Columbia Sportswear Bugaboot Plus Cold Weather Boot

05 Dec

If you are one of those timid folks who rides your bike on a trainer in the basement on snowy days you are welcome to skip this article—but please come in a couple of days for other product reviews. However, if you look forward to riding your fat bike in the snow like a little kid waiting for Santa Claus, then grab a cup of coffee and let’s talk about winter footwear.

Columbia Sportswear Bugaboot Plus Cold Weather Boot

Columbia Sportswear Bugaboot Plus Cold Weather Boot

I live between Chicago and Milwaukee and during most of the winter I wear Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots—these shoes are SPD-compatible and keep my feet warm down to around 10 degrees Fahrenheit. There are a few other companies that make winter cycling boots, but Lake is the only one that makes a wide boot (and I have wide feet). 45NRTH allegedly has a new winter boot, the Wölvhammer. 45NRTH is a new company that wants to specialize in products for cold weather cyclists, but they have quickly become my least-favorite cycling company in the world. A lot of their products are like leprechauns—I would like to believe they exist, some people say they have actually seen them, but I can’t find anyone who has actually been able to get their hands on one. If you would like to buy a pair of the Wölvhammer winter boots you are out of luck—they are already “sold out for 2013.” I had the same problem with the 45NRTH Dillinger studded fat-bike tire—a few of them made it into the warehouse but immediately they were sold out (probably inside sales to the guys at Quality Bike Products) and the next availability date is next summer.

When the temperature drops below 10 degrees Fahrenheit I wear the Columbia Sportswear Men’s Bugaboot Plus Cold Weather Boot. Since this boot is not SPD-compatible I use a wide flat pedal with metal pins for a good grip. Last year I used the Odyssey JCPC Pedal, but this year I am using the Heiruspecs Winter Grip Pedals (one of 45NRTH’s products that actually made it into bike shops).

Thanks to Columbia’s exclusive Omni-Heat thermal reflective technology, the Bugaboot is rated for temperatures down to -25 degrees—while I’ve not had a chance to use them in temperatures that low, I have no doubt that they would hold up well in that temperature. This waterproof boot has 200 grams of insulation (Thinsulate) and they have kept my feet warm and dry every time I’ve worn them—these are the best pair of winter boots I’ve ever owned. My size 12 Bugaboot measures 10 inches tall and weight a bit over three pounds (for the pair). This boot appears to be true-to-size.

The standard width Bugaboot is available in three color combinations: Grill/Sanguine, Black/Gunmetal, and Dune/Bombay Brown. The wide Bugaboot only comes in two color combinations: Black/Gunmetal and Turkish Coffee/Golden Glow (see photo above). Color selection also varies depending on the size of boot you wear. I would have liked a solid black boot, but the only Bugaboot the store I went to could get their hands on was the Turkish Coffee.

The Columbia Sportswear Bugaboot Plus Cold Weather Boot retails for $120, but has it for as low as $73 (depending on color and size). I bought my Bugaboots from a brick-and-motor Rogan’s Shoes store, but they are also available at sporting goods stores like Gander Mountain. These boots are also available in sizes and styles for both women and children.


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15 responses to “Columbia Sportswear Bugaboot Plus Cold Weather Boot

  1. Joboo

    December 5, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Kind of harsh on the somewhat “new kid” on the block aren’t ya??
    We were in the twin cities this weekend picking up our sons new 9:zero:7, and the Penn Cycles bike shops (Bloomington and Eagan stores), said the 45NRTH Wolv’s were delayed a week; IMHO not unacceptable for a brand new product. They’re getting sizes 44-47 and would I like to put my name on a pair? So I think you’re jumping the gun on panning them so quickly. Maybe it’s just your area??
    I too picked myself up a set of Heiruspecs, and am very much looking forward to giving them a good thrashing over the winter!!
    Pedal On!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 5, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      A little harsh, but I am really don’t like the way they operate. Last night the Wölvhammer boot was listed the QPB Website (their distributor) as “sold out for 2013″ and then this morning they announced on Facebook that a new shipment has come in! They might be a new company, but it is run by experienced people who ought to know better than to make promises you can’t keep.

      You are going to love the Heiruspecs pedals — they are lightweight and grip well.

      • Joboo

        December 5, 2012 at 1:50 PM

        So, kind of like when the Endo was the only game in town, for tires.
        Get them early or be SOL when winter was starting!! “We’ll get our next shipment in mid January to early Febuary.” WHAT???!!!
        Oops, sorry for the hijack of your post, I’m done!! :)

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          December 5, 2012 at 3:15 PM

          I didn’t see any hijacking! Several cycling companies love to tell you about the marvelous new products they are going to have sometime in the future, but you just can’t buy them now. 45NRTH wants to specialize in cold weather cycling gear, but too many of their products will not be available until next summer. I might be a bit old fashioned, but I like companies to tell me the truth upfront.

          A few weeks ago I asked the local bike shop to order a balaclava from 45NRTH for me (the Lung Cookie that has been advertised on their Website for a long time). The shop tried to order it, but it will not be available until next year.

          In the words of that famous philosopher, Gomer Pyle, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

      • Joboo

        December 5, 2012 at 3:50 PM

        Alright, I know some people don’t like comments off topic. I’ll carry on. ;)
        I hear what your saying, I totally do.
        I felt that exact same way about Surly with their seemingly backward thinking about the Endo tire; who wants to have to wait till the middle of winter for new rubber??
        I really think its your area.
        I had the Lung Cookie in my hands on Sunday and I wasn’t impressed. Maybe it works great, but she seemed real thin and maybe I’m wrong, but didn’t seem like it’d keep one warm; again I may be wrong. By actually picking it up and feeling it those were the thoughts I had.
        Again, I get your frustration, been there myself!!

  2. MikeW

    December 5, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Glad for this review. Does that boot have a crampon notch on the toe?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 5, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      I have never used crampons myself so I am not exactly sure what to look for — really sorry about that. However, I can send you a high resolution photo of the sole of the boot is you like.

      • MikeW

        December 7, 2012 at 6:41 PM

        Over at a guy named Derek gave Bugaboots 4 of 5 stars and said that they worked well with snowshoes and flexible crampons. You can have a look at hiking crampons here:

        REI has a pretty good crampon selection article here to show differences:

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          December 7, 2012 at 7:11 PM

          I have used the Bugaboots with snow shoes and they worked fine, but I’ve never had a need for crampons. However, after looking at them I might have to buy a pair for this winter — sometimes I have to walk my bike over icy patches.

  3. thegracefulcyclists

    December 7, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    Great review but I can’t help reading this and laughing. It was 39 degrees C here today and I was trying to work out how to keep the sun off me while riding. Nice to know everyone adapts their riding gear to the extremes!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 7, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      This past summer I rode when it 104 degree F (39 C), and I have to tell you that -10 F (-23 C) is a lot more fun!

      • thegracefulcyclists

        December 8, 2012 at 5:42 AM

        I get to play in these temperatures for the next 3 months. If I am ever in a country that gets that cold I will be sure to try it.

  4. Jeff C

    January 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Earlier this year I replaced the insole in my 302’s with the insole that they are using in the aerogel one that is used in Wolfhammer’s (Jazztronnaut). The LBS had no problems in getting it for me (maybe my timing was good). It is a big improvement.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 30, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      I glad to hear that insole works for you. I have the one made by 3M that I put in two of my older shoes (one road, one MTB) and they really keep the soles of my feet warm.

  5. binarin

    March 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    After reading review i was expecting more. Toes begin to get colder after an hour ride in -15C – not freezing, but still it’s not comfortable. Now I’m using this boots only with chemical toe warmers. Glad that i bought them for only $45 on sale.


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