Wirecutter, the review site often compared to the old-timey Consumer Reports, has just released its annual review of the best winter boots.
The site put 125 hours of research into the tests and came up with a select group of winners.
“We researched and tested designs intended for light outdoor activity in places that are cold enough to see snow,” Wirecutter said. “That means shoveling the driveway, walking an outdoor mall in the winter, or getting from your car to the office. We tested for functionality, not style.”
Wirecutter singled out the Kamil Nation Plus as the best boot.
“The Nation Plus has better than average traction, for three reasons. It has a nubby tread pattern that grips chunky ice, a wide base that provides support on smooth surfaces, and a comfortable fit that keeps the ankle stable on fresh snow. The “speed lacing” system, a feature borrowed from the realm of hiking boots, helps with that—it can lace tighter than traditional D-rings. Neither the Baffin Canada nor the L.L.Bean Snow Boots nor the LaCross Outpost II fit as well as the Nation Plus.”
But a mainstay on the Wirecutter list is Sorel. The site had praise for the Sorel Caribou Boot.
“This boot has several weatherproofing features,” the writers argued. “The impervious rubber sole lifts you almost an inch and a half above the ground, which keeps feet warm and dry by physically removing you from the slush. The tongue is gusseted (sewn to the sides of the boot) all the way to the top of the snow collar, a rarity (not even the Kamik is sewn this high). The shaft laces high and tight, and the Caribou has its own sort of speed lacing, composed of four sets of fat, exterior D-rings that allow laces to slide with little friction; this will help you get the boot on and off your foot with less effort. Finally, the snow collar prevents flakes from entering.”
History of Sorel Boots
Sorel Boots is a popular footwear brand known for its high-quality, stylish, and functional boots, which are especially renowned for their durability and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. Founded in 1962 in Canada, the brand has built a reputation for creating boots that are both fashionable and practical, often using a combination of premium leather, felt, and wool to ensure warmth and comfort. Many of their designs are waterproof, making them an ideal choice for wear in snowy and rainy climates. Their offerings include options for men, women, and children, with a range of styles from winter boots to everyday wear. While they may be more expensive compared to other brands, many customers find the cost justified by the boots’ long-lasting construction and timeless design. Over the years, Sorel has expanded its product line to include other types of footwear and accessories, but their rugged and stylish boots remain the cornerstone of the brand.
Diving deeper into Sorel Boots, one can appreciate the careful design and construction that goes into each pair. The brand often utilizes a seam-sealed waterproof construction to ensure that feet stay dry, coupled with insulation technologies, like 200g insulation, for warmth in extremely cold conditions. These features make many Sorel boots suitable for activities in snowy and icy environments, such as hiking and other outdoor adventures in the winter months.
Sorel’s attention to style is another significant aspect. Even with the emphasis on practicality and durability, the brand does not compromise on aesthetics. The boots come in various designs and finishes, including full-grain leather, suede, and synthetic textiles, and are available in a wide array of colors and styles to suit diverse personal tastes. Some popular styles include the Joan of Arctic, Caribou, and Out N About boots.
The Joan of Arctic boot, for example, is a favorite among women for its chic, lace-up design and faux fur cuff, providing both warmth and fashion-forward style. The Caribou boot is a classic choice for both men and women, known for its nubuck leather upper, seam-sealed waterproof construction, and removable ThermoPlus™ inner boot, offering superb warmth and moisture-wicking capabilities.
In addition to these technical and design elements, Sorel also focuses on ensuring comfort for wearers. Many of their boots feature molded EVA or rubber midsoles, which provide cushioning and support, and removable molded footbeds for comfort and customization.
Despite the emphasis on winter boots, Sorel’s lineup also includes lighter footwear suitable for other seasons, such as sandals and wedges, which retain the brand’s commitment to quality and style.
While the brand has garnered a strong reputation and following, potential customers should consider factors like budget and specific needs when making a purchase, as Sorel boots can be pricier compared to other options available in the market.
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