Review by Coy Starnes
Boots provided by Bogs for testing.
Before getting started I will share a little about the company. Bogs has a slogan “Bogs are made for every degree of life”. I didn’t see any boots (or shoes) on the site that I would qualify as dress shoes, but for the outdoorsman (and woman), they pretty much have the field covered. Bogs makes shoes for ranchers, gardeners, farmers, hunters, industrial and even casual wear. They all have one thing in common in that they are constructed of neoprene and are waterproof.
And now a little about the boot I am testing. The Copperhead is listed in the hunting category on the website, and as expected, they are camo (Realtree). Also, as the name hints, these are snake boots, and to be honest, I can see these should be a lot better for snake infested territory than a similar Bogs boot I already own (the Blaze MT). They are 3 inches taller (18 in vs 15 in) and feature advanced puncture protection in the form of + 400 Snakeguard from EMTEX. However, after wearing my Blaze MT boots all last winter I am also hoping these boots are a little cooler. The Blaze MT is rated to -40 F while the Copperhead is showing rated for mild to cool temperatures. Both boots have the same self-cleaning and non-marking deep lug outsole. The boots are also good for hunting since they are basically a rubber boot and have Aegis antimicrobial odor protection and scent elimination. As this photo (on the right) shows, the tread looks pretty aggressive.
I’m not sure why Bogs boots are so comfortable because back when I worked construction I would wear cheap rubber boots and my feet would be killing me by the end of the day. I’ve worn the Blaze MT boots all day including several miles of hiking and they feel great. I just hope the Copperheads are no different. One thing I’ve also noted that I really like is the zipper up the rear of the Copperhead boot. These should make the boots a little easier to get on but I will say that the Copperhead’s are harder to get on even with the aid of the zipper. I think this is because the added snake protection layer makes these boots a little less stretchy than the Blaze MT boots. In fact, I sat down with both pairs and put them on to see which were easier to get on and off. The Blaze MTs won handily. However, due to the zipper, I noticed that I can tuck my pants down in the Copperheads easier. This is important to me because I like wearing this type boot when canoeing and kayaking. I find I can stand in water deep enough to launch yet keep my feet dry, and with my pants tucked down inside, they stay dry too. The photo below (on the left) shows the rear zipper.
The extra 3 inches in height should really facilitate the process. It will also come in handy when crossing the creek but I will still need to watch about getting in water deeper then the boots will handle.
Instead of trying to describe the boots in detail, I will just share what the website says. “The Bogs® Copperhead is designed to give you security and confidence when you’re ambling through snake country. A slip-on seamless four way inner bootie offers a perfect fit that doesn’t need breaking in. Non-slip, self-cleaning outsole guarantees traction and kicks away mud and gunk from its tread for an always dependable grip. Contoured insole cradles your foot and wicks away moisture for all day comfort.”
- 100% Waterproof
- Durable cordura outer shell
- Constructed with 3mm waterproof Neo-Tech + 2mm Airmesh insulation
- Advanced Puncture protection + 400 Snakeguard from EMTEX
- Thermo molded EVA sockliner
- Moisture wicking nylon overlay and contoured insole with Aegis antimicrobial odor protection and scent elimination
- Comfort rated from temperate to cool conditions
- Height: 18”
- Circumference at calf 17″
- Weight 6lbs per pair (My size 11 weighed 5 lb 8 oz at the local post office)
- Available in sizes 8-14
- 100% satisfaction guaranteed
PS: To be honest, I hope I don’t see any snakes. Fortunately, it is now mid winter and I seriously doubt I run across any!
Update on the Bogs Copperhead boots: February 12, 2012
I’ll explain what the above image has to do with the test later ,but for now, just enjoy it… Now the I have had these boots a month and a half I have had plenty of opportunities to wear them during a variety of activities and under various conditions. What hes emerged is that these are some serious winter boots. Where they really shine is during cold and wet conditions. I have several trails that I either walk or ride my mountain bike on. This past January proved to be one of the warmest in recent history but also one of the wettest. This meant I had reasonable temperatures to ride but the trails were so wet I decided I’d get my exercise by walking them rather than riding. The trial crosses several small streams. Most are not real deep but one is at least a foot deep after weeks of rainy weather and too wide to just jump across. In the past when wearing regular tennis shoes or even my waterproof New Balance trail runners I would need to find a suitable place to cross or get my feet soaked. With the Copperhead boots I was able to just go straight on across. I did walk at a fairly fast pace but was only out of breath on a few of the short climbs. I never went more than three miles but so far the Copperheads are great for this type of aggressive fitness walking. I did hike through mud several times but usually hiked far enough past any mud that I have not arrived home with mud stuck to the tread. However, they don’t seem to hold much mud anyways.
I also carried the boots on a recent trip to see my daughter in Little Rock Arkansas. We took a day trip to see Hot Springs and spent several hours walking on some of the trails in the forest and up and down the sidewalks in town. I explored the banks of a couple of very scenic creeks and waded across in several places. As a matter of fact, I was the only one that was able to check out the far side of the creek. It was deeper than the top of my boots in several places but I was careful to avoid the deeper pools and did not get my feet wet. I was a little surprised that my feet did not get cold at all considering I spent about 30 minutes or so in the water. I also wore them driving back to my daughter apartment (my wife drove on the way to the park). I mention this because I also wore them a couple of times in my truck. I had no trouble at all driving her automatic Equinox but found them a little cumbersome driving my straight shift Nissan Frontier. Here I am wading a creek in Hot Springs National Forest.
As I mentioned earlier, we have had a lot of warm weather this winter and I did wear the Copperhead boots on 2 recumbent bike rides. Both were short rides of around 10 miles each. The first one was on my Tour Easy which has a faring (windshield). The Copperheads were OK but they are pretty big boots and I found my toe scrubbing on the fairing during slow speed turns. I did the same ride a few days later on my Cafe which has more room for my feet and did not experience any problems. I would not go as far as to say these make great riding shoes for bikes with platform pedals but I did find they were comfortable and kept my legs warm. As a matter of fact, when on the Tour Easy my legs sweated quite a bit. Of course it was 64 F which is pretty warm and I also sweated slightly under my jacket, just not as much as my legs under the Copperheads did. Here is a photo of my right leg. As you can see, I was wearing sweat pants on this particular ride.
On the other ride it was a little cooler and I did not sweat near as much but did notice my legs were just hinting at being damp.
The toughest test has to be the past few weeks when I wore the boots looking at a potential house site over on the bluff near my house The acreage was logged about 15 years ago and is now overrun with small trees, bushes and briars. The first couple of times I went to clear a trail with a hoe and machete and have been back twice with my tractor and bush hog just trying to clear a path I can drive my truck down. I spent a lot of time getting on and off the tractor to tie a chain around small trees because I wanted to pull them up instead of cutting them and thus leaving stumps which are rough on tires. Anyways, the Copperheads were great for the walking around with my machete, but similar to driving my truck, a little cumbersome on the tractor. However, this was mainly because I was having to get on and off repeatedly. Here is a photo taken by my wife when I carried her over to look at the property. And the top photo is the pay off for fighting through all the brush and briars.
Summary so far
I am really impressed with these boots. They are tough as nails but wear almost like house slippers. I have found them to be warm in the coldest weather we have had so far this winter which was around 18 F but I was not able to spend a lot of time in them at these cold temperatures. I did spend several day in them when temperatures would start off in the mid 30s F and warm up to the the mid 50s F. Once temperatures got up over 60 F they were a little too warm for vigorous activity but fine for just casual walking around in the woods. I still find it a little difficult to get the second boot off. I can remove the first one by pulling it (the heel area) against the toe of the other boot, but once I’m down to my sock on that foot it does not grip the other boot to help assist in removing it. It don’t matter which one I take off first, the other is just more difficult to remove. I’ve had my wife help me a few times but have needed to take them off when alone a few times. I guess I need to invest in a boot jack… Stay tuned for my last update to see how the Copperheads are still performing.
Bogs Copperhead Final Update: March 26, 2012
I have contained to wear the Copperhead boots quite a bit over the past month and a half, mostly while dayhiking and on one kayaking trip. I still have not ran across any snakes. I also wore them several more times while working on clearing some brush in an overgrown wooded area. The only real problem I have experienced is that it has been unseasonably warm during this time. February is normally our coldest month, but since my last update in mid February it has not even gotten below freezing, and many days have seen a high in the upper 70s to low 80s F
I am still impressed with the comfort of these boots. My longest hike to date was right at 4 miles in a little over 2 hours. This hike included a lot up ups and downs. As a matter of fact, I hiked down to the creek, then up the other side of the mountain, then back down again and up on my side headed home. It had rained the night before so the trail was slick and muddy but the Copperheads provided very good traction. I did slip on some wet leaves on top of some rocks in a couple of places but this is be expected with any shoe or boot. However, it was about 50 F and my feet did sweat quite a bit. I kept my sweat pants outside my boots until I reached the creek but after putting them inside to wade across (see photo above) I left them inside for the rest of the hike (about 3 more miles). When I got home both pant legs under each boot were very wet. As a comparison, the upper part of my pants and my shirt was damp but not near as wet as the lower end of the pant legs. On reason I started out with the pants legs down over the boots was that sometimes I got bits of trash and leaves down inside my boots if I kept my pants legs stuffed down in them. I noticed this happening a lot more when doing land clearing but also noticed it a couple of times when just hiking. I should also mention that when wearing the boots with my pants over them as apposed to stuffed inside the boots, my legs did not sweat as much, perhaps because there was more room for air to circulate. I even wore them with shorts a couple of times on some of the warmest days and also when I went kayaking in the Copperheads.
As just mentioned, I wore the boots on a paddling trip on a bright sunny day with an air temperature of around 65 F. I normally don’t go paddling this early in the year but the water in the lake never got real cold this winter. 45 F was the coldest I remember. It has recently warmed up quite bit and the water has been around 55 F all this week (I keep up with the lake temperature at my job). Anyways, it is still too cold to wade in comfortably but safe enough that an accidental dumping would probably not be life threatening. However, it is still no fun to be wading around in water this cold, but by wearing the Copperhead boots, my feet never got cold (or wet) as I waded around getting ready to launch. I also had to get out of my kayak several times, twice (going and coming back) to drag my kayak over a beaver dam, and a couple more time just to get out and stretch. Once we paddled up into the feeder creek the water was much colder but my feet stayed warm and dry (other than sweating a little) even when I was wading. The guy I was with had on some neoprene water shoes and he was complaining about the cold water. I told him to get tough like me.
As an added bonus, the boots were very comfortable to paddle in. The heels fit perfectly into the foot-wells of my SOT (Sit-on-Top) and held my legs firmly in place. I actually think they helped me deliver a more powerful paddle stroke compared to other shoes I have worn that don’t lock me in as tight. I’m pretty sure these boots would not fit inside my SINK (a regular kayak with a cockpit you sit inside) because my feet touch the top deck when I have on my skin tight neoprene water shoes and these boots are bigger then most other boots for a given size.
The Bogs Copperhead boots are outstanding for medium distance hiking in cold wet conditions. They are tough and handle briars and other abrasion without blinking any eye. I would not go as far as to say they are easier to hike in than say a light weight trail runner but I was pleased at how comfortable they are on several fairly long dayhikes. They also proved to be an excellent addition to my early season paddling arsenal. It was nice to be able to get in and out of my kayak without having to deal with the cold water. The boots are rather warm if hiking hard so I am not sure how much I will be able to wear them come summer when I’m more likely to encounter snakes. However, I’m quite convinced that the Snakequard technology is part of the reason the boots handle briers so well. My thanks to Bogs and 4alloutdoors for the opportunity to test these boots!
I am from northeast Alabama where I spend a lot of my time divided among several hobbies that include backpacking and dayhiking, canoeing and kayaking, and just getting out enjoying nature.