Le Chameau Vierzon Review
Cons: Loose fit, not insulated, poor comfort
Manufacturer: Le Chameau
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Le Chameau Vierzon is a rain boot with a very tall shaft and great traction, but lacks a good insulating liner (which may be a plus for you if you live in a warmer climate). Additionally, it fits very loosely and looks a little goofy as well.
Of all the products we tested, this one has the second tallest shaft, measuring 16.75 inches from the bottom of the sole to the top of the shaft. This product has plenty of room between the shaft and the leg, which can be taken out by cinching down the buckles on the outside of the shaft for a perfect fit. Unfortunately, we discovered that the buckle easily loosens, causing the shaft to fully open as you're wearing it. The low quality plastic buckle also felt vulnerable to damage under hard knocks, which wasn't very impressive, especially considering this product's high price tag. If you want a tall product that offers great protection from the weather, check out the Arctic Sport. Another competitor, the Icebreaker, has a lace that cinches up the opening of the shaft, making it a great alternative to the Vierzon if you're worried about getting debris in your boot.
This rain boot has a cushy insole that provides a decent amount of support, even though it lacks a supportive shank like the one on the The Original Muck Boot Company Chore Mid. Despite the soft and comfortable feeling on the bottoms of our testers' feet, this model fit fairly wide, leaving enough room that it felt as though our feet were sloshing about. We tried filling in the dead space with thicker socks and multiple layers of socks, to no avail. Our heels felt loose in the footbed and slid around enough that it felt as though we were wearing flip-flops, rather than a rain boot. The insole is also non-removable, which didn't seem like a big deal until we flooded the boot and found that the insole took a significant amount of time to fully dry.
The tread of this rain boot has large and deep grooves that are aggressive enough to dig into soft surfaces like mud, sand, or loose dirt. Our testers even found that the tread has pretty good surface contact, making it work well on hard and slick surfaces like rock or pavement. In fact, it features one of the more versatile treads we tested. However, its looseness means that it's a little difficult to maintain a good footing, despite the aggressiveness of the tread. If you need a footbed with a snug fit and an aggressive yet versatile tread, check out the Icebreaker.
This product has a Tartan anti-microbial lining that provides minimal warmth. When tested in a cold, Minnesotan winter stream, our feet became cold in under 30 seconds. Likewise, it didn't survive over 45 seconds in our ice water bath test. However, if you're active while wearing these rain boots, they will retain heat better than non-insulated, shorter boots. We believe they would be great through the fall, spring, and milder summer days, but dubious for winter time use.
This model has the sleek look of an all-rubber rain boot and doesn't have the bulky appearance of a neoprene upper. However, it is more suited for practical use in rugged outdoor settings and isn't ideal if you are concerned about fashion. If you want a more stylish model, check out the Hunter Original Short, which is a mid-cut boot.
Ease of Use
At 4 pounds and 11 ounces, this product is among the heaviest in this review. Additionally, our testers found these boots a little difficult to get on and off. We believe this is due in part to the height of the shaft and the malleable rubber which fights you every way when trying to remove the boot. It also lacks any tabs to help assist getting the boot on. If you need a model that is easy to get on and off, check out the Bogs Ultra Mid Rain Boot, which has large handles punched out of the neoprene upper.
The Vierzon is one of the loosest fitting boots we tested. We tested a pair of size 11 boots on our size 11 feet. The main problem wasn't the fit from front to back, but that there was extra room on the sides and above the feet. Without half sizes being available, we didn't think our feet would be comfortable front to back in a whole size down. As a result, our testers found their feet swimming inside because of the dead space between the top of our feet and the boot, as well as along the sides. Thick socks would help take up the extra space, but there is still enough room that the boot just feels too loose. Additionally, the supple rubber twists and turns with every step, making it a little awkward when we tried wading through streams with rocky bottoms. It's not the best fitting model, and we think that it's a little more trouble than it's worth mostly because of its loose fit. If you want a product that fits more snugly, check out the Bogs Classic High - Men's or LaCrosse Hampton.
We think this model would be a great choice if you need a tall boot to wade through thick vegetation or streams. However, we think it is pricey and not very stylish if you need a simple rain boot to get you across town with dry feet. If you're looking for a simple, uninsulated rain boot at a much lower price, consider the Helly Hansen Midsund 2. Although lower performing than the Vierzon, it's also over $100 cheaper. The Vierzon could be used in hunting season if proper layering is observed, but otherwise it lacks significant insulation, meaning it's best used from mid-spring through mid-autumn.
At $190, this is the most expensive product we tested. Our testers think it does a great job at keeping our feet dry and has one of the more versatile treads of all the boots we tested. Sadly, this piece is too loose and not warm enough that it could be worn year-round. As a result, we're not too sure it's worth the steep cost of $190.
The Le Chameau Vierzon offers great protection from the elements and has one of the most versatile treads of all the rain boots we tested. However, its very loose fit, lack of significant insulation, its weight, and mediocre comfort were detrimental to its overall score. Not to mention that it costs a whopping $190. In terms of height, the Arctic Sport is the most comparable to the Vierzon (though the Arctic Sport is far warmer), and it provides much more performance across the board.
Le Chameau Vierzonord Plus
- Cold-weather version
- 5-mm neoprene lining comfortable to -13 F degrees
- Double layer of neoprene under sole of foot
— Ross Robinson & Jared Dean