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Hands-on Gear Review
Kamik Momentum Review
Cons: Style, not very water resistant
Bottom line: This Best Buy award winner provides a glorious balance of weather protection and traction, all in one affordable package.
The Kamik Momentum shines with great all-around performance for a low sticker price. That's why we couldn't help but give it our Best Buy award! Ideal for casual around-town errands and outdoor chores like dog walking and snow shoveling, this boot earned high scores across most of our performance-oriented metrics. It is certainly not the most stylish and most likely not the most durable product in our review, but if you need a warm, comfortable boot that will tackle fluffy snow drifts and icy slush, then the Momentum is a great choice that will leave you with money to spare.
This competitor measures 11.5 inches from the bottom of the sole to the top of the shaft and has great traction. Our Best Buy Award winner also has a super cozy interior that rivals that rivals the Northside Kathmandu boot, its biggest competitor for this award. However, the Momentum outshined the Kathmandu primarily in warmth and traction. The Momentums' rubber toe box will keep your feet dry in puddles almost three inches deep and the easy-to-pull cinch cord will have you out the door in seconds.
That said, we do have a few complaints about our Best Buy winner: thanks to the rubber toe box, pull cord closure system, and nylon upper, the Momentum looks a bit like a youth snow boot. The pull cord system doesn't provide the best fit, the nylon that covers the top of the boot is not waterproof, and the insole often pulls out when taking the boot off. However, even with these couple of complaints, we still think that this boot offers amazing bang for your buck, especially considering the high price (upwards of $200) of some of its competitors.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Women's Winter Boots of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
This Best Buy award winner features great traction with a surprisingly low winter temperature rating. We loved its cozy inner liner but could do without its adolescent style. For only $90, it's hard to find a boot that performs so well in the pertinent metrics.
The chart below displays the overall scores of the field of competitors with the Momentum highlighted in blue.
Although Kamik designed the Momentum to handle temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit (and claims to do so), but we don't think your feet will be very happy in weather that frigid. During our cold slush bucket and river tests, we noticed the cold percolating inwards after just seven minutes of marching. For a boot rated to -40 degrees, this is unexpected, which leads us to believe that it won't be able to handle super frigid temperatures for long periods of time. In addition, this boot is fitted with 200g of 3M Thinsulate insulation that is similar to the Vasque Pow Pow II Ultradry. However, because the Pow Pow II Ultradry uses 400g of this Thinsulate material, we found it to outperform the Momentum in cold weather tests.
That said, the adjustable top cuff does a great job sealing in warmth, much more effectively than the Northside Kathmandu, even though the shaft isn't quite as tall. The faux fur cuff and cozy inner lining also help add warmth and comfort. Although the Momentum is much more comfortable than our Top Pick for Severe Weather, the Sorel Joan of Arctic, it's not as warm and it doesn't feature a removable liner - one of our favorite things about the Joan. Finally, this boot is outfitted with a super thick heel that protects well from cold-icy sidewalks and snowy slopes. Even though it's not the warmest boot out there, it is definitely in the top three, outcompeting the Northside Kathmandu (the biggest best buy competitor) hands down.
We were hoping that the nylon upper on this boot would provide a little more protection from puddles, but unfortunately, it leaks just above the rubber material that forms the toe box and wraps around the edge of the foot. After stomping around in our slush bucket for just one minute, our feet were completely soaked, and we were a little let down (having high hopes for this boot). However, for such a low price, we can't say that we were surprised at the lack of water resistance.
Perhaps the more troublesome part of the water resistance piece is that once flooded, this boot takes at least a day to fully dry out inside (without the use of a boot dryer). Although it's not nearly as slow to dry as the Columbia Minx-Mid II, we recommend avoiding deep puddles unless you have some time to let it dry. Aside from water, this boot does a good job of keeping out snow and other debris. The faux fur cuff provides a solid seal against the calf and the 10.5-inch shaft offers protection from good sized snow drifts.
If this boot gets wet inside, it can take at least a full day to dry out. If you live in a climate with very wet winters, we recommend investing in a boot with better weather protection like the Sorel Joan of Arctic that features a removable liner.
Comfort & Coziness
Unlike some boots that didn't come with a host of comfort features, the Momentum has one of the coziest inner linings of the bunch. Although the lining is synthetic, it's super soft and touchable all the way down to the tip of the toe box (similar to the Northside Kathmandu). The supple shaft allows the leg to move freely, but doesn't provide enough ankle support that we would want to take this boot out hiking. The footbed is not super supportive either; however, the boot (and it's cozy liner) hug the foot in such a way that it gives an illusion of support.
We don't recommend choosing this boot if you're going to be on your feet for hours on end, but our lead tester wore it while walking to work, and around the classroom where she teaches all day. In general, she loved the general comfort and coziness that the Momentum brings to the table, but she did learn that the boot heated up fast indoors, and didn't do a great job breathing. We'll discuss this more below, but one trade-off that we found with the cozy liner is that it also does not dry very quickly.
For this reason, our Best Buy Award winner may not be the best option for those who need to wear their winter boots day in and day out, both outside and in. For a task like this, we would recommend either something more waterproof and a little more breathable like our Editors' Choice winner, The North Face Shellista II Mid.
We were shocked when our Best Buy Award winner out-performed many of its competitors in our traction tests. This model is fitted with Kamik's Peak Winter outsole and we found that it allowed us to cruise over icy patches, steep snow banks, and wet logs with relative ease.
That said, we wished the rubber would have been a little softer to help grip slipperier rocks a little better. Our only complaint in the traction category is that the less technical fit affected our overall stability.
Style & Fit
This model, unfortunately, lost the majority of its points in our style metric. Although it's not downright ugly by any means, this boot definitely resembles a youth snow boot. It doesn't use sophisticated materials (like leather or suede) and the elastic pull cord closure system just looks less mature than laces or even a slip-on design. One interesting fact was that it did score high in our online-style poll, but when our testers got a good look at it up close, they quickly changed their mind about their initial thought on the boot.
The fit of this boot is not very precise. The single-pull cord and wide foot opening earn points in our "ease to take on and off" metric, but it loses them in fit. In general, our testers felt like the boot fit but moved around quite a bit while walking and hiking in the snow, The shaft does not constrict around the calf to immobilize the foot so your toes and foot move around freely. In fact, many of our narrow footed testers did not like this boot because of its fit, while our wide foot testers felt like it was just okay.
This boot only comes in whole sizes and we recommend sizing up if you're a half size. Although the elastic pull cord doesn't provide a very specific fit, the boot is still comfortable to wear and has surprisingly little heel slippage.
Ease to Take On & Off
Aside from the Northside Kathmandu, the Momentum is one of the easiest boots to take on and off thanks to its super simple elastic pull cord closure system. Unfortunately, however, we found that the insole often slipped out when we pulled our foot out (especially with wet feet), so we often had to readjust the insole before putting the boot back on. While only a mild pain, it still caused us to dock a point in this metric. Other than the insole issues, you'll be out the door in seconds or in front of your fireplace in moments if you opt for our Best Buy winner!
Given its non-technical fit and lack of stylish appeal, we don't recommend this boot for winter hiking or for a night of winter bar hopping. Our Best Buy Award winner is best saved for trips out in cold weather during activities like casual around-town errands or chores like walking the dog. Although it will cruise through icy conditions, be cautious about planning to wear it multiple days in super wet weather. If you're interested in a winter hiker, check out the Vasque Pow Pow II Ultradry or if you want a boot with a similar price, and way higher style points, check out the Northside Kathmandu.
At $90, we think our Best Buy Award winner offers amazing bang for your buck! If you don't mind this boot's styling and just need casual around-town footwear, we think that this product is a great deal. The only other option for a less expensive boot is the Northside Kathmandu that also sells for $90. If you're willing to sacrifice performance for style and a little more faux fur, be sure to read up on this boot.
A useful, all-purpose winter boot, the Kamik Momentum is an inexpensive product that will meet your needs for simple outdoor chores and around-town missions. Although it may not be the most stylish, it is by far the least expensive product in our review and will keep your feet warm and comfortable even in during short trips out in the single digits.
— Amber King
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