Way back in August of 2018 I ordered a new pair of Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV XTM Omni-Heat Winter Boots after wearing out a pair of Keen boots that I wore during the previous two winters. You can check out all of the spec’s and look at what they looked like when they were new right here. Not too long after my new boots arrived, my wife, Bethany ordered a set of Columbia Women’s Powderhouse Titanium Omni-Heat™ 3D OutDry™ Boots. They’re a similar boot to the pair that I’m reviewing, with 600 grams of insulation and the same type of outsole. We thought that it’d be fun to do a ‘his & hers’ boot review so we’ve joined our powers to stink up a pair of boots to see how they do at keeping us warm and comfortable through a Wisconsin Winter.
This winter has offered pretty fabulous laboratory conditions for boot testing with temperature extremes and sometimes even snow conditions. We were graced with a visit from the polar vortex that broke a bunch of records for low temps and had a few warm spells that erased all of the existing snow cover. I think that our snow cover has been replaced three or four times this winter and we even had a brief time period with glazed ice conditions to test the grip of the Michelin Man soles. I primarily used my boots for riding, but I also snowshoed and shoveled snow in them. Bethany also used the boots to ride and on daily walks and hikes with our Bernese Mountain Dog, Cowboy. She used them for snowshoeing as well. So without further adieu, let’s get things started with Bethany’s thoughts on her pair of Columbia Boots.
The Columbia Women’s Powderhouse Titanium Omni-Heat™ 3D OutDry™ Boots look great on and don’t make my feet look like they’re ten sizes bigger. From the first time that I put them on they gave me a soft slipper-like feel with lots of support. They feature a roomy toe box and run true to size. I found them to be more comfortable to walk in with the top eyelet left unlashed. Probably due to my short legs (otherwise know as my cannons). The Michelin Lugged sole allows them to really grip the pins on my flat pedals (also good for sneaking up on people – lol).
They keep my feet and toes nice and cozy. I normally suffer from cold feet syndrome, but not with these. I’ve worn them in the single digits and below with the help of chemical warmers. With these new boots, I don’t have to worry about my feet getting cold as I have in the past. Most of the hikes and rides that we do are an hour or two but I’m sure they would be great for longer outings.
I’ve already recommended these boots to one of my friends (Kitty) and I would definitely buy a pair of these soft, stable, fun, kick-ass boots again!
This pair of Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV XTM Omni-Heat Winter Boots look almost as good today, as the day that they came fresh out of the box. When I first got the boots, I was concerned that the top few eyelets were not speed-laces. That made me worry that they’d be difficult to get on and off but after the first couple of times wearing them, those concerns went completely away. This pair of boots is the easiest to put on out of the last few pairs of boots that I’ve tested. My other concern out of the box was that the boot’s rubberized outer layer would be too stiff and reduce foot/ankle mobility to harmonize with pedaling. That concern also turned out to be baseless during practical application (pedaling). These boots were comfortable right out of the box and fit true to size. I especially like the enlarged toe box which leaves room to wiggle my toes or run chemical warmers on top of my socks.
The Michelin Winter Compound outsole grips the pedals and also seems to have better traction on both snow and ice than previous boots we’ve tested. I’ve used them on glare ice and hadn’t applied any studs and actually managed to stay upright. The soles have indentions where grip studs could be screwed into place (this works extremely well).
In temperatures from the teens to the thirties F, these things are nice and warm. One of the nice things that I noticed was that my feet didn’t get too warm at the top end of the temp range. Once things get colder than the teens and you stay out for longer than 2 hours at a crack, I’d recommend chemical toe warmers. I ran out of warmers when the polar vortex was in town and my feet started to get cold after a couple hours at temps below zero. (I should put toe warmers on my shopping list) I’ve always been told that if your feet get cold just get off of the bike and hike for a little bit and that always has worked to warm my feet back up before I get back to the barn. This pair of boots seems a little warmer than my last pair however the warmth of my last pair fell off considerably as they aged. If I had to make a wild ass scientific guess, I’d bet that these boots will be a little more durable than the last pair. Those old Keen Boots looked pretty worn out after two winters service. It’ll be interesting to see what these boots look like after 2 seasons.
If you asked me if I’d buy these boots again or if I’d recommend them to a friend, my answer would be yes and yes! In fact, one of our readers contacted me recently and asked if he should buy a pair. He also clued me into the fact that they’re already being marked down in price. If you’re looking for a solid pair of boots these boots are a great choice!