Winter daily wear...

Last autumn I began a quest for real men's minimalist winter footwear. I'm talking about winter footwear, not just shoes that will get you from the house to the car and into work. I enjoy spending time outdoors in the snow and would like a boot that can handle temps around 0 F for a few hours, preferably more.

Price is a relevant issue, but I will spend what it necessary. If nothing turns up in a day or so, I will be ordering a pair of Steger mukluks.

Thanks for the help.

Comments

  • Take a regular boot...possibly older, remove the sole, get vibram soling 4mm or 10mm your choice.  Cut it to match the boots shape. Then use shoe goo to adhear it to the boot. 

    http://naturallyengineered.com/blog/how-to-turn-your-thick-hiking-boots-into-minimalist-snow-shoes/
  • on 1320419304:

    Take a regular boot...possibly older, remove the sole, get vibram soling 4mm or 10mm your choice.  Cut it to match the boots shape. Then use shoe goo to adhear it to the boot. 

    http://naturallyengineered.com/blog/how-to-turn-your-thick-hiking-boots-into-minimalist-snow-shoes/


    that is incredibly awesome.  i'm going to start doing that to any boots i get.
  • That's a cool mod.  The toe-box would still be kinda narrow though, eh? 

    Vivobarefoot has a boot that I've been thinking about getting. http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us/mens/off-road-hi-mens-13.html/  They're pricey, but it could be worth it ...
  • Vivo will not be getting any of my business ever again. I have a pair that started splitting a seam on both shoes at about 6 months. The thread were breaking, not the leather. At the time (and maybe still) their website was advertising a 1 year warranty, and I tried contacting them numerous times to no avail. No thank you. Maybe Feelmax will bring something interesting to the table. Either that or Arrow Moccasins has a wool fleece lined "lace boot" that I would already have if they weren't nearly $200. If they had a concrete friendly sole option I would already have them. I am concerned about the longevity of leather in that environment.

    Steger is looking better all the time.
  • on 1320729070:

    That's a cool mod.  The toe-box would still be kinda narrow though, eh? 

    Vivobarefoot has a boot that I've been thinking about getting. http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us/mens/off-road-hi-mens-13.html/  They're pricey, but it could be worth it ...


    not unless you opt for the wide width versions..my work boots are wide width and theres room.
  • on 1320730490:

    Vivo will not be getting any of my business ever again. I have a pair that started splitting a seam on both shoes at about 6 months. The thread were breaking, not the leather. At the time (and maybe still) their website was advertising a 1 year warranty, and I tried contacting them numerous times to no avail. No thank you. Maybe Feelmax will bring something interesting to the table. Either that or Arrow Moccasins has a wool fleece lined "lace boot" that I would already have if they weren't nearly $200. If they had a concrete friendly sole option I would already have them. I am concerned about the longevity of leather in that environment.

    Steger is looking better all the time.


    Just to add my experience, I had some Evos I purchased online (through the NY store, before VB had a serious U.S. web presence) that started to show some tears in the microfiber after about 8-10 months of use.  I contacted the NY store directly and was referred to Sabra Ellingston.  After exchanging an email or two (they asked for pics of the tears) with her, she sent me a replacement pair of Evos.  It took about a week to replace my EVOs, but it was a what I consider a pretty good level of customer service IMHO.
  • How thick are the soles on the Steger shoes?  They look comfy but like they have thick soles...
  • The soles are fairly thick, but from a standpoint of winter boots, you need the thickness to be insulated from the ground. Mukluks are really designed for arctic or sub-arctic conditions, where the earth sucks a lot of heat if you aren't protected. It gets fairly cold here in PA, and I tend to spend a fair amount of time out in the woods in the cold, being a meat hunter and general outdoors ("bushcraft") enthusiast.


    Tonight I was at LL Bean and took a look at their boots. They are fairly flexible, they have a steel shank, but it seems to only be toward the rear of the boot, where flexibility is less of a necessity. I think that the heel is solid rubber and could be carefully shaved flat. That's not a perfect solution, but I am going to search eBay for a cheap pair in my size to give it a test run before committing to a new pair to hack up.

    ETA: They seem fairly popular on eBay too, going for near full retail  :-\
  • It gets fairly cold here in PA


    Yup, same with MN.
    I'll spend several hours outside hiking, walking around town, tailgating, ice fishing, etc.  I shaved the soles off my old Rocky boots that were 1200 gram insulated, thinking the insulation would compensate for a thin sole and give a more barefoot feel.
    No dice.  My feet friggin froze, and I was doing heavy activity.
    Bottom line, in the cold as all get out winters up here, I'll tolerate a little sole thickness.  When I try out boots I avoid heavily arch supported styles and look for a flexible sole.  Gotta stay warm.  I picked up some Bugaboots, hopefully they work well (I haven't walked much in them, they're too warm yet).
  • Heel bias is the big thing for me. It also seems to be the hardest to come by for some reason  ::)
  • Yeah, here in Alberta its bitterly cold in the winter. -30C is a normal day when winter really sets in.

    I'll sport my VFFs for short errands and general use if I'm outside for 15 minutes or less. Anything longer than that I'm in my big sorrel boots. They have a pretty floppy sole, and are flexible. No real arch support to speak of, just a large shape to put your foot in.

    The soles are fairly thick, but soft. Boy do they keep my feet warm! Couple that with my heavy winter jacket, Coldavenger balaclava and huge mitts, and I'm ready for the tundra.

    Stay warm out there!
  • on 1321405458:

    Yeah, here in Alberta its bitterly cold in the winter. -30C is a normal day when winter really sets in.

    I'll sport my VFFs for short errands and general use if I'm outside for 15 minutes or less. Anything longer than that I'm in my big sorrel boots. They have a pretty floppy sole, and are flexible. No real arch support to speak of, just a large shape to put your foot in.

    The soles are fairly thick, but soft. Boy do they keep my feet warm! Couple that with my heavy winter jacket, Coldavenger balaclava and huge mitts, and I'm ready for the tundra.

    Stay warm out there!


    I know this is a couple weeks old, but I'm in Alberta too, thought it seems quite balmy compared to Manitoba (where I lived for almost 30 years).

    I wear my mukluks (which have a soft, flexible and thin "sticky" sole) for general use (to and from the gym, work, to run short errands). They have no arch support or support of any kind, really, but have sheepskin inside. They are like tall and warm slippers and freaking awesome. If these ones ever wear out I would buy them again in a heartbeat (though I would again look for a traditional one, I notice many "modern" mukluks sole in stores now do put a thicker and more modern/less-flexible rubber sole on the bottom). If the snow has disappeared a little, I can maybe get away with my Trek's for short jaunts.  But, anything actually heavier duty or longer term, I have my Sorel's too (except for specialized use like snowshoeing where I wear gore-tex Solomons - not minimalist!). I'd like to get some other more fitted/stylish gore-tex winter boots (Sorel's are ugly!), but I won't be worrying about minimalism there. It is just too freaking cold to have thin soles. I'll still look for something with little to no support though and a flexible sole. Add the Mountain Hardware Sub-Zero Jacket, Icebreaker long undies, one of my warm windstopper toques and a pair of Giordani gloves or my Swami mitts, and I am set! I don't care if I have to waddle as a result!

    When it is winter, I don't even try and find options for minimalist running footwear, as that is just signing up for frozen feet. I just take my Bikila's to the treadmill at the gym in the mornings. I learned my lesson a couple years ago when I got minor frostbite on my left toes - and that was even though I was running on my treadmill in our garage! Only bonus was my workmates looked at me even less oddly since I had a reason to walk around in socks - ANY shoes hurt too much to put on for a while. Stupid, stupid of me...it was almost -40C! I worry too much now about a recurrence since they are more sensitive to cold.
  • Check out the Oetzi3300 Troop Boot.  I am currently testing it out for review on Birthdayshoes.com So far I am impressed it is the best and IMO the first truly minimal winter boot.  I have seen others but this one seems to have hit the nail on the head.  Today they are having a Black Friday sell.  If you want to pick up a pair you can enter the coupon code minimalist at the checkout to receive %25 off the price.  That is about $53 off the price of the boots.  I don't know how long the code will last.  So far I have been impressed with the company.  I expect to be reviewing a couple more of their shoes and going to keep testing this Troop Boot and working on the review for the main site. 

    It is well designed,  Minimal sole when you take out the cork bed, Water/Winter resistant, wide toe box, and comfortable.  I wear a size 42 or 43 in the VFF and I feel comfortable in a size 44 I like my boots roomy.  I also like to be able to wear thicker socks with them.  Keep that in mind and you may or may not want to think about ordering a size up. 
  • on 1322241102:

    on 1321405458:

    Yeah, here in Alberta its bitterly cold in the winter. -30C is a normal day when winter really sets in.

    I'll sport my VFFs for short errands and general use if I'm outside for 15 minutes or less. Anything longer than that I'm in my big sorrel boots. They have a pretty floppy sole, and are flexible. No real arch support to speak of, just a large shape to put your foot in.

    The soles are fairly thick, but soft. Boy do they keep my feet warm! Couple that with my heavy winter jacket, Coldavenger balaclava and huge mitts, and I'm ready for the tundra.

    Stay warm out there!


    I know this is a couple weeks old, but I'm in Alberta too, thought it seems quite balmy compared to Manitoba (where I lived for almost 30 years).

    I wear my mukluks (which have a soft, flexible and thin "sticky" sole) for general use (to and from the gym, work, to run short errands). They have no arch support or support of any kind, really, but have sheepskin inside. They are like tall and warm slippers and freaking awesome. If these ones ever wear out I would buy them again in a heartbeat (though I would again look for a traditional one, I notice many "modern" mukluks sole in stores now do put a thicker and more modern/less-flexible rubber sole on the bottom). If the snow has disappeared a little, I can maybe get away with my Trek's for short jaunts.  But, anything actually heavier duty or longer term, I have my Sorel's too (except for specialized use like snowshoeing where I wear gore-tex Solomons - not minimalist!). I'd like to get some other more fitted/stylish gore-tex winter boots (Sorel's are ugly!), but I won't be worrying about minimalism there. It is just too freaking cold to have thin soles. I'll still look for something with little to no support though and a flexible sole. Add the Mountain Hardware Sub-Zero Jacket, Icebreaker long undies, one of my warm windstopper toques and a pair of Giordani gloves or my Swami mitts, and I am set! I don't care if I have to waddle as a result!

    When it is winter, I don't even try and find options for minimalist running footwear, as that is just signing up for frozen feet. I just take my Bikila's to the treadmill at the gym in the mornings. I learned my lesson a couple years ago when I got minor frostbite on my left toes - and that was even though I was running on my treadmill in our garage! Only bonus was my workmates looked at me even less oddly since I had a reason to walk around in socks - ANY shoes hurt too much to put on for a while. Stupid, stupid of me...it was almost -40C! I worry too much now about a recurrence since they are more sensitive to cold.


    I agree with you temperature wise, this winter so far is extremely mild and late. I was in Edmonton last weekend and it felt like winter there, -34. But back here in Fort McMurray we are having a heat wave. It's -5 now, which is bizarre.  Where about in AB are you?

    Last winter here in Fort Mac was properly cold, probably similar to your Manitoba winters. We spent about 80% of the winter around or below -30C, which is about normal for this far north. There definitely will be a point in which I don't wear my Flows outdoors even to run. I just haven't figured that out yet. It's been warm enough to wear them to the grocery store, but anything more my feet freeze. I've been ok to run in my flows as cold as -30 as I went for a run while in Edmonton last week, and I fared pretty well with my winter getup. Though I don't think I'd risk running in flows any colder than that to risk frostbite. That really doesn't sound like a pleasant experience! Until we get a proper cold snap, I'll continue to enjoy the 'warm weather'!

    Stay warm out there!
  • Winter here is late too. Today it's about 50, but I guess you'd call that 10  ;)

    I've been wearing my RunaMocs that I shoe-gooed some sheep skin into the sole. It's working well enough down to right about freezing, which is as cold as it's gotten so far, for walking on concrete about a mile (.87 mile one way, according to the MapMyRun app) at a time to my furthest class and back. It's good though, because after buying gifts for my daughter I don't have much left in the way of mukluk funds.

    I've checked the Oetzi Troop Boot, and to be honest, I spent enough time in combat boots during my time in the Corps... That newer brown color is appealing though  :D
  • on 1322340757:

    Winter here is late too. Today it's about 50, but I guess you'd call that 10  ;)

    I've been wearing my RunaMocs that I shoe-gooed some sheep skin into the sole. It's working well enough down to right about freezing, which is as cold as it's gotten so far, for walking on concrete about a mile (.87 mile one way, according to the MapMyRun app) at a time to my furthest class and back. It's good though, because after buying gifts for my daughter I don't have much left in the way of mukluk funds.

    I've checked the Oetzi Troop Boot, and to be honest, I spent enough time in combat boots during my time in the Corps... That newer brown color is appealing though  :D


    Yea if you don't like the combat styling then it could be a bit of an drawback.  I have been impressed though with the toe box room and the minimal sole.  While still being designed in a way that seem to be extreme weather ready. 
  • I was at a tradeshow this weekend and there was a booth selling Nakiuk boots. I was stopped in my tracks and both my wife and I thought 'wow, I need a pair of THOSE!'. I'm usually one who does lots of research and thinking before picking something up at those kinds of shows, but fell in love with these at first sight. It's not that they are minimalist, as I've learned from using my Flows that the thin sole does not work in Northern Alberta during the winter, unless you are running. I've been stubborn in using my flows everywhere and have had numb feet most of the time when I'm outdoors. While it's fine for running even at -25C or so, walking around or waiting for the bus can be a real test, and definitely putting my feet at risk of being frostbitten.

    As Raykay stated, in really cold climates you need some distance and insulation between your feet and the ground for any sort of warmth. These have some heel rise to them, but are super comfy, and definitely the warmest footwear I've ever put my feet into.  They have a sole that is specifically designed for good traction on ice and they have amazing grip. They are also the lightest winter boot I've ever warn, and can run easily in them!  They weigh much less than half of what my Sorrel's do. The Sorrel's are better for a wet cold, but my feet still freeze in them if I am outside for any length below -20, and happen to stop.

    They do have a vegan friendly nylon outer option, but if you go with this make, the fur is far better at keeping your feet warm. I went with this model, made with seal fur: http://defythecold.com/product.php?id=5 .
    The materials are harvested responsibly and humanely (no seals being clubbed).  It also supports a traditional lifestyle, and has some natives living the way they have for generations. I'm all for that! It keeps a very interesting and challenging way of life alive. Once the materials are harvested, the boots are handmade throughout the whole process. As for durability, the vendor had a pair with him that he has had for 17 years, and they hardly had any wear on them at all.

    I'll still wear minimalist if I'm in and out of somewhere from my car, but if I have more than a couple minutes of walking to do or even to go to work, I'll be sporting these beasts. I call them my wookie boots, as it looks like I got them made from Chewbaca. If you live in the Northern states anywhere in the plains where it gets brutally cold, anywhere in Canada that has lots of dry cold, in the Tundra or even Alaska, I think these will serve you very well.

    I'm off to go for a long hike through my favourite trails, with warm feet this time!
  • I have wide feet and it is always difficult to find shoes that are comfortable, especially when buying them over the internet. Fortunately, these fit the bill quite well from the first wearing when I put them on and breathed a sigh of relief. Nice to know Orthofeet a shoe company I can depend on for future purchases.
    https://www.orthofeet.com/collections/plantar-fasciitis-shoes
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