I purchased the Chippewa Edge Walker Waterproof Moc Toe Boots so that I could test the waterproof effectiveness and comfort of these boots by using them myself. I then cut them in half to compare the internal parts to similarly priced boots. Additionally, I purchased a heavily used pair of Chippewa Edge Walker Boots so I could also cut them in half to review how the boot parts wore down over time.
My conclusion is this: I recently tried 11 different waterproof moc-toe boots, and my conclusion was these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots provided the best value. I purchased mine for $220 and after evaluating them, I feel like they provide the value of a $250 boot.
The leather makes this boot unique. This is a thinner leather, but it is a very high quality leather that is infused with oils to make it very water-resistant and long-lasting. And because it is thinner than other leathers, the boot is very lightweight and easy to break in (learn more). These boots fit true to size.
The comfort is also very good. This boot uses a foam filler above the midsole. Some types of foam fillers are very bad and not long-lasting, however, this foam proved to be a thicker, more premium foam. When I cut open my used boots, I was shocked at how well this foam filler had held up over time (learn more). These boots also use a rubber-based Vibram wedge outsole, which is squishier than polyurethane-based wedge outsoles, and therefore absorbs more shock (learn more).
One drawback is I think the insole is just average (they remind me of the foam insoles I find in $100-$150 boots). Because they are replaceable, this isn’t a deal breaker for me (learn more). Overall, these boots provide excellent leather that performs better than the leather in similarly-priced work boots. And because the foam filler is very soft and resilient, the comfort under the foot is long-lasting and doesn’t break down in just a few months. I also think this $180-$225 price range is the best price range for waterproof boots (learn why).
In this Chippewa Edge Walker review I will go into deep detail using photos of the boots that I own. However, if you prefer video, I also put all of this Chippewa Edge Walker Boot Review information into the video below:
Pros & Cons of Chippewa Edge Walker Boots
|This is a unique leather that is thinner than many other boot leathers, but still has premium, long-lasting qualities. The thinner leather makes this boot very lightweight versus competitors (learn more)
|This boot has 6 total grommets per side (2 speed hooks) which is very typical for 6-inch boots
|The insole on these boots is not uncomfortable, it just doesn’t separate itself and feels like an insole I’d find in a $150 boot. It’s removable so you can swap if needed (learn more)
|The leather is heavily infused with oils and is tumbled so it is very soft, flexible, and easy to break in (learn more)
|This boot uses a rubber midsole which is very common in this price range
|Again, this boot uses a thinner leather. I found the leather to still be a great, dependable leather, but if you need extra abrasion resistance, there are thicker options on the market (learn more)
|The quality of this leather combined with the infused oils makes this leather long-lasting despite being a thinner leather (learn more)
|This boot is available in both soft and safety toe
|This boot uses a flat welt instead of a storm welt. Both welts are dependable, but the storm welt adds extra water protection to midsole area (learn more)
|The well-oiled leather was also much more water-repellent than the other boots I tested (learn more)
|This boot uses wax-coated laces which I like, but they did still absorb some water when I tested them, so I’m putting this as a neutral even though they do perform better than cheap laces (learn more)
|The internal waterproof membrane passed my waterproofing submersion test (learn more)
|This boot is built using a Goodyear Welt Construction for easy re-crafting
|The Vibram Cristy wedge outsole is a rubber-based wedge, which makes it softer than polyurethane-based wedge outsoles, and therefore better at absorbing shock (learn more)
|My heavily used boots have no damage to the seams which are holding strong
|I like the smell of the leather out of the box. It has a fresh, oiled smell
|The foam filler in these boots proved to be very resilient and much thicker than other types of foam filler (learn more)
|The price point of these boots is within the price range I like to use for waterproof boots (learn more)
|Extremely comfortable, padded collar designed to feel soft against Achilles and ankle.
|The welt material used on this boot is leather and not synthetic like some competitors. This means it’s longer lasting (learn more)
It’s important to consider the price of boots. I purchased my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots for $220. The price can vary slightly depending on the specific type of Chippewa Edge Walker boots you choose.
I like to put work boots into four price tiers:
- $0 – $125 – Lower Quality – Typically Last 1-2 Years
- $125 – $250 – Medium Quality – Typically Last 2-3 Years
- $250 – $400 – High Quality – Typically Last 3-5 Years
- $400+ – Elite Quality – Typically Last 5-10 Years
The tiers above are just a general guideline and there is obviously many things that impact the quality of a boot.
Based on price, these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots need to deliver that medium quality price range, and I actually think they slightly exceed that (meaning I think these boots provide nice value). I feel like these boots provide the value of a $250 boot despite being $220. Let’s start this Chippewa Edge Walker Review by taking a closer look at how these boots are built.
Reviewing the Outside of Chippewa Edge Walker Boots
Evaluating the Leather
The leather is what makes these boots very unique. It is a high-quality leather that is very soft and good at repelling water, but it is thinner than other boot leathers. Usually a thinner leather means it’s a poorer leather.
That’s not the case with these boots. Let’s discuss why in the sections below.
Type of Leather Used
My Chippewa Edge Walker Boots are made using a cowhide “Haystack” full grain leather. This Chippewa Edge Walker leather is tumbled, which makes it feel soft and flexible straight out of the box. It is also heavily infused with oils which adds to the softness and makes it very water-repellent.
Here I am wearing my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots:
There’s a little trick you can use to see how oiled the leather is. If you bend the leather and crease it and it dis-colors, that is from the oils shifting away from the crease.
As you can see below, when I crease the leather on my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots it dis-colors as the oils shift away from the crease (the color returns to normal as you even out the leather):
Thickness of the Leather
The thickness of this Haystack leather is one of the most important issues to discuss. This is a thinner leather. As you can see below, I measured the leather thickness on the shaft of my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots at 2.16mm.
When I recently tried 11 different types of waterproof moc-toe boots, the thickness of this leather put it near the bottom.
Here is how the thickness of the leather on the Chippewa Edge Walker compares to the other boots I tried:
|Leather Thickness (mm)
|Carhartt WP Moc Toe
|Irish Setter Wingshooter
|Timberland Pro Gridstone
|Red Wing Traction Tred 405
|Rocky Outback Hiker
|Chippewa Edge Walker
|Ecco Track 25 Hiker
As you can see, this leather is thinner than most boot leathers.
But this is where it gets interesting – this is not a bad leather. Most work boots that use thin leathers are using a cheap leather. That is not the case with these boots.
I found this leather to be more water-repellent than all but one of the other boots (meaning it was heavily treated with oils, much more than other options). Also, my pair of heavily used Chippewa Edge Walker Boots does not show any signs of flaking or cracking in the leather, which gives me the confidence that despite being a thinner leather, this leather is resilient and long-lasting due to the premium treatment applied to it in the manufacturing process.
Now, to be fair, it won’t be as durable as some of the thicker, premium leathers, but the positive trade-off you gain here in these boots is weight (and that’s why I think this leather is unique).
This leather is a high-quality, dependable leather, but instead of positioning itself as thicker, ultra-durable leather, this leather is positioning itself as a dependable leather that is thin enough to also allow the boot to feel lightweight.
How Much Do Chippewa Edge Walker Boots Weigh?
I own style 25341, which is the soft-toe, 6-inch version of this boot. My size 12 Chippewa Edge Walker Boot weighs 1.91 pounds per boot:
This is very lightweight compared to similar types of waterproof moc-toe work boots. Here is how the weight of Chippewa Edge Walker Boots compares to the other waterproof moc toe boots that I tried:
|Timberland Pro Gridstone
|Red Wing Traction Tred 405
|Irish Setter Wingshooter
|Carhartt WP Moc Toe
|Chippewa Edge Walker
|Rocky Outback (Hiker)
|Ecco Track 25 (Hiker)
As you can see, it was the third lightest in weight – but here’s the thing: the two boots that were lighter than this Chippewa Edge Walker Boots were both hiker boots. That means this Chippewa Edge Walker was actually the most lightweight if you look at just the boots designed specifically to be work boots.
If you hate heavy work boots, these are a great option for you.
Most of the time if a boot is lightweight, that just means it uses less and/or cheaper materials. But as we discussed earlier, I found this leather to still be high quality even though it was thinner than certain other leathers (we will discuss how the other parts of this boot impact weight as we proceed through the review).
How Does This Haystack Leather Perform in Wet Conditions?
The leather on these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots is very good at repelling water.
I will discuss this in more detail later in the waterproof testing section, but I drip-tested water onto the leather of these Chippewa Edge Walker boots to see if the leather would absorb or repel away the water. This is obviously an important issue for waterproof boots.
The leather on these boots repelled away the water and had no absorption. In the photo below, I tried to capture that the best I could, but I would advise you to watch the full video of me testing this in my Chippewa Edge Walker Review video at the top of the page.
To be effectively waterproof, it is important that boots not only have a waterproof membrane inside the boot (which keeps your foot dry), but it is also important that the boots have treated leather that repels away water. It does you no good if the membrane protects your foot but the leather itself becomes water-logged and heavy.
I recently tested 11 different types of the most popular waterproof moc-toe boots, and I was shocked to find that only two of those boots had leather that actually repelled all water. This Chippewa Edge Walker Boot was one of those two boots – the other was the Thorogood 1957 Series Boot (Chippewa Edge Walker vs Thorogood 1957 Boots).
For comparison, below is a photo of a different brand of waterproof moc toe boots that I tested. This other brand had leather that immediately began absorbing water when I drip-tested it:
This is a major benefit of these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots, especially if you are working in very wet conditions. The leather is very good at repelling water.
Here is a photo I took of these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots about two minutes after I poured the water:
As you can see, the leather is dry with no absorption. This leather acts as an effective first layer of protection against water.
Is the Chippewa Edge Walker Boot Hard to Break In?
The leather on these Chippewa Edge Walker boots is not hard to break in. There are four main reasons why this is the case:
- Tumbled Leather – The Haystack Leather is tumbled which softens it and helps break the leather in before the boot is assembled. Here is a close-up look at the tumbled leather:
- Oils – The oils in the leather also help give the boot a soft, comfortable feel straight out of the box.
- Thickness of Leather – As we have discussed, the leather on this boot is thinner than many similar types of boots.
- Materials Under the Foot – This boot also uses lightweight and flexible materials underneath the foot which reduces the break-in period (more on that in a bit).
Is This Leather Long Lasting?
Because this leather isn’t as thick as other work boots, that brings the durability of this leather into question. Premium work boots using thicker leathers will obviously be a bit more durable.
But I found the leather of these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots to be quite resilient even though it is a thinner leather. That is a testament to the fact that although this is a thinner leather, it’s not a low-quality leather. It has been treated during the manufacturing process to be resilient and long lasting.
Below are close-up pictures of the leather on my pair of used Chippewa Edge Walker boots. As you can see, the leather is not cracking or flaking in the natural bend spots (and the seams are also holding up well):
It is important to keep the leather oiled to prolong the life of the boot (I like to oil mine about once every 4-6 weeks).
Evaluating the Welt
The welt on the Chippewa Edge Walker brings both a positive and a negative. Let’s start with the positive: these boots use a leather welt instead of a synthetic welt. Many work boots in this price range (and even higher) will use a synthetic (plastic or rubber-based) welt.
The welt is the stripping around the bottom of the upper where the seams are sewn to connect the upper to the lower of the boot. Here is a look at the leather welt on my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots:
Leather welts are much better at handling wet and muddy conditions (and not cracking over time). Things like rain and dried mud and salt and changing temperatures (when combined with long-term use and the stress of bending the boot) can cause synthetic welts to fracture. Because this is a leather welt, you don’t need to worry about the welt fracturing.
As you can see, the leather welt in my used Chippewa Edge Walker Boots is still in great shape:
And that boot has been put through heavy use. To prove it, here is a look at the outsole (we discuss the outsole in more detail later):
You can feel confident that this leather welt will hold up well over time.
The drawback to this welt is it is a flat welt. Now, to be clear, a flat welt is a very common and dependable way to stitch construct a boot. However, a storm welt (which is slightly different) is widely considered to be the better type of welt at holding out moisture.
Again, here is a picture of the flat welt on these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots:
And here is a picture of a storm welt used on a different brand of work boot I own:
That storm welt pictured above wraps up over the upper material and creates a sort of seal that helps keep moisture out of the midsole area. The Chippewa Edge Walker does not use this type of storm welt, and instead uses a more traditional flat welt.
In the photo below, I outlined the shape of the Chippewa Edge Walker flat welt compared to the shape of a storm welt so you have a better idea how that storm welt wraps up and covers part of the upper:
The flat welt used in the Chippewa Edge Walker is a still very dependable way to build a boot and as you can see above, it does create a seal against the upper. But because the storm welt wraps upward, it is widely considered to be the better seal in regards to moisture protection.
My advice is to consider this only a minor issue, but if you do submerge these boots in water, make sure you allow them to properly dry in front of a fan or with a boot dryer so that if water has creeped in near the flat welt, it dries and does not form an odor.
Overall, I still like this welt because it is a leather-based welt and not a synthetic-based welt. Just be mindful that storm welts create a stronger barrier.
Evaluating the Eyelets
Not much to report in this area good or bad. Most standard 6-inch work boots have 6 grommets, and as you can see below, that is the case for these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots:
They are also using two speed hooks at the top, which is very typical for boots in this price range (these speed hooks make it easier to get your foot in and out of the boot).
These are brass grommets and they are holding up just fine on my used Chippewa Edge Walker Boots:
Reviewing the Under-Foot Comfort of Chippewa Edge Walker Boots
In the sections below, I will review the parts under the foot inside these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots. Below is a graphic identifying the basic parts.
I am going to focus on the most important parts: the insole, the shank, the foam filler, the midsole, and the outsole.
Evaluating the Foam Filler
When the boot is lasted, the leather is pulled down and hammered into place as the bootmaker creates the shape of the boot. When the leather is wrapped around and hammered onto what will be the bottom side of the boot, a cavity is created in the middle (with that leather surrounding it).
The material used to fill this cavity is one of the most important areas on a boot. It is important not only because it is underneath your foot (and therefore impacts comfort), but it is also important because it is impossible to see this area unless you rip the boot apart (or cut it in half as I have done).
Below, you can see the location of the white foam filler inside the Chippewa Edge Walker Boots in relation to the other boot parts:
Because this area is hidden, this is often an area where boot brands will use bad parts and lazy manufacturing processes as a way to save money in an area you can’t see.
Cork is one of the best materials to use in this filler area, however, you don’t see cork used as a filler in work boots until you get in the $250+ price range. Under $250, you see foam and other cheap recycled materials used as filler.
This Chippewa Edge Walker Boot is using a foam-based filler.
I also included a photo below of a more expensive brand of work boots that is choosing to use cork as the filler material to give you a better idea how these two types of materials might compare:
It is true that foam can be one of the worst materials to find in this filler area.
However, it is very important to understand that there are different types of foams, and thicker, more premium foams (like EVA foams) actually are quite good (and cost-effective). In fact, some bootmakers will tell you premium foams compare very well to cork.
So the question is this: is Chippewa using a premium foam or a cheap foam in the Edge Walker Boots?
I tried researching this for two weeks (including contacting Chippewa customer service). After all of that, I was not able to find any specific information about the exact type of foam that is used as the filler on these boots (and the Chippewa reps couldn’t supply an answer either).
Instead, I used my eye test and feel test to examine the foam, then also compared the foam to cheaper foams, and then also cut my used Chippewa Edge Walker Boots in half to see how this foam material has held up over time.
After all of that my conclusion is this: these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots appear to be using a more premium, thicker type of foam. Let’s discuss why I think that.
Why Do I Think This is a Premium Foam?
This section could easily be an article itself, but I’m going to keep this as concise as possible. For more in-depth discussion on this issue, please watch the Chippewa Edge Walker Review video at the top of the page. Here are the reasons why I feel confident that this foam filler is actually a very good foam and much better than cheaper foams:
This is a Tighter Foam – The Chippewa Edge Walker foam has a tight consistency and this gives it more resiliency. I can feel the difference when I compress this tighter foam versus when I compress cheaper, looser foams. In the photo below I tried to capture how this tighter foam compares to a cheaper, looser foam filler that is used in one of my Timberland Pro work boots. The cheaper foam has an airy, sponge-like appearance:
This is a Thicker Foam – The foam filler layer is also thicker than the foam layer in many types of work boots. For example, below I compare the measurement of the foam filler in my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots to the measurement of the foam filler in a pair of $100 boots I own. The Chippewa Edge Walker foam measured at 5mm and the cheaper foam filler measured at 2.5mm:
This Foam is Assembled Well – The foam filler on the Chippewa Edge Walker does not leave large gaps near the toe or heel like some cheaper foam fillers do. It is also adhered properly and is not loose at all (which should prevent clumping). In the photo below, I tried to capture how the Chippewa Edge Walker foam is properly filled in to the edge of the toe (leaving only a small gap) versus a pair of $100 boots that leaves a much larger gap between the foam and the toe:
The Foam Appears to be Resilient – This is the most important piece of evidence. I was actually shocked when I cut open my used boots and found this foam layer to be in great condition. It has barely lost any of its shape. This foam is very resilient and can be trusted to provide long-term cushioning under the foot. This is what gives me confidence in claiming that this foam filler material is actually a positive for this boot. Here is a comparison of the foam filler in my new Chippewa Edge Walker Boots compared to my used Chippewa Edge Walker Boots:
And below I also wanted to include a picture of the outsole on my used Chippewa Edge Walker Boots just to prove that these boots have had a lot of miles of use. It’s not like this foam has just been used for a month or two. This foam has remained resilient even though the outsole shows many miles worth of use:
Underneath the toe pad area there seems to be a tiny bit of compression, but this is totally normal and the foam even in this area still has a very good amount of thickness and resiliency left:
When I began this Chippewa Edge Walker review, I suspected this foam material would be a negative for this boot (because cheaper foams are bad). However, this foam has proven to be a more premium, resilient foam that holds up well over the long-term to provide sustained cushioning under the foot. Buy with confidence.
Evaluating the Composite Shank
The Chippewa Edge Walker Boots use a composite shank in both the soft-toe and the safety-toe versions.
The shank provides support to the midsole and bridges the gap between the toe pad and the heel (in the arch area). In a wedge outsole, the shank isn’t quite as important. But for the raised heel versions, a shank provides support to that part of the boot sole that is not in contact with the ground (to help prevent it from losing shape).
The shank is positioned above the foam filler and beneath the white lasting board. Here is a close-up look at the position of the composite shank in my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots:
Composite shanks are very popular in work boots, as are steel shanks and even leather shanks. The benefit of a composite shank is it weighs less than a steel shank while still providing needed support (and is non-metallic).
This composite shank is very common in work boots and is not something that separates this boot (good or bad) from other options.
Evaluating the Rubber Midsole
The Chippewa Edge Walker Boots use a rubber midsole.
Rubber midsoles are not as premium as leather midsoles, but they are very common in this price range and for this type of boot. Rubber midsoles are popular in work boots because they are more flexible than leather, and easier to break in. They’re also cheaper to manufacture, which helps keep the price point down.
The midsole is the black-colored rubber just above the outsole and below the foam filler. Here is a picture of the midsole in my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots:
Leather midsoles are more durable and over time provide better comfort by forming to the unique shape of the foot, but the rubber midsole on this boot is just fine (and again, no other boots in this price range will use a leather midsole). Leather midsoles are more common in the $400+ price range.
A cobbler will tell you that a leather midsole is the better option, not only because of durability and comfort, but because leather adheres better to the glued wedge outsole. When you get your boots re-soled, you can ask for a leather midsole if you like.
The main takeaway is the rubber midsole in this boot is very standard for this price range and in no way damages the value of these boots. Rubber midsoles are perfectly fine but they just aren’t as premium as leather midsoles. The black rubber midsole on these Chippewa Edge Walker boots has held up just fine over time:
I would suggest you watch my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots Review video at the top of the page for a more thorough break down of the midsole area.
Evaluating the Outsole
One thing I like about Chippewa Edge Walker Boots is they are made with the Vibram Cristy wedge outsole. The Vibram Cristy wedge is one of the most popular types of wedge outsoles.
The Vibram Cristy is a rubber-based wedge outsole, which makes it softer than polyurethane-based wedge outsoles, and therefore better at absorbing shock.
In the photo below I tried to capture how soft my outsoles are by compressing my thumb into the outsole (to see video of this, watch my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots Review video at the top of the page):
I like to wear wedge outsoles because they add a bit more comfort (especially when I’m on my feet all day on concrete). Not only do they compress better than typical outsoles (which absorbs shock), wedge outsoles also evenly distribute contact stress across the entire bottom of my foot instead of localizing it on my heel and toe-pad like traditional outsoles.
But wedge outsoles won’t make sense for every job. A raised heel helps provide slip protection and can be essential for those who climb ladders all day.
I like the Vibram Cristy wedge outsoles because they are a softer wedge outsole. But it is important to remember that this a blown-rubber material, meaning it has small little air pockets trapped inside the rubber to help make it softer.
These rubber-based wedge outsoles do wear out quicker than traditional boot outsoles. Some people like polyurethane-based wedge outsoles because they are supposed to last a little bit longer, but I personally have found the difference to be minimal, so I prefer the rubber-based wedge due to its softer comfort.
Some people claim they like wedge outsoles because they “track less mud”. In general, I have not found that to be the case with wedge outsoles. I think they’re a bit easier to clean because they don’t have the deep lugs, but I still find that all the wedge outsoles I use accumulate mud just like deeper-lug outsoles.
I used my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots at a muddy construction site and they did accumulate mud:
This was not surprising and it was very muddy – I just say all of this to say that I would not expect these wedge outsoles to accumulate less mud than traditional outsoles (but they are easier to clean).
Evaluating the Insole
This is one of the areas on this boot that I am going to be a little critical. This insole isn’t uncomfortable, I just don’t think it is anything but average (and punches a bit below its weight class). This feels like a simple foam insole I would find in the $100-$150 price range.
The insole of the Chippewa Edge Walker Boots is made using open-cell polyurethane foam, which does retain its shape well over time (source). Still, I felt like these insoles could be better. Here is a look at the insole cut in half:
Again, it’s not that I found this insole to be uncomfortable, I just think it is very similar to insoles in $100-$150 boots, and therefore doesn’t add much value to the boot. For example, here is the Chippewa insole (blue) compared to an insole from a pair of $100 work boots I own (green):
As you can see, the thickness and foam material is very similar. And there are other insoles in this price range I like better. Some boot insoles will provide extra shock absorption under the toe pad and heel, and these insoles don’t provide that.
However, I never let an insole be a deal breaker. First of all, this insole does the job (meaning it does provide some comfort under the foot). Secondly, it is so easy to replace insoles, my advice if you need extra shock absorption is to just throw your favorite insole in these boots.
This insole isn’t great, it is average, but I wouldn’t let it discourage you from buying the boot due to how many other positives this boot has (including comfort). The boot feels very comfortable to wear in large part due to the wedge outsole (which absorbs a lot of shock) and the thick foam filler that proved to be very resilient and long-lasting.
Reviewing the Kush-N-Kollar of Chippewa Edge Walker Boots
Did you know Chippewa was the first boot company to incorporate a padded collar into a work boot? In 1970, the company received approval on US Patent 3545107 and incorporated what the company calls the Kush-N-Kollar®.
This Chippewa Kush-N-Kollar is designed to reduce stress on the Achilles tendon as you walk and work. You can see this area on the back of my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots:
A padded collar is an underrated part of a boot and can greatly impact comfort. This area is very important for those of us who bend and crouch into tight spaces. The padded collar prevents the boot from eating into your ankle.
These Chippewa Edge Walker Boots have one of the best collars on the market. There is a lot of padding – I tried to capture how thick the padding is in the photo below:
Not only does this help with bending and crouching, but it provides a bit of extra “bang” protection to the ankle area. If you are someone who prioritizes padding around the collar, I don’t think any boots do it better than this.
Waterproof Testing Chippewa Edge Walker Boots
Waterproof Testing Summary: I submerged these boots into a water tank for 5 minutes and the membrane did not allow any water inside the boot (learn more). I drip-tested the leather and the leather repelled away all of the water and did not absorb any water (learn more). I soaked the laces for 5 minutes in a cup of water and although the laces did absorb a small bit of water, they performed better than cheaper laces I tested in large part due to the fact that these are wax-coated laces (learn more).
Submerging the Boots in a Water Tank
These Chippewa Edge Walker Boots use a Chip-A-Tex® waterproof membrane that is both waterproof and breathable. The tongue on these boots is gusseted up to the second-highest eyelet so that the waterproof membrane can be lined up to this height on the boot.
Here is a look at the tongue gusset:
To be both waterproof and breathable, these waterproof membranes have billions of tiny pores that are much smaller than a water droplet (so water can’t get in), but also larger than a water-vapor molecule (so your feet can breathe).
The problem with waterproof membranes is all it takes is one manufacturing error (like a needle or nail puncturing the material) for the membrane to fail. To test the effectiveness of this membrane, I submerged my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots in a water tank (up to the second-lowest eyelet) for five minutes to see if the waterproof membrane would hold out water.
Here I am submerging these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots (to see video of this, watch my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots Review video at the top of the page):
My testing results were this: The waterproof membrane passed this test and *did* hold out all water. In the photo below, you can see the tissues inside the boot were still dry after submerging.
Drip Testing the Leather
It’s not enough for a boot to just have a waterproof membrane. You also need the leather itself to be water-repellent. If the leather is not water-repellent, then the leather will become soaked and water-logged in heavy rain (even if the membrane keeps your foot dry).
And if water soaks through the leather, it can become trapped between the leather and the waterproof membrane, which means it will slowly dry in there and form musty, moldy odors.
As I discussed earlier in the article, I recently tried 11 different types of waterproof moc-toe boots. Out of those 11 boots, these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots were one of only two boots that actually had leather that repelled water effectively.
To test the leather, I drip-tested water onto these shoes to see if it would absorb or repel away. The leather on these boots repelled away the water and had no absorption. In the photo below, I tried to capture that:
This treated leather caused the water to repel off the boot without soaking into the leather. I would suggest you watch my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots Review video at the top of this page to see the actual video of the water repelling off the leather.
For comparison, below is a photo of a different brand of waterproof moc-toe boots that I tested. This other brand had leather that immediately began soaking in water when I drip tested it:
And below is another brand of popular waterproof moc-toe boots that had instant absorption:
This is a major benefit of these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots, especially if you are working in rainy conditions. The leather is very good at repelling water.
Here is a photo I took of these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots about 2 minutes after I poured the water:
As you can see, the leather has no visible absorption and remained dry. This is one of the biggest strengths of these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots.
Submerging the Laces in Water
The laces are easy to overlook on boots. If you are buying waterproof boots, it certainly helps to have laces that are wax-coated to help prevent the laces from becoming water-logged.
To test the waterproofness of the laces on these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots, I submerged the laces in a cup of water for five minutes.
My testing results were this: The laces did become slightly water-logged. However, the absorption was less than some cheap laces. These laces are waxed-coated and I was hoping for no absorption, but they did become slightly waterlogged. Overall, I’d be fine using these laces.
In the photo below, I am squeezing the laces just after removing them from the water. You can see moisture shining from the laces in between my fingers (to see video of this, watch my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots Review video at the top of the page):
Chippewa Edge Walker Review Conclusion
Are Chippewa Edge Walker Boots Worth It?
Yes, these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots are worth it. When I recently tested 11 different types of waterproof moc toe boots, I thought these Chippewa Edge Walker Boots provided the best bang for the buck. My boots cost $220 and I felt like the value they created was closer to a $250 boot.
- The Leather – Despite being a thinner leather (which makes this boot lightweight), this leather performed much better than other boots in this price range. The leather is heavily infused with oils to make it water-repellent and long-lasting.
- The Foam Filler – Some foam fillers are very bad. However, the foam filler in this boot is a premium foam that is thicker and much more resilient than cheaper foams. I was shocked at how well the foam had held up when I cut my used Chippewa Edge Walker Boots in half. This foam will provide long-term cushioning under the foot and won’t wear out in just a few months.
- Durable – The leather in my used boots is not cracking or flaking and all major seams are holding up well. The grommets are in very good shape and the outsole is not peeling away from the midsole.
- Waterproofing – This boot passed all the waterproof testing I performed. The waterproof membrane held out water when I submerged it, the leather itself repelled away water, and the laces are wax-coated and absorbed less water than the laces in other work boots.
Do Chippewa Edge Walker Boots Fit True to Size?
Yes, I found my Chippewa Edge Walker Boots to fit true to size.
Why I Prefer This Price Range for Waterproof Boots
The price of these boots is within the price range I like to spend on waterproof boots ($180-$225). Waterproof liners are not indestructible. Think of them like socks. Cheap socks wear out quickly. Premium socks don’t wear out as quickly, but they still wear out eventually.
And because liners eventually fail on all waterproof boots, I don’t like spending in the $300+ range for a waterproof boot. I prefer to stay in this price range just in case my liner wears out and I have to replace the boot earlier than expected.
These Chippewa Edge Walker Boots use a premium liner, but even these premium liners eventually fail. But because the price point is in a more comfortable range (as opposed to $300+), I feel better about replacing these if needed in a few years. Buy these boots with confidence.