are on the affordable side. If you need them for long-term use (farming or construction), we urge you to spend a bit more and get a more protective, higher option, but if it's just for around town (and you don't mind the grey stripe), we recommend these for the price. We are partial to the looks of some of the snazzier boots in our review, but they all cost more than twice the price and aren't twice as good (though we think they look better).
We enjoy wearing the Lars Lo, and would highly recommend them if you're in the market for an affordably priced low top boot for around-town use. Just don't expect them to protect you like high rain boots, and we're sure you'll like them.
— Richard Forbes