Top positive review
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SO SOFT!!! Looks really well made for the price!!!
on November 18, 2013
I'm writing this review only hours after I got these boots, and I am SO excited to try them out outside in the cold weather! I'm in Madison, Wisconsin, and this week is going to stay in the 30's and even dip into the 20's (Fahrenheit!). I will update this review accordingly, and come back in a couple months to write details on durability when it comes to some real winter weather (hello blizzards and -20 degrees!!).
The first thing I noticed out of the box is that they don't have any weird smells, which is great. The outside smell faintly of leather, because that's what they're made of. I looked up the company, and Bearpaw's boots are outside = leather, inside = sheepskin. So if you're thinking about using these in snow like me, we need to waterproof these babies! Luckily I have a spray already to use on them.
The inside of these boots is SO SOFT. If I wore these barefoot (which you can, apparently, but for me - ew! I get sweaty feet), my feet would be in heaven. I tried wearing them with bare legs to see how soft it felt (because against your hands it doesn't feel that soft, it's got kind of a soft, but wooly feel to it) and against my legs it felt so fluffy and silky, so airy!! And warm!! None of the color (I ordered Chocolate) has transferred to my socks/pants. Awesome!
Also, from ALL the pictures I browsed through on the internet, none of them had any good views of the inner lining. I really wanted to judge how thick it was before I ordered, but since I couldn't find any good pictures, I just trusted the reviews saying that they're warm enough for really, really cold winters. And the lining is decently thick - I'd say it's about an inch thick, although over time it might get compressed a little with constant wear. The soles are a different color wool than the rest (it's white instead of chocolate), but still soft and fluffy. It feels like I'm walking on down pillows, mmmm! I put up several pictures of my boots if anyone is interested - of all angles, including the lining! Here is a link to my video of the boot:
Some of the reviews said that after a month or two the lining starts wearing off and comes off on your clothes... The lining looks pretty well made, so I don't know if that will happen, but I will update this review if it does start coming off. Hopefully not... I am really loving these!
The bottom of the boots is made of really nice, sturdy but flexible rubber and I can see this really holding up for Wisconsin winters! So excited!! It's as thick as my other winter boots, so that's great news.
I read so many reviews about what size to order, and it just got confusing. There were pretty much equal amounts of reviews telling you to order down a size, or order up a size. So I went to the Bearpaw website and they suggested ordering up a size...
I usually wear a 9.5 exact (no size 9, no size 10), so I decided to order a size 10. It makes sense, because there's a layer of fluff that you have to consider when you think about how much space there is for your feet. The size 10 fits me really well. When I first put them on, they seemed a tad bit small, but after walking around in them for a few hours, they're already form-fitting to my feet.
Basically: when you order, think about what your size would be when considering an extra inch of lining around your feet, and also remember that you don't want to order too large, because they do form around your feet after some use (that lining will be squished by your walking!). If you're a half size, order the next whole size like I did. I can't speak for people who have whole sizes because I didn't have that situation, but hopefully a size up won't be too big!
On an interesting side note, I think I remember that the Bearpaw website says you can wear these in any kind of weather - and I think that's just weird? How could you wear these on a hot summer day?? These are real winter boots and your feet would hate you for that, hah!
**** UPDATE ************************ UPDATE ************************* UPDATE ******************************************
January 2, 2014
So good news everyone! Turns out that the fur lining does NOT rub off on your clothes/socks. I think it kind of did like the second or third day I wore it (probably because it was getting broken in), but it wasn't even that much, and after that it has NEVER happened again. The color never has rubbed off on anything, even in the beginning.
So at this point I would DEFINITELY recommend that you DO NOT buy a size up if you can get your exact size. Only order a little up if you have a half size, just because they don't sell half sizes. After breaking them in they really form fit to your feet, so don't freak out if they feel a little tight when you first get them (it's just that the lining hasn't been squished by your feet yet - think of it like getting super fluffy slippers that mold to your feet).
The boot itself is holding up phenomenal, it's so worth the money! The rubber sole looks barely touched or scuffed or worn down at all and I've been wearing them daily since I got these (so mid-November til beginning of January at this point). I used them to walk to class every day (a mile or two) and I have been running and tramping through half a foot of snow with them. Waterproofing them helps them keep dry and also miraculously keeps all traces of salt stains off - they literally look like I just got them like last week, it's amazing.
As for the stitching on the sides - before I bought them I read some reviews saying that the thread has come apart on the stitching on the outside. So far for me, the stitching has been doing really great - I think there were a couple tiny fly aways at first but it's inconsequential to the strength of the stitches (holding up real well) and no more are occurring over time.
So finally the weather has been getting really cold here (this week we are getting -45 degrees Fahrenheit with the windchill factor and several inches of snow), and I never leave the house without these boots! Actually if I wear them inside the house my feet get too warm. These keep me warm no matter what I'm doing (hiking, walking on frozen lakes, walking through snow and wind). Because of these boots, I actually don't care about the weather outside anymore! I never worry about my toes getting cold, which was a HUGE problem with some of my other boots I've had over the years, because even though the boots were thick and sturdy on the outside (hard rubber or leather), they just didn't keep my toes warm. These are life savers for a Wisconsin girl in Winter!! I don't care about people who say they would never buy them because they look like uggs - I bought these for warmth and boy do they deliver. I have always gone for comfort when it comes to apparel and this is going to be a staple of mine if they don't discontinue these for the next few decades.