A Story of Three Rain Boots

Today we’re going to review and compare rain boots: the Kamik “Jennifer” VS Sperry Top-Sider “Pelican” VS Hunter Original – a complete rundown with photos and comparison chart.

Rain Boots (from left to right):

  • I bought the Kamik “Jennifer” from Zappos
  • And I later bought the Sperry Top-Sider “Pelican” from endless.com (because the cute black plaid wasn’t available at Zappos)
  • I had originally considered the Hunter Original because it’s sort of the industry standard for Rain Boots but enough people were complaining about calf width I figured they would not be a good match for my more shapely calves. I have however included them in my comparison chart.

Kamik Jennifer Rain BootSperry Top-Sider PelicanHunter Original Rain Boots

Of the two I bought, both shipped and arrived extremely fast but one has to go back.
(I really don’t need two pairs of rain boots!)

For reference I measured my calf and at the widest point the circumference was 15″ without jeans and I typically wear a size 8.5 shoe. I ordered the size 8 in both shoes.

When I first got the Kamik Jennifer in, I was both excited and disappointed. This boot is a tight 15.5″ and I could get it on but I couldn’t figure out how to get my jeans or leggings neatly inside (more on this later.) I could get the jeans in but it took some effort and they still bunched at my knee. The rubber was nice and smooth, flexible and not too clunky and easy to walk in. The color I was a little less thrilled about, it wasn’t bad, just wasn’t something to get excited about.

Kamik “Jennifer” sideKamik “Jennifer” with outfitKamik “Jennifer” side2

Kamik “Jennifer”Kamik “Jennifer” inside

 A little backstory: I have wanted rain boots for awhile but never committed to buying any. Then someone asked me if I had waders for doing this walk in a wetland that I somehow committed myself to for this Sunday. I asked if knee high rain boots would do since I had wanted a reason to buy a pair and the answer was yes.

So at this point I ordered the Sperry Top-Sider Pelican.  When they came in my first thought, “super cute”, second thought “they’re not nearly as tall plus they lose some height for the elastic on the side.” See why I needed to tell you about the wetlands?

Anyway the Sperry Top-Siders are definitely have plenty of space for my jeans and the elastic at the top is a nice feature if I were only looking for simple rain boots. These are also really toasty shoes and again comfortable to walk in. Not too bulky. Overall both shoes are excellent choices.

Sperry Top-Sider “Pelican” sideSperry Top-Sider “Pelican” with outfitSperry Top-Sider “Pelican”Sperry Top-Sider “Pelican” insideSperry Top-Sider “Pelican” elastic

By this point I had figured out how to get my jeans tucked into the Kamik however so they were back in the running. Tuck them into socks. Or rather I cut off the end of some socks because I didn’t want to wear non-wool socks in these and used the sock band to secure the bottom of my jeans before putting the rain boots on (I may take a pic of this tomorrow if I remember.) You can also roll up your jeans which is another option for a rainy day.

So which one am I keeping? The Kamik Jennifer.

What were the deciding factors on keeping the Kamik Rain Boots?

  1. Warmth – I actually felt like my feet warmed up too much in the Sperry Top-Sider Pelicans which didn’t make them ideal for fall or spring but might be excellent for the winter. I can wear socks with the Kamik though.
  2. Height – I just really wanted those extra inches. If the Kamik had been painfully tight in the calf I would have gone ahead with the Sperry Top-Siders because they are still really tall.
  3. Pattern – surprisingly the black and cream plaid that I thought would work well with outfits was complimenting fewer outfits than the green. Really important for wetland walks right? Well I do want to wear these for days it simply rains a lot too.
Kamik "Jennifer" vs. Sperry Top-Sider “Pelican” side viewKamik "Jennifer" vs. Sperry Top-Sider “Pelican”Kamik "Jennifer" vs. Sperry Top-Sider “Pelican” elastic
Kamik "Jennifer" vs. Sperry Top-Sider “Pelican” width

A quick note on ALL three boots – the buckle is decorative!
Do not think you can adjust these boots with that little strap.
A nice little comparison chart so you can compare the different aspects of each boot:

Boot NameKamik
Jennifer
Sperry Top-Sider
Pelican
Hunter
Original
Average Price$65$70$125
Material (Upper)Lightweight, waterproof upper made from RubberHE. It's a PVC free, synthetic rubber that's designed to retain its flexibility and traction in both warm and cold temperatures.High gloss durable waterproof rubber .Vulcanised natural rubber construction, built on an orthopaedic last.
LiningPrinted lining. Material is imported from Italy.Cushioned Micro-Fleece lining for added comfort and luxury with weather protection, quick-drying capabilities.Woven nylon lining.
FootbedRemovable Kamik Comfort Footbed for a great step-in feel and lasting plush.Same as liningCushioned
OutsoleRubberHE Voyage outsole offers traction in wet conditions.Non-marking rubber outsole with Wave-Siping™ is made for excellent dry/wet traction.Traditional calendered outsole.
Heel1"1"1"
Shaft
(measured from arch)
15"13"16"
Circumference
(your calf measurement)
15.5"15.75"15"
Weight20oz (site says)
2 lbs 10oz (my postal scale)
?? (site did not say)
3 lbs 3oz (my postal scale)
2 lbs 3 oz (site says)
(did not buy so can't weigh)

Just for a little humor I’m sharing this next bit.  I got the below email from Endless.com the day rain boots from Endless came in in the mail. Yup. Really.

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7 comments

  1. I was debating whether to purchase the Kamik Jennifer boots and this review was great. I have the same calf size as you and am wondering how tight the boots are. Are you able to sit and walk comfortably for a lengthy period of time, do you think you could fit in boot cut jeans (folded neatly with socks over), and may I know how tall you are? I am 5’4. Thank you!

    1. I think leg lengths are more important than height as I know I have a long torso (or at least long torso swimsuits are almost the only one piece swimsuits that will fit me.) So I doubt my height would give you much more detail. I am around 5’7″ though (it actually varies depending on how badly my back is out … which sounds scary!) 🙂

      Really what you want to do is check out the shaft measurement and measure from your arch to height that would be comfortable on your leg and see if that measurement looks right.

      I have worn these for probably about 8 hours max fairly comfortably. My shoe preference is ballet flats and flat sandals though so you might want to take that into consideration if you’re used to wearing shoes with major arch support.

      These get warm so I would recommend a good thin wool knee high sock to help with the heat and moisture. And I have worn them to do a fair amount of walking as well as outdoor work (creek cleanups several times, I think maybe a 2 mile walk a few times as well.)

      And I have tucked in skinny jeans as well as once with bootcut jeans folded but that’s a really tight fit for me personally so I’m more likely to roll up jeans and leave them on the outside of the boot. It also took some time to get a boot cut to look right and I don’t like spending time futzing when I’m getting dressed so another personal preference involved there. It’s not impossible, just more comfortable not tucking in skinny jeans.

  2. Just a quick note for women who have a calf larger than 16″: another blogger has reviewed fall boots as well as listing a variety of sources for boots that will fit wide calf sizes. It looks like up to 22.5″ width: http://authenticallyemmie.com/2013/09/wide-calf-boot-roundup/

    Leather boots are also an option if you’re having trouble finding rain boots specifically and still want something to keep your feet dry. Find a good pair and apply waterproofing to those.

    When it comes to waterproofers, I’ve used Nikwax as well as several other brands of shoe waterproofers. Everything from spray to foam applicator types and I typically get them at the local sporting goods/outdoors stores. Read the information on the bottle if you are concerned about color changes. Waterproofing leather shoes seems to help them last longer as well but can make browns look a little darker.

  3. I’ve never purchased rain boots because of having wide calves, but this post is like a dream come true! Seeing as (luckily) you are the same shoe size and overall sizes as me, this was amazing and very helpful with all of the detail. So just thought I’d simply say thank you!

  4. I typically wear a size 8.5 shoe. I ordered the size 8 and they fit well. I’d say I’m closer to an 8 than a 9 in most cases when the vendor doesn’t offer half sizes.

    So it sounds like if you’re usually a 7.5/8 you might want to go with an 8 if you plan is to wear with thick socks or polar fleece … but if you’re planning on thin socks and want no wiggle room, I’d go with the 7.

    Also if you don’t need them ASAP, you can always exchange them if you goof on figuring out which size. Endless offers free returns and they’ll honor the price on the different size but they don’t do a straight up exchange.

    Zappos really has this down though and offers free shipping on exchanges. http://www.zappos.com/shipping-and-returns

  5. Sorry I see where you said what size you are. I really just want to know if they run true to size or not? Like do they run small or large? Like I’m a size 7.5/8 and was thinking about getting them in an 8 but wasn’t sure if they would be too big on me. How did you like the fit?

  6. Hi i am thinking about buying the Kamik Jennifer boot myself and this site was really helpful can I just ask what size shoe are you?

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