Columbia Bugatech Lite Omni-Heat Boots Review

Trail: South Nahanni River, Northwest Territories, Canada

I live in a small village in the far north of Canada, where snow is on the ground 6 months out of the year and temperatures regularly hit -40C.  Snowshoeing is a daily necessity, not just a recreational activity. Comfort and performance take on a whole new meaning when you are constantly out in the snow, checking trap lines, heading to and from camp, or even just getting around town.

When my Bugatech boots first arrived, their quality was obvious and seemed to strike the right balance between being lightweight while also being robust.  The problems began when I tried to put them on – as other reviewers have noted, the boots tend to fit tight. I usually wear either a size 9 or a size 10, but in this case I simply couldn’t fit my feet inside a size 9 no matter how I tried.  Luckily my partner’s feet are a little smaller, and they fit her perfectly.  

We took the boots through a variety of conditions, and the boots more than held their own traveling in deep powder or on river ice.  Separate from snowshoes they are tough and effective winter boots, and once you’re strapped in they provide ample stability.   They are more than warm enough in most conditions, however we found that once the temperature dropped below -30C they were unable to keep feet warm for more than a short period of time.   

Pros: durable construction, lightweight and comfortable.

Cons: fit tighter than expected, limited utility in severe cold.

Conclusion: These are excellent high-performance recreation boots, but are less appropriate for sustained use in extreme cold.

For more information on the Columbia Bugatech Lite Omni-Heat Boots, click here.  To view David’s snowshoeing photos, click here.

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David Overall