As a parent of a 3-year-old, practical outdoor related equipment for children has a new appeal to me. The Deuter Kid Comfort 2 is a perfect example of an item I would have never thought twice about as a single person, but became essential in saving my outdoor activity-laden summers when I had to factor in a kiddo. Hoping to compete in the same “practical for kids” arena are the Butler Overboots, a slip-on waterproof boot designed to protect kids’ shoes from getting soaked and parents from losing it when those kids run through every puddle they see even when you tell them not to. “Dont. Run. Through. That. Pud…….and there you go…..”. Every parent knows what I’m talking about. To save my sanity, Butler sent me, or rather my son, a pair to test out and to see what we thought.
So was my sanity saved? Read on.
- Material: Butler Overboots are made in the USA and employee a very durable rubber material. There’s no question about the durability, and the materials are clearly top notch. It does as advertised: it’s waterproof and doesn’t slip on wet surfaces, which are the two performance benchmarks that need to be hit. That is when you finally get it on your child’s feet.
- Fit: We won’t beat around the bush here, they are hard to get over a pair of shoes. Despite being build with an accordion-styled stretch zone to supposedly open wide enough to slip over any shoe, I found that only one of five pairs of my son’s shoes was just low-profile enough for the Overboots to actually slip over them. The sizing over the boot isn’t off either; there is plenty of room once his shoes are in the boot, but any shoe that has a significant sole or tread doesn’t stand a chance of an easy slip on.
- Practicality: The point above limits the practicality. When they’re on, they’re great and work like a charm (except when you ask your kid to take them off and they throw a fit to indicate that they’ll be wearing them the rest of the afternoon). But the effort it takes to get a set of Overboots on most shoes is entirely impractical and almost impossible in some situations.
- Will Your Child Like Them: Yes. A lot. My son was a fireman for Halloween and as such, the Overboots fit in perfectly with the rest of his ensemble. Of course his preference for wearing the boots isn’t driven from a need to keep his feet dry, but when you’re three, does the “why” really matter when you’re happy? Not in this case.
- Price: I’ve seen the Butler Overboots listed from as low as $13.95 on LeftLane Sports to $50 on the Butler website. It’s all across the board.
So what’s the bottom line? Butler was kind enough to send over a pair of Overboots for review, but were they good enough to be a product I would purchase on my own? Butler did help save my sanity with toddlers and puddles, but at the price of going insane trying to put the boots over my son’s regular shoes. And for that trouble alone, the Butler Overboots make it on the list of items we wouldn’t recommend buying.