I’m an avid outdoorsman, so when the cold weather hits, there’s no way I’ll be stuck inside. Whether I’m hunting in the woods where there’s a foot of new snow, or ice fishing on a frozen lake, I need a pair of boots that will keep my feet warm and dry. I found that pair of boots with the Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold-Weather Boot.
While I’m not necessarily dipping my toes into the freezing lake, they would be close enough to the snow and ice to require an insulated boot that would allow me to wear thick wool socks. The boots I’d ultimately choose would need a grip that would allow me to hike across the lake and grip through layers of snow. It’s a tall order for many boots.
After much research into a variety of boots, I found the pair that would be perfect for the activities in which I participate. The Bugaboot Plus was lightweight, flexible and kept my feet toasty warm while walking across the ice, as well as sitting for hours fishing. They are rated at -25F/-32C and have thermal-reflective liners called Omni-Heat.
What is Omni-Heat?
If you can imagine a space blanket that is breathable, you’ll have the exact idea behind Omni-Heat. It’s an insulating system that’s proprietary from Columbia, which is said to keep the wearer 20% warmer than other insulation. The reflective liners will keep the wearer’s body heat from escaping, as well as reflecting the warmth back into the person’s body. This means you’ll generate your own warmth without the need for foot warmers.
I slipped these boots on for a test run over some thick wool socks. My destination was the woods where I’d be doing a bit of hiking just to get a feel for the boots. I didn’t want to venture too far in case the boots weren’t as toasty as I believed they would be.
The first thing I noticed was how lightweight they felt after I’d laced them. They came up to about mid-calf because they’re about 8 inches in height. Even with them covering the ankle and being a full boot, they weren’t restrictive. When hitting the woods, I really wanted to give these boots a workout. Climbing over fallen tree limbs, hiking trails, and venturing off the trails through the snow didn’t slow me down in these boots at all.
Features I Loved
Waterproof: The waterproof construction was superior, and I didn’t feel any snow wiggle into my boots at all.
Omni-Heat: The reflective lining really did keep my feet as warm as if I was sitting in my home.
Superior Cushioning and Traction: Between the midsole cushioning and the traction with the Omni-Grip
The upper is a combination of nylon, leather and webbing along with hardware that’s metal.
The shell is techlite.
The lining is reflective-thermal.
Insulation is 200 grams.
The sole is made of Omni-Grip, which is a proprietary rubber for traction that doesn’t mark.
Considerations and My Recommendation
When purchasing the Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold-Weather Boot, I’d recommend purchasing a half size larger since you’ll likely be wearing thick socks. I normally purchase a larger size for that very reason, and these fit perfectly at the higher size.
The boots are 7 inches from the arch to the top of the boot, so make sure you take that into consideration when you purchase these boots. They’re a flexible boot that will allow you to perform many outdoor tasks while keeping your feet and lower legs quite toasty.
The traction was impeccable. I have no complaints at all about how great the traction was. Since the test run of these boots, I’ve worn them ice fishing on numerous occasions. They grip the ice perfectly through the thin layer of snow.
After taking these boots on my test run in the woods, then taking them ice fishing, I wore another pair of boots to shovel my driveway. I hadn’t realized how secure my entire foot, as well as my balance feels, with the Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold-Weather Boot. Instead of choosing a different boot for a variety of scenarios, I’m stashing the other boots in the back of the closet, and using this pair of boots for everything.
In fact, I loved these boots so much that I purchased a pair for a buddy, who had an upcoming birthday. I knew he would love them as much as I did. I almost wish I hadn’t bought him the boots as a gift, since he couldn’t stop talking about them especially when I took him fishing with me. Pretty sure he scared away the fish with his constant talking! I’ll forgive him, though, they ARE pretty amazing boots.