We wish there were a way to get high-quality gear for a low price, and our testers are constantly trying to figure out how cheap we can go while still wearing something that won't be too uncomfortable. During the last review, our testers tried the RK Boot, which we dropped from this review update (due to poor performance). And for this update, we wanted to head back into the ultra-budget rain boot world, as we tried to find a boot that was both waterproof, comfortable, and extremely cheap.
Enter the Servus boot - an extremely affordable boot with an optional steel toe. We got the steel toe version out of curiosity (and regret it). We'll get into that later, but here are the basics: the Servus boot is waterproof, extremely cheap, and uncomfortable. They have reasonable traction, and they're definitely easy to use, but their issues outweigh their benefits.
These boots will keep out the water but fared poorly overall against the competition.
The Servus boots are waterproof with a shaft height of 15 inches, though this would be higher if the designers hadn't chosen to shorten the shaft height at the back of the boot. We haven't seen this design in other boots, and while we assume it's intended to change how the boot contacts the back of the calf (or to make it easier to put on), we don't think it's a useful design feature.
Due to this strange cut, these boots don't measure up to the highest tier of boots in our test (the Arctic Sport, Baffin Enduro, and Hunter boots), all of which were taller than 16". So if you need an extremely waterproof boot, look into any of these boots.
We're not sure why the back of these boots gets lower, but it made this test stressful...
The Servus boots are the most uncomfortable boots of the test group, and we don't recommend wearing them for longer than an hour, tops. The inflexible shafts, stiff sole, and the undeniable fact that the steel-toe protruded into the toe-box.
Their elevated weight didn't do them any favors either (they were the heaviest boot in the test, weighing in at 6.13 lbs) — though we admit this is due in large part to the steel toe, which raises the weight.
The inflexible rubber bit into the front of our ankles on steep surfaces.
But all these complaints, combined with their roomy (loose) fit, made us not want to wear these boots once we'd finished the testing period. There are rain boots that are fun and easy to wear, but these boots do not fit into that category. They also have a pretty flimsy insole.
The insole isn't much to get excited about, but if you need a cheap boot, you can improve the comfort of this model a bit by switching it out for a third-party insole.
We can confidently state that any other boot in this test would be more comfortable than these, no matter what you're using them for.
The Servus has moderately good traction, and come in around the middle of the pack in this metric. Their stiffer rubber didn't grip as aggressively as some of the notably good boots (especially the Arctic Sport and Baffin Enduro) but we weren't slipping around too much either.
We found they were especially slippery on wet wood, which is a difficult material for any boot to grab onto, but which these did especially poorly on.
This wood might have well have been a banana peel for how much we were slipping around, but no boots handle this kind of surface well.
Without insulation, these boots became uncomfortable quickly in the cold-water immersion test, and we could feel the chill through the boots almost immediately (our notes say after "39 seconds").
This cheaper feeling rubber conducts cold faster than the higher quality Baffin Enduro, which, on the face of it, is a very similar boot.
This was a chilly morning to be wading through a mountain stream!
Ease of Use
These boots were pretty easy to use - we didn't have any issues getting them on or off, and the stiffer rubber actually prevented the boot from twisting around as we jammed our heels into them. Their circumference at the top of the boot measures in at a massive 19.75", though this is complicated by how the shaft height falls off at the back.
They were also heavy enough to make our legs tired easily, and our testers are active outdoorsmen (but they're not used to 6+ lbs on their feet unless it's ski season).
They were easy to get on, but so clunky and heavy once they were on!
Our style consultants did not like the chunky shiny look of these boots, and they did poorly in our style test. They're not the unanimously ugliest boots in our test, and they don't look egregiously bad, but they're a ways away from the svelte Bogs Carson.
For our size 12 feet, the size 13 is very loose. There's probably around 3/4" of an inch of forward and back room (maybe even a little more). They're especially loose in the heel, and our feet tended to rattle around in the boots as we walked. However, if we went down to a smaller size, our toes would be even further inside the steel toe, and we would have felt how the steel toe protrudes into the toe box even more. There's a bit of room width-wise for our D width feet, but if you normally take wide sizes, you will probably need to size up. These boots are high volume and are still loose even with insoles.
If you have to have a steel-toed rain boot, we'd honestly recommend you look at another boot. These boots are best for those who won't use their rain boots much, but who need something to keep the rain and muck off for short stints. We read reviews by people who worked day in and day out in these boots, so it can be done, but speaking for ourselves, our feet hurt after just a few hours in these stiff boots. They'd be well suited for getting the paper, running short errands, or maybe standing on the sidelines of a sports game for an hour or two per weekend. Just don't do anything too strenuous in them, or you'll probably regret it. And don't get the steel-toed version unless you have to have it.
These would be a great cheap pair of boots with an umbrella to keep in the back of the car in case of bad weather.
If we're talking about value in purely economic terms, these boots are probably worth $19 in material, labor, and shipping. If we're talking about whether you're going to get your money's worth out of them, consider all the points above. And if you're the type of person who still wants them with all these caveats, you've decided your requirements for these boots are pretty minimal, and they'll be fine boots for what you need.
While these boots were waterproof and sported decent traction, they didn't shine in any particular category. And they were appreciably lower quality than all the other boots in our test, in regards to general construction and rubber quality. In short, they're not a workhorse everyday reliably-comfortable high-end rain boot. They're budget boots! So if you're on a budget and you want to keep your feet dry for little jobs, go for it. But if you can afford more, reach for another pair.