Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Take a North Dakotan's Advice: This is the new standard.
on March 13, 2013
Buy these. The build quality, the style, the First World manufacturing all make this an easy decision.
If you spend time in real winter weather, you need real snow pack boots.
1. Real winter means months-long stretches of below freezing weather with accumulating snow on the ground.
2. Real snow pack boots means:
a. durable, water-proof bottoms so you can get real work done in them from fall to spring
b. at least calf-height, also water resistant uppers, again, so you can get real work done, without snow getting into the boot, and
c. sized to accommodate thick, wicking liners and thick socks, so your feet stay warm but sweat-free.
For decades the go-to recommendation was the Sorel Caribou. Unfortunately they went bankrupt in 2000 and Columbia bought them. Manufacturing was moved to China and quality was devalued. This pair of Kamik Pearson replaced a circa-2001 pair of Caribou of which the soles finally gave out and allowed snow to work its way in, which would invariably melt and make my foot cold and wet. Knowing that the legacy of Sorel is not what it once was I decided I would break brand loyalty and shop around.
I took a chance on these Kamik-brand boots based on the good reviews here and the convincing story of their history and ethics on their website. It didn't hurt that these were on sale at a significant end-of-season discount.
Let me bring the hype: this is the new go-to snow pack boot.
The build quality is ridiculous. I have worn them almost every day for three months: simply to the car and back for my daily commute (I leave a pair of nice dress shoes at the office); shoveling and snowblowing (I am lucky enough to have a very nice snowblower and so often end up doing most of my city block for my less-fortunate neighbors); ice-fishing; hunting & hiking; around my parent's farm and ranch on the weekends. I am sure that if I wiped the boots down I could almost sell them as new.
They are extremely warm and comfortable. Except for the weight they feel like wearing overstuffed house slippers. Real shearling on the liners! They smell amazing, reminding me of raising sheep growing up on the ranch. I have stopped wearing thick outdoor wool socks and generally wear a thin, merino wool crew-height liner-type sock with them. I wore these out once while moving snow when it was around -20F with too-thick socks and my feet were sweating when I came in.
The leather is incredibly thick and looks and feels amazing. The lace rings are very securely attached. I have never received compliments or questions about my snow boots before, but I have multiple times--about once a week--with these. It's a minor consideration for me, but if you can possibly look fashionable (or at least not like a chump) wearing snow boots you will in these.
I don't know if I can recommend these if you are working in the oil fields of western Dakota in winter. As tough as these are i don't know that they are tough enough for that madness. They are probably overkill for those places that get occasional snow and cold weather but that passes over night. Arctic expeditions or winter camping? Maybe. Walking in these for a whole day would probably be exhausting do to their weight and might actually be too hot. If you live in the north-central tier of North America, you are crazy if you aren't seriously considering buying a pair of these.
I am very, very impressed with these boots. My highest recommendations.