Kodiak, the Canadian boot brand and manufacturer, has tried to strike the perfect balance of comfort, durability, and style for consumers. At a lower price point than most other high-quality boots, they are likely to provide a good value based on how much you pay for them, even if they don’t last a lifetime.
I own two pairs of Kodiak Boots, some hikers and some hunting boots (see photo) that look good around town too. My wife also owns a paid of Kodiak snow boots that she has had for more than 5 years. In my opinion, these boots are well-made with stout soles and quality leather.
For more on why you should consider this line of boots, read our Kodiak Boots review below.
About Kodiak Boots
Kodiak brands itself as “Canada’s bootmaker” since they’ve been in the business for over 100 years. To provide a brief history: Kodiak Boots was founded by Charles E. Greb under the name of Berlin Shoe Manufacturing Company Limited.
It only took six years for their name to shorten to Greb Shoe Company. After a few more acquisitions, including by the Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co., the company that founded the famous Dickie’s workwear brand. The Kodiak Boots brand is now owned by VF Corporation, a huge conglomerate that owns other famous brands including Vans, The North Face, and Timberland.
Kodiak originally specialized in farming, logging, and mining boots. Their legacy of making quality work boots to meet specific safety standards continues. Rugged work boots remain at the center of their portfolio.
However they have also branched out as more of a lifestyle brand. Their footwear now appeals to everyday people, hipsters, and hikers. Lucky for Outdoor Empire readers, they even make great hunting boots.
Kodiak has remained renowned for its quality, style, and innovation throughout the years and corporate maneuverings. Even if you are unaware of the brand, if you’ve ever visited Canada and many parts of the northern United States, you’ve likely met someone either wearing Kodiaks or who has a pair in their closet.
Are Kodiak Boots Good?
While the company’s history is interesting, it doesn’t necessarily lend an answer to the question of whether Kodiak boots are any good. Of course, there are still historical aspects to that question that can help us answer it. For instance, the boots become synonymous with the Canadian combat efforts during the Second World War. Kodiak boots were also worn on the feet of the fashion and style elite in the 1970s.
For a boot that’s played a role in industry, fashion, and culture, you might assume that their longevity eventually succumbed to a decline in quality. Yet, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
While there can be variations depending on the specific style you choose, Kodiak boots are still considered high-quality, comfortable, and stylish.
Durability, Quality, and Workmanship
Kodiak boots are known for their durability despite their low-cost point. Yet, that does mean that sometimes quality and workmanship take a slight hit to ensure that the boots remain economical for most.
Kodiak boots are designed to thrive in tough environments – like rainy, muddy trails or grimy, dusty manufacturing centers. They’re durable boots designed for professional use and should withstand at least a few years of rugged, everyday abuse.
That said, some reviewers have mentioned that their hiking boots suffer from a single issue: the outsoles are cemented (as in glued) on. This may you mean you’ll need to buy a new pair of shoes sooner than expected. Ideally, you want a hiking boot that’s either Goodyear welted or storm welted. The use of cemented outsoles limits how long you should expect your shoes to last — potentially to as low as two years, depending on how often they’re used.
Another potential issue is that the leather on some of their boots is remarkably thin, such as the Kodiak Rover II Arctic Grip Chelsea Boot. While the Chelsea-style boot isn’t necessarily a workman’s boot, the thin leather means they are more likely to get torn up or damaged.
Style can be subjective, but there are plenty of influencers out there who really love the style of Kodiak boots. Granted, these endorsements may be paid, but if influencers like the boots, then it’s likely that more mainstream audiences will approve of the style, too.
However, many reviewers express delight at how they can wear their Kodiak boots with anything. They look nice enough to wear with denim if you’re making a trip to town, yet are practically designed, so they also support your feet in harder circumstances.
Many of their boots also come with two pairs of laces in different colors. This allows you to customize your look right out of the box.
For more information about popular designs and styles, consider checking out their Gift Guide.
Waterproofing, Warmth, and Comfort
Kodiak boots are an excellent choice if your goal is to purchase a pair that keeps your feet dry, warm, and comfortable. Most of their boots include a removable EVA insole, which adds comfort. If you prefer another brand of insole, you can easily swap out the included one for your preference to add to the comfort.
Some people report a minor issue with the comfort of Kodiak boots, that the sizes tend to run small. Personally I found both pairs of my Kodiak boots (acquired in 2021) to be true to size. I generally wear a Mens 10.5 US. That’s what I got and they fit perfect. My wife, who usually a Women’s 9 US, does find her size 9 winter boots from Kodiak a bit tight. She might have been better off with a half size bigger.
If you’re wearing thick socks, the shoes can feel extremely tight at your normal shoe size. Consider sizing up at least half a size. Or make sure to bring your thickest socks with you when trying on Kodiak boots.
For those who often trek in cold environments, you’ll have plenty of Kodiak options from which to choose. Many of their boots contain Thinsulate insulation. This keeps your feet warm without adding to the shoe’s weight, as well as a full interior lining. Some reviews have stated that Kodiak boots kept their feet warm even at degrees of up to negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
The waterproofing on Kodiak boots is also known to work well and last a long time. Even on a more casual style, such as the Kodiak Rover II Arctic Grip Chelsea Boot, the waterproofing should hold up even in repeated downpours.
Our Overall Kodiak Boots Review
While Kodiak-brand boots are not necessarily perfect in every way, they are a great choice. They sell at a mid to low price point, typically under $200. You’re not likely to find another pair of boots that are as comfortable, stylish, and well designed for that price.
My Kodiak Boots have held up extremely well and I expect to use them for years to come. In my opinion, they’re worth the price and I recommend you consider the brand.
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