Snowshoe Magazine offered to send me a pair of Columbia Bugatech Lite Omni-heat boots in exchange for a review. I had to ask them twice, “So you’ll send me a pair of boots and all you want is for me to be honest about them?” So I got a package in the mail and went snowshoeing the next day.
First time out in new boots, you never have high expectations. We headed out to Mount Seymour in North Vancouver, British Columbia. We set out up a route called Heart Attack Hill, and I waited for a pinch or a rub: an irritation of some sort. I waited for the cold to seep through.
I frolicked through the snow challenging my feet to get wet. None of it happened. Instead, I was mostly unaware of my feet. Only when someone said “so, how are the new boots feeling?” did I remember to pause to think about fit, comfort and warmth. As an avid snowshoer I have had enough cold, wet, uncomfortable feet to know that if you’re not aware of your feet it’s only because they’re warm and happy inside your boots. Happy feet make for happy snowshoers.
The next day I took them out again, still looking for a fault. This time we head up to Dam Mountain, starting at the base of Grouse Mountain, still in North Vancouver. Again, I pranced around in knee deep snow and stayed dry. A week later we went out again. This time I wore thinner socks and went a bit further; still looking for a fault. Even after being out in the snow for over 3 hours, my feet were still warm, dry and comfortable. This included time to stand around and eat our lunch – usually the time when the chill sets in.
These boots are pretty great. They needed no breaking in and were comfortable from day one. They’re super light weight, even though they provide good ankle support. I’ve now worn them snowshoeing, snow tubing and lugging gear through icy parking lots – and they’ve done a great job of keeping my feet warm and dry.
If you’re interested in the more technical details about the boot, here’s a link to the product page on the Columbia website: http://bit.ly/cp80fe.
For photos of Moniera’s Bugatech experience, click here.