Review by winter warrior Paige McEachren
Being outside in this crazy Canadian climate makes one realize just how important warm winter footwear is. This is especially true after sledding with children for several hours in sub zero temps. When will my children realize -30°C means mommy sits in front of the fire with a glass of wine, not tromping through the snow?
When you live in Northern Canada, warm, waterproof, durable footwear is a necessity, not a luxury. Just because warm winter boots are something of a must have, it doesn’t mean one has to choose between fashion and function. Here are what I’ve found to be the warmest (and most stylish) winter boots for women.
Are Uggs good in snow?
I’m a fan of all things Australian. I still regret not buying Uggs when I was last Down Under. The traditional Uggs made popular by models and celebs are great, but they don’t hold up for a day of playing in the snow. Sure, they’re warm, but they’re not as waterproof as Uggs newer model: Australia Adirondack III. Traditional Uggs aren’t good in snow (especially when many cities salt their roads and sidewalks, which leads to nasty marks on boots), but these newer Uggs are fab winter boots.
Adirondacks still rock the trademark Ugg sheepskin lining, and its high-quality leather and rubber can handle intense cold, ice, plus deep snow treks – all while looking super stylish. You can roll down the top to expose the wool – which we highly recommend when indulging in see and be seen après ski. Or, leave them up to protect your ankle and lower calf in the snow. As an added bonus, you can replace the fuzzy sheepskin liner should you wear it out.
Can you wear Bogs in the winter?
To be honest, I had no idea what Bogs were until my kids started asking for them. The first time my kids wore their Bogs in the snow, I kept checking on them every 20 minutes to make sure their feet were warm. I soon found out these boots are suited for up to -40°C! Soon afterwards, I saw my trendy sister-in-law sporting a pair like this. At first, I thought they were just fancy rain boots, but upon closer inspection, she was wearing Bogs! Yep, ladies can safely wear bogs in winter and not feel embarrassed.
Are Bogs waterproof?
Bogs Classic high insulated boots offer both warmth and protection. The flexible neoprene material makes them comfortable and warm for daily life. (Sometimes too warm if you wear them shopping indoors.) What’s great about Bogs is because they’re so waterproof, you can trot them out for fall, winter and spring weather. The waterproof feature makes them great for slush and rain. However, on a recent trip to Iceland, my friend found out that although they kept her feet warm and dry, their loose fit and rubber sole meant they’re not ideal for hiking and icy conditions.
If you’re always in a rush or simply tired of lacing up winter boots, Bogs have no laces and their convenient pull-on handles make them a breeze to slip on. If you want a more stylish Bog, check out their Snowday winter boots. A departure from their traditional rubber and neoprene, this stylish model is waterproof, but won’t hold up as well as the traditional Bog boot. Available in a variety of heights, they’re great for quick winter trips, like running errands outside.
What are the warmest Canadian made winter boots?
When looking for warm women’s winter boots, you’ll want to pay attention to Canadian-made boots. Let’s get real. From mile high snow to slush to sub-zero temperatures, Canadian have major experience walking outdoors in crappy conditions. We know winter boots.
Many of us know the popular Canadian brands Sorel and Kamik because we originally bought them for our children and some of us (we’re looking at Jody here) even wore them when we were wee. But are these Canadian made winter boots good for adults?
The answer is a resounding yes! Sorel has to be the most popular boot in our house, and perhaps in Canada. My children love their durable, warm, waterproof boots. If you want to move away from the traditional Sorel Caribou boots, try the stylish Joan of Arctic lace up boots. Fully waterproof and warm (up to -32C), the faux fur trim adds a stylish flair. One thing to note is that unlike Bogs, the tabs on the sides of Sorels aren’t meant for pulling the boot on. Don’t learn the hard way that these tabs are meant to assist you when removing the liner for cleaning.
When it comes to fashion, think: Pajar. This Montreal-based company has been around for over 50 years. My husband surprised me with a pair of Alice boots and I’m still floored by the number of compliments I get on them. Pajar boots are a bit pricier than other Canadian-made boots, but they’re worth it in my books. They’re extremely warm (I wear thin socks in -40 C and don’t feel cold) and perform great on ice. I recently wore mine on a two hour walk on a frozen lake and didn’t slip once. Pajar offers a wide variety of styles and many of their boots have ‘grippers’ soles to prevent ice wipeouts.
Finally, we can’t talk about Canadian made boots without mentioning Kamik, now can we? Also made in Montreal, these boots come in a wide variety of affordable, waterproof styles that are great for everyday use. Sadly, my calves didn’t fit into their Starling knee high boots. Not to worry. They have a variety of styles for different winter weather conditions. Check out the Evelyn Duck Boot for warmer winter weather. You could even do what I did when my kids were younger and get a pair of Momentum boots to match your kids. Although I don’t think they would still want to do that now. Sniff.
What boots do you think stand up to the test of winter?
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