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Of course, since I decided to leave my new Cougar rainboots in my office the day they arrived, the next morning it was pouring. But when I got back into Manhattan, I switched out my knee-high standbys for a pair of the Tibet style boots in fire engine red with a cute tube sock inspired sweater cuff. I was a tiny bit annoyed initially that the boot shaft was too tight for me to easily wiggle my jeans inside (which were already rumpled from being stuffed into my other boots), but as soon as I got them on… cue the spotlight shining down from above and the heavenly music – I knew it was love.

My pant legs did get wet when I went out for lunch, but, on the plus side, it got the wrinkles out, and my legs stayed dry anyway so, okay, totally forgiven. Plus I guess a tighter shaft means less water will be able to get inside when I do pair them with leggings or take the time to get my jeans tucked in properly. Also, it made me notice that these boots have a really slim foot form that looks fantastic peeking out from under pants. Since the Cougar Tibet is not at all oversized or clunky, they appear much more expensive than they actually are, but more on that later.

Cougar Tibet

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve always hated that rainboots are usually really heavy! I cross my legs too when I’m sitting and all that weight pulling on one foot would actually cause me pain sometimes. But these boots are different: they’re not just a lighter weight because they are a mid-calf style, you can actually tell they’re just a better quality material – who knew there were different grades of rubber?! So if you think those cheapy $15 rainboots are just as good as any other pair, they’ll probably keep your feet dry (although for how long a duration is probably debatable), but that’s about as far as an equal comparison will go. Surprisingly though, the Cougar Tibet style is actually pretty affordable – only $75! I would have priced these at easily over $100 if I was given them blindly.

Here’s something else that makes them a little bit better than your average every day rainboot: Cougar boots have perforated insoles (anti-sweaty feet), breathable polar fleece insulation rated to as low as -11 degrees F (yep, negative temperatures, depending on your degree of activity) AND they’re guaranteed to be leak proof for at least 6 months of normal wear. Try getting all that from another brand at this price. Pair these with some regular wool socks and you’re looking at boots you can wear comfortably on the worst icy rain days (when I’d usually have to decide between staying dry and staying warm, and my toes would end up being totally numb by the time I was about 2 minutes from the door). I think I’m going to do a happy dance while I toss my old rainboots in my donation pile.

Wait, socks? Ah yes, the sock cuff is just that, a decorative cuff; unfortunately, the way it had to be attached makes it so that you cannot pull the cuff up over your leg, it does need to stay folded for aesthetic reasons. Also, the boots do have a really strong rubber smell when you first get them, but just air them out for a day. Really, I’m just being nitpicky now.

English on the front, french on the back

Can I add one more thing I really love though? As pictured above, the Cougar brand shoebox is intentionally designed to be bagless from the store to your house; “every step counts.” Whenever you’re buying boots, the shoe boxes are huge and whatever bag you’re given to carry them in inevitably ends up being even larger and more annoying – so being able to eliminate that step is a fantastic design idea! (Great job on handle length too – as a short person, I appreciate it). I’ll admit that carrying my Cougars in New York City like this made me feel a bit cooler-than-thou. 😉

Cougar, a Canadian family company, has been making footwear since 1948. Nowadays, they specialize in shoes that are able to withstand the harshest elements and look pretty darn fashionable at the same time. Their slogan: “For the world you walk on. Love what you wear.” How very apt.

* Half sizes, size up.

Thanks to the people at Matchstick for the shoes (and the delicious hot cocoa! – I promise the chocolate did not effect my review, although, much like the cheery red color of these boots, it definitely helped put me in a happy state on a really crappy rainy day).

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