In Search of Winter Boots

November 27, 2015

It’s almost the end of November which, besides being entirely shocking (seriously – wasn’t it July just last week?), means I will soon wake up to a blanket of snow covering the ground. Sadly, the boots I’ve been wearing for the last two winters developed a hole in the toe in the spring so it’s time for some new boots.

If I had any sort of foresight I would have taken advantage of the end of season sales last spring to buy a new pair but since I didn’t, I’ve been trying to decide on a new pair while knowing that it could snow at any moment and I wouldn’t be prepared. If I had an unlimited budget this wouldn’t have been such a problem, but I’m heading to Africa in just under a month and I’ve got a lot of stuff I still need to buy for that trip, so the budget is tight.

Some people might think spending $200 on a pair of winter boots is a lot, and frankly I rather agree, but there are a few reasons I think spending the money is warranted:
  • I live in Canada. Yes, there are stereotypes (no I don’t live in an igloo or ski to work), but the reality is it gets cold, and it snows. Good winter boots are a bit of a necessity for living in Canada – kinda like maple syrup.
  • I hate the cold. Seriously. If I could figure out a way to only live in Canada during the spring, fall and summer I’d totally spend the winter months somewhere warmer.
  • It’s an almost 1km walk from my house to the subway, so I’m spending a lot of time walking on snowy, slushy, wintery sidewalks for more months than I'd like.
Winter boot options under $200
Here are some of the contenders:
  1. Cougar 39068 Original. My mom had these when I was little so these are a bit of a nostalgic choice. They’re also available in black, brown and red. Rated to -30 degrees. Waterproof $200
  2. Keen Elsa Boot. These are a bit less bulky than some of the others. I like the black, but they’re available in a bunch of different colours. Tag on the inside says rated to -20 degrees. Waterproof $140
  3. Cougar Puffy Zip. I really liked the idea of a zipped-up boot as they’re just easier to put on than the lace-up. I’m not sure the fur collar is quite ‘me’, but I think they’re rather fun. Rated to -30 degrees. Waterproof $195
  4. Cougar Keaton. These have a really cute zipper up the back and are also available in blue and black. I love that these are taller, but they’re only rated to -10 degrees so they might be better suited for spring and fall. $120
  5. Sorel 1964 Premium CVS. These are a classic too, and I like that the liner can come out to be washed. They’re available in black and army green, but I rather like the blue. Rated to -32 degrees $150
  6. Cougar Cheyenne 2. These are all leather, and felt more like shoes when I tried them on. Also available in red, brown and tan. Rated to -30 degrees. Waterproof. $190
Now I just need to decide. What do you wear? Any suggestions?

(for American readers I’ve linked the above to Canadian websites – you can check out some of the boots on Amazon here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

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  1. The sorel #5 suck. I had similiar ones for 3 yrs and my feet were always cold. I just bought the UGG lace water proof based on great reviews plus I tried them on and was sold. I bought the short version because I hate high boots. They are also on sale online today at the shoe company/town shoes for $253 is paid $298.

  2. Ah boots! The Canadians arch nemesis. I am a fan of fashion boots since I dont need to shovel or anything. I have a pair of thinsulated hush puppies and a pair of lined rockports. I like them both! All the ones you linked above look cozy. Black Friday sale maybe to help cut the cost?

  3. Thanks Danica!
    I looked at the Uggs, but I just can't bring myself to spend more than $200. Maybe my next pair in a few years ;)

  4. great choices! I've got a pair of Sorels and they're fantastic!

  5. Oooh great picks!! I'd take #6 first and then #5. I agree with Winter boots, they have to be GOOD - and they have to get though the entire season.

  6. I like #6 - they look warm but still fashionable - I take it you live in the city, so it's important to be warm but still a bit fashionable.

    I just bought a pair of Bzees (from Naturalizer) - they are soley for dog walking and are like slippers on.

  7. Oh - I'll check those out - Thanks!


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