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Columbia Ice Maiden II Review

From light hiking to winter chores to hanging out after skiing, this boot does it all, for cheap!
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $80 List | $59.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Waterproof, versatile, decent traction, durable
Cons:  Not the warmest, plain style
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Laurel Hunter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 11, 2019
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 10
  • Warmth - 25% 6
  • Weather Protection - 25% 7
  • Comfort & Fit - 20% 7
  • Traction - 20% 6
  • Ease of Use - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Columbia Ice Maiden II stands out for its versatility, durability and low price. Perfect for winter chores, it's also okay for light hiking, dog walks, and wearing around town. It is not the warmest, but if you have moderate winters and don't plan on spending hours outside in the cold, this boot will keep you dry and comfortable. And you will still have dollars in your pocket! Measuring 10 inches from its sole to the top of the shaft, this boot provides decent protection from taller snowdrifts. And we found the suede and fabric upper waterproof when our hikes involved creek crossings. (Did we mention they can hold their own on a shorter adventure hike?) While this boot doesn't scream style, it is a little black dress of a boot that is appropriate in some settings. It isn't the most supportive or the warmest, but we still think it provides the best bang for your buck… especially when considering the high price of the competition.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award 
Price $59.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$185.00 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$145.00 at Amazon$129.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$129.97 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
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Pros Waterproof, versatile, decent traction, durableComfortable, great traction, waterproof, warm, not bad lookingWarm, wider-forefoot, waterproof, fantastic traction, stability and supportCute, versatile, relatively warm, decent tractionWarm, great weather protection, removable liner, super thick outsole
Cons Not the warmest, plain styleShort in the backAggressive and techy look, not cozy, less arch supportNot super water-resistantSloppy and clunky fit, heavy, not very stylish
Bottom Line From light hiking to winter chores to hanging out after skiing, this boot does it all, for cheap!The most comfortable winter boot we tested, and it has burly traction, making it perfect for winter backcountry adventures.A great winter hiker, perfect for slippery trails and long days.A versatile and cute winter boot for all purposes.A perfect option for winter chores in cold weather.
Rating Categories Columbia Ice Maiden II Oboz Bridger 7" Insulated Wa... Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat Shellista II Mid Sorel Caribou - Women's
Warmth (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
9
Weather Protection (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Comfort & Fit (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
3
Traction (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
6
Ease Of Use (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
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8
Specs Columbia Ice... Oboz Bridger 7"... Bugaboot Plus IV... Shellista II Mid Sorel Caribou -...
Maximum puddle depth before major leaking 6.5 inches 6 inches 6 inches 6.75 inches 10 inches
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Measured Weight (ounces, one boot, size nine) 1 lb. .38 oz (size 7) 1 lb. 3.5 oz (size 7) 1 lb. 3.75 oz (size 7) 1 lb. 5.90 ounces 2 lb. 1.35 ounces
Fit Details True to size True to size True to size True to size True to size
Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft) 10 inches 7 inches 7.5 inches 11 inches 11 inches
Lining/Insulation 200g insulation 200 gram 3M™ Thinsulate™ insulation Omni-Heat reflective lining 200g PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Eco 9mm recycled felt inner boot with Sherpa Pile snow cuff
Removable Liner? No No No No Yes
Footbed n/a O FIT Insole™ Thermal Techlite EVA Injection-molded waterproof TPR shell 2.5mm bonded felt frost plug
Upper Material Waterproof leather and textile Waterproof nubuck leather Leather, nylon Waterproof, BLC-compliant nubuck leather upper, knit collar Waterproof nubuck leather
Toe Box Rubber Molded rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber
Outsole Omni-Grip Advanced Traction Granite Peak winterized rubber Michelin winter compound rubber Winter Grip rubber outsole with IcePick temperature-sensitive lugs. Vulcanized rubber
Company-claimed cold-weather rating n/a n/a -25 n/a -40
Animal products used? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sizes Available 5 - 12 6 - 11 5 - 12 5 - 11 5 - 12

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.

Performance Comparison


Behold the Ice Maiden! The best winter boot for those on a budget.
Behold the Ice Maiden! The best winter boot for those on a budget.

Warmth


With many features to help you stay warm, the Ice Maiden II 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. The boot 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. It scored about average for warmth.

We went for a dog walk but found a creek. Fishing is not an intended use for the Ice Maiden  but it can do a lot!
We went for a dog walk but found a creek. Fishing is not an intended use for the Ice Maiden, but it can do a lot!

Weather Protection


The Ice Maiden II 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 did 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.

Water beading off of the Columbia Ice Maiden.
Water beading off of the Columbia Ice Maiden.

The outer layers of this boot are waterproof to the top of the shaft, but regarding puddle depth, it lets in the water at the top of the tongue gusset, about six and a half inches. For best results, beware of the deeper slush puddles.

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.

You won't get a lot of ankle support for longer technical hikes  but the Ice Maiden is snug and warm for moderately cold days.
You won't get a lot of ankle support for longer technical hikes, but the Ice Maiden is snug and warm for moderately cold days.

Traction


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.

Both the Shellista II and the Ice Maiden II have good traction for light hiking  but lack the serious lugs needed for technical terrain.
Both the Shellista II and the Ice Maiden II have good traction for light hiking, but lack the serious lugs needed for technical terrain.

None of the boots performed well over ice. If you plan on walking over the iciest parts of town, be sure to wear a pair of YakTrax.

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 Best Buy winner is solid in every category, and scores just above average here.

With nylon laces and webbing "eyelets " it's a cinch to lace these boots.
With nylon laces and webbing "eyelets," it's a cinch to lace these boots.

Value


The Ice Maiden is the best value in this review. 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 the best boot for the money. If you don't need a boot 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 our top recommendation.

Conclusion


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.

The Columbia Ice Maiden II is our favorite budget snow boot  and it is waterproof!
The Columbia Ice Maiden II is our favorite budget snow boot, and it is waterproof!


Laurel Hunter