Most boots are made for a specific purpose, which can lead a man to collect many a boot over a lifetime. A true multi-purpose boot that feels good and looks good is hard to come by, but the Kodiak Thane Waterproof Boot comes pretty darn close.
The Kodiak Thane is a versatile boot that’s as good out on the town as it is at work or in the field. While it’s not the most waterproof, rugged, lightweight, or warm boot, it does an admirable job at all those things. Whether hiking or going to dinner, this boot is a Swiss army knife of footwear.
During my hands-on review of these boots I have hunted, hiked, sat at my desk, run errands, worked outside, driven extensively, and done many other usual and mundane tasks. What follows is my honest review of this product based on real-world testing.
Below are the main criteria I considered when trying these boots out along with scores I gave them in each category:
- Features: 4/5
- Comfort: 4/5
- Durability: 4/5
- Style: 5/5
- Versatility: 5/5
- Overall: 4.4
Kodiak Thane Boots Hands-on Review
I’ve had my Kodiak Thane boots for about nine months as of the time of writing. Having used them for all sorts of activities, I’d say I know them pretty well by now.
Just so you know, Kodiak did give me these boots to use and review, but they didn’t pay for or sponsor the article. This review reflects my own assessment based on my own experience.
Disclaimer: The links in this article are affiliate links which just means if you click on one and later buy something from that website, we may get a small commission at no cost to you.
These aren’t particularly feature-rich boots, but they tick all the important boxes with reasonable utility.
I like how the top two lace loops slide real nice to easily tighten up the top, while the lower eyelets keep things snug and tight. They even come properly laced up from the factory. You do have to tighten and loosen the laces rung by rung to get them on and off, but it’s a good system.
They aren’t speed laces like some boots have, but the tradeoff is a snug fit that doesn’t loosen up over time as you wear them.
These Kodiak boots are waterproof enough for everyday activities and some typical adventure, just don’t expect them to keep your feet dry in standing water. They’re not as good as full leather boots with Gore-Tex, but they’ll work for most things.
While out hunting, hiking, or trudging around the yard I’ve walked through wet grass, snow, mud, and rain puddles. None of those things penetrated and my socks stayed dry.
However, the boots failed my basic one-minute test where I stood in a creek. They started leaking water after about 30 seconds. All the leaking was above laces starting at the lace rivets. My socks were wet, but not soaked. This was when they were brand new out of the box, so the waterproofing treatment should have been in full force.
The tongue is attached to the upper by canvas for the lower four lace holes, but the material is thin and perhaps untreated or poorly treated. Looking at it, I wouldn’t expect it to keep water out, but since they call them waterproof I tried it anyway.
Wherever there is leather seems good and waterproof. It’s the canvas and the seams that are vulnerable.
I think it’s safe to say they are waterproof below the lace rivets. Just don’t stand in water more than about two inches deep for any length of time. At that depth, it passes the one-minute test and beyond. I stopped the stopwatch at five minutes and got out without issue.
The outsole of the Kodiak Thane boot has a nice tread with good depth (though there are deeper) and grip.
The empty spaces in the tread are a bit barrow, though. Gravel gets stuck in them easily, which is a bit annoying, but not a deal-breaker. I slipped up a bit in thick mud or on steep trails with loose soil. But they were great on wet solid surfaces and for 90% of terrain.
The less aggressive lugs pay off in spades when you’re just wearing them around town because they give you a softer, lighter step. And I suspect the sole will wear more evenly and last longer the way I use them. After nine months of occasional use, they still look brand new. Although I have seen some online reviews where people had issues with wearing through the sole from heavy everyday use.
Insulation and Lining
The microfiber lining of these boots makes for a soft comfy feel inside that wicks away moisture pretty well. But they are not insulated. This makes them great for Spring through early fall, but don’t count on them keeping your feet warm in the cold.
My first walk in these boots felt really good right out of the box. However, after the first day in them, I had potential concerns about the heel shroud and a hot spot right over the top of the ball of my foot.
After a little break-in time (a few days), the hot spot was a non-issue. Maybe I just had the laces too tight at first.
The heel issue let up quite a bit, but the other day when I was out climbing steep mountains turkey hunting, I definitely felt it. Not so much that it gave me blisters, just some discomfort and heat after a long day in the field. It’s like the heel cup inside the boot is just a little short, so it rubs my achilles a bit much.
Overall, break-in time wasn’t bad at all. While I wouldn’t go hike 10 miles in them on the first day, they are usable right away.
Kodiak Thane boots are comfortable. Your foot stays put well and doesn’t slide around. Even in steep, uneven terrain they were decent, though there is not much by way of reinforced ankle support. So if your ankles give you problems, you might not want to wear these in steep country.
One of the first things that impressed me about these boots was the weight. They look somewhat meaty but they don’t feel heavy. They’re definitely lighter than other work boots and many hunting boots.
The last of the boot is semi-stiff, giving you solid footing and providing adequate protection from sharp rocks underfoot. The soles and toe box feel rigid like a work boot, but they have decent flex at the ankle thanks to the canvas. So they feel more like a hybrid between work boot and light hiker.
Even after several months of use in the woods and rocky terrain, there are no major signs of wear. I expect they’ll last forever, though based on some online reviews not everyone agrees. This brings us to build quality.
Quality of Construction
The pair I got seem very solid and there are no tell-tale signs of poor quality. The sole isn’t separating from the upper. The outsole’s not wearing through, or even down for that matter. No seams are unraveling or rivets pulling out. Even the lining still looks almost new. Other than a few expected dings to the leather around the toe box, they still look great.
That said, I have read reports of the outsole separating from the upper starting at the toe and of the outsole wearing through and developing holes. These appeared to be daily wearers of the boots who were on their feet working all day.
Perhaps these Kodiak boots are better suited for people like me who use them occasionally rather than as daily workboots.
A few of my own observations on quality:
- The canvas feels high quality and likely reduces the overall weight compared to full leather boots.
- Inside is a soft-to-the-touch synthetic microfiber liner that feels good, but I can’t help but wonder if it will wear out before the outer boot does.
- The leather-lined synthetic insole is of mediocre quality, but it’s functional, comfortable, and takes in the imprint of your foot right quick.
- Seams are double- or triple-stitched all the way around – nice!
While I am no connoisseur of fashion, I think these boots look good. This is obviously a subjective thing when it comes to something you wear, but I’ve had a few compliments on them and they certainly don’t look bad or clunky.
The Kodiak Thane boot has sort of an old school, heritage look to it with a hint of a military vibe. I especially appreciate that they are not big or bulky. This is largely what makes them work for both casual and adventurous pursuits.
When I try anything on whether it’s a hat, a shirt, or these boots if it doesn’t immediately feel good I’m done considering it. If it feels good, then it’s got to look decent, according to myself, to pass the purchase test.
These boots passed both tests. They feel good and they look good. From the first person view above, they look good with jeans in particular.
The Thanes come in four different color schemes:
- Black leather with gray canvas
- Medium brown leather with light brown canvas
- Light golden brown leather with light brown canvas
- Dark brown leather with olive green canvas (what I have)
My favorite thing about these boots is their versatility. As an aspiring minimalist, I can appreciate having one item that does many things and the Kodiak Thane boot is one of those things.
Here’s a list of things I either have done or would do in these boots:
- Office work
- Go on a date
- Go to church
- Physical labor
- Factory work
- Construction work
If you need safety toe or other certified work boots, these won’t work. But if you just want or need boots for work to provide a little more protection and support than your average shoe, these would be great.
Besides that, they’re good for just about anything outdoors, rain or shine.
But as the saying goes, if something is good at everything, it’s probably not great at anything.
That’s true for these boots. Some of the sidehilling I was doing in the mountains while turkey hunting made me wish I was wearing something with more support. And these wouldn’t be my first pick for an extended hike or backpacking trip. I’d probably wear my full leather, steel-toe boots if I were cutting wood or visiting a mine site for work like I used to do.
Nonetheless, these boots make for excellent go-to all-around footwear.
Price and Value
Retail price for a pair of Kodiak Thane waterproof boots is $155.
At that price they certainly aren’t cheap, but they’re not the most expensive either. Even a lot of running shoes will cost you that much anymore.
I do think they are worth the price since they aren’t made up of a bunch of cheap synthetic materials. With real full-grain leather, durable canvas, grippy rubber soles, and decent water protection, they are better than most boots you’ll find at that price or cheaper.
Combined score: 4.4 out of 5
Kodiak Thane boots are a great choice for active, outdoorsy people. Whether you live in a city, the suburbs, or the country, they will be useful boots that you can wear anywhere for just about any activity. They are ideal for those days when you leave the house without knowing exactly what you’re going to be doing for work or play.
If you are seeking a boot for a very specific purpose like hiking, backcountry hunting, or working construction, you’ll probably be better off with a purpose-built boot rather than the Thane. Same thing for people who need to wear boots every day and spend the whole day on their feet. You might need something more robust.
I fit in that first category and for that reason, I love these boots. They are a great multi-purpose boot that saves me from buying five pairs of specialized boots for activities I only do occasionally.
Kodiak Thane Boots FAQ
1. Are Kodiak Boots True to Size?
Kodiak boots do fit true to size. I own two different pairs of Kodiak boots in my usual size of US 10.5 Men’s, and I found them both to be spot on in terms of sizing. They fit nice and snug without being too tight or allowing my foot to slip around. People with wider feet may need to consider trying a half size up.
The taller Kodiak boots like the Thane are slightly large for me around the instep, but that’s pretty normal as I have a low instep and I find that in all boots. The laces allowed me to pull that in so it is not a problem too. Some people have reported this boot to run slightly large.
2. Are Kodiak Thane Boots Good for Hunting?
For upland game, wild turkey, small game, coyotes, or early season whitetail, the Kodiak Thane boots are great for hunting. I have worn them chasing chukars in the desert and turkeys in the mountains of Southern Idaho and think they’re great for that.
What I like about them for hunting is that they are not loud and clunky like other work-style boots. The sole rubber is stiff enough for foot traction but soft enough for grip and noise reduction. There is enough waterproofing to keep your feet dry on a typical spring or fall day, even with the early morning dew on the grass or the occasional thunderstorm.
While you might want a more rugged sole and boot for long backcountry trips or mud boots for swamps or waterfowl, these are now my primary hunting boots for most things. I’ll even be wearing them deer hunting in the fall.