Bogs Footwear Winter Blooms Review

22nd Feb 2016

bogs winter blooms resized

I love my Bogs boots.  There.  That’s all I really need to say. I love these boots.  A review in four words!  But, of course, the real questions are what are Bogs and why do I love them - and that really needs rather more explanation……

What is Bogs Footwear?

Bogs Footwear is a range of all weather boots. The model I have tested, which comes from their women's work boots range, are called Classic Winter Blooms High.  They combine a neoprene upper with a rubber lower boot in what could be described as a warmer, better fitting and far more stylish welly.  Infact, although that's an accurate descriptor, that is really underselling them as they are so much more than a welly!   The full range comes in a wide range of styles including short and long leg boots and patterned or plain options.  

The type I was sent to review are a long leg patterned option.  The sole has a grippy tread pattern with a non marking outsole and there are 2 pull on loops at the top of the legs so they can be pulled on (or carried) easily.  Bogs are fully waterproof.

The blurb on the Classic Winter Blooms also says they are comfort rated from temperate to -40 degrees celsius and they have moisture wicking technology to help them stay comfortable in a broad temperature range. 

How did I test them?

Bogs aren’t the sort of footwear Peak Mountaineering would normally review and we did think hard before agreeing to test them.  In the end we thought that there are actually a lot of activities we do where this sort of boot could be used and the Winter Blooms have actually become indispensable over this winter.

They are, firstly, just great everyday ‘jobs boots’.  They pull on quickly and are comfortable to wear for just about everything.  This is especially useful where we live in the National Park as a fair chunk of our everyday lives involves walking on muddy fields or paths and this winter has been especially wet.  

Beyond that, the Bogs have served well in Scotland, have been used for walking in to crags for climbing or bouldering (on the few days it has been dry enough!) and, most recently, they have been used in the Alps as an apres ski leisure boot.  In between all that they have been kept in one of our vehicles as emergency footwear for snowy weather.  We really needn’t have worried about them becoming an integral part of the Peak Mountaineering lifestyle - I actually wonder how I coped before having them!

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How are they constructed and how did they perform?

The first thing I noticed when I opened the Bogs box is that these boots are extremely well made and they exude a feeling of quality in both construction and materials.  The foot section has a very solid sole unit which is then bonded to a durable rand and above that the patterned rubber section ends at about ankle level.  The design I was sent was called ‘Classic Winter Blooms’ which is a vibrant floral pattern in blues, reds and shades of green.  I really like the pattern and it has also received lots of positive comments from friends and clients.

Above the ankle a neoprene leg section starts and this then runs up to the boot top.  The neoprene is stitched and angled at the top and, along with the two handles that I mentioned, the floral pattern continues in a strip up the front and rear.  This adds a nice touch of continuity between the foot and leg sections and I imagine these strips also help with waterproofing.

Neoprene is used by a number of boot manufacturers as it is very insulating, comfortable and durable and Bogs use a highly insulating 7mm material.  It can also be shaped to make the boot fit snugly.  The Bogs felt comfortable straight away and have stayed that way.  They have been used for reasonable length walks without a problem although most of the journeys made in them have been fairly short duration.  Like many boots without a fastening system, my foot has tended to ride up at the ankle, but it hasn’t caused any discomfort and hasn’t been a problem on colder days when I’ve worn thicker socks.

The biggest test of the Bogs insulating qualities was during my recent Alps visit where I stood, pretty much inactively for over 90 minutes, watching an outdoor concert.  We were stood on snow and the ambient temperature was around -7 degrees celsius.  The rest of the group started to feel the cold through their feet but I was absolutely fine.  This was great, and surprising, as I usually really suffer with cold feet and even use electrically heated foot warmers in my ski boots.  Very impressive.

The waterproofing qualities of the Bogs have been well tested too - the heavy flooding that swept through parts of the UK over Christmas and the start of this year made inroads in our small part of the Peak District too.  A local stream, which blocks our route to the upper part of a local Road, regularly spills out across the road and backs up against the bridge known as Millbridge.  For days over this period I would head over the bridge to check the water level and day by day it rose higher.  The Bogs waded through the water every day and there was never a single problem with leakage.  Of course, they’ve been used in and around water far more times than that too, but that was a good example and they feel like they could cope with any water level that doesn’t sneak over the boot tops with no problems.

As I mentioned the Bogs have a reasonably featured sole unit that has coped well on most of the surfaces tested.   For regular use on snow I do feel they would maybe benefit from a more blocky featured sole but I’m not complaining - they have stomped up and down hard packed slopes without drama during my recent time in the Alps and some visits to Scotland.  The sole is, like all the other parts,  extremely well made.  After several months of use it looks as good as new.

Summary

At £95 for the model I was sent (prices vary across the range), Bogs aren’t particularly cheap, but for the price you get a superb boot that will cope with pretty much anything you throw at them.  They are stylish, beautifully constructed, comfortable and will keep you warm and dry.  Like I said at the start, I love these boots - and I think you will too!

Full details on the Bogs range is available on their website here and they are available from a selection of retail outlets.

Posted and tested by Cal

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