Bogs SweetPea Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Durable, trendy, lightweight
Cons: Low weather protection, narrow footbed
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Our Analysis and Test Results
One of the lightest pairs we tested, thanks to its 5.5-inch height, the Sweetpea is easily matched with nearly any wardrobe. With fair traction and warmth, you might not need anything more than this simple, textured rubber option. Best for urban and suburban environments, these boots are comfortable in light rain and are designed for casual, everyday wear. While you can get away with walking through shallow snow, it's not recommended for technical terrain, long hikes, or markedly low temperatures. Our lead tester, who lives out of a van, has become particularly fond of these boots because of the little space they occupy and their convenient height. Because of their high function and versatility, they are our Top Pick award winner for the Ankle Height class.
Low-top boots don't score very well when it comes to all-around weatherproofing. The Sweetpea is no exception, being one of the shortest of the group and yielding little protection against overspray from large puddles, pouring rain, or the depth of a stream. Romping through snow also poses issues since the shaft won't aid in keeping snow from sneaking over the lip and soaking your feet. We still enjoy the ease and practicality, however, and the tighter circumference around the ankle helps keep the feet dry.
If you live in a place that experiences moderate precipitation, then keeping your toes out of the water is all that is necessary. Consider the much taller models for far more comprehensive weather protection, but we found this pair to be highly reliable when walking to and from places around town. Even the nylon gusset is resistant enough to not soak or leak immediately — we found that it took several minutes of direct contact with water for the nylon to absorb any of it. The rubber is also cut high behind the gusset, furthering the boot's ability to mitigate premature flooding.
With a narrower footbed (and not so narrow feet), long-term comfort isn't a given, but neither is it severely compromised. Our toes weren't able to spread out as much, and if we wore thick socks, we were noticeably cramped. The footbed is designed with cushioning and a shank for added support. We felt that this cushioning and shank combo created a strange feeling at first, but over time we stopped noticing it and have come to appreciate it. One of the only pairs to not have a heel lift, the narrowness has become less noticeable over time and makes for a better overall fit in retrospect. We never expect a rain boot to "break-in," but we are happily surprised.
The soles are a bit more flexible than most boots, which is nice for driving and the natural movement of the foot when walking. This also increases sensitivity, which helps instill confidence in stride and stance. Though, this also means the Sweetpea isn't as ideal for rocky environments or on sharp, gravel surfaces.
With fairly average and shallow tread, the Sweetpea still fares better than others when it comes to certain flat surfaces, such as linoleum tile or snowy sidewalks. Nonetheless, the traction isn't nearly as confidence-inducing as some of the other award winners when the terrain becomes more rugged, icy, or muddy. We believe these boots to be designed particularly for the more urban environment.
It is easy to spin around in the snow, but on wet asphalt or concrete, the more flexible sole is almost like that of a suction cup. Dependable for the casual outing or running errands, you might not need anything more aggressive.
The textured rubber upper retains heat as well as most waterproof boots do, but without insulation, the Sweetpea doesn't withstand snow for long periods of time. Designed strictly for mild weather, they are best when temperatures range between 50 and 75 degrees-F. Though, with the added moisture-wicking footbed, it is certainly easy to forget about your feet feeling too hot when the sun comes out.
The short shaft also allows for heat to escape. This can be a perk when the weather warms up, or, this can potentially be a disadvantage when the temperatures drop significantly. Keep in mind, too, that since the shaft is so short, the chances of water or snow making its way over the lip of the boot is much higher. If your feet get wet and stay wet, they certainly won't be able to stay warm for long periods of time in thin rubber boots like these.
Something we have noticed is how dusty these boots look after a while due to the textured rubber collecting dirt and grime. Not being able to dust them off as easily as the smooth rubber of the other competitors, this means intentional rinsing is the only way to keep them clean (or a healthy helping of rain!). Dust aside, the versatility of the design is a comfort in and of itself. We were able to wear them with jeans, dresses, shorts — you name it. Casual at its finest, their minimalism is certainly in line with current trends.
Although the rubber is noticeably…rubber, the darker tones are rather charming, in our opinion. The pull tab, too, aids in giving the boot away as rainwear, but the nylon gussets are what truly help bring the style back the other way. We've been asked numerous times about them in passing, which is very telling of how popular the look is!
With whole sizes 6-11, we sized up to an 8. Running true to size, we felt that the length of these boots was one of the best-fitting we've come across. As mentioned previously, the narrow foot box can be a leading factor of discomfort for us. We are surprised to find that the width of the footbed on the Sweetpea differs from other boots by the same brand. While our lead tester tends to prefer a snug fit, the sides of the footbed did feel too tight if her feet were ever swollen from outdoor activity.
The circumference of the boot opening is only 10 inches, but being so short, it doesn't seem to influence fit very much. One thing we noticed, however, is that you can't easily slide your foot into these boots, so putting them on requires the use of your hands. Thankfully, there's a pull tab to help. Otherwise, the narrow and highly flexible rubber just folds under your heel.
Made in China, the Sweetpea lists for what seems to be average for the ankle-height class, and certainly much cheaper than many of the taller options. With decent traction, warmth, and comfort over time, these boots perform well overall, winning a Top Pick for this height option. Incredibly versatile and practical, we think they are of high value.
Regardless of a few drawbacks in fit, we find ourselves choosing the Bogs Sweetpea again and again for those quick trips out the door. Easy to pair with a dress or jeans, the flexibility of the boot provides more than adequate performance for not only a pair of rain boots but for an ankle-height shoe in general. This Top Pick Award winner comes highly recommended by our team.
— Sara Aranda
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