Sorel winter boots
If you are looking for a high quality winter boot to keep your feet warm and dry in even the harshest of conditions, Sorel has a lot to offer.
I get cold feet. I don’t think I am alone in suffering in Scottish winters with numb feet, freezing toes and frequent chilblains. For decades I have been in search of the perfect boot to keep my feet warm and I think I have found them.
I came across Sorel boots through a friend’s recommendation and having tried them in freezing conditions in Scotland and Austria recently I am rating them as the warmest boots I have ever had the pleasure of wearing.
A bit about Sorel boots
The Sorel company was founded in the early 1960s. The aim was to craft high quality boots that would help people to cope with the extreme Canadian winter conditions.
From the first pairs of high quality traditional winter snow boots to today’s large collection of functional and fashionable boots, Sorel has made a name for itself as a producer of some of the world’s best winter boots.
SOREL combines felt, wool, premium leather and a heritage of tried-and-tested construction to create their boots.
Sorel Caribou boots
The Caribou boots are then mummy and daddy of the Sorel collection. (There is a version for men and women.)
This is one of the original Sorel boot designs and features “waterproof construction, seam-sealing and a removable ThermoPlus felt inner boot for warmth, comfort and protection in cold and wet winter weather”.
Features in detail:
- Waterproof full-grain suede upper
- Removable 9mm ThermoPlus inner made of felt
- Snow cuff made of wool/acrylic blend
- Midsole: 25 mm bonded felt frost plug
- Handcrafted waterproof vulcanised rubber shell
- Sorel’s own AeroTrac outsole.
The boots are designed to keep feet warm to temperatures as low as -40C.
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On test: Sorel Caribou boots
The boots do feel quite big and fairly heavy to start with. I recommend you go down a half or full size if you have slim feet. I wore mine around the house to make sure I enjoyed the size, weight and shape of the boots. I found that I quickly adjusted to the sheer “quantity” of boot.
I guess that the boots need to be big and robust if they are going to offer high levels of warmth in winter conditions. Make sure that you lace up the boots properly so they do not move around on your feet, or rub your heels, when walking in them.
I have been wearing the Sorel boots in Scotland in the recent snow and I also took them to very snowy and cold Austria.
I can report with absolute delight that these boots do exactly as they promise. I enjoyed super cosy feet for the entire time. I have suffered not a single moment of cold or numbness in my feet and I can assure you this is a first.
During the trip to Austria I stood outside at night for more than an hour watching a skiing show. Normally, whatever boots and socks combo that I wear, I would have expected my feet to go numb within about 15 minutes. But in the Sorel boots they stayed very warm. It was a bit of a revelation, if I’m honest.
The Sorel boots also offer great confidence in terms of grip when walking around in deep snow and on icy pavements.
The outer sides and top of the Caribou boots has an additional waterproof layer so that even in wet and slushy weather you can be sure your feet will stay dry.
The felt liner is removable. This is useful for ensuring that the inners are properly dried out, for example if you have been wearing them for long periods and have sweaty feet. It is possible to replace the liners, too, which is handy because I can see that the outer part of the boot is made to last for many, many years of wear.
I would actually recommend that if you have fairly warm feet in the first place and you are not planning to visit snowy Antarctica that you could wear other boots in the Sorel range, such as the Sorel Winter Carnival Boots, which are rated to -32C, or Sorel Tivoli II boots for a more fashionable look.
However, for belt and braces warm feet in cold Scottish conditions, especially if you will be outside in low temperatures for many hours, the Sorel Caribou boots will not let you down. I really wish I had found this brand of winter boots a long time ago.
I also really like Sorel Carnival boots as a slightly lighter weight option. See Sorel.