Kamik Greenbay 4 Review
Cons: Clunky loose fit, not for hiking, leaking seam between upper and lower
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Greenbay 4 is an affordable Pac style winter boot that is as user-friendly as they come. This practical boot is a cinch, easy to get on and off, making winter a less daunting prospect. They have a loose and roomy fit that does not lend itself well to athletic endeavors like hiking or snowshoeing, but their simplicity makes them one of our favorites. The rubber lowers are topped with highly water-resistant 600D nylon uppers, giving the boots a 14.5-inch tall shaft. Inside is a removable 8mm thick thermal liner that helps these boots achieve their -40 temperature rating. While we also love the simplicity of the Bogs model that we tested, the Greenbay earns our Top Pick for Ease of Use due to its higher warmth and traction scores.
With a temperature rating of -40 degrees, the Greenbay is made for cold temperatures. These boots feel as warm as they look. The Pac style construction features an 8mm thick removable thermal liner that sits inside the beefy rubber lowers and tall, 600 denier nylon uppers. The fit is roomy and loose in both length and width, so you can be sure that they won't be tight enough to restrict blood flow, even with super thick socks. A large velcro strap tightens the boot around the ankle and helps to trap heat around your foot. The opening of the shaft also has a simple string cinch that you can tighten to keep snow out and warmth in.
We used an ice bath to objectively observe how well the boots retain heat. Our testing revealed that the Greenbay lost only 17.4 degrees over 12 minutes. This is an impressive score, and was far better than some others tested the same day, side-by-side, which registered heat loss of up to 23 degrees.
To test their warmth even further, we performed an ice bath submersion test side by side with the Greenbay on one foot and a now discontinued boot on the other. In this test, the Greenbay did not feel the warmest. While both boots were rated to -40 degrees, but we believe the overall snugger fit of the discontinued boot helped make it feel slightly warmer, as our feet could feel the difference.
The Greenbay 4 boots are very water-resistant. The molded, waterproof rubber soles are 3 inches tall by the toe and 4 inches tall at the heel. They can easily withstand extended submersion in water up to 3 inches deep. The 600 denier nylon uppers are also waterproof, and water beads up and sheds off them like a duck's back. Slushy and wet conditions are no problem for these boots, and they will keep your feet dry in most situations.
These are winter boots, not rain boots, and our submersion tests revealed that they are not entirely waterproof. The seam between the nylon uppers and rubber lowers is permeable. If you submerge them in water above the rubber, they will begin to take in water. This is only an issue if you stand in puddles deeper than three inches. If it's just snowing or raining, the boots shed water nicely, since the nylon upper fabric overlaps the rubber lowers, it just rolls off.
The Greenbay 4 lost a little ground to the competition in this metric due to this leaking. Still, they are water-resistant enough for most situations, since most of us walk quickly through water instead of standing in it.
Fit and Comfort
The Greenbay 4 boots fit as you might expect just by looking at them. They are loose, roomy, and a little clunky feeling. The overall length and width are generous, with an especially roomy toe box. There is plenty of room to wear thick socks in these boots and little likelihood of restricting blood flow.
As we mentioned, the boots do not come with a footbed. Instead, the sole of the removable liner serves to cushion the bottom of the foot. There is ample room to put an aftermarket footbed in the liner should you want one for additional comfort and insulation.
The loose fit of these boots does not lend itself well to significant amounts of walking or hiking. We experienced a fair bit of foot movement, especially walking up and down hills or across sidehills. They are great for walking the dog around the block, but they will get uncomfortable in a hurry on longer excursions.
Considering the intended use of these boots, we feel they are quite comfortable. Their roomy fit is far from high performance, but plenty comfy for running the snowblower, getting the mail or building a snowman or two.
Of course, the fit and comfort of these boots is a far cry from the more precise fits offered by boots that are suitable for winter hiking. But it's a trade-off for their ease of use and functionality.
Ease of Use
Tied for top honors in our ease of use rating metric, the Greenbay 4 is about as user-friendly as they come. The closure system is incredibly simple, with a wide webbing strap across the top of the foot, and a string cinch at the top of the tall upper cuff. Getting in and out of the boots is as simple as opening the wide velcro strap, sliding your foot into the boot, securing the velcro strap, and tightening the cinch at the top of the cuff if you need.
When compared to the Bogs, there is the additional step of opening and closing the velcro strap when you get in and out of these boots, but the effort required is incredibly minimal. It's also nice to be able to secure the boots around your feet somewhat. If you really want slip-on accessibility, you can simply keep the velcro straps at their loosest.
When compared with any of the lace-up boots, the Greenbay 4 is far more user-friendly. That said, the near slip-on convenience results in a much looser and clunkier fit, making these boots far less appropriate for winter hiking.
The boot also has a removable liner. The liner is easy to remove and replace and dries very quickly.
We are pleasantly surprised by the traction offered by the Greenbay 4. The large rubber soles have a lot of surface area and a relatively aggressive and deeply lugged tread with lots of sharp edges. They perform beyond our expectations and offer good grip on firm snow and in icy conditions, especially considering the bulky size and clunkier nature of the boot's design.
They can't quite match the traction of the best contenders though, some of which feature unique snow tire-esque soles. We found that the Kamik boot offers a similarly predictable and confidence-inspiring grip in firm snow and icy conditions.
With a retail price of only $85, we feel the Greenbay 4 is a great value. If you're looking for a no-frills, workaday, nearly slip-on boot with great traction and warmth, you'd be hard pressed to find a better option at this price. They don't offer the versatility of their more hiking-friendly cousin, the Kamik Nationplus, but the Greenbay 4 is a great value nonetheless.
The Greenbay 4 is our Top Pick for Ease of Use. Not only are they a great value, but they are one of the easiest boots to get on and off. They are also very warm, highly water-resistant, and offer great traction on firm snow and icy surfaces. With a loose and roomy fit, we don't recommend them for hiking, but they are great for everyday chores and errands.
This boot is also available in a wide fit version, called the Greenbay 4 W. Kamik does not provide specifics on the width on their website other than saying, "made wider for more comfort." The Greenbay 4 W is available in whole sizes 7-14.
— Jeremy Benson