Bogs Bozeman Tall Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Convenient slip on design, waterproof to 11.5 inches, more affordable than competitors, customizable fit
Cons: Handles let in water or debris, only come in single whole sizes, not as warm as some competitors
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bogs Bozeman Tall is a top of the line winter boot with all of the best features. They are a slip-on model insulated with 7mm of Neotech Neoprene and seamlessly coated on the outside with rubber for waterproofness. They are relatively light for such a large boot, weighing in at 4.4 lbs per pair for size 11, which is about a pound lighter than comparable Muck boots in our test. While they only come in single sizes, they also have two insoles that take up extra volume on the inside of the boot, and if you want a different fit, you can remove one of them for more room inside.
We like these boots a lot better than the Bogs Classic Ultra Mid, finding them to have better traction and more warmth. We also like the tall shaft versus the lower mid-height shaft for shoveling and wading in deeper snow. We didn't find them to have traction as nice as the Muck Boot Arctic Ice Tall, and they aren't functionally waterproof to the same height as those boots, although they are easier to get on and off. While we tested the Bozeman Tall, there is a Bozeman Mid version for those who like shorter boots. There is also the Bozeman Yulex Tall version, which uses a more sustainably harvested rubber for the neoprene, for only a little bit more money.
Bogs gives these boots a comfort rating of -72 degrees Fahrenheit, which we, unfortunately, have no way of verifying. We tested them in the early winter in the mountains of Colorado, where we experienced a storm and subsequent deep freeze with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees F — pretty cold, but nowhere near what Bogs claims. Our testing revealed that they are plenty warm for "normal" winter temperatures, at least what we experience in the Rockies, but we are pretty skeptical that your little piggies are gonna be happy in these boots at the South Pole in winter.
To test all our boots side-by-side in a more controlled manner, we stood in slushy flowing water and submerged our feet in a slush bath while taking controlled temperature readings. While ten minutes standing in the frozen creek didn't numb us out, as the temperatures dropped during submersion, we weren't as impressed. Our experience shows these boots are warmer if you wear thick socks and stay moving and active. That said, we still didn't find the Bozeman to be as warm as a couple of other boots we tested that used 400g of Thinsulate insulation instead of neoprene.
There's no doubt that these boots are totally waterproof up to the height where the handle holes are cut out of the shaft. The bottom five inches of the boot are coated in a totally seamless rubber seal, so there is no potential spot for water to leak in, as we have experienced with less burly Bogs boots in the past. Above the rubber coating, the neoprene sleeve shaft is also waterproof. Without a doubt, these are some of the most reliably waterproof boots you can buy.
That said, despite being the "tall" version, these boots are still not as tall as other contenders in our review. At a height of 11.5 inches, water can leak into the boots through the holes in the shaft. While this is still very high up for complete waterproofness, it isn't the absolute best reading in our testing.
Fit and Comfort
Like many slip-on boots, these only come in full sizes, and it is not possible to buy a half size. Upon first trying them on, we found them to be a bit lower volume in general, with a narrower fit in the forefoot. However, we soon realized that they have two different insoles under the foot, stacked on top of each other. By removing the lower one, you can change the fit of the boot completely, making it wider and more spacious. This feature allows you to fine-tune whether you like your boot tighter or looser and also helps a person who would typically wear a half size find a better fit. If you are a half size wearer, we would probably recommend sizing up, although this is a bit of speculation as our main tester wears a full size.
Immediately noticeable when you put these boots on is the thick pad that wraps around the back of the heel, above the height of the ankle. We have never worn a boot with a similar pad, and it serves to hold the foot more securely in place by keeping the heel from slipping. However, if you're not used to a feature like this, it can be mildly irritating. For some this feature may be comfortable and enhance your experience, while others may not like it. For that, you'll have to try them on in person.
Ease of Use
These are very easy boots to use on a daily basis, which is why they live right next to our front door and get put on every time we go outside all winter long. Lace-up winter hiking boots, by comparison, sit in their own spot, away from the door, waiting for the few days per winter we go on big hikes and want a lighter, more precisely fitting boot. Even compared to the other slip-on models, the Bozeman reigns supreme.
The main reason for this is the handles at the top of the shaft, which are certainly easier to use than gripping the neoprene itself and pulling. The handles are big enough to use with gloves on. When you go to take the boot off, there are little tabs on the heel that provide a raised surface to push against with your other toe so that you can kick the boots off using just your feet. For those who live in snowy places or have rural lives, convenience is a really huge factor in dealing with your boots, and these are a top choice for that reason.
The traction on these boots is made with BioGrip, which is designed to be slip-resistant. The lugs are fairly pronounced and pretty deep, running in rows across the sole from side to side. While we like how deep they are, we wish they had harder cut edges and weren't quite so rounded off. Harder cut edges help to bite into soft surfaces, like snow.
While we think these boots have much better traction than the Bogs Classic Ultra Mid, they don't quite measure up to the traction on the Muck Arctic Ice Tall.
While they are nowhere near the cheapest boots in this review, the fact is that the Bozeman boots are quite competitively priced and even offer a bit of savings compared to some other comparable models. Considering their high scores in our overall ratings and the solid price point, we think that they present great value. Using them daily, you will surely think a lot more about how lucky you are to have them than how much they cost.
The Bogs Bozeman Tall is a great winter snow boot, most remarkable for their incredible slip-on convenience. They are also warm, waterproof, and have an adaptable fit for people with different shaped feet. They make excellent daily winter boots for conducting chores or working in but are not ideal for snowshoeing or winter hiking.
— Andy Wellman