It’s nearly that time of year when you wake up in the morning and look out into a cold damp gray morning to see freshly fallen snow on the ground. The last thing you want to do is face it, but you need to get on with your day. You can’t be beholden to the weather. That is why you need the best gear to keep you dry and warm no matter the conditions. And it all starts with boots. As generations of outdoorsmen, soldiers, hikers, and generally active people have come to know, if you don’t take care of your feet, you won’t get very far. Keeping your feet warm and dry is key to successful winter activities not just for how much fun you can have, but for your health (and certainly your mood).
Insulation: Natural Shearling and 200g Thinsulate
Materials: Waxed canvas, leather and rubber uppers
Height: 10.5 inches
Weight: 32.09 oz
The Ice Bay Tall Boot from Sperry is designed with the harshest winters in mind. With a few classic outdoor boot design elements, the boots are also packed with modern improvements that outdoorsmen of yesteryear would have only dreamed for. The Ice Bays are more than up to the task of taking on the fiercest winter, whether for weekend-long excursions or just taking the dog for a walk around the block in a snowstorm. From the height of the boot to its lining and outsole, these are the most rugged, resilient and ready for anything boots in Sperry’s arsenal. Here are some of the standout features that make the Ice Bays a cut above the rest.
Thinsulate and Shearling Lining
First and foremost, on the mission of keeping Jack Frost from nipping at your toes, the Ice Bay deploys on two fronts. The entire boot, from the toe box to the top of the eyelets, is lined to keep you toasty. The lower half is lined with 200g Thinsulate flannel, a welcome addition to any foul weather footwear. The 3M Thinsulate keeps your feet nice and warm, but as you wear them and inevitably start to sweat, the Thinsulate allows the moisture out, while not letting any of the cold air in, so you stay dry and comfortable. Farther up the boot, the lining is comprised of quality shearling, which does more than just look spiffy at the top — it will naturally keep you warm as well.
Classic Rubber Toe
A classic design for boots to take on the elements, rubber ensures water isn’t getting in. However, the seam where the rubber meets the rest of the boot can sometimes be a bit problematic. Don’t fret, Sperry solved for this: the outsole here is vulcanized to the rubber shell to ensure a durable boot and dry feet. On the other side of the boots, where the rubber meets the leather and canvas upper, Sperry used waterproof threads and adhesives for an added layer of protection, so no weather is getting onto your feet.
Canvas and Leather Uppers
While using a mix of canvas and leather uppers might be common in other styles, this integration here feels like a nice update for a classic silhouette. Aside from looks, the inclusion of canvas helps with the flexibility of the boot and limits the break-in time needed to get the Ice Bays just right for you. They also have the added benefit of lightening your load some. Most winter boots out there can get a bit clunky — between the wet leather and chunky soles, you get a workout just lifting up your feet. But with this boot, the dual canvas and leather uppers help slim down on the weight so you can go farther in the snow without tiring your legs.
Ceramic Lug Outsole
For the Sperry Ice Bay, an aggressive chunky rubber lug outsole wasn’t enough to keep you on track. So, they added small bits of ceramic particles throughout the outsole mold. These particles that you can spot from within the sole, give the boots 20% better traction on ice than your run of the mill rubber. It’s kind of like putting chains on your tires, each time you step out into the frozen landscape. As the rubber outsole wears over time, new ceramic particles are exposed and are ready to grip and not slip.