Hiking boots might be the single most important piece of gear you bring with you on the trail. Between stepping on rocks, through streams, or simply taking 15,000 steps, your feet are going to get a workout. The right footwear can make the difference between an amazing day and four hours of misery. So when I was sent a pair of Kodiak Skogan hiking boots to try out and review I was excited to put them through their paces. (Pun totally intended!)
Kodiak Boots is a Canadian company that has been doing footwear forever but if you aren’t familiar with them an excellent blogger wrote a piece on them here. It’s me. I wrote the piece. My absolutely favorite pair of winter boots are made by Kodiak Boots though so when I heard they had a new hiker it was time for me to lace up and hit the trail. Here is my review.
As a disclaimer I would like to mention that I have an affiliate agreement with Kodiak Boots and any purchase you make from this website may result in me getting a small commission. They also sent me these boots to review. All opinions on this page are my own and based on my own experiences with this pair of shoes. I am not compensated for the opinions on this review. Your experience with the shoes may be completely different.
Before I get into my opinions I wanted to share some of the specs on the shoes. There are a couple of different options but my review will be based on the Men’s Kodiak Skogan Mid Waterproof Hiker.
According to KodiakBoots.com the Skogan is, “Inspired by classic Kodiak hiking boots and designed with respect for the environment, the Skogan Hiker combines 100% waterproof construction, recycled materials and throwback styling.”
I did like that they worked in recycled materials and were environmentally minded in the construction. Here are the specs:
7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 12, 13
- Premium full grain waterproof leather and sealed seams
- Breathable, waterproof membrane construction
- 100% recycled plastic lining
- 100% recycled plastic mesh upper
- 50% recycled laces
- Classic D-ring and quick-hook rust-resistant hardware
- Kodiak Comfortzone Eco Footbed
- Lightweight, compression molded EVA midsole for all-day comfort
- Slip-resistant rubber outsole for traction on varied terrain
Mid cut (2) – Gold/Blue and Grey/Teal
Low Cut (2) – Gold/Blue and Wheat/Ivory
*All spec information from Kodiakboots.com
What I liked
There was a lot to like about the Kodiak Skogan hiking boots. These boots were ready right out of the box. I think I walked around town for a few blocks and the next day I was out hiking. Here is a bit of a video I put together from that first day.
The Skogan does a good job of capturing my heel when I walk and not allowing it slide. I didn’t know how important this was until I started doing hikes up elevation. When you take that step up vertically it is important that both heels stay in position and I have been very happy with that performance.
The fit is good. The toe box area is a little bit narrow but the shoes still feel comfortable on my foot. I was a little concerned about the toe protection. I am going to call that the kick plate because as much as I don’t want to I have a habit of kicking rocks. The padded plate (not metal, possibly a rubber type material) is more narrow in depth than some shoes I have seen but it is dense. I have “stubbed my toe” on rocks and trees and barely felt a thing. (I prefer quality shoes over watching where I am going apparently!) While the plate on the front of the shoe is solid, it gets a little thinner and more flexible as you go around the edges. Not an issue for me so far.
The collar of the shoe is a great height for me. It lines up and gives some protection to my lateral and medial malleolus bones. For those of you who didn’t just google those like me, the malleolus are the small bumps on the inside and outside of the ankle. You know the ones that when you hit them feels like someone smashed a Cymbal of pain that radiates through the entire leg. Well the Skogan’s line up with that and offer some protection.
Finally, what I really like about these boots is they just look really cool. I mean as much as I am a function over style person, I like to look cool as much as the next person. The Skogan look like a pair of shoes cool kids would wear around the playground. I, being the coolest of kids, just wear them around huge playgrounds in the middle of nature! I have had several comments on the look of these shoes and I enjoy wearing them. While style isn’t the most important part of having good hiking boots, it’s kind of the most important part at the same time.
The grip on a hiking boot or shoe needs to be able to keep you upright on the trail. If you feel like you are on roller blades than the boot isn’t working out. This can be more or less important depending on what type of trails you hike but in Colorado with a lot of rocky surfaces the grip becomes very important.
On a slip scale of: Oh, HOLY COW, NO NO NO, Woah, , I Got This, No Worries
- Flat Dry ground that is dirt or rock: No Worries
- Flat ground that is a little damp or muddy: I Got This
- Loose dirt: No Worries
- Walking across rock boulders: No Worries
- Declining down a flat rock:
- Scree: Not Attempted
- When bottom of shoes are wet: Woah
Overall the grip on the Skogan is good to very good. I feel very confident that my feet are going to be where I place them. On my hikes through Colorado the terrain can vary greatly. From grass and dirt, to streams and boulders, I have taken this boot pretty much everywhere. Walking on dirt, which a majority of hikes tend to be, works really well. The boot digs in and holds well even with a slightly smaller depth to the tread than some shoes I have seen.
While bouldering the boot grips well from flat to about 45 degrees. Past the 45 degree mark there is a little bit of slipping the longer you stay in place. I don’t really recommend standing on a rock that is more than 45 degrees for very long anyway but it is something to consider.
I was actually surprised at the grip walking through streams. Where I hike stream crossings are mostly walking on large and small rocks that are submerged and underwater the Skogan has a pretty solid amount of grip. No boot is going to handle submerged rocks like it is a flat dirt path, but these surprised me how well they handle that situation while maintaining their waterproofing.
There is a bit of a difference in performance that I have found based on conditions. When the shoes are dry they handle very well. They even work very well when crossing rocky streams when they are under water. The issues with these boots are the in-between that level of moisture. If you have walked through water and the bottoms of the boot is damp or has some water on them, the traction gets worse. For instance, If you could walk across some slick rock fine when totally dry, if they have moisture you probably lose about 20% of traction. Once the boot dries back up the traction returns.
I’m not sure if something in the design allows the tread to keep the moisture longer than other boots but I can definitely tell a difference when the Skogan is damp. Again, once they dry back out the grip returns but another thing to keep in mind if you are hiking in the rain or doing multiple terrain changes on a wet path.
I hate mud, mud is terrible. So, I am not going to judge any shoe on how they handle mud. I would rather walk on snow and ice than a trail that is 2 inches of mud that slips and slides underfoot.
If you have never walked on a rocky trail than you have never known the importance of a pad on a hiking boot. I was actually a little surprised because the Skogan isn’t a thick, heavy boot but actually protects the feet really well. While I haven’t taken them on a true scree path yet I have walked over everything else from sharp pointed boulders to pebbles and logs. I have yet to feel any penetration to point of being uncomfortable.
The Skogan doesn’t look like a giant bulky boot so I was expecting it to be a little thin in this department but my feet feel great after a hike. Well as good as feet can feel after walking up and down a mountain. I like that they can offer this much protection and not be a bulky boot.
I do have to mention that after about a dozen hikes, the thin piece of cloth inside the boot that covers the padding has started to come a little loose.
I have done everything I can to test the waterproofing of this boot and it has passed with flying colors. I have walked in snow, streams and puddles and I have stepped in lakes. The only time I could actually get my socks wet was when I stepped off a rock and into a stream that was shin deep. So the boot was completely submerged and some water came in the top.
The most impressive part about swamping my shoes is that this boot was so waterproof that the water stayed in the boot. I actually had to take it off and pour the water out because it wasn’t letting water in or out.
I have had a couple of times when I was standing in a river of glacier melt. Not sure why I did it, but I was standing in the water and just drenching the Skogan’s and I started to feel a little bit of cold on my feet. I thought for sure I found the flaw but the socks were dry. Apparently if you stand in 35 degree water for awhile your feet might start to feel cold. Who knew!
Now on the flip side, because these shoes are very waterproof they do get a little hot when hiking in the summer. They are breathable to a point but if you are hiking on a ninety degree day, your feet are going to warm up. This is pretty standard for anything waterproof that I have ever worn and I didn’t feel they were any hotter than any other pair that I have worn.
What I didn’t Like
Only a couple of things that I don’t love about these boots. First off, as I mentioned before, if you walk in a stream or puddle and the boot gets a bit wet the traction seems to be a little off until the tread dries out. I’m not talking about walking in a deluge but if you step on a dry rock while wet your traction is down about 20%. Something to keep in mind.
The next thing on my wish list would be a bit of a wider toe box. I have a wider foot and it feels a bit cramped around my pinky toe. A wider toe box would also allow for a bit more of a kick pad in the front. While there is a good amount of sturdy padding across the front it gets a little softer on the outside where my pinky toe ends up.
They only have men’s currently available. Women could buy a men’s pair if they know the size conversion but currently these are only available in the men’s sizes.
So just a couple of little things that I didn’t love.
Wrap Up of Kodiak Skogan Hiking Boot
I was cautiously optimistic when I saw that Kodiak Boots were coming out with a brand new line of hikers. I loved the idea of the environmentally minded approach and the incorporation of recycled materials. But I was worried how well they would perform in a place like Colorado. After trying them all I can say is that I love these boots!
I feel extremely comfortable wearing the Skogan’s on all of the different type of hikes that I take them on. They are a very comfortable fit and have style to boot. As far as functionality goes, this is the first boot that I felt comfortable just wading through shallow streams without playing hop scotch over rocks trying to avoid the water. I have kicked my toes on rocks more times than I would like to admit (walking is hard) and have felt totally protected.
My only small concerns are the narrow toe box and that weird stage between wet and dry where the traction gets a little off.
I would highly recommend the Skogan for all of your hiking needs. Long or short and a variety of terrains are all easy handled with this boot. Plus, if you don’t like the height of the mid cut, they offer a low cut shoe as well.
For a list of other products that I have reviewed you can check my Product Review page here. If you have any products you would like me to review or any comments you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!
Apparently I really like these shoes because I have taken way too many pictures of them for my own good. They are pretty stylish though! I figured I would give you a chance to see them in action.