Bogs Amanda Plush II Lace Review
Cons: Shorter flood height than shaft height, not as affordable
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bogs Amanda II Lace is a welcome update to the original Amanda Plush. This version is made with BLOOM, an eco-friendly algae-based EVA footbed, and features Bogs Max-Wick for breathability and DuraFresh, a natural "bio-technology" odor control. The design is also lighter and leaner than the original. Bogs as a brand have been making some notable changes in regards to sustainability. Their website states that they utilize natural rubber harvested from Forest Stewardship Council-approved regions and that their factories use up to 40% post-industrial recycled material. The manufacturer still boasts the insulation is designed to keep feet comfortable in temperatures as low as -13 degrees F. We did not test them in such extreme cold, but they are still markedly warm.
The updated shaft on the Amanda measures 10.25 inches from the floor for the size 8 we tested. The mid-calf height provides satisfactory weather protection, but not nearly as much as the taller competitors. The handle cutouts diminish the flood height to 7.5 inches, which is also an inch lower than the previous version of this model. This is possibly due to the change in the cut of the top of the shaft. The older Plush had a taller back and shorter front, whereas this version is the opposite.
The circumference of the shaft opening is moderately adjustable due to the existence of laces. The circumference ranges from a snug 12 inches to about 14 inches. Being able to cinch the shaft closer against the calf helps protect from the weather, but only to an extent due to the cutouts. Overall, and despite these cutouts, this model is a great rain boot, scoring above average for this metric.
With a shaft that is still lined with faux-fur, the main difference with this update is that the removable cushioned insole is no longer lined. We believe this minimizes the amount of lining that comes off onto our socks, but whether this is really the manufacturer's reason for the change is beyond us. Nonetheless, the insole is as comforting as ever and provides adequate foot support. The shape of the foot box is flatter (or, rather, more naturally oriented) than the previous version, leaner, and more flexible overall, which we greatly appreciate. This means that there is more agility and control in our movements and fewer opportunities for hot spots and heel lift.
Weighing in at 3 pounds, the Amanda still aren't the lightest boots out there, but they are definitely more in line with models their size. We also feel that the fit is more true to size now and has less of a baggy feeling in the shaft. Though, this could be a turn-off if you require more room for wider calves and feet. When snugly tied, stepping into and out of this boot is still easy enough, though when we really cinched the laces tight, the tongue is forced inward and creates an unwanted bulge against the shin. Wearing tall enough socks is also still a must, as the tongue will feel lightly abrasive against the skin.
With a more naturally shaped foot box and a more sensitive outsole, this iteration of the Amanda feels better to walk in and is, therefore, more tactile. The tread design is also more diverse, meaning there is more variation in the pattern to allow for traction both uphill and downhill or from side to side.
While not as technical as the top performers, the traction is still more than adequate. We felt very stable going from rock to rock during our creek test. Best used on casual, non-technical surfaces, we enjoyed the sense of stability this updated pair provides.
Designed for colder environments, the faux-fur lining adds significant warmth, giving the Amanda a high warmth score. Of course, this means that they will quickly be deemed too warm over more traditional boots when the sun comes out. We weren't able to keep them on too long, even when sitting indoors, without feeling uncomfortable or bordering on sweaty. Best for frigid conditions, they are a convenient choice for running casual errands in the winter.
During our creek wading test, we noticed that we could still feel, although very subtly, the temperature of the water. While far warmer than most of the other brands in our lineup, this has been an enduring surprise. It could be attributed to the cutouts allowing warm air to escape or the relative looseness of the shaft, or a combination of several factors. Bottom line, they have proven to be reliably warm time and time again regardless of these things.
We find the design of this boot to be clean and feminine. We appreciate the subtle molding, color schemes, and cozy appeal of the faux-fur. The pair we tested was a matte green with laces and a more pronounced pull tab. The previous version had laces that didn't stay tied very well and were a tad smooth to the touch. The laces on this version are of better quality and tie much more easily.
Having laces allowed us to adjust the fit around our calves and accommodate bulkier pants. The height of the shaft is also in a sweet spot that works well with most wardrobes. Too, having all these design features distracts the eye from the overwhelming nature of rubber. The cutouts for the handle add appeal also and can accent fun socks you might choose to wear. We celebrate that the trendiness of this model doesn't mean that functionality has been compromised in significant ways, particularly in regards to having a lace and tongue feature. The tongue is completely attached, allowing for maximum rain protection.
Made in whole sizes 6-12, we feel the fit is true to size. Our lead tester wears a US size 7.5 in women's, and she chose to size up to an 8, which is also what this brand recommends for those in-between. With a relatively lean shape, the perception of bagginess isn't as great as we expected based on previous experiences with the Amanda Plush. Though, because of this, we acknowledge that those with wider feet may feel otherwise (or that the fit runs small). Note that because this pair is insulated, wearing thick socks might be overkill, meaning fitting the boot for thin socks is recommended.
Manufactured in China, this updated Amanda boot lists on the higher end of the cost spectrum. Though, we also find this to be typical of mid-height boots (and largely footwear in general) and, therefore, a fair investment for the design and added insulation.
The Bogs Amanda Plush II Lace is notable for its combination of style and warmth. They are not only a practical and reliable choice, but they are also excellent for those in colder environments. We appreciate the blend of fashion and technicality, along with a greater commitment toward sustainable efforts. While not the most exceptional pair we've ever tested, they are undoubtedly a quality choice.
— Sara Aranda
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