It’s always an exciting day in the mountains when an average guy, who slips outdoors any chance he gets, finds a new pair of boots worth purchasing. Boots separate those of us who are willing to get our hands dirty, willing to spend a few hours in freezing temperatures, willing to wake up well before the rooster crows, and willing to tromp up and down snowy mountains and hills in search of nature… from those of lesser wisdom. And whenever I find boots worth purchasing, I feel compelled to share my enthusiasm with anyone I know.
Before I go too far in my review, here’s what the manufacturer’s website states:
Seam-sealed and waterproof, the leather upper on this classic style locks out the elements; inside, the removable recycled felt liner keeps feet dry, warm and comfortable during long, active days in challenging weather conditions.
- Seam-sealed waterproof construction
- Waterproof leather upper
- Removable 9mm washable recycled felt inner boot
- Waterproof vulcanized rubber shell
- Shaft Height: 9.5 in / 24 cm
- Weight: 29 oz / 822 g
- Sorel rated: -40° fahrenheit / -40° Celsius
- Leather Upper
- Recycled Felt Lining
- Vulcanized Rubber Shell
Here it is worth mentioning that I don’t purchase anything made for outdoor purposes without prior research and thought. Most everything I found about these boots was positive. They generally received great reviews. And they were manufactured by a boot company known for years for top quality boots. Additionally, as a reminder, I don’t provide positive reviews for compensation and only provide my honest opinions on anything I review.
I found my boots several months ago. Because they were off season, Dick’s Sporting Goods reduced their price to a reasonable strain on the wallet. I’ve been without quality winter boots for a couple of years now and honestly, I was tired of dealing with frozen toes, wet socks, wet pants, and a feeling of dread when confronted with impending snow forecasts. Even if Dick’s Sporting Goods sells out of stock, you could probably find these for somewhere just at or above $100. For some, spending $100 dollars on a pair of boots is little more than change in their pocket. I am not one of those people. I’d just assume keep every portrait of Benjamin Franklin I’ve ever encountered, but I’ve found that quality boots aren’t the place to be frugal. Quality footwear equals happy feet.
After the short drive from the city, I was back at home and wearing my Sorels. Of course, I started my break in period inside my house on the carpet. As soon as the boot tread touches any outside surface, they are all but impossible to return. As silly as it may seem, I wore my Sorels while sitting at my desk working on school, when doing laundry, and any other time I was confined to the indoors. Much to my delight, the boots remained comfortable throughout my experiments.
For field trials, I can’t imagine a better time and situation to begin than an hour walk for Thanksgiving Day rifle hunting in sub-freezing temperature. The walk is a rough and sweaty affair, plenty of hills to get your heart fluttering and your temperature just below screeching. My feet were smoldering hot by the time I arrived at my hunting location. However, I immediately noticed no hot spots, indicating a blister, and no noticeable wear on my feet. They were a bit heavy, but they handled the hike in superior form. After the pitch-black walk into the forest, I sat upon my log and waited for sunrise. Such a beautiful moment in life! The view. The serenity. The warm feet.
After waiting patiently for a four-legged hunting acquaintance to arrive, the cold started to seep its way through the vulcanized rubber shells, through the felt inners, and through my skin and flesh to reach those aching points in my tarsals and metatarsals. Fortunately, a little movement of my feet, a little movement of my toes, and some happy thoughts thawed the wintry ice within my joints and left me with a comfortably numb sensation. My feet didn’t return to a balmy 98.6 degrees until well after an afternoon nap at home. However, it should be noted that of all the boots I’ve tried, these have given old man winter’s meager temperatures their best rival. I’m known to complain incessantly of cold feet (I’m wearing thick wool socks in my climate-controlled house right now). But these Sorels have been far superior to anything else I’ve tried.
As to traction, the Sorels meet or exceed anything I’ve encountered. The vulcanized rubber sole gripped the sand, leaves, mud, rocks, and snow especially well. But to be honest, they struggle a bit on wet rock and ice. Even so, a wise woodsman knows well enough to be cautious on such surfaces as a general practice.
Oh, and the snow. I’d been delaying this post until I had an opportunity to determine how the Sorels performed in the snow. We’ve had a few decent snowstorms here lately – decent enough at least to get outside and enjoy some of nature’s finest precipitation. I shoveled snow, drug a sled full of children, walked about on my property, and chased my boys around in about six inches of snow. Here, these boots excel. Warm. Dry. Perfect.
As of this date, I can’t comment on the boots’ durability. Perhaps in a year or two or twenty, I can write honestly about how well they withstand season after season of grueling abuse. But until then I’ll simply provide my personal insights into a first year snow boot.
Overall, I love them. They were reasonably priced. They’re warm. They’re dry. They’re comfortable. They perform well in the snow. And they are rugged enough to be true outdoor/hunting boots while still looking nice enough to wear to the store, or if you’re life is really challenging, the mall. They are not without their concerns though. As mentioned, they are quite slippery on wet rock and ice. If this concerns you, consider a set of ice and snow chains. I fully suspect that I’ll find a set for next winter’s ice storms.
Every woodsman should have a pair of quality general purpose outdoor boots. Matching these boots with a pair of snow boots ensures year-round enjoyment. I personally recommend the Sorel 1964 Premium T boots for your winter weather footwear. They will prove invaluable to those looking for a warm, dry, and comfortable snow boot.