Insulated/Waterproof Winter Boots

Replytoken

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I am looking to upgrade my boots as I have found that standing around in the winter/wet weather waiting to shoot BIF often leaves my feet quite cold. I have read more articles and reviews than I care to imagine, and am now wondering what people actually wear, both good and bad, in similar weather.

Thanks,

--Ken
 

agentlossing

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I had a pair of Irish Setter hunting boots that were tall, insulated and waterproof. That was years ago, but now I have a pair of non-insulated Irish Setter work boots and they're extraordinary for the price. Red Wing, their parent brand, is a pretty phenomenal boot maker.
 

barry13

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Hi, I've got some Timberland low-rise boots I bought for a trip to Wisconsin last February during the storms.
They're waterproof but not heavily insulated; they kept my feet dry and warm enough in the snow and wind and cold (16-26 over two evenings).
I forgot to wear my thin wool socks the second evening (16F) and did feel colder, but not severe. Probably would have been too cold if I had been standing still though, but they do also have insulated boots.
And wool socks are highly recommended.
 

Stanga

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You need a pair of boots like what anglers wear. I have been using mine for fishing and walking around the park and local lake in the winter taking pictures.
 

Replytoken

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Thank you for these replies. Typical of the age of the internet and off shore production, I did consider some of the above suggestions, but ended up a bit muddled. It seems that old, solid name brands, like Timberland and Sorel, have moved a lot of their production to cheaper factories and lots of former owners now say that quality has plunged. I did see the Irish Setter brand under Red Wing, but was not too familiar with it, so it is good to hear good comments. One of the boots that I am considering are Kamik Hunters. They seem warm, but like many waterproof boots of today, there are a lot of complaints about eventual cracking in the rubber. I am willing to take a chance on that, but somebody also pointed out that there are no insoles in these boots and the bottom of the liner eventually does compress, leaving your feet unsupported. That could be an issue when standing around for long period of time.

--Ken
 

Phocal

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I just moved to Alaska and am searching myself. After lots of research and talking with people at work (I work for REI) as well as many native Alaskans I have come two choices. The first that I’m going to try are the insulated Neos Overboot, at a little over $100 it’s the cheapest. The 2nd and more expensive (probably get them for next winter as I’m having to buy all new winter gear) are Steger Mukluks.
 

Hendrik

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For cold wet and transitional temperatures, I use uninsulated LL Bean Maine Hunting boots that I find remaindered over the summer at a Bean outlet. Probably not terribly useful information except I buy them large and double up on socks. I am sensitive to wool so I use light/mid weight cotton socks underneath mid/heavy wool socks. Doing so keeps me acceptably warm at those temperatures. The real problem here (New England) is bare ice and otherwise slippery surfaces (boardwalks in rain, etc.). Boots worn less than a season are safe enough but they become worn and progressively less grippy with age, which renders them downright dangerous after two or three seasons of twice-daily 45-minute walks. So I'm ruthless about replacing them. Once the ground freezes I move over to some Timberland insulated leather work boots (with one layer of cotton socks). At ~15F or when conditions are right for snowshoes, I switch to thermal underwear, hiking shoes and gaiters.
 

Replytoken

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I just moved to Alaska and am searching myself. After lots of research and talking with people at work (I work for REI) as well as many native Alaskans I have come two choices. The first that I’m going to try are the insulated Neos Overboot, at a little over $100 it’s the cheapest. The 2nd and more expensive (probably get them for next winter as I’m having to buy all new winter gear) are Steger Mukluks.
Heard of the Stegers, but not familiar with the Neos. Will need to add them to the list of options. Please post any updates after wearing them.

--Ken
 

Phocal

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I enjoy this guys video's and since one of them is simply entitled ,Its -20 at sunrise I will assume that he knows cold. The boots he use start at 9 min.

I don’t recommend the first boot if you will be doing a lot of walking.Slip on boots just have to much heel slippage, which makes them uncomfortable to walk long distance and are just blisters waiting to happen.

I also don’t like Sorel. They use to be amazing boots but they have shifted production to Asia and the quality just sucks now. Probably our most returned boot for quality issues.
 

Replytoken

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I enjoy this guys video's and since one of them is simply entitled ,Its -20 at sunrise I will assume that he knows cold. The boots he use start at 9 min.

Yes, the Kamiks I picked up to try and like the budget version of Muck Boots. I am not sure which Sorel boots he showed, but a lot of folks have been down on them since they moved production out of Canada to China. Not sure how much of the beefing is valid, but there are a lot of complaints on some of the larger shoe sites like Amazon.

--Ken
 

Phocal

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For cold wet and transitional temperatures, I use uninsulated LL Bean Maine Hunting boots that I find remaindered over the summer at a Bean outlet. Probably not terribly useful information except I buy them large and double up on socks. I am sensitive to wool so I use light/mid weight cotton socks underneath mid/heavy wool socks. Doing so keeps me acceptably warm at those temperatures. The real problem here (New England) is bare ice and otherwise slippery surfaces (boardwalks in rain, etc.). Boots worn less than a season are safe enough but they become worn and progressively less grippy with age, which renders them downright dangerous after two or three seasons of twice-daily 45-minute walks. So I'm ruthless about replacing them. Once the ground freezes I move over to some Timberland insulated leather work boots (with one layer of cotton socks). At ~15F or when conditions are right for snowshoes, I switch to thermal underwear, hiking shoes and gaiters.
micro spikes will solve your slipping problem.
 

bassman

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I have Sorels which I use for standing outside in cold temps, often on snow, in the Vermont winter. They work well.
 

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Replytoken

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I have Sorels which I use for standing outside in cold temps, often on snow, in the Vermont winter. They work well.
Are these new or fairly old? People seem to love the older Sorels. The new ones, not so much from what I have been reading. it seems the same for Timberlands. They have an insulated boot that many raved about. But if you read recent reviews, people say they are not constructed like they used to be. A review or two I would easily write off, but many on different sites makes it a bit harder. Not sure what to make of it?

--Ken
 

Replytoken

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Here's a question I have to ask after trying two pair of boots around the house. As these boots have more insulation than a regular boot, should they be any snugger around my feet? I am wearing a thin wool sock and while they do not feel too tight, they do feel snug. I do not believe I could get my feet into them with a heavy wool sock on, so I am wondering if I need to consider a half size larger.

--Ken
 

Aristophanes

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Baffin boots. Sold at REI. I work in the Canadian Arctic and these are the go-tos with many models from:

https://www.baffin.com/

I wear the Eiger’s for sub-20C and the Atomics for warmer.

Sorel used to compete, but they were bought out by Coleman (or someone) and the standard isn’t there anymore. I still have my older Sorels and they are good for mucking, but poor on ice. The Baffin line of rubber insulated boots would be great for the Pacific NW.

Yes to the 1/2 size larger. One should be able to layer socks as with upper garments. I use a sock liner and a middle weight wool. The fit should be comfortable and never tight or even snug. You don’t want compression points. Air pockets are the insulation.
 

Phocal

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Now that I am home (not on my phone) I can give you some links and share what I have learned.

Ok...……………….

I moved to Alaska end of October and I have little cold weather gear since living in Texas for 14 years. Up until a few weeks ago when the temperature dropped below zero (-10 to -15 typically) I had been mostly fine but after 4 or so hours my feet would start getting cold. Since arriving I have been talking to people at work and customers about boots, I don't want to be buying 3 or 4 pair trying to figure things out because that gets really expensive quickly. Something you have to consider when looking for cold weather boots is activity you will be doing. If you are always or mostly always on the move you don't need as warm of a boot. If you will be sitting for long periods of time (which is what I will be doing a lot of) the warm factor you need goes up. I have talked to a lot of ice fishers and mushers because they are people who basically sit/stand in one spot for long periods.

Here is what I have learned...……………..

The Bunny Boot is a cheap option that comes very highly recommended. It is probably the most recommended boot I have heard from people because they are cheap, but hard to find. Most who recommend them will follow up with another option since they are hard to find. There are two versions: Black is rated to -20 and white to -65

The boot I really wanted to buy was the Korkers Polar Vortex 1200 which is rated to -60 (they make another rated to -40). They only come in full sizes and the 11's had to much heel slip and the 10's were to small. So that was a no go, but if they fit right I would get these without a question. Why? Because they come with two soles, one has metal studs for walking in icy conditions. One less thing I have to buy because they are really useful up here.

The Kamik Canuck which is rated to -40 is a popular boot and at only $100 it's a really good deal. I may pick up a pair to try them out.

Baffin Wolf as well as their other boots are also popular but a little on the expensive side. The Wolf is rated to -40 and they also make the Impact that is rated to -100.

I have been told that with just a running shoe the Neos Navigator 5 is good down to -20. The ones a coworker is letting me use will only fit over my running shoe (would need a bigger pair for my boots), so I will be testing that on Wednesday (will be around -10 or maybe colder where I will be snowshoeing). I am not sure about that claim, but we will see. If they work even close to as I am told I am going to get them large enough to fit over my hiking boot. I also plan to buy a pair of Oboz Bridger's to use when it's not as cold and for snowshoeing. Then when I stop (will be using snowshoe's to get to the wildlife to photograph, or/also cross country/backcountry skis) I can put the Neos over the top since they are pretty light and will be easy to strap to the outside of my pack. Oh, they also make a version of the Navigator called the Navigator 5 Stabilicer that has replaceable metal studs.

The boot I really want is the Steger Arctic Mukluk, not just for the warm but for the super cool bad ass look.

Something to keep in mind is that taller boots are warmer. They are warmer because you have all the heat coming off your lower legs that is also getting trapped inside the boot to keep you warm. Also make sure you get a boot that has insulation under your foot. I have these hunting boots I used in Texas that I thought would be good for anything above zero here in Alaska. They always kept my feet warm in Texas when I was hunting in 10-20 degree weather. But they have zero insulation under the foot (plus the soles are not super thick) and walking on this super cold ground in Alaska just sucks out the heat from your feet. There is a lot to be said about boot warmth on very cold ground compared to boot warmth in the same temperature but warmer ground.

Ok, that is what all my research has led me to. Hope it helps and I will update this thread with my findings in the various boots I try this winter.
 
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