Winter and boots, they simply go together. When the weather is cold and wet, boots keep your feet warm and dry. Best of all, over the past few seasons, winter boots have become more and more stylish as manufacturers blur the line between style and snow.
For a preview of some fun new styles, I’ve asked the awesome women at Columbia, Sorel and Keen for their recommendations. And not just for women, but for girls, too.
So whether you’re a Brave Ski Mom, or a very lucky ski daughter, here’s a preview of some of the best boots for 2012!
Columbia Minx Mid-Flash: The flashiest look this winter, Columbia’s patented Omni-Heat technology fabric (you know, the little silver dots) does double-duty on both the inside and outside of this stylish boot. In addition to Omni-Heat reflective (which helps you make and conserve your own heat), the Minx is packed with 200 g of insulation and sports a high-traction rubber sole. Faux fur trim completes the look. The Minx Mid-Flash is rated to -25 F.
Keen Sunriver High Boot: From walking around ski resorts to tromping through snowy city sidewalks, the cozy Sunriver High Boot offers waterproof winter warmth with feminine quilting and winter-ready traction. The Sunriver features a KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane, 200 g KEEN.Warm insulation and a fuzzy faux fur lining that peeks out above the abrasion-resistant and breathable textile mesh upper. The bright colors promise a burst of sunshine on dreary, winter days. To complete the look, Keen recommends the Bellingham Crew Mid sock.
Sorel Joan of Arctic: When I was in college, everyone, but everyone wore Sorel Caribou boots. Why? Because they were warm, waterproof and functional. Fast-forward to last ski season. While the Caribou is still available, Joan of Arctic enthralls me, as it combines the best features of the Caribou with updated color and faux fur.
The Joan of Arctic boot is made of waterproof full-grain leather and suede with a removable recycled felt inner boot to ensure that feet stay warm, dry and comfortable in cold winter conditions. They sport the trademark Sorel vulcanized rubber shell with a herringbone tread.
Up Town Girls
Sorel Conquest Carly: From the retro-militaristic styling to the classy stacked leather heel, the Conquest Carly can conquer snow and be at home on wet city sidewalks. Lightweight and cozy, the Conquest Carly boot is insulated with a full-grain leather and nylon upper, rubber shell, bungee and lace closure and stacked leather heel. The rubber shell is waterproof and insulated with a sturdy and stable herringbone tread.
Sorel recommends that the Conquest Carly be confined to “everyday adventures in winter conditions.” You won’t be breaking trail in these boots, but you will certainly be turning heads.
Sorel Chipahko Blanket: More for rain than snow, the Chipahko Blanket boot wraps your feet and legs in the cozy comfort of a thick, warm sweater. Rain and stain resistant wool keeps you warm, while the rubber sole provides durability and traction. With the patterned upper and two wide leather tabs, the Chipahko Blanket boot is too cute to cover up and looks great with skirts or skinny jeans.
Sorel Cozy Cate: While I had to check the definition to be sure, the Cozy Cate is indeed a modern mukluk (Wikipedia definition: A soft boot traditionally made of reindeer skin or sealskin and worn by Arctic aboriginal people. Often used for any soft boot designed for cold weather).
Now, you’ve probably already noticed that the Cozy Cate is not made of any sort of skin, but rather felt. Still, the softshell styling gives the boot a casual northern flare. Cozy Cate is constructed of washable recycled felt with a wicking polypropylene inner layer to draw moisture away from the foot and to trap warm air within the boot. Topped off with a faux fur cuff and a stretch front shaft, this pull-on boot looks great on city streets, or walking the kids to school, but is not waterproof. (Love the look of the Cozy Cate? Check out the giveaway below! You could win a pair!)
Keen Akita High Boot: While wedges are something you hope to outgrow in skiing, when it comes to fashion, wedges are the hottest things in shoes and boots. For this boot, Keen dispenses with their trademark wrap-up sole and elevates the look with a cork-blended wedge. The boot features a full grain leather upper, microfiber lining, a rubber and cork blended outsole and a medial zipper for easy on and off. Even better, it comes in three heights. While I love the Akita High Boot with skirts, the Akita is also available as an ankle boot or slouchy Mid Boot. For a little extra warmth, Keen recommends pairing the High Boot with the Women’s Gracie Knee High sock.
Little Feet Looking Good
Sorel Youth Tofino: Similar to the Women’s Joan of Arctic and Tofino boots, this junior boot will keep your daughter’s feet warm and dry. The suede upper is water-resistant and the boots is lined with 100g Thinsulate insulation. With a faux fur ruff, contrasting leather tabs and fun, patterned boot laces, these boots are rough and tumble and girly, too. Available in US sizes 1-7.
Keen Darby Boot: If I were “back-to-school” shopping this Fall, this is the boot I would buy. A grown-up style with kid-friendly details, the Darby is a fun, hip and durable boot for trendy little ladies. Made of leather with a flannel collar, the boot comes in black, java and sweet grape with contrasting plaid flannel and a big wooden button.
These boots are comfortable, but a little tight to zip up with skinny jeans. I can wear them at recess and run on rocks, because they fit more like a shoe than a boot. They are soft inside, but not furry.
And here’s what her mom thinks:
The leather will wipe clean and there is no need to worry about them getting wet and ruining the look. The sole is much sturdier than other boots and they are both cute and functional.
The Darby is available in US youth sizes 1-6 and toddler sizes 8-13.
Columbia Ice Maiden Lace: With super-duty traction and 200 g of insulation, the Columbia Ice Maiden Lace up boot is a serious snow boot, albeit one styled for a princess. The sweetest winter boot I’ve seen, the Ice Maiden comes in either an off-white with white faux fur, or a luxurious black with black faux fur and hot pink trim. Cute enough to wear to The Nutcracker and tough enough to spend the day sledding, the Ice Maiden is rated to -25 F. The Ice Maiden is available in US youth sizes 1-7.
Keen Alamosa Waterproof Hiking Boot: Trail-ready and tough, this waterproof boot for both boys and girls is made of leather and textile with a super-sturdy Keen sole. The Alamosa is available in three colors, including Gargoyle with Wild Orchid accents. Strong enough for serious hiking, but fun enough to wear to school and stay dry when splashing in puddles. Available in US youth sizes 1-6 and toddler sizes 8-13.
KEEN Kalamazoo High Boot: Another boot for boys and girls (boys will like the all black or black with blue better than the pink and gray), the Kalamazoo is a serious boot for serious winter fun. With 200g of KEEN.Warm insulation, a waterproof upper and a sturdy KEEN sole, little feet will stay toasty and dry. These are Snow Day boots! Available in US youth sizes 1-6.
Sorel Cozy Cate Giveaway!
I am so excited about this giveaway! Sorel has graciously donated a pair of Cozy Cate boots for one lucky woman. One winner will be chosen randomly on Thursday, October 18th at 8:00 a.m. MDT. To enter, please leave a comment. For an additional entry, please “like” Sorel on Facebook or follow Sorel on Twitter! The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.
While I haven’t tried the Cozy Cate boot, I love the look – warm, cozy and totally stylish! Good luck — I wish I could enter!
Ski Fashion 2012 – 2013: The Hottest Looks on Snow, October 3, 2012.
October 17th – Ski Fashion 2012 – 2013: Winter Styles for Cool Kids (Design Contest and Giveaway from Skboot)
October 24th – Ski Fashion 2012 – 2013: Beautiful Baselayers, Midlayers and More! (Icebreaker Giveaway)
To facilitate this post, I received one pair of girl’s KEEN Darby Boots to review. I gave these to the daughter of a friend. Thank you to Sorel for donating a pair of Cozy Cate boots for a giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Jessica!
© 2012, Kristen Lummis. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.