Columbia Ice Maiden II Review
Cons: Not the warmest, plain style
Our Analysis and Test Results
A waterproof winter boot with a low price tag, and plenty of warmth? Hand it over! It's not for the coldest climates and it may not be your style, but it performs well for winter use around town and is surprisingly competent on the trail.
With many features to help you stay warm, it is set up to keep your toes cozy. It sports 200-grams of insulation and has a waterproof suede and nylon upper. The interior is lined with microfleece and the cuff sports a faux-fur ruff, which does a great job of holding in heat. It also has a roomy fit, allowing warm air to get to the toes. The sole is plenty thick to insulate on moderately cold days.
The Ice Maiden did not perform particularly well in our ice bucket tests. Its internal temperature dropped over 20 degrees over 20 minutes. We wouldn't choose the Ice Maiden if we were planning to stand around all day in frigid weather. However, it is perfect for walking the dog, going for a moderate hike, running errands, or just hanging out in moderately cold temperatures.
This boot keeps your feet protected from moderate winter weather. It did not leak in our waterproof tests, and we even crossed some creeks on a dog walk-turned-adventure-hike without getting our socks wet. Keep in mind that this boot is not waterproof past the height of the tongue gusset, at six and a half inches, quite a bit shy of the top of the ten-inch shaft. If you live in a city with deep slushy curbs or one that experiences wet winters, this may not be the optimal boot.
That said, despite its limitations, it does a great job keeping out snow, slush, and water. It's an excellent choice for drier climates that experience moderate winters. You usually have to treat the leather to keep it waterproof over time, something to consider if you keep and wear your boots for years.
Comfort & Fit
This boot's comfort and fit are a little above average. The lining is a soft, synthetic microfleece and the outer material is supple with plenty of flex around the toes and ankles. There is not a lot of arch support, and the soft shaft doesn't provide much ankle support for long days on technical terrain. Still, the combination allows you to move freely and comfortably during chores and commuting. Importantly, the toe box is roomy enough to keep toes warm.
The boot is true to size. It will give narrow feet a bit of room, while medium-width feet will feel more snug, though not tight. The heel is fitted, and we only felt our heels slide up on very steep terrain. This boot doesn't offer the most precise or supportive fit, but you can lace it precisely enough to fit most feet for all-day comfort.
One look at the Ice Maiden II tells you that it's not intended to be an adventure boot. But when we found ourselves bushwhacking through the woods in search of an elusive creek, they were up to the task.
These boots don't have the support to be an all-day hiking boot, but for short jaunts, they work well, with surprisingly grippy treads. This model uses Columbia's Omni-Grip rubber sole, which stays soft in cold temperatures. And while slippery, wet rocks are a challenge, as they are for most boots, these performed acceptably in the traction test, earning an average score. Without deep lugs, this boot isn't a top choice for technical terrain.
Ease of Use
Getting in and out of the Ice Maiden II is surprisingly easy thanks to the nylon laces and webbing lace holders, which we like better than the typical eyelets. It is easy to pull the laces tight and to loosen them. Adjusting the laces for a precision fit takes a little more time. If you pull the laces tight at the top, they cinch up high but stay loose lower down on top of your foot. For a quick stroll to the mailbox, this is no big deal. But, for a more extended outing, it's worth taking the time to tighten them all the way through for more support. This boot isn't the easiest to pull on and lace-up, but it works fine.
This boot offers amazing value amongst the competition. We struggle to find anything this boot won't do, even pushing it beyond its intended uses. It isn't the best at any one thing, but it is one of the best boots for the money. If you don't need it for the coldest conditions but want something that will keep you warm while you walk the dog, commute to work, or hang out at the ice bar, this is a top recommendation.
As an all-purpose winter boot, the Columbia Ice Maiden II is inexpensive and will cover your wintery needs! It's warm, it's waterproof, it's got traction, and in basic black, it goes with anything.
— Laurel Hunter