Compare to Similar Products
Baffin Escalate - Women's
$150.00 at Amazon
|Check Price at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
$120.00 at REI
$164.95 at REI
|$65.99 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Pros||Ultra lightweight, 12" of leg coverage, bungee cinch laces||Ultra warm, removable liner, thick rubber outsole, impressive waterproofing, great traction||Good value, ultra warm, great traction, highly waterproof||Lightweight, supportive yet flexible, grippy, breathable||Soft liner, lightweight, decent traction, tough nylon upper, cushy PU footbed|
|Cons||Tough to get on and off, minimal structure||Somewhat heavy, bulkier design||Only ankle-high coverage, hiking-specific style, narrow fit||Low coverage, thin upper||Runs small, not as warm as others|
|Bottom Line||This is one of the lightest boots in our lineup and will keep your legs toasty warm in the coldest temps, but it does lack structure and stability||A comfortable, true to fit, ultra-warm and waterproof winter boot with a durable and structured exterior||This well-priced boot hits all the marks with a winter-friendly design that maintains great traction, weatherproofing, and warmth||Lightweight, supportive, and warm enough for trail or everyday use but a short shaft limits protection from winter elements||This is a comfortable and durable boot meant for casual use but isn't quite warm enough for the coldest weather|
|Rating Categories||Baffin Escalate - W...||Baffin Chloe||Merrell Thermo Chil...||Salomon X Ultra 4 M...||Columbia Minx Short...|
|Weather Protection (25%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Baffin Escalate - W...||Baffin Chloe||Merrell Thermo Chil...||Salomon X Ultra 4 M...||Columbia Minx Short...|
|Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking||11"||9"||6"||4.5"||4"|
|Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft)||12"||10"||6"||6"||6.5"|
|Measured Weight (per pair, size 7)||1 lb 4 oz||2 lbs 8 oz||1 lb 13 oz||1 lb 5 oz||1 lb 4 oz|
|Type of Boot||Casual winter wear||All-around winter wear||Winter hiking||Winter hiking||Casual winter wear|
|Fit Details||Runs small||True to size||True to size||True to size||Runs small|
|Lining/Insulation||Thermaplush, B-Tek Heat||Comfort-Fit multilayer foam||M Select Warm (200g)||Polyester||Omni-Heat reflective|
|Footbed||Removable PU||EVA||Kinetic Fit BASE||EVA||Removable PU|
|Upper Material||Nylon||Suede leather||Waterproof PU-coated leather and mesh||Leather, textile||Waterproof woven synthetic textile, suede|
|Toe Box||Reinforced Hex||Rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Nylon and rubber|
|Outsole||Polar Rubber||Polar Rubber||M Select GRIP||Contagrip W rubber||Omni-Grip rubber|
|Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating||Not stated||-40°C/-40°F||Not stated||Not stated||-32°C/-25°F|
|Temp Change in Ice Bath||-5.6°F||-4.1°F||-5.2°F||-7.2°F||-9.7°F|
|Sizes Available||6 - 11||6 - 11||5 - 11||5 - 10||5 - 12|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We were impressed with the performance of the Baffin Escalate in many of our tests. It is the second tallest boot in our review at 12 inches, and it delivers on keeping the lower extremities completely warm and dry. The cinched bungee laces help to keep snow out of the interior, and we remained upright on tricky snow-laden terrain, though the tread didn't stand out as one of the grippiest. While the boot delivers warmth, coverage, and comfort, it isn't the toughest option in the durability category, and the lack of stability in the upper made us a little hesitant to go off on more intense adventures. That said, we thought the Escalate held its own against some strong competitors in this category, and we would recommend it to anyone in colder, more intense winter climates.
In our submergence tests, we found that the Escalate was one of the front runners in retaining warmth over long periods of cold exposure. Baffin gives this model their "tundra" rating for temperatures down to -40°F. The coldest temperature we could test in was the mid-teens, which we remained plenty warm in, though we're not quite sure how well the boot would work in sub-zero temps.
During a long-exposure test in snow, we found the interior of the Escalate remained the warmest out of the bunch, losing only 4°F over 2 hours of snow exposure. During our ice bucket test, the boot lost just 5.6°F in temperature. Pretty impressive! Heat retention is noticeably the Escalate's leading attribute. We highly recommend this boot for those who find themselves standing around at winter football games or supervising sledding sessions with the kids.
With one of the highest shaft heights in the lineup at 12 inches, the Escalate offers up a full coverage boot in a lightweight, comfortable construction. The beauty of the Escalate is the bungee lace system that not only allows for a tight fit but also creates a sealed closure on the shin and calf to seal snow out of the boot's interior.
In wet conditions, namely rain or slushy snow, the nylon upper of the Escalate retained some moisture and felt damp by the time we took off the boot. In our water submergence test, we found the Escalate sealed out water up to 11 inches high and once again retained a damp exterior but a dry interior. The dampness made it difficult to take off the boot and put it back on without sitting down, which was slightly frustrating. However, this boot gave us all the protection we were looking for.
Comfort and Fit
The built-in liner of the Escalate is soft, cozy, and warm. We were very pleased with the unending warmth delivered by this boot. The Escalate is lightweight thanks to a nylon upper, and the bungee lace design allows for a tight or loose fit without having to deal with traditional laces coming undone. That said, the bungee lace is long enough that it flings around if you don't tuck it in.
We also enjoyed the footbed of this boot. While stock footbeds often tend to be thin and lack shape or support throughout, this one feels soft and cushy. However, the footbed is built into the interior, so we couldn't take out the footbed liner and evaluate it beyond its' subjective feel.
Out of the box, the space in the forefoot felt noticeably tight, and the insulation over the toes felt a bit suffocating. Luckily, the notion of tightness dissipated after about 5 minutes of wear. The boot feels true to size, but at our normal shoe size, it wasn't the perfect fit. We would suggest sizing up a half size in this boot, particularly if you have wide feet or like to wear thick socks.
The Escalate is not the easiest boot to slip into if you're in a rush, but it's quite easy to loosen up and kick off with your other foot, so long as it's dry. Once wet, this became a little more of an issue. Overall, we enjoyed wearing this boot and would recommend it to anyone prioritizing warmth, comfort, and coverage.
At first glance, the lug profile of the Escalate is underwhelming. The hexagon-shaped lugs boast a similar design to a Van's shoe or a mountain biking flat. Yet out in the field, the Escalate had no problem charging up, down, and through fresh snowbanks.
This boot felt grippy walking down our wet and slushy neighborhood streets. However, it wasn't entirely grippy on icy pavement, which was a bit of a letdown because the boot doesn't have much structure to enhance stability on icy or uneven terrain.
The construction of the Escalate is not as focused on durability as it is on warmth and coverage. The upper is made primarily of synthetic textiles, which are more prone to tearing on rocks, branches, ice, etc. Although, during our durability test, where we whacked and scraped the boots against rocks, trees, pavement, and ice, the upper only experienced some light scratching and discoloration with no large cuts or abrasions.
The rubber toe stopper is minimal but does the job of protecting toes, though it's not the beefiest option if you're looking for a more heavy-duty boot. While it held up in the thrash tests, several other boots are more effectively designed for the long haul.
Should You Buy the Baffin Escalate?
The price tag for the Escalate feels reasonable based on the boot's performance throughout our testing period. It sits in the middle of the price range of the products in this review. The Escalate is quite comfortable and will undoubtedly keep your shins, calves, and feet dry in blizzardy conditions, but the boot isn't necessarily multi-functional. If you're looking for a one-stop shop, do-it-all boot, there may be better options. But if you're looking for a boot that provides maximum warmth, this is a top-tier choice.
What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?
Warmth and coverage are the key components to the mystique of the Baffin Escalate. If you're willing to spend a little more, the Muck Boot Arctic Ice Tall and the Baffin Chloe are strong competitors and offer up very similar performance capabilities in cold climates. They have tall shaft heights and strong insulating layers. If, on the other hand, you would like to spend less, stick with the Escalate or look into The North Face Shellista IV Mid.
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More