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Columbia Minx Shorty III
$109.95 at REI
$120.00 at REI
$164.95 at REI
|$104.26 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
$150.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Soft liner, lightweight, decent traction, tough nylon upper, cushy PU footbed||Good value, ultra warm, great traction, highly waterproof||Lightweight, supportive yet flexible, grippy, breathable||Lightweight, super soft interior, durable leather exterior||Ultra lightweight, 12" of leg coverage, bungee cinch laces|
|Cons||Runs small, not as warm as others||Only ankle-high coverage, hiking-specific style, narrow fit||Low coverage, thin upper||Unimpressive outsole traction||Tough to get on and off, minimal structure|
|Bottom Line||This is a comfortable and durable boot meant for casual use but isn't quite warm enough for the coldest weather||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||One of the most comfortable choices in our lineup, with a soft, heat-retentive interior and durable, waterproof exterior||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|
|Rating Categories||Columbia Minx Short...||Merrell Thermo Chil...||Salomon X Ultra 4 M...||The North Face Shel...||Baffin Escalate - W...|
|Weather Protection (25%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Columbia Minx Short...||Merrell Thermo Chil...||Salomon X Ultra 4 M...||The North Face Shel...||Baffin Escalate - W...|
|Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking||4"||6"||4.5"||7"||11"|
|Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft)||6.5"||6"||6"||10"||12"|
|Measured Weight (per pair, size 7)||1 lb 4 oz||1 lb 13 oz||1 lb 5 oz||2 lb 4 oz||1 lb 4 oz|
|Type of Boot||Casual winter wear||Winter hiking||Winter hiking||All-around winter||Casual winter wear|
|Fit Details||Runs small||True to size||True to size||True to size||Runs small|
|Lining/Insulation||Omni-Heat reflective||M Select Warm (200g)||Polyester||Heatseeker Eco Pro (200g)||Thermaplush, B-Tek Heat|
|Footbed||Removable PU||Kinetic Fit BASE||EVA||OrthoLite||Removable PU|
|Upper Material||Waterproof woven synthetic textile, suede||Waterproof PU-coated leather and mesh||Leather, textile||Full-grain leather and ballistic nylon||Nylon|
|Toe Box||Nylon and rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Reinforced Hex|
|Outsole||Omni-Grip rubber||M Select GRIP||Contagrip W rubber||Surface Control rubber||Polar Rubber|
|Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating||-32°C/-25°F||Not stated||Not stated||Not stated||Not stated|
|Temp Change in Ice Bath||-9.7°F||-5.2°F||-7.2°F||-6.5°F||-5.6°F|
|Sizes Available||5 - 12||5 - 11||5 - 10||5 - 11||6 - 11|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Minx Shorty III has several redeeming qualities that make it a one-quiver option for those who don't want to break the bank on a new winter boot. It is lightweight, stylish, and comfortable with an Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining backed by 200g of insulation that adds a cozy feel to the interior. The lugs performed surprisingly well on most terrain, and the upper is made of tough, abrasion-resistant nylon. The two hangups that kept us from loving this boot were the tight fit and the liner that did not live up to our warmth expectations compared with the rest of the lineup. Still, if you don't need something too warm and you're more focused on an affordable boot, the Minx Shorty III is a great option.
The Minx Shorty III boasts 200g synthetic insulation and a faux fur lining. The boot is temperature rated to -25°F / -32°C, however our feet began to feel cold at 15-20°F when stationary. Once moving uphill on a long hike, our feet felt sweaty at around 30°F. This tells us the boot can retain heat once moving, but the lining may not be the most breathable.
In our 15-minute ice bath test, the Minx Shorty III lost 9.7°F in temperature and then 24°F in our 2-hour snow bank exposure test. Both of these results were some of the highest temperature changes in the review and supported our initial observations of a lack of warmth, particularly in stationary settings.
The Omni-Tech waterproof, breathable, seam-sealed upper membrane delivers on weather protection. This boot seemed to shed snow instantly. We went for a jaunt in a knee-high field of fresh powder and found our feet were still warm and dry after half an hour. The only hangup is the low-profile coverage. The shaft height measures just 6.5 inches, which is not quite enough to keep snow out in deeper snow banks unless the boot is covered by gaiters. Some snow was crammed into the top of the cuff, creating a ring of moisture around our socks. We recommend tucking in snow pants to add coverage and keep your lower legs as dry as possible. Or, if you know you'll be navigating deeper snow, the Minx is also available in a taller Mid height.
In our water submergence test, we stepped into Donner Lake in Truckee, CA, to test how well the Minx Shorty III could seal out water. Water entered the boot at 4 inches, likely seeping in through the front tongue. Afterward, water shed quickly from the nylon upper. We felt pleased with these results — the boot doesn't look ultra waterproof, but it is entirely capable of keeping the feet dry when things aren't too deep.
Comfort and Fit
The Minx Shorty has a fashionable, low-profile fit with a cozy faux fur interior that's easy to slip in and out of. When new, the fit feels tight in thicker winter socks, even for someone with narrow feet. The heel pocket also feels a little tight compared to a roomier fit in the shin and ankle areas. Someone with a wider foot would likely find this boot to be too snug or straight-up uncomfortable. However, once we started to move around, we didn't notice these drawbacks as much, and over time, the fit loosened up.
The PU footbed on the Minx was one of the redeeming qualities of the fit. This footbed had the most cushion out of any footbed in the lineup, and it felt super supportive under the arch, which we loved. All around, the fit isn't perfect, but it has some redeeming qualities.
We were surprised by the traction capabilities of this boot out in the field. The Omni-Grip rubber lugs seemed minimal compared to more aggressive lug patterns on other boots in our lineup. But lo and behold, these small triangular lugs remained stable throughout shoveling sessions, slippery stair ascents, and hikes out into shin-high fields of snow. This boot did not handle icy surfaces well, though it performed better than some of the flatter lug profiles in this review.
At first glance, the nylon upper of the Minx Shorty is seemingly unstructured. However, the triple seam-sealed upper has a high-grade denier nylon that's tough and impermeable. We thrashed the boot against branches, rocks, and pavement to test the exterior's durability and found that the nylon resisted abrasions and all seams remained intact. The boot experienced little scuffing aside from color wear during our testing. We were impressed!
Should You Buy the Columbia Minx Shorty III?
We feel this boot is priced competitively with similar styles in our review. We recommend this model if you're looking for one boot to do it all this winter without breaking the bank. It is both functional and comfortable, with good coverage and grip. The Minx is a solid product and will get you through several winter seasons.
What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?
If you like the style of the Minx Shorty III, The North Face Shellista IV Mid is a great alternative with more warmth and a stiffer, more stable upper. If the price is what you like about the Minx, you may want to reach for the Columbia Ice Maiden II. It has a very similar fit and feel, and while it is lackluster in the warmth department, it is a decent boot for an affordable price.
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