Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review: The North Face Storm Peak II Boot

So I managed to snag these at Adventure Guide's winter sale for a crazy deal. I've been in the market for a solid pair of winter boots for a while now. I'm coming from years of wearing leather hikers in the winter and having uncomfortable, really, anything would be better!

OK So these boots are essentially a 3-layer laminate: a softshell outer bonded to a waterproof breathable membrane bonded to 200 delicious grams of Primaloft insulation with a microfleece lining. This makes them super weatherproof and pretty darn warm. They're also mad stylish.

Likes: Metatarsal support - the insole has an awesome little bump that you don't notice when the shoe is on but it adds some very nice support to your midfoot, seriously good stuff. Waterproofing - yay! Lightweight - the boots are definitely feathers compared to many other winter boots...that speaks to their purpose though.

These are obviously active boots. The insulation is not enough to keep your feet warm while just standing around, and the sole gets cold very easily. The lug pattern on the sole is good but definitely seem to be made more for running on groomed trails than bushwhacking on uneven terrain. One of the nice features is that the boot has a heel welt, which means it's compatible with the more secure versions of aluminum hiking crampons, a definite bonus.

All in all they would make great winter running boots or snowshoe-running boots, but if you're not going to be constantly moving, consider something with more insulation, definitely a more insulated/shielded footbed, and a sturdier lug pattern on the sole.

The North Face Storm Peak II, I give you 8 locking 'biners out of 10.

Fierce Boot Lust: KEEN Summit County

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