Cozy, warm, and supportive are not words I often associate with clogs or winter shoes, but the Ramble Puff series by Chaco has changed that. With an excellent construction, “Luvseat” midsole and a grippy outsole, these have changed my expectations forever. My review:
I’m actually covering two different Ramble Puff products today, the Clog and the Lace. They’re both constructed similarly, with a quilted ripstop nylon body both filled with fluffy synthetic insulation. The difference is the Clog has the open back and a small pull tab on the side, where the Lace has a stretchy cinch lace system and high padded ankles for a more secure fit. These are both paired with the combined EVR mid/outsole, molded into their famous “LUVSEAT” contour to provide arch support and other functions. The both come in various sizes and colors, with prices ranging from about $75 to $90.
Both of these shoes are surprisingly comfortable. The clog and the lace both have a firm, yet padded construction that at first feels stiff as you’re pushing your foot inside, but quickly becomes extremely satisfying as the foot settles into the LUVSEAT footbed, surrounded by fluffy warm quilted baffles. It’s a bizarre sensation that goes from, “oh no” to “oh yes” almost instantly as the shoes have a rigid structure, but also exceptional padding and flexibility that can only be appreciated once worn. The fabrics are smooth, comforting, and devoid of any obvious seams, even when worn without socks, making these impressively comfortable to wear.
They also both have an exceptionally comfortable, natural stride, even the clog which is unusual for that type of design. This is possible as the outsole is shaped with the perfect amount of forward rock that allows the step to frictionlessly transition from toe, to midfoot, to heal, without resistance or any real impact. The movement feels effortless and natural, without feeling like it’s trying to push you along with an exaggerated step. The sole is also decently flexible, which allows the foot to bend naturally without impedance.
When it comes to warmth, these push the boundaries between cozy and hot. They stop all heat transfer/loss through the ground, and provide a near impenetrable barrier from the air as well. Indoors, they can get a bit steamy after a while if you have warm natured feet, while outside walking around on frozen ground is entirely comfortable, especially when paired with wool socks. Cold bitter wind doesn’t make it through the fairly wind resistant body either, trapping more warm air inside. These make for great tent wear, hut mocks, hanging around a cold house shoes, or even snow shoveling boots if the situation arises. If you’re hot natured, avoid the lace as they’re by far the hotter of the two styles, but the open back mocks should work wonders depending on your needs and situations thanks to the extra ventilation.
Breathability is O.K., but if you have sweaty feet it will build up. I find myself kicking them off on occasion to mediate this build up, and to let me feet cool off a bit. Toasty.
Traction is also pretty good, with the outsole sticking to most surfaces quite well. Even waxed floors and such are navigated without much trouble. The outsole is flexible, so most of the material stays in contact with the ground, which improves grip, while the small lugs can dig into just about anything with some texture to it. The small nubs lose some points on wet or very slick surfaces, but excel on tent floors, concrete, carpet or grass.
Water resistance is a hit and miss. The midsole and outer is entirely water proof, but the fabric itself seems to absorb moisture almost instantly. A droplet will sit on the surface for a few seconds, but will definitely absorb in and disperse. These can be treated with DWR, and if you’re using them outside I recommend it as they aren’t going to stop much from soaking through. They do however dry quite quickly as long as they’re not soaked.
I like the smaller details, like the sewn in offset pull tabs, adjustable tensioner on the clog/ laces on the LACE, the added ankle support on the lace, and the sophisticated yet laid back appearance of each.
The Ramble Puff series is a fantastical cold weather shoe/clog. They’re extremely comfortable, absolutely toasty warm, and are actually enjoyable and stable to walk in for general use, which is not something I can say of most shoes of this style. I adore the molded footbed as it wraps perfectly around the shape of my sole while perfectly supporting my arch, and the insulated, padded body feels like sliding into a warm bed at night. The lackluster water resistance is a bummer, but shouldn’t be a huge factor unless you plan to use them outside. I personally prefer the clog for house use and the lace for getting out and about, or usage in a tent. Either way, these are exceptional shoes and very easy to recommend.
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I wanted to extend a huge thank you to Chaco for sending this over for review. We couldn’t do this without their help.
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