Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Product Review: BOGS Eagle Cap Hiker Boots
If you take care of your feet, they will take care of you. How many times have you read that on my blog? Having a pair of boots that protect your feet and keep them comfortable ranks as one of the highest priorities for a hunter. For months now I have been field testing the BOGS Eagle Cap Hiker boots with incredible results. (That means my feet are very happy.)
A bit of back story is needed for this review. In 2011, my friend and fellow blogger Bill Howard, mentioned BOGS to me. We emailed back and forth while I checked into the details. I wasn't convinced. He reviewed the BOGS Copperhead Boots and I even left a comment stating these must have been made for moderate temps and not California. There, I said it. A full rubber boot in the high desert heat of Southern California? It wasn't going to happen. He insisted I mull it over and said he was very happy with the performance of his boots on the east coast. The math didn't add up for me. Why would I want to make my feet sweat in rubber boots while hiking in harsh terrain out here? Not sold, I dropped the notion of trying them out.
Fast forward to earlier this year when I spoke with the folks over at BOGS. They contacted me asking if I would be willing to give their boots a field test. I quickly explained the concerns I had, as I did to Bill. They were very open-minded and while they understood, asked me to judge them for myself. I agreed and was sent a pair for review.
The only drawback I found with the BOGS boots is that they don't come in half sizes. I normally wear a 10.5, so I opted for a size 11 because I didn't want my toes to be crushed. That was a bad choice for me as they were too big and did not feel comfortable. With the BOGS 100% satisfaction guarantee, I was able to swap for a size 10 and they fit perfectly! I had plenty of room to move my toes and they are extremely comfortable. Should you choose to purchase a pair, be certain of your size and if you have questions, contact them and ask.
The construction of the boots is impressive. The molded rubber is made to fit your foot like a glove and it does. The wicking layer on the inside keeps your feet dry and warm. The laces are interesting, too. It takes a bit of getting used to tightening up the laces just right. Once you do, they hold fast and have not loosened on me one time. That was impressive. BOGS states that the boots are also snake-proof. That's a plus for me!
How did they perform? I have been hiking with these in moderate to high temperatures in SoCal. I have hiked six miles with 90# on my back, with the Eagle Cap Hikers on my feet and they felt great! My feet were more comfortable in the BOGS than sneakers (most people call them tennis shoes out here, but I don't play tennis). I have worn them walking on concrete, sand, and rock. I have worn them in 50 degree weather and 100 degree weather and I have to say that my feet felt great. Sure, on the 100 degree days my feet do sweat, but my feet stayed very comfortable, slightly warm (never hot) and while they did sweat, I never had a blister or hot spot. Let me tell you, I have been putting these through some serious tests.
My final test came when we finally got some rain out here. After all the hiking on rocks and sand, I wanted to make sure they stayed waterproof. I took my daughter to jump in some puddles. We kicked the water, walked in it, and then jumped in it over and over. My feet stayed completely dry, warm, and comfortable. I also like that I can spray them with cover scent or a scent killer and my feet stay dry. Great job BOGS!
The mid-size BOGS Eagle Cap Hiker boots have great ankle support, too. That was a must for me. Plus, the boots have an awesome tread design that really grips in the sand and holds steady on rock. The arch support is there and my feet never felt fatigued and my arches were always comfortable. My toes were able to breath and never felt too snug at the end.
I will warn you, wearing wool socks with the Eagle Cap Hikers will make your feet hot, sweaty, and will likely slip around causing hot spots or blisters. I tested these wearing the SealSkinz mid-length hiker socks and they are THE best combo I will recommend. There were no hot spots or blisters in five months of testing these. Not one!
I will be the first to admit that testing the BOGS Eagle Cap Hikers changed my mind about rubber boots in Southern California. These are a high quality, rubber boot made for hunters. I'll bet these work great when the temps drop in December for keeping my feet warm. Right now they only come in the Mossy Oak pattern, but that has nothing to do with the performance level of the boots. They retail for $150.00 and with free shipping and returns in the US, you have to love that. I highly recommend the BOGS Eagle Cap Hikers for anyone...anyone who hunts, fishes, hikes, or just like the outdoors. I have a feeling these will last me a long time and they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. How can you beat that? Definitely take some time to check them out as hunting season is right around the corner. Remember, if you take care of your feet, they take care of you!