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Chaco Men's Frontier Waterproof Boots Review

November 1, 2018

Image courtesy of Backbone Media/Chaco Footwear


Since I currently do the vast majority of my fishing from shore, a stout pair of footwear is supremely important. Whatever I wear needs to have good looks, solid support, and a firm grip to allow me to safely get over rocks, gravel, steep banks, and whatever else I need to traverse. A shoe or boot that's waterproof is not mandatory, but that's certainly a bonus feature I can appreciate. 

Image courtesy of Backbone Media/Chaco Footwear


At first glance, the Chaco Frontier Waterproof boots appeared to hit these marks. Available in black, adobe, otter, or java (as tested) color schemes, they surely look awesome but also deliver some robust features for outdoorsmen like myself. Constructed with a full-grain waterproof leather upper and suede padded collar, all seams are totally sealed to keep water out. The bottom of the boots boast non-marking ChacoGrip outsoles with skid-resistant rubber compound tread designs that are optimized for wet surfaces. To tie the boots down tight, you'll find waxed cotton laces and strong metal eyelets.



Inside of each boot is Chaco's LUVSEAT footbed for added support. Certified by podiatrists, these are removable and provide a bit of added arch support that I immediately noticed. I'm not sure why anyone would actually want to take them out except maybe for cleaning.



I've compiled some serious mileage in these boots over the last 6 or so weeks and can sum up their performance in two words: confidence-inspiring. After using them on a 7-mile trail hike as well as walking the muddy and rocky banks of high-country reservoirs and local lakes, I'm impressed. Not only have they proven to be waterproof while providing some great support, but the grip was better than expected. I've walked some seriously slanted and sketchy shorelines and these boots allowed me to feel more sure-footed than when I've worn my typical footwear in the past.



One downside to the Frontiers is that they get marked up easily. I totally forgot to take pictures of them when they were fresh and new (hence the handful of stock images shown above!), but they now show quite a bit of outside wear. This comes as no big surprise since a lot of the rock I walked on out west was quite sharp and chunky, but it should be noted. Structurally, they've held up great thus far.



Since the boots are full leather with no mesh or soft panels anywhere around the foot, they were a little more rigid/stiff at first than I'm used to. They were comfy enough to start with, but after wearing them just the first time or two they definitely felt more broken in and thus were even better to wear.



Chaco Frontier Waterproof boots aren't cheap, carrying a price tag of $170. With that said, these are far and away the nicest pair of boots I've owned. Are the premium materials and workmanship worth it? That's up for you and your wallet to decide. All I know is, when the going will be tough, I'm reaching for my Chaco Frontiers! I love these things.



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