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Hands-on Gear Review
Bogs North Hampton Tall - Women's Review
Cons: Poor traction, not as weatherproof as other tall boots
Bottom line: Besides mediocre traction, they are a very practical and favored boot with high comfort and warmth.
Weight (for pair tested): 3.13 lbs
Mouth Circumference: 13.5 in
The Bogs North Hampton Tall has been a favorite of ours for quite some time. With their easy-to-carry handles and sporty look, this model will keep your feet dry and warm in the coldest of rain, snow, and icy rivers. With a practical height of 14.5 inches from the ground, the main disappointment is the traction capability. If traction is not of incredibly high priority, then these boots genuinely have a lot to give, performing well in many of the other metrics. But, if you are looking for something with confidence-inducing traction, we highly recommend our Best Buy winner, the Kamik Heidi.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Bogs North Hampton are remarkable for their handles, added warmth, and overall rugged appeal. They excel in the comfort, style, and warmth categories, with the unfortunate drawbacks occurring in the weather protection and traction metrics. One of the most common user complaints has been that the boot is too warm - something to consider depending on what environment you live in.
Weighing 3.13 lbs for the size 8 pair we tested, the Hampton comes in one color scheme: black with grey lining. The boot alternates between the matte neoprene and a glossy footbox with a few glossy accents along the back of the shaft. Constructed with 5mm waterproof Neo-Tech Lite and rubber, this model also incorporates odor control and moisture wicking technology. Other features include a dual-density, contoured EVA insole, and a non-marking outsole. The website also states these Bogs will provide comfort in temperatures as low as 5F. While we never encountered temperatures that low, we did stomp through the snow and withstood a few near-freezing nights void of a campfire. If you're looking for an easy pull-on boot with added insulation, this is it; but if you prioritize traction as much as we do, read on to weigh your decision further.
Even though this model is in the "tall" class, with similar heights to that of the Xtratuf Legacy, their overall weather protection score was affected by the handles. These slot cut-outs are on both sides, about 1.25 by 2.5 inches, and inevitably diminished the effective shaft height from 14.5 to that of only 11 inches—a whole inch shorter than the mid-calf Kamik Heidi.
This means that if you wade into water or snow deeper than 11 inches, waterproofing is obviously lost. However, besides the risk of submerging sooner than you'd hope, the handles won't significantly affect the overall weather protection you'd expect from a classic Bogs. The form-fitting neoprene also helps prevent puddle splash or sideways rain from entering the boot, and the handle predicament may only be of relative concern.
One of the best qualities of the Hampton is the all-day wear and overall comfort they provide, which is truly hard to beat. The neoprene lining is soft and flexes easily with your stride, instilling zero odd pressure points. The toe box is also rather roomy for foot swelling, and the dual-density EVA insoles also help with the cushioned feel. They are convenient to carry and were highly desirable as our go-to shoe. With sufficient foot support and only the slightest heel slippage, our feet never got overly tired when running errands in town or walking in the woods.
We were very fond of the feminine, outdoor-enthusiast look. The handles, black neoprene, and glossy, molded footbox give off a very tech-casual vibe that was popular with our testers. While the solid model is black and is an easy color to match wardrobe with, the North Hampton also comes in a slew of different versions. With the potential to be considered trendy, the only worry is that our pants don't easily fit into the boot every time. With a snug fit about the calf, it was often challenging to wear bulkier items. The adjustable Hunter Original and UGG Shaye were two models that we could easily tuck our jeans into when going out on the town.
The most unfortunate setback of such a fine boot, the North Hampton performed rather poorly in our traction metric, scoring similarly to the Helly Hansen Veierland 2. The tread was not very deep, and they were surprisingly slippery across snowy incline, in the river, and even on polished linoleum floors. Fortunately, they had slightly better performance on wet grass and, of course, even better performance on dry or wet, flat ground. The Hunter Original and Kamik Heidi were the top scorers for the traction metric, providing confidence when walking on slick surfaces.
Warmth is where the Hampton truly shines. They are ideal for temperate and near-freezing climates, and the added insulation is impressive. When trudging through the snow and wading into the river for our tests, we didn't notice the cold whatsoever. Rated down to 5F, the neoprene is not only warm but incredibly comfortable. While this is a huge perk for the North Hampton, it can also be a huge turn-off for those living in warmer climates that never see snow.
In such cases, swampy feet may be a typical result, and the insulation ultimately might be deemed unnecessary. We would also like to make it clear that while these are warm boots, they are not made for winter use, and we would not recommend them over a real winter boot. Our lead tester confirmed these sentiments when temperatures dropped below freezing and were surprised to have cold toes despite the manufacturer's 5F rating.
This model comes in whole sizes from 6-12. Despite not offering half-sizes, these boots fit well and run a bit small. We purchased a size 8, as our lead tester is a size 7.5. As recommended by user reviews, sizing up was a good choice. The added insulation makes everything feel much more snug in the footbox and even in the shaft. With very slight heel slippage, there were no issues with hot spots. The circumference was slightly smaller than the other tall boots, measuring 13.5 inches. While this made for a very slender, form-fitting look, it might not be suitable for those with wide calves.
If you go to the Bogs website, descriptions dictate the North Hampton as "plenty rugged and capable of overcoming any outdoor challenge". We will have to politely argue against this statement, as the traction proved otherwise in our tests. Rather, we would say this contender might be ideal for environments of mild ruggedness, something that is not all-encompassing. With high farm and sport appeal, it's easy to get caught up in the fashion of it all. While the tread was still sufficient, it was not what we were expecting. When shoveling snow, they weren't as sturdy as we hoped.
Designed in Eugene, OR and manufactured in China, this model of the neoprene Bogs lists for $105. With every purchase, the company donates 2% to outdoor education, providing "scholarships and grants so all kids can grow and learn." A fine cause, in our opinion, and these boots are certainly worth the price.
The Bogs North Hampton hold a special place in our hearts. But compared to the others we recently tested, these rain boots were simply outperformed in some key categories. Fear not, they are still a high-quality boot, particularly in warmth, style, and comfort. With sufficient weather protection and basic traction, it was still hard to not reach for this boot as an immediate preference.
— Sara Aranda
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