When winter fast approaches, every person usually starts retracing where they kept their winter attire and retrieves them. If your attire has grown a bit tad, you may want to visit your clothes shop for some replenishing or fetching the latest trend for winter.
One of the most critical outfits is snow boots. If you must work during winter, you must get proper boots to keep you warm, at least when you venture out. Sorel boots have been a staple when it comes to winter footwear. How much do you know about it? Get enlightened below.
Here’s how good Sorel boots are for snow
Your go-to footwear for walking and sledding through snow is Sorel boots. The boots maintain an average temperature for your feet with a height of 8-10inches, preventing snow from accessing your feet.
A toughened and waterproof outsole allows it to clock above ten years with the option of replacing the old boot liners with new ones.
Are Sorel boots warm?
Sorel boots are warm and usually maintain the temperature of your feet from zero to a whopping minus 100 degrees. Due to their ability to keep your feet warm, the boots are prevalent among people who work outdoors during winter.
Most sorel boots like (Caribou Boot Men-style) have good pads to ensure constant heat retention on your feet. The excellent insulation with high-end suede material and a toughened rubber sole make it sturdy. Unfortunately, it comes with a drawback of weight.
The pair has a combined weight of approximately five pounds (two and a half each). Caribou boots are the best when walking for short distances through the snow. Or using them for activities around the house since the longer you have them on, the more they become unbearable because of their weight.
The Caribou boot comes with a Thinsulate that weighs 400 grams with a fleece lining that works well up to -40F. It also has a snow cuff with a mixture of wool and acrylic, preventing snow access into the boots.
Another variant of Sorel boots is the Conquest boots. The boots spot fastener on the all-leather boot that tightly attaches the boot to your feet. On top of the boot is a snow gaiter holding the boot tight on your feet to prevent snow from finding its way into your footwear.
The snow gaiter and the ankle fastener give the shoe a tight grip on your feet, contributing to the warmth of the boots.
Conquest boots have one particular trait: their compactness when still new. Most users observe that sliding your feet in and out is arduous. It’s usually tight on your feet but loosens to accommodate your feet’ size with time.
But as it accommodates your feet, sliding in and out of them remains complicated but better than when they’re new. This tightness contributes to warmth in your feet at a constant temperature as it properly clutches your feet.
Read more: What’s a good temperature hiking?
How good is the traction?
The Sorel boot’s traction will depend on the variant though some, like caribou, perform decently on most surfaces. The Salomon X Ultra Winter, famous for hikes, should be your choice for exceptional grip.
The caribou has semi-circular studs on its rubber outsole that are fair in height and not optimized for performance. The studs are close to one another, and their proper size prevents load lift of the snow while walking.
Over time the studs will give way leading to instances of slippage. Therefore, Caribou boots rank low in terms of traction, and once in a while, there will be a need to have extra winter traction.
However, the conquest boots are a different proponent. They score when it comes to grip because of their design which correlates with the terrain they usually tackle. The conquest’s outsole features thermal rubber that’s injection moulded with a style of deep set lugs that are multi-directional to facilitate good gripping.
The Achilles fastener allows you to tighten the boots to your liking giving you firm support by securing your heel in position. The well-attached boots increase your sturdy posture, enhancing your grip and reducing the chances of getting ankle sprains or slipping.
Read more: Are Sorels good for hiking?
Are Sorels good on ice?
Sorels are good on ice, especially those with prominent studs, cleats, and lugs. However, ice here will vary depending on whether you are looking at snow-ice lush, icy lumps, or thickened ice.
Walking on ice is tricky since our balance is limited to the support of two limbs. When one limb loses grip, then falling is inevitable. Ice is typically slippery because most rubber-profiled outsoles fail to provide sufficient grip on black ice.
Snow-ice lush: Walking on it isn’t dangerous as long as you know how to. The ice lush is a thin layer of ice that usually succumbs when you step on it. The more significant surface area of the Sorel boots guarantees a grip hence stability preventing slippage on the ice.
Icy lumps can be dangerous because they are frozen chunks littered on walk paths or driveways. They are tricky to spot and can easily cause you to slip if you accidentally walk on them. Sorel boots with multi-directional lugs will give you enough grip, especially when you spot the lumps in advance.
To navigate, you’ll have to tweak your walking style from the normal strides to short strides synonymous with how a penguin walks. With firm steps, you’ll need to lower your center of gravity as you walk to get maximum grip and stability.
Hardened thick ice: Most rubber-profiled boots have a dismal record on this surface. The best outsole profile to tackle the slippery terrain is those that feature pronounced cleats. Some of the cleats can be metallic or added winter traction like spikes which are not suitable for standard surfaces because they are destructive.
Are Sorel boots actually waterproof?
Not all Sorel boots are waterproof. Always look for the label that indicates “waterproof” to be guaranteed you are getting the right product.
Sorel boots are waterproof for winter when walking around puddles of water and rain as you do your errands. The snow boots are not suitable for walking in deep pools of water where the shoes are significantly submerged.
The waterproof aspect means the boots keep off moisture from reaching your feet during the wet winter season. All materials that go into the production of the boot have water-resistant components. The boots’ shells undergo treatment with a water sealant that lasts for years to help keep your feet dry and warm.
The typical Sorel boots are practical when walking around, working, or playing snowball with your loved ones in your average snowy weather. But not ideal for standing in puddles of water in the middle of the rain for long periods.
A Brief History of Sorel Boots
The boots brand was founded in 1962 by Kaufmann and Rubber Company. But the company started in 1907 in Berlin, Ontario (now Kitchener, Ontario), and first opened its doors as a factory in 1908, producing rubber footwear.
It was built on 4 acres on the streets of King and Victoria, making rubber footwear for the local and international markets.
In 1920 Jacob Ratz Kaufmann, the company founder, passed on, and his son Alvin Ratz took over the company’s leadership. He relinquished the company’s presidency in 1964 after modelling and expanding the Sorel brand, known as Kaufmann Footwear.
The company’s growth was tremendous because Alvin incorporated rubber clothing for fishing, firefighting, meatpacking, and mining industries.
In World War 2, the company was instrumental in churning out unique footwear and gas masks for use by the Canadian military.
Sorel’s use was for the harsh Canadian winter, and their primary use was for hunting, on farms, and other outdoor activities. The company’s sole target was men, which explains their low sales leading to bankruptcy in 2000.
Purchase by Columbia Sportswear
Columbia Sportswear took over the Sorel brand in 2000 after paying Kaufman footwear around $ 8 million. But the Sorel brand was dormant in the company until the decade’s end.
Afterwards, they tweaked the brand by redesigning the footwear to have a greater fashion appeal.
They took into account the footwear’s history of functionality, practicality, and legacy, aligning it with modern aesthetics to blend with current fashion.
The aim was to rope in women by offering the brand as part of a fashionable attire during winter, discarding the rugged puffy nature it had.
The tweak of the footwear’s appearance worked well with Columbia Sportwear’s marketing strategy. It enabled them to transform Sorel from footwear only associated with farms and hunting to trendy wear.
Sorel could now feature in upmarket boutiques with modern apparel increasing their sales.
However, with rising manufacturing costs in Canada, Columbia Sportswear shifted the brand’s production to China and Vietnam. The shift was to help mitigate the cost to enhance affordability.
Cost mitigation also allowed the Sorel brand diversity, such as trendy summer sandals and classic modern-looking boots that are practical and easy on the eyes.
You Can Make Them an Option.
Since Sorel footwear’s initial use was for farming and hunting, the brand has come a long way. Kaufmann and rubber Company was a pioneer in the snow boots business, setting the stage for other manufacturers to follow suit and diversify their footwear.
There’re many other options in the market, but Sorel remains one option that ranks high in the snow boots business. Columbia Sportswear’s acquisition gave it a new lease of life and re-invented the shoes to spot modern aesthetics blending with the current times.