Chippewa Boots Review by Jane Oaks
6” Bay Crazy Horse Waterproof Boot, an Arctic boot in Chippewa’s Rugged Outdoor collection
I just returned from the fields and canyons of western Nebraska chasing mule deer and whitetail all around. For three days, my eyes were trained on the landscape, my hands were on a muzzleloader, and my feet were on the ground. Powder-dry soil, corn stalk stubble, animal-packed trails, bunch grass, tumbleweeds, burrs, steep canyon walls…my feet grounded me through it all. Thank goodness they were inside a pair of Chippewa Boots.
From before the copper sunrise until well after the sun set on the western horizon, I had on a pair of Artic boots, part of Chippewa Boots’ Rugged Outdoor boot collection. With a 6” waterproof (I only wish that had been necessary in the driest season I can recall in Nebraska) upper, 400 gram Thinsulate Ultra insulation, and a Vibram Cascade sole, my feet were protected. A patented padded collar, the Kush-N-Kollar, reduces stress on the Achilles tendon while walking for long periods of time.
After many years wearing hiking shoes, as opposed to boots, I was a little concerned with the potential rigidity of a boot. No need to worry. I had free range of motion while walking or running across the fields and climbing up and down the canyons and Chippewa Boots provided the support I truly needed on the steep slopes. The soles are strong, taking on all the impact (and the burrs) and leaving my feet completely unaffected. The Thinsulate lining worked very well for me. Temperatures ranged from the upper twenties in the early morning to the low sixties at the heat of the day. My feet were warm at the lower temperatures and hot at the higher end. The lace structure is exceptional and the laces stayed tied and tight all day long.
I did develop a blister on my heel. I walked a lot during those three days and it is no surprise my heel experienced a bit of friction. A moleskin adhesive pad would have prevented this. Other than that, I experienced no soreness at all. Once the boots came off for the night, it’s like I hadn’t hiked all day long.
I would like to try an 8” or 9” upper; while it isn’t necessary, I think the boot would feel just that much more a part of me. The 400 gram Thinsulate Ultra was perfect for cooler weather. also offers a wool polypropylene felt insulation as well as a 1,000 gram Thinsulate insulation in their Arctic line, so there is quite a range for the needs of the wearer.