294 of 306 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2013
This review is to dispel some of the unnecessary negative comments regarding Sorel boots and particularly the Joan of Artic.
Let me set the record strait for all of you fashion boot people. Sorels are SNOW BOOTS. They will not fit like fashion boots. They aren't designed to hold onto your heel tightly. They are designed to fit more like a cowboy boot. There will be a natural slip in the heel. That being said, I wouldn't say that they are the most comfortable boot to walk in for extended periods of time, but I'd trade a little slip in the heel any day for warm dry feet. You just need to get used to their fit. Years ago I sold shoes professionally and also bought my own pair of Sorels. They are 16 years old and still look great and, although in slight need of a new liner, function just as well as the day I bought them. In addition, they are the best boots I have ever had and they are the warmest boots I have ever owned.
I bought the Joan of arctic boots because I couldn't find my old trusty sorels. They become lost in the attic... I found them too late. The others were already in the mail. I wasn't willing to go without a pair of Sorels in our snowy climate. I must say that I was skeptical of the quality as they are now made in China instead of Canada. Well, I know quality when I see it and these Joan of Artic boots seem just as well made as my others that are 16 years old.
THE FIT: Well, they are a bit more generous than my previous sorels. I am a true 8 and these fit perfect in length ( a tad longer than my previous). However, they are wide. My foot isn't narrow, but it's not exactly wide either. So, for those with narrow feet, these boots would be swimming on you. For those who like them and want to compensate for the extra room, take an extra insole or some hemp material and sew yourself some extra padding to take up some of the extra room. Place the padding underneath the liner or sew or glue it to the bottom of the liner so it doesn't shift.
We live in snow country up in the Northeast. And the boots are warm. I would know. Some people put too many layers on their feet. It only traps in the coldness or the sweat from their feet. I don't have sweaty feet. I wear one pair of warm socks and it's adequate. If you are standing in a snowbank for three hours, like anything, you will eventually become cold. If you're moving around, you're not going to be cold. If you are, then you need to see a doctor because you either have poor circulation or Raynaud's disease.
These particular boots I would not recommend for the elderly. They are too heavy. Most sorels are heavier, but I would suggest choosing a shorter sorel to eliminate the extra weight and bulk for someone who is elderly.
The traction of these boots is just like any other boot. If you expect them to grip onto the ice, well, then I challenge you to find any other "snow boot" that will do that. Come on, People? Do you expect the tires on your car to grip the ice?
My only minor downside to these new sorels is the lace. It is a nice quality lace, but it's very slick and a bit tough to tighten the boots to my desired tightness. I did manage to do it, but I wonder if they cold make the lace a little less slick.
Sorel, as always, keep up the good work. Your boots are incredible and I will always be a loyal customer to a company who serves quality. Sorels are worth every penny.
158 of 162 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2014
Hi ladies! Loved the look of these boots so much but was scared of negative reviews and price - so I did a little research. According to many skiing and outdoor activity websites, winter boots are SUPPOSED to fit loose. In order for feet to stay warm, snow boots should not fit snug like a shoe. So, the felt lining in these should be loose enough for a thick pair of socks and still not be snug. When people order a size down it contributes to their cold feet and complaints of back of boot digging into their heels. Order your real size and don't expect them to fit like a fashion boot.
By the way, these boots DO run in half-sizes. I own Joan of Arctics in 9.5
The second important thing I learned is that COTTON SOCKS MAKE YOUR FEET COLDER! You are better off wearing bare feet in boots rather than cotton (due to the way they retain moisture). Invest in a heavyweight pair of wool socks (which wick away moisture) end NEVER LAYER your socks. Layering makes your feet colder due to breathability issues.
Finally, keep your core warm because when you body is cold, blood leaves the extremities. You DO want to layer your body. Thermal underwear or a mesh base layer, a loose fleece layer over that, etc.
I received my boots and followed these techniques with great results. My boots are VERY comfortable. It is a blustery 10° today and I spent many hours outside to test the product. If I was just standing there my feet were warm!- unless I was just standing there ON packed snow for a while. On packed snow or ice, you'll need to move around every once in a while to keep blood circulating. Warmed right back up! Took dog for a walk and my feet felt great.
Only boot I've heard of that you can literally just stand there without movement on packed snow or ice without feet getting cold are those "mickey mouse boots." They are not cute but if extreme warmth is your ultimate goal, these are what they wear in Alaska, or what serious ice fishers put on, etc.
Hope this helped!
By the way... some things I forgot to mention. It is also very important to have warm feet before putting boots on (ANY boots). So if you have cold feet from walking around on hardwood floor, etc, they are going to stay cold outside. This is particularly true with well-insulated boots/socks. They will actually insulate cold in. -& never "clinch" your toes in boots. Wiggle them once in a while to stimulate blood circulation, but clinching them up has the opposite effect.
It can be hard to find heavyweight wool socks for women in stores (I have only found mid or lightweight wool in stores). I found great heavyweight wool socks for women by Carhartt from amazon. Work great paired with boots!
We have had -20 degree weather where I live this winter. & mind you, I am not outside long during this temperature, but when I am for a quick shovel, my feet are the warmest part of me in my Sorels.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2015
I have peripheral neuropathy. My feet are sensitive to a painful extreme. A grain of sand in a shoe is very literally as irritating as a bee sting. These boots are smooth and comfortable inside. For me to use the word comfortable in reference to footwear is a rarity. Nearly everything hurts. These boots do not. In addition, I need a roomy toe box. Any pressure on my forefoot is intolerable. These boots have the room I need for my forefoot. With any footwear, I intentionally purchase a size larger than my correct size for that extra room. I measure at a U.S. size 8, but purchased a 9. The toe box is roomy, but not enough for me to wear a thick sock. These are smaller than I expected. However, I do not expect that I will need a thick sock. I absolutely must have a warm boot. If my feet get cold for any reason, my neuropathic pain escalates to 7 out of 10 on the pain scale and remains at this debilitating extreme for 8 hours or more and does not respond to my routine medication. In Iowa, temps can often be as low as the range for which these boots are rated, -25 F, -32 C. These boots keep my feet nicely warm. Today, it is only -9 F. I was out for about 45 minutes to clear snow. My feet never knew I was outside :) :) :) !! With this and the comfort, I hope these boots will last the rest of my life!! I'm SO happy, I had to come back to write this review. I'm happy with footwear! This 'never' happens! My only other comment is that these boots are stiff and heavy, as others have said. I expect this in a good quality, waterproof, warm winter boot, with emphasis on warm. I can easily accept the boot feeling to feel safely warm and protected from the cold and other hazards of winter weather and work. Though they feel sturdy, they certainly don't look like a clunky boot. In the black with red laces and with a slim outline, it's just plain fun to look this good without sacrificing the function I must have!! I just love these boots!!
88 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2011
If your looking for a cute Furry, Fun, Fashion boot to wear with slim jeans, these will work. If you want a pair of boots that look good and actually work well in cold, snowy, icy weather, choose another boot. They look great with your jeans tucked in or a pair of Apres Ski pants, but they're not very warm, the soles are thin (makes for cold feet), and the tread is worthless on ice. After slipping on patchy ice more than once, I bought a pair of Yak Traks so I could use them this winter. For those of you with wide feet, these seem to run wide. The felt liner is very thin, and they need a rear loops on the back to make them easier to put on with jeans. I'm very disappointed in these boots, Sorel used to make real boots for real outdoor people. It appears Sorel is headed more for the fashion runway then the snowy, icy, cold, Canadian winters where they once originated...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2014
I had my eye on these boots for a while. After a week of several snow storms, I decided to get a pair since they were highly rated. I needed a pair of boots that are water proof and warm to wear out in the snow with a preschooler and for running errands around town since we walk everywhere in our city.
Finally received what was probably the last pair on amazon and tried them on. HIGHLY disappointed.
1.) I normally wear an 8 1/2 in shoes. Figuring that I could wear a heavy pair of socks with them, I ordered a 9. TOO big. Order about a size down from your normal size. Even with the laces adjusted tightly, they were still too big. My heel kept slipping up in the back.
2.) Super rigid. The shoe part of this boot is so stiff, it's amazing you can take a step in it. Foot does not flex at all.
3.) Foot part of the boot would not be warm enough. But then again, it runs so big that you will probably be able to fit two pairs of socks in there but that's not the point of warm snow boots.
4.) Non-existent traction on bottom of shoe. I'd be amazed at anyone who could walk on ice in these things.
Sadly, I believe the hype and ordered these. For the price, I was expecting way more than what they are. I'll be returning them quickly.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2015
These boots are fantastic if you know what you're ordering. This is a high quality, heavy duty snow and cold weather boot that also happens to be cute, NOT a fashion winter boot.
The most important thing I can say is DO NOT order down a size. Many reviewers are recommending this and it is a mistake. Snow boots are meant to be roomy, particularly in the toe box, to help keep feet warm; if they are snug, blood flow will be reduced and your feet will be cold. This is also why you do not want to layer socks. Yes, this results in some slippage. Yes, the boot feels bulky. Do not buy these expecting them to fit and feel like a fashion boot, by which I mean even some boots sold to be worn in winter that many women mistakenly believe weren't designed with a "looks first" priority.
These run true to size. I wear a 9.5 or 10 depending on the type of shoe and brand (10 in Nike athletic shoes), so I ordered a 10 in the Joan of Arctics and the fit is great; I can wear a nice, thick sock if I want, but I don't have to.
These boots are meant to last and require some wear time to break in. I also had the issue of the back "seam" of the boot rubbing against my calf, but after a few weeks of casual wear that subsided.
These boots are very warm; if you wear them indoors for any length of time, your feet will sweat and the liner will get wet, which I think is what some reviewers experienced when they said they believe these boots leak. This also happened to me.
One thing I was concerned about ordering these without being able to try on was whether or not they'd fit my calf well. I have large calves (I have never been able to find a calf- or knee-high fashion boot without an elastic insert that fit), and with the Joan of Arctic, I can easily tuck in even flared pant legs.
I find the sole thickness and tread to be adequate, definitely what I was expecting. In these, I haven't experienced any issues slipping and sliding on my steps which are always icy because the gutter leaks right above them (for reference, I fell on them twice pre-Sorels despite being very careful).
I sprayed them with suede protector after they arrived, and so water beads and is easily wiped off.
The Shale color is as pictured.
The faux fur tops look the same after having been chewed slightly by my dog on two occasions.
I highly recommend these to anyone who truly needs this level of boot. They're the perfect combination of cuteness and functionality. On my current budget, $150 for boots is an investment, but after last winter I decided I wasn't going to mess around trying to get by on "bargain" boots again, and they've been worth every penny.
(From the western U.P. of Michigan, a.k.a. Big Snow Country.)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2010
Just happened to purchase these for the wife right before the big East Coast snow this winter. She loved them. Kept her feet warm & dry. She has to take her dog for a walk mutiple times a day regardless of the snow. Good traction, warm and dry. I have owned the same set of Sorel's for the last 15 years and I beleive they're good for another 15 years. Good buy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2010
They take a day or two to get used to as they are a little stiff in the back ankle, almost like a ski boot. They are so warm. I wore then snowshoeing on day 3, with no blisters, and no cold feet. They do run big, and ordering a size down worked well for me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2015
I used the sorel size chart and measured my feet with 2 pairs of woolen socks. According to the size chart, i was supposed to wear a size 7, which was my usual size.
When the boots came, i could fit 2 pairs of socks and tuck my pants and thermals in. They were a little snug though but i thought they just needed to be broken in.
Big mistake. I should have sized up and returned the boots. A size 8 would probably have been better. As mentioned by other reviewers, the shaft of the boots dug into my calves, whether i was wearing one or two pairs of socks. So much so that I winced every time I had to put them on during the 10 days of my finland trip. I had to pad my calves with band aids.
2 pairs of socks helped to cushion the chuffing but made the boots so tight that my feet became terribly cold. My ankles and feet seemed to have expanded in the cold? I had to make do with the boots as I did not have any other boots and did not have the luggage space to buy another pair of boots.
They kept my feet warm up to freezing point, so warm my feet would sweat. However, once temperatures dipped below zero, my feet were really cold. If I had got them in the correct fit, i might have had a less miserable time on the sledges and snow mobiles.
Those with broad feet and ankles like me should size up, regardless of what the sorel size chart says. I'm going back to my unrated knee high timberlands which ironically kept my feet warm up to -18° celsius when i wore them on another trip.
I have no idea what to do with my sorels as they would be too warm for mild winters but not warm enough for colder ones.