Shoe D’Jour: Sorel Caribou Snow Boots

by jennine on December 28, 2010

sorel snow boots

Sludgy NYC crosswalk post-blizzard.

Last year, I bought my first pair of snow boots. They are cute, shearling with toggle closures. But when I bought them I didn’t know what I was doing. First off, they’re not waterproof, secondly… for some god-only-knows-why reason they did not line the toes. So after a month of wearing them in Chicago, it became clear that I still had cold toes. That’s the most important part to keep warm!

This year I grilled New Yorkers about snow boots… it’s warmer than Chicago but there is a lot, a lot, a lot of snow in New York now. It’s really going to be a snowy winter. So I went ahead and got a second pair of boots that are waterproof AND keep my toes warm.

Finding snow boots that aren’t ugly is a huge challenge. There are some ugly snow boots out there. Really ugly. I looked at the Sorel Caribous last year, but thought they were too heavy, but like the old school look about them. After seeing them in the J. Crew catalog, it sealed it for me. I had to get these. They’re relatively inexpensive at $110, and they’re ok looking, they go go along the whole duck boot trend this year that I love.

I took them to Germany with me and they’re perfect. Granted, I thought they’d be smaller, and I feel kind of like a robot when I’m walking with these giant boots. And my first instinct about them being heavy was right, they are heavy. But my feet have never been toastier. I tried wearing my regular boots in the Bavairan snow, but that led me to spending 4 days in bed with a cold.

I’m glad I got these, especially now that New York is encased in snow.

UPDATE: I just got home last night, and WOW post blizzard, NY is crazy. I’m so glad I got these, because every intersection looks like the lower left photo.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Nickie Frye December 28, 2010 at 9:47 am

I don’t think I could do it. Being from California (the part that doesn’t snow) I am such a wimp when it comes to this stuff. Walking, DRIVING, or otherwise maneuvering around in the snow, & wearing snow-appropriate gear are all unheard of for me. I think you did well with the boots, though I’m obviously not an expert on this matter. ;)
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jennine December 28, 2010 at 10:12 am

haha, well, i said the same thing when i heard the word ’snow boots’ but you really do need them, because toes are always in fashion!


Tamara December 28, 2010 at 10:20 am

I recently moved from Spain to snowy Germany and… Ok, I must confess in the beginning I was trying to avoid snow boots but after slipping on the street the other day (and totally falling on my face in front of the bus station!) I am reconsidering them again ;)
Tamara´s last blog .. Family My ComLuv Profile


jennine December 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm

oh my god, the winter i spent in germany i totally ate it several times. it became a big fear that i would break a bone! now i won’t even walk on ice, even with special boots!


Elle December 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I’ve been seeing these pop up everywhere lately. I got a similar pair last year but all black and no separated front before the pleating from Merrell. So not my most fashionable shoes, but I’m definitely greatful in the snow in the Northeast (I got to school in New England).
Elle´s last blog ..A Holiday of Outfit ChangesMy ComLuv Profile


jennine December 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm

haha well, if you’re in new england you definately need snow boots! but i dont’ know if there is even a fashionable snow boot, is htere?


Carly December 28, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Sooo hard to find snowboots that are cute! I think you have done it!
I HATE spending money on such a practical purchase…probably why I don’t own a snowboot (uggs dont count - warm but NOT waterproof) I am stuck in 4 feet of snow today…would be a good day to own a pair.
Not owning them, gets me out of shoveling tho!
Carly´s last blog ..Happiest of Holidays!My ComLuv Profile


jennine December 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm

i’ve never heard a better reason for NOT getting waterproof shoes!


Closet Confections December 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm

With all of the walking, snow boots are a definite necessity in NYC! I just bought an awesome fur-lined pair from Coach, and I’m in love. Tall rainboots with fleece-lined sockliners are also a good bet but not quite as toasty as your Caribous, I’m sure.

Closet Confections´s last blog ..Closet Confection- Yo- Taxi!My ComLuv Profile


jennine December 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm

ooh are the fur lined ones waterproof? maybe i’ll get another pair next year. who knows if these are right for new york.. it’s always such a tossup when it’s the first winter!


Melina December 28, 2010 at 2:37 pm

You are so right about ugly snow boots! I grew up in New England and generally if a boot is functional, it’s really not easy on the eyes. I do like these though, they look comfy and warm!!

xx Melina
Melina´s last blog ..Winter GrayMy ComLuv Profile


WendyB December 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm

How I hate the snow. Especially the New York snow that quickly turns to gray slush. Waterproof is a must — preferably without holes for laces that let slush in.
WendyB´s last blog ..The Pause That RefreshesMy ComLuv Profile


Valentina December 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I just got a pair of these and I’m in love. My feet have never been so warm.


Marissa December 28, 2010 at 10:17 pm

I’ve been looking for the right pair of snow boots, too. I’ve been traipsing around in my rainboots and heavy socks for a year now, and while they keep me nice and dry, they do absolutely nothing to keep me warm! I like the caribous a lot, but I’m scared they’ll be too bulky-looking. Maybe if you did an outfit post with them… (hint, hint). :)
Marissa´s last blog ..Snowed InMy ComLuv Profile


Manu Huessy December 28, 2010 at 10:27 pm

I got a pair of these too and I really love them. I am in DC waiting the snow come.
Manu Huessy´s last blog ..look da manu bota de leopardoMy ComLuv Profile


Laura Connell December 29, 2010 at 8:23 am

I just wrote a post about Sorel’s myself! These babies are Canadian-made and we know winter like few other countries do! I take non-waterproof “winter” boots as a personal insult! What are they trying to do, give me frostbite? You could lose your toes! Anyway, I am also thinking of grabbing a pair of Sorel’s and embracing their clunkiness. We do what we must in the snow and slush. Sometimes we have to play around with our fashion boundaries to keep ourselves safe and warm :)


Aida December 29, 2010 at 9:14 am

haha, I know exactly what you mean about feeling like a robot when you put the snow boots on. After tons of time looking on the net for a pair that was fashionable yet functional I finally settled on a pair of Kamik’s Pearson boots. They are similar to the Sorels although I got them in a darker brown. They arrived on xmas eve so luckily just inthe nick of time (i live in nyc too!) They have totally made my days of traipsing through the snow a ton easier .Yes they are a bit heavy (subway stairs, ugh) but they’re great and I’m looking forward to getting tons of use out of them this season.


liz December 29, 2010 at 10:42 am

I wish I had seen this post prior to Sunday! I could barely step out of my apartment, and like a dumbass tried to venture to midtown for work on Monday. Snow boots are def. my next purchase now


lisa December 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

These Sorels are cute! I normally don’t like the look of them, but the ones you got are making me reconsider.

I bought snowboots last year from a Canadian company called Blondo. They look like normal tall flat black leather boots, except that the leather is waterproof and the inside is fleece-lined and the boots have a much better tread on them than trendier boots.
lisa´s last blog ..Best of Blog 2010My ComLuv Profile


Angga Heinrich December 29, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Great shoes!! Need an outfit picture!1 I cant seem to know how to mixed match snow boots with fashion lol (i’m bad I know)
Angga Heinrich´s last blog ..sway swayMy ComLuv Profile


Nubiasnonsense December 29, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I only like the first day of snow and then it’s yucky sludge! These snow boots are really cute and traditional looking but I totally know what you mean about being able to find a nice pair. Someone should get inspired by all the ugly ones and make an ultra chic line lol

Hope you feel better and got around to making your snow homie ;-)


jennine December 30, 2010 at 8:14 am

omg! tell me about it! i’m so sad i missed the first day here… now it’s crazy looking on the streets. and there is no way in hell i’m wearing normal shoes until the snow is melted.


Cate December 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm

i’ve been in Boston for 2 years and i still dont’ have snow boots. or rain boots. i basically fail at boots. it’s not my fault though. trinidad’s weather doesn’t really call for excessive footwear. but i’m motivated to find good fashionable snow boots when i get back into the US.
Cate´s last blog ..Links à la Mode- December 30thMy ComLuv Profile


Fashion Limbo December 31, 2010 at 3:17 am

just because we’re style junkies it doesn’t mean we’re crazy and if we live in snow covered places these boots look simply ideal!
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Carrie at In the Hammock Blog January 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Oh, I love these!! they are a breath of fresh air!!
Carrie at In the Hammock Blog´s last blog ..Friday Vintage Etsy Finds Dec 31My ComLuv Profile

Reply Maegan January 5, 2011 at 12:37 am

yeah, these are definitely the best of all worlds …I have the same pair …which I’ve had now for at least 10 years {though I don’t go to the snow often and you know it doesn’t snow here either} but still, I’ll have them forever.


miss sophie January 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm

i just got a pair of the caribous too and and posted some of my initial impressions…

currently test-driving the boots around my apartment. they fit pretty nicely actually, and feel less clunky than i had expected (though they are still super wide). have you had a chance to style your sorels since you got them? i’d love to see how you worked these into your outfits :)
miss sophie´s last blog ..sorel caribousor- open letter to Rick OwensMy ComLuv Profile


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