For travellers who embrace winter, Canada has much to offer. But little can dampen an adventurous winter spirit like cold or wet feet. So, a top-notch pair of boots is essential. And it’s probably little surprise that footwear maker Bogs delivers, given their roots in Oregon, which as they say is the “land of lumberjacks, trailblazers, dairy farmers, and cycling baristas with big, bushy beards.”
I tested Bogs’ new Sauvie Snow ($140) and their classic standard Workman ($165) winter boots this past fall — which in the streets and parkland around Ottawa could easily have been confused for winter given the ample snow and double-digit below zero temps we experienced — and had nothing but happy feet.
In addition to being 100 per cent waterproof and rated to -40F degrees, the Sauvie Snows look sharp — like you could walk from the snowy trails in Gatineau Park into a Byward Market bar without a second thought. They’re remarkably comfortable, too, thanks to rebound cushioning and a nylon shank for stability and support. They also boast technologies to wick away sweat and fight odour, and a slip-resistant outsole (which held traction on black ice by the Rideau Falls).
Also known as “the Beast,” Bogs’ Workman boots, meanwhile, are, as their name suggests, more utilitarian in appearance. Other than look, however, they share most of the same traits as the Sauvie, but add a little more waterproof insulation, a gel cushioning foot bed and are rated to -72F degrees. And Bogs claims its Workmans are 30 per cent lighter and more durable than similar boots on the market. What I know for sure: they feel seriously stable and rugged and kept my toes toasty. Watch out, winter: my feet now have no excuses to hibernate.