It was not a terribly cold morning, about average for early October. Long underwear, sweatshirt and light jacket were the only additions to my usual bow hunting attire, and by mid-morning I knew I’d be looking to shed the jacket. My only worry was my footwear. An inexpensive pair of work boots adorned my feet, and in spite of several generous applications of waterproofing agent I was skeptical. Sure enough, after covering 30 feet at the edge of an alfalfa field, my socks were soaked through and my toes were freezing. It was going to be a long sit.
The above incident marked the beginning of a month and a half stint in which I did not have a pair of boots that would keep my feet dry. Ever the cheapskate, I cringed at the thought of buying a new pair, adamant that I could get through one more season. I was awfully thankful when the mercury dropped enough to justify my waterproof winter boots. By next fall the memory of enduring nearly every outing with soggy feet had galvanized me to get some decent footwear.
I consulted several of my friends and hunting associates. Many of them wore heavily insulated designs that had an outer shell made of rubber or something similar. They all sang the praises of their warmth and comfort, but every two or three years they had to be replaced due to cracking of the outer shell. Somehow this didn’t sound like the route I wanted to go. I wanted something more durable that would hold up season after season. I didn’t need a boot with heavy insulation; I had a pair of pack boots that I was very happy with. What I was after was a boot that was waterproof, light enough for cool weather and would last. It was this criteria that led me to Bogs.
Bogs currently makes a variety of footwear but the boots I associate with them consist of a rubber bottom and neoprene upper. The slip-on design is very convenient and the mid-calf height allows for use in standing water without any risk of getting your feet wet. The model I settled on, the Classic Work Boot, MSRPs for $110, but a few years ago I paid about $90 at a local hardware store. I can’t attest to the current state of things, but that price was about $20 cheaper than similar boots made by other companies. I have no complaints with my Bogs so far. They can be a little too hot for summer wear but they typically keep my feet warm at least through early November. They have held up well, even when subjected to the abuse of mountain sides, swamps, and nearly impenetrable stands of conifers in the Adirondacks. And my feet have never gotten wet. In fact, I sometimes where them in place of waders for fishing.
Hunting seasons and cold, wet weather are on their way. If you need some new footwear to keep your feet warm and dry, keep Bogs in mind. If you’ve only ever had insulated rubber boots, you may never go back.