Sorel boots - any good?

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,965
868
Lancashire
I've been seeing sorel boots heavily discounted. Are they worth getting for out and about ski resorts when not skiing. Nothing serious trekking into hills just a little cold weather exploring around the area, town, resort, etc.

I know I've started another thread but I'd ruled sorel out as too costly, now their pac T boots are £65 not £120. Any one of their boots worth looking at? Canadian brand and we don't see them much here.
 

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
695
427
Ceredigion
I've been seeing sorel boots heavily discounted. Are they worth getting for out and about ski resorts when not skiing. Nothing serious trekking into hills just a little cold weather exploring around the area, town, resort, etc.

I know I've started another thread but I'd ruled sorel out as too costly, now their pac T boots are £65 not £120. Any one of their boots worth looking at? Canadian brand and we don't see them much here.
They used to be amazing and long lasting, but when I looked to get some 2 years ago, all the comments and reviews seemed to say that something had changed recently and that the quality and longevity had plummeted. So I suggest you search for recent comments to see if that is still an issue.
Fit and comfort-wise it depends a lot on your feet whether they are nice or clunky.
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,965
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Lancashire
What is the fit like? Are the sizes good or under sized. Normal boots and shoes I've had from Salomon are half a size below standard imho. Other brands are half a size over standard.

Volume is another issue. Winter boots need space for warmer socks but even allowing for that menial solden snow boots for me were very high volume. Width was very wide.


I've got average mid step around the widest part of the foot but narrow at the heel. This gives me issues with high volume/ width boots. Only so much can be taken up by socks.

What's the sizing/ fit like?
 

rich d2

Tenderfoot
Jan 10, 2019
62
26
48
Nottingham
What is the fit like? Are the sizes good or under sized. Normal boots and shoes I've had from Salomon are half a size below standard imho. Other brands are half a size over standard.

Volume is another issue. Winter boots need space for warmer socks but even allowing for that menial solden snow boots for me were very high volume. Width was very wide.


I've got average mid step around the widest part of the foot but narrow at the heel. This gives me issues with high volume/ width boots. Only so much can be taken up by socks.

What's the sizing/ fit like?
quite a few of my frends wear them for apres and wearing around resort and get on great with them.
 

mickeyluv

Full Member
Nov 2, 2010
86
6
derbyshire
I bought some unlined ones for pre work and they seem to be holding out ok, they seem to get comfier when they've warmed up a bit, I would say the sizing is pretty much spot on, maybe a bit tight when new but not worth going up a size but might be different with lined ones
 

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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,662
734
Canada
Heavy but warm and grippy ... not really nimble ... but they are as cozy as they look. Very popular in the East of the country ...
 

Kilbith

Member
Oct 18, 2013
44
3
South West
They are nice for ski station and a little walk around and snowshoes. Warm enough, but you must dry the liner every night. If the liner is wet, you will be cold. I think they are a little tight and you have to bring one size more.

Three problems :
- Not good for steep walk in mountain (Alps, Pyrenees...) they are too soft, nice only on the flat (like in Lapland, Vosges, Jura, Quebec..)
- When walking a lot, it is quite easy to have blister. And your socks very often slip to the bottom.
- It is difficult to drive a "normal car". But for me a normal car is not a big automatic SUV...it is more a small car with 5 or 6 manual gear. Since the sole is wide, it is difficult to drive such a car.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,896
1,799
McBride, BC
Sorel used to have a good reputation in western Canada for many years.
Something changed. I never see them any more.

Several other brands have proven for really cold weather performance from Mark's Workwear House.
It's a leg of the Canadian Tire retail Empire, the best place for Carhartt clothing.
Especially if you are expected to work all damn day, out doors, at -30C. OK?
Not cheap but you can be dressed for it if you need to.

I wear WindRiver snowmobile boots in winter. Size 12, here. Jump in with bare feet = never cold.
They are 14" outside sole length. Never a problem operating the standard shifting in my GMC Suburban.
I am never concerned about my feet getting cold from the felts being damp.
Here, we are taught to buy at least one extra pair of liners to change every day. I want bone dry. I use 3 liner pairs.

The tread pattern on the WR boots is designed for snow, not wet ice. You need Vibram Ice or TC treads for that.
The village snow is hardly up to our knees so far. I'm still wearing my slippers.
 

treefrog

Full Member
Aug 4, 2008
638
28
South Yorkshire
Sorel went from being a solid winter workbook to a ‘lifestyle/recreation’ boot. Columbia bought the company in 2000 and turned it into a fashion item.
For winter I use the Nokian Naali. Minimum maintenance and a felt liner that can be taken out and dried. Not very fashionable as it’s a great big welly, but never had cold feet in a pair.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,965
868
Lancashire
Didn't Columbia buy montrail too? Turned that into something not worth buying. Used to buy montrail Highlanders for all my hill time use. Best footwear I've worn on compacted snow even ice without crampons. Must be the sole rubber because it was so sure footed. Only shoe took last 9 months. Innov8 lasted 2 or 3 months.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,662
734
Canada
If you have been dispersuaded about Sorels, go back and look at Mucks. I have spent all day traipsing about town and putting on winter tires and walking the dog and hassling the kids, all in -8 to -10 degrees today. Blue nose, right enough. Warm feet though :)
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,896
1,799
McBride, BC
I thought that Columbia came out of New Zealand, originally.
Lots of very nice, practical clothing designs.
Designed to wear out or other wise fall apart in 6-12 weeks. Shirt seams rip, that sort of wear.
As a rule, I won't buy anything under the Columbia label. Just costs too much.
If they bought Sorel, I can keep looking.

The WindRiver snow boots that I have are a house brand
from Mark's Work Wearhouse (Canadian Tire) in a market of hard wearing boots.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,965
868
Lancashire
So what widely available (in the UK) equivalent is worth looking at? It seems there's really only sorel, TNF (2 types), one meindl (doesn't fit me, the rubber body to the foot section cuts in as I walk) and a few salomon/Merrell summer shoes stuffed with thinsulate type infill and if lucky a vibram arctic grip. All charging more than the heavily discounted sorel boots.

One or two stores offer volcom or iirc DG or Torstein brand. More leisure footwear and don't look that grippy neither. There's a brand called olang.

It seems sorel got a good name then got a bad one after selling out. However the market share in the uk was high and stayed high.

I've looked at one merrel winter boot with vibram arctic grip. I have been recommended vibram soles for winter. They're not easy to find though. Seems not many retailers stock them. Judging by lead times they order direct from merrel to supply orders without passing through them. A bit wrong saying in stock but long lead time imho. Just say special order but not in stock with them.
 

baggins

Full Member
Apr 20, 2005
1,473
214
46
Coventry (and up trees)
have a look at the seeland snow king boots, a similar style pac boot. I think they still do them (or similar). They weren't pricey and mine have lasted 10 years now (approx 2 days wear per year, lol).
 

Duggie Bravo

Nomad
Jul 27, 2013
463
92
Dewsbury
I have a pair of Trespass boots, do the job for me, playing in the snow when we have it and walking the dog when there was snow on the ground.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,965
868
Lancashire
Tried meindl boots that look a little like sorel ones. Big volume but reckon I needed size smaller and thick socks too. So that's not the issue. Yhe issue was how the top of the rubber foot part dug into my foot.

Since this rubber foot area with leather shaft of the boot is a common design, are all boots likely to dig in on the top of the foot as you walk?
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,270
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I have had a couple of Swedish boots with rubber footpart and leather upper.
They did not rub. But they shrink if you leave them too close to the fire.

I guess your foot shape is maybe outside 'standard' ?
 

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