“Vermont winters can be challenging for me,” says one tester whose toes get chilled easily, “but the Bugaboot let me hike parts of the Long Trail in total comfort, even in temperatures down to -10°F.” Press the power button on the cuff, and within moments heaters located under the boot’s forefoot warm your toes. The high-cut boot is powered by a USB-chargeable lithium-ion battery tucked into the cuff.
Three settings allowed testers to keep the waterproof Bugaboot on continuous low warmth for up to five hours, or crank ’em up to high on frigid starts, then turn the heater off after body heat took over. Even without power, the Bugaboot’s moisture-wicking, heat-reflective lining and layer of synthetic insulation help retain warmth. A thick foam heel counter, a full plastic shank in the EVA midsole, and a supportive cuff make the Bugaboot stable and supportive when testers carried up to 30 pounds. “The high, form-fitting cuff has a Velcro strap that gave me good ankle support and kept snow from sneaking in, even when I was hiking through six inches of fresh powder without gaiters,” said a tester after a Montana hut trip.
Load limit: The synthetic upper is too soft to support more than 30 pounds.