Do I have too many pairs of winter boots? Or is there no such thing when winter lasts half the year? Let’s go with that!

Winter quickly came last week, and I was annoyed with my boots. My hiking boots have no traction on ice and snow. My winter boots are also all terrible on ice and snow. That sounds crazy, but true! And ice cleats just never stay put, and who wants to take them off to go into the grocery store or to drive.

I’ve significantly increased my walking and want to keep it up through the winter, but I need a way to continue with warm feet and traction. Without traction I can’t walk fast and I can’t walk confidently.

I researched online for ever and got no where. So I went to our local store, The Raven’s Nook, and tried on a pair of Columbia boots – the Women’s Bugaboot™ Plus IV Omni-Heat™ Boot to be specific. These ones:

These boots have Michelin treads. Now talk about smart – boot tread made with the same rubber as winter tires! That sounds brilliant!

They are waterproof and lined with Columbia’s Omni-Heat™material, which is a reflective type material that warms up.

I went for it, at $220 Canadian, and brought them home for a test walk.

WHAT A MIRACLE. The treads on these boots are amazing. We have dried snow here that is compact and shined up by vehicle tires and walking. None of my other boots had any grip and I spent most of my winter walks precariously stepping on the beaten path. NO MORE!

Now they are kinda bulky and the ankles are stiff almost like a ski boot. The first time I wore them driving truck, I couldn’t get a feel for the pedals and overrevved and stalled, but I’ve got it mastered by the second time!

You can feel the heat from your foot radiating back at your foot. Warm feet! Amazing!

My only complaint is the rubber on my right boot is creasing right on my big toe when I walk, rather than at the base of my toe. I’m thinking this will get better as I work them in. I hope.

These boots are only rated to -32°C, which is okay – because I’ve got other boots in my arsenal for when it is colder. Everything is much less slippery at colder temperatures too.

You can read more about these boots on Columbia’s site here.

Now I have 5 pairs of winter boots. Here’s a recap:

My Winter Boots

Arctic Sport Muck Boots
Rated for -40°
The best part of these are they are easy to slip on. But they aren’t warm. I’ve frozen my toes in them many times.

And despite having a women’s size, they are too wide and slip on my heel and give me blisters if I walk too far in them.

Their traction is also poor. Jeff has a pair of Muck Boots and he is really pleased with their traction. I don’t know why these don’t perform better on ice and snow. Maybe it is the pink.

Useful year round for walking in water.

Steger’s Mukluks
Rated for below -40°

These are really nice, comfortable, super light.

They are like slippers, and are great for wearing a boot you’re going to wear somewhere, and then keep them on inside for hours, then walk home. Like trivia night at the Eldorado.

They aren’t super great for walking much distance because they slip a bit. My heels aren’t held in place that well.

They are best for the middle of winter when there is only dry snow and no gravel. The rubber sole has great traction on really cold, dry surfaces.

Baffin Icefield Waterproof
Rated for -100°C

These are absolute garbage.

They are not warm even at -20°. They have a really comfy liner, puffy and almost like memory foam. But condensation quickly forms between that lining and the inside of the outer boot. That makes the lining wet, and then it freezes and there will be a layer of ice and frost between the boot and the liner.

Everytime I wear these, they have to go on the boot dryer before they can be worn again.

They are nice and light, but the temperature rating of -100°C is just foolish.

I should probably give these away. Or give them to Hank for a chew toy.

Bunny Boots
Rated for ??

These are the ultimate winter boot. These were made for the U.S. military and are only available through army surplus or online from resellers who are doing the hard work of tracking them down.

With those heated activated charcoal based adhesive toe warmers stuck on the underside of my socks, I’m good most of the day at -40 (or below) in these.

However they are heavy like the moon boots they look like. Very heavy. Not something you want to wear to walk far.

They also aren’t known for amazing traction.