REVIEW : NRS Boundary Boot 2020 Model

REVIEW : NRS Boundary Boot 2020 Model

nrs boundary boot review 2020 modelThe NRS Boundary Boot (sometimes called the Boundary Shoe) has been around for several years and for the 2020 model, it got a facelift. Still in the black colorway of its predecessor, the new 2020 model has similarities but a considerable amount of differences. I’ll walk you through those and tell you what I really like and what I think could use improvement for next year.

About the NRS Boundary Boot

Purpose-built for mucky put-ins and soggy portages, the NRS Boundary Boot delivers knee-high waterproofness with a super grippy, rugged sole to handle the harsh terrain favored by adventure canoeists.
-5 mm neoprene upper with taped interior seams guarantees warmth and dry feet.
-Comfy 7 mm neoprene insole atop a high-traction wrap-up sole provides maximum protection and support.
-2 mm plastic shim for even more protection from sharp, pointy objects.
-Tightening the ladder buckle strap at the top can help restrict water entry if you step in a bit too deep.
-Quick-lace boot with cord-lock offers a customizable fit and a storage compartment lets you tuck away excess laces.
-Each shoe is factory tested to ensure waterproof performance.

The Good Stuff

The 2020 model of the NRS Boundary Boot has quite a few differences from its predecessor in both functionality and styling. The new boot is aggressively styled and looks more polished than the previous model which looked more like a dive boot.

One of the complaints I heard with the previous model is that anglers with a wider foot had issues with the toe box being too narrow. The 2020 Boundary Boot has addressed that issue and given your little piggies more room to roam. The ability to really fit the boot to your foot size has also been improved by adding the cinchable bungee laces as opposed to the old velcro strap. This prevents your foot from sliding around as much, adds stability, and can help prevent a blister from too loose of a fit.

nrs boundary boot review 2020 model payne outdoors kayak fishing
 On the left is the earlier version of the Boundary Boot. On the right is the expanded toe box of the boot to accommodate wider feet and the bungee lace styling. 

A couple of small details that some folks might not notice but as an owner of the previous model and four years on the water with them, I noticed. The stitching on the top boot cuff has gotten closer together and the seams along the upper are no longer just a glued overlap. They have stitched all the seams after gluing them. The supple boot cuff at the top of the upper is still there and can be cinched down just as in the previous model. The boot cuff or sleeve from the ankle to the top is wider to accommodate stuffing in your pants or just giving more room to those who have runner’s calves.

nrs boundary boot review 2020 model payne outdoors kayak fishing
On the left, the previous model Boundary Boot and on the right, the new stitched seam 2020 model.

Another couple of changes are in the tread and reinforcement in the boot foot. The tread has been reworked to add traction from all angles and directions. The previous model had lateral traction built-in but side to side movements would be less sure. They were also a lot harder to clean. The new boot sole uses a tri-directional tread that reduces slippage from every angle.


nrs boundary boot review 2020 model payne outdoors kayak fishing
The new sole is on the top and the former model of the NRS Boundary Boot is on bottom.

Another wish list item for the former Boundary Boot came to fruition in the 2020 model with a heel strap tab for pulling the boots on and off. After neoprene gets soaked, it tends to suction to your foot and lower leg pretty well. Having a heel strap to pull prevents using your other foot to apply pressure to the heel to release the suction and take the boot off. You’ll also notice that the heel has been reinforced higher up and also has additional rigidity added in.

nrs boundary boot review 2020 model payne outdoors kayak fishing
On the left, the new Boundary Boot with the heel strap tab. On the right, the older model.

Points of Improvement

It’s hard to find things that I would change in the 2020 Boundary Boot after so many suggestions over the years finally came to production. About the only thing after a month of testing I think I’d like to see is maybe on the top cuff of the boot. I seem to always find a way to have the buckle loosen up on me. I’d love to see either a toothier version of the buckle to really hold tight or maybe a button snap enclosure option.

Final Thoughts

This is one of the broadest sweeping changes I’ve seen in a while in the apparel category for fishing. I love the changes and they all seem to be of great benefit. My favorite boots for the last four years are now even better and this is a homerun, can’t miss addition for anyone who needs to be in the water when it’s cold. If you need a shoe for warmer weather, check out the Backwater from NRS. 

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