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Columbia Minx Shorty III Review

This is a comfortable and durable boot meant for casual use but isn't quite warm enough for the coldest weather
columbia minx shorty iii winter boots women review
The boot had surprisingly good traction on snowy surfaces, but the lugs had a hard time gripping icier surfaces, including this rock!
Credit: Liz Chamberlain
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Price:  $120 List
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Liz Chamberlain ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 19, 2022
68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 16
  • Warmth - 25% 6.0
  • Weather Protection - 25% 7.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 7.0
  • Traction - 15% 7.0
  • Durability - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Columbia Minx Shorty III is one of the more affordable options in our lineup that offers lightweight comfort and warmth in milder weather conditions. While not necessarily designed for heavy recreational use or ultra-cold temps, this boot is capable of accomplishing casual winter activities both on and off the trail. Though it doesn't excel in any one area, it's a solid boot that you can wear just about anywhere, and one we would recommend to those who want one boot to do it all without breaking the bank. If your winters are on the mild side and you want to be stylish, this is a solid choice.
REASONS TO BUY
Soft liner
Lightweight
Decent traction
Tough nylon upper
Cushy PU footbed
REASONS TO AVOID
Runs small
Not as warm as others

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Best Buy Award   Top Pick Award 
Price $120 List
$109.95 at REI
$120 List
$120.00 at REI
$165 List
$164.95 at REI
$104.26 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$150 List
$150.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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81
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74
Star Rating
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Pros Soft liner, lightweight, decent traction, tough nylon upper, cushy PU footbedGood value, ultra warm, great traction, highly waterproofLightweight, supportive yet flexible, grippy, breathableLightweight, super soft interior, durable leather exteriorUltra lightweight, 12" of leg coverage, bungee cinch laces
Cons Runs small, not as warm as othersOnly ankle-high coverage, hiking-specific style, narrow fitLow coverage, thin upperUnimpressive outsole tractionTough 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 weatherThis well-priced boot hits all the marks with a winter-friendly design that maintains great traction, weatherproofing, and warmthLightweight, supportive, and warm enough for trail or everyday use but a short shaft limits protection from winter elementsOne of the most comfortable choices in our lineup, with a soft, heat-retentive interior and durable, waterproof exteriorThis 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...
Warmth (25%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
Weather Protection (25%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Traction (15%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (15%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
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
Removable Liner? No No No No No
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
Animal Products? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
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.

Performance Comparison


columbia minx shorty iii winter boots women review - heading uphill into the backyard after a storm, we tested the minx...
Heading uphill into the backyard after a storm, we tested the Minx Shorty III on a variety of slopes and snow conditions.
Credit: Guy Eriksen


Warmth


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.

columbia minx shorty iii winter boots women review - the faux fur interior of the minx shorty iii was very soft but...
The faux fur interior of the Minx Shorty III was very soft but unfortunately, did not lead the pack in warmth.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

Weather Protection


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.

We submerged the Minx Shorty III in icy lake water and found it was...
We submerged the Minx Shorty III in icy lake water and found it was waterproof up to 4 inches, at which point water felt like it entered through the front tongue & lace area.
The Minx Shorty III did better when submerged in water than we...
The Minx Shorty III did better when submerged in water than we initially expected.
Pointing at the water entry point on the boot after exiting the lake...
Pointing at the water entry point on the boot after exiting the lake for a closer visual.

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.

columbia minx shorty iii winter boots women review - the faux fur lining actually helped to clump snow on the collar of...
The faux fur lining actually helped to clump snow on the collar of the boot and keep it from entering the interior.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

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.

columbia minx shorty iii winter boots women review - our feet felt a bit suffocated when we wore thick socks with this...
Our feet felt a bit suffocated when we wore thick socks with this boot, even though the weather required the extra warmth.
Credit: Guy Eriksen

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.

columbia minx shorty iii winter boots women review - despite a tight fit, the pu footbed in the minx shorty iii was one...
Despite a tight fit, the PU footbed in the Minx Shorty III was one of the thickest and most supportive of the entire review lineup.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

Traction


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.

columbia minx shorty iii winter boots women review - the tripod shaped lugs on the minx shorty iii are small compared to...
The tripod shaped lugs on the Minx Shorty III are small compared to some of the other lug shapes in this lineup, but they turned out to be tiny and mighty.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

Durability


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!

columbia minx shorty iii winter boots women review - there was very minimal scratching and scuffing on the upper after...
There was very minimal scratching and scuffing on the upper after smashing the boot against rocks, trees, ice, and pavement.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain


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.

columbia minx shorty iii winter boots women review - a stylish, cozy, and lightweight little boot that we enjoyed but...
A stylish, cozy, and lightweight little boot that we enjoyed but didn't excel beyond other boots in this review.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

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.

columbia minx shorty iii winter boots women review - if the minx shorty iii isn't for you, there's a ton of other options...
If the Minx Shorty III isn't for you, there's a ton of other options to explore.
Credit: Liz Chamberlain

Liz Chamberlain
 
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