Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sorel’s Joan of Arctic Boots

Yesterday’s -24C weather made me very happy that I’m the owner of Sorel’s Joan of Arctic boots.

These fake-fur trimmed items are big, heavy and hardly the most fashionable of items but they’re also warm, waterproof and great for walking the dog.

Unfortunately, they’re also a bit uncomfortable, at least for the first couple of weeks you wear them.

A friend of mine has the exact same boots and we both found that they really rub on the upper-part of the heel, basically where the rubber “foot” part of the boot meet the leather upper-part. But if you tough out the pain/slap on some Band-Aids, your heels will eventually crave a space for themselves. After that, while these boots aren’t quite like wearing slippers, they are reasonably comfortable given their rigid, rubber bottoms (in other words, don’t expect to be skipping down the streets in them).

These boots are rated to be warm down to -32C and while I find them to be quite toasty (my feet didn’t feel the least bit cold yesterday), my friend’s experience has been quite the opposite and as a result she’s not really impressed with them.

I told her that maybe there’s some kind of manufacturing defect with her pair. This wouldn’t surprise me because my first pair of these boots had one. The sole of the right one cracked after only a couple months of wear and started leaking.

Available in five
different colour combos!
Thankfully Sorels come with a one-year warranty. I phoned them up, complained, they told me to send the boots back and they’d send me a new pair. And that’s exactly what they did.

So while I was disappointed that my first pair crapped out, I was pleased with Sorel’s great customer service and that I got to have a brand new pair of boots for this winter. Of course, a new pair did mean that I had to re-break them in (almost done!).

If you’re interested in these boots, make sure you’re buying actual Sorels. I noticed that there are lots of knockoffs of this style out there and while these are cheaper (the originals run anywhere from $140-$180), I doubt they’re guaranteed to be warm and waterproof (though maybe they are more comfortable).

Would I buy this again: Yes
Should you buy it: If you like how they look and don’t mind that you have to break them in, then yes. Just don’t be afraid to act on that warranty if you have to.

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