Columbia Bugabootoo Boots
BY JOANNE WALKER
March 20, 2007
raymondmom AT msn DOT com
Moreno Valley, California
5' 2" (1.57 m)
160 lb (72.60 kg)
I'm a city girl. I never slept in a tent or wore a backpack until nine years ago. I became involved in Cub Scouting and it's been uphill ever since! We camp about 40 to 50 nights a year in locales ranging from a primitive Baja beach to the Sierras to Southwest deserts. I also enjoy paddling and the occasional geocache. This year, my plan is to begin backpacking. Looking at the contents of my garage, I realize that I need a 12 step program for gear addicts.
Columbia Bugabootoo Women's Boots
Columbia Sportswear Company
Year of Manufacture: Fall 2006
Available colors: swiss/blush, flax/cornmeal, stone/starlight, white/blues
Color tested: white/ blues
Upper Materials: Nubuck and Full-Grain Leather
Insulation: 200 g Thermolite
Temperature Rating: -25 F (-32 C)
Columbia Size: Women's 7
My Normal Boot Size: Women's 8 wide
Manufacturer's Weight: n/a
Actual Weight: 3 lb 2 oz (1.4 kg)
From the manufacturer's website:
Fabrics and Features
• UPPER: Waterproof nubuck or full-grain leather. Seam-sealed construction. Gusseted tongue. HARDWARE: Rustproof metal ghillies and nylon top hook. INSULATION: 200g Thinsulate™ . Rated -25F/-32C. INSOLE : ThermaShield™ frost plug. SHELL: Injection molded rubber with snowshoe binding lip. MIDSOLE: Die-cut EVA. OUTSOLE: Non-marking Omni-Grip® rubber compound with minimal loading lug tread pattern.
The primary reason I purchased these boots is because they are a pretty color that matched my snowshoe outfit. The secondary reason is that they have a snowshoe lip to prevent the snowshoe binding from slipping off the heel of the boot.
I ordered a size 8, the boots are marked 7, but fit like a size 9.
The Bugabootoo boots are cute. Picture a pair of strappy, silk, Jimmy Choo sandals. Ok, they're not that cute! Imagine an old fashioned pair of rubber galoshes instead.
The sole and base half of the boot are constructed of a black synthetic material. The sole measures 10 3/4 in (27 cm) long by 4 1/4 in (11 cm) at the widest point. The treads are 1/8 in (.3 cm) long in a pattern that varies in height and thickness. The black synthetic material extends approximately 3 in (8 cm) high and appears to be molded.
The instep consists of an attractive clear white leather of about 3 1/4 in (8 cm) width. The lacing system consists of a set of three metal D rings and two plastic hooks. The laces are pale blue and white, round with plastic aglet. The tongue consists of a 3 1/2 in (9 cm) white leather strip sewn to a blue fabric piece measuring 6 1/4 ( 16 cm) by 3 in (8 cm). It is gusseted up to the ankle. From the base of the boot heel to the top of the collar measures 7 1/4 in (18 cm). There are medium blue suede inserts around the collar. The snowshoe lip is 3 in ( 8 cm) up from the sole.
The interior of the boot from the heel to the collar measures 5 1/4 in (13 cm), giving the heel height as 2 in ( 5 cm). The interior of the boot is lined with a nice, soft polyester fleece. There is one possible friction point at the heel seam. The collar has a cushiony foam feel. The blue removable foam inserts are 1/8 in (.3 cm) thick.
FIELD USE AND CONDITIONS
I wore these boots during the months of January, February and March of 2007 in Kings Canyon, Sequoia and Bryce Canyon National Parks. The elevations ranged from 5500 feet (1676 m ) to 7500 feet ( 2286 m) and temperatures ranged from 25 F to 65 F ( -4 C to 18 C). The terrain varied from paved, ice covered, snow of varying depth, red dirt to mud. I wore them with and without snowshoes on both level ground and on moderately strenuous ascents and descents. The boots were worn with my favorite SmartWool socks from between one hour to six hours, with and without a heavy day pack.
The boots were broken in with an hour walk in Grant's Grove, Kings Canyon, California . The temperature was hovering around freezing ( 32 F / 0 C) and there were patches of ice on the trail. Although I slipped often, I did not fall. The boots were comfortable and my feet remained warm and dry without any sore spots. The second day's hike was five miles (8 km) and lasted four hours. There was snow and ice on the ground, but not enough for snowshoes. The temperature was a bit warmer. I felt secure and my feet remained comfortable.
The next trip was snowshoeing in February in Sequoia National Park. I wore the boots three days in a row. The snow was soft and wet and I postholed to my knees on occasion, that is the boots were completely immersed in wet snow. I had left my gaiters in the truck, but wore my water repellent pants over the boots. The temperature ranged from 30 to 50 F (-1 to 28 C ). The second day was even warmer and the snow melted from the trees and it was very wet. I fell a few times as well - just to test the boots, of course! My feet remained comfortable, warm and dry. My socks were not moist at all and I wore the same pair each day. The boots are supportive as neither my plantar fascitis nor my arthritis bothered me during the trip. The boots fit nicely into the snowshoe bindings and the snowshoe lip helped keep the binding from slipping off my heel.
The temperature was above normal on the last trip and the snow had melted in Bryce Canyon, leaving some nice orange mud behind. I wore the boots for five hours in 50 to 70 F (28 to 21 C) temperatures. My feet did not overheat and remained dry. Although lightweight trail runners would have been appropriate for the day, I was comfortable in the boots and had no complaints other than they were more substantial than was necessary.
The Bugabootoo boots have removable footbeds and I easily removed the footbed and effortlessly replaced it with a Shock Doctor footbed. I could also fit a small size Yaktrax over the sole of the boot. However, I did not find it necessary to use either accessory as I felt the boots provided adequate support and traction.
|boots with yaktrax|
THINGS I LIKE
I appreciated that the boots were so very comfortable. I liked the snowshoe lip as it did keep the snowshoes from falling off my feet. I was happy to have dry feet both when I walked in wet snow or cold puddles and when the warm temperatures would've caused my feet to perspire. I enjoyed the lightheartedness of the colors available instead of only somber tans and I am considering buying a second pair of Bugabootoos in pink.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
When my fingers were cold and stiff, I found it difficult to unlace the boots. I would prefer the boots to be a bit lighter and sleeker, if possible without sacrificing performance.
These met my needs and exceeded my expectations. I found the boots to be versatile enough to meet moderate winter conditions and I unhesitatingly chose them for daily wear. I plan on purchasing additional pairs in the future.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
Read more reviews of Columbia gear
Read more gear reviews by Joanne Walker