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Hands-on Gear Review
Kamik Momentum Review
Cons: Poor style, lacks water resistance
Bottom line: This best buy winner provides ample performance where it's needed, but trades off style.
Measured Weight (ounces, one boot, size nine): 1lb. 7.0 ounces
Upper Material: Waterproof Nylon
As the best value women's winter boot, the Kamik Momentum outshines the rest for its exceptional performance and low price. For the third year in a row, it wins our Best Buy award! Ideal for casual around-town errands and outdoor chores like dog walking and snow shoveling, it earns top scores in performance metrics. It is not the most stylish nor the most durable product in our review, but it will keep you warm and comfortable as you tackle tall snow drifts and icy slush. It'll also leave you with more money in your pocket.
Measuring 12.5 inches from its thick sole to the top of the shaft, this boot provides excellent protection from tall snow drifts. The fur-lined interior is cozy and warm just like the more expensive Sorel Joan of Arctic and Sorel Tofino II Pac boots. The one-pull elastic lacing system makes putting this boot on and taking it off as easy as pie. The outsole also features super big and burly lugs, grabbing soft snow and packed trails smoothly and better than most boots tested.
While there are many features that we love about this boot, we aren't impressed by its style. Thanks to its rubber toe box, pull cord closure system, and nylon upper, the Momentum looks a bit like a youth snow boot. The pull cord system doesn't provide the best fit while the shaft of the boot is flimsy, lacking support. The nylon outer is water resistant at best, while the insole pulls out often pulls when taking it off. However, even with these couple of complaints, we still think it provides the best bang for your buck especially when considering the high price of the competition.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Women's Winter Boots of 2018
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
A winter boot with excellent traction, a low price tag, and ample warmth you say? Sold! This Best Buy award winner is only $90. That said, it's not incredibly stylish, but it performs for winter use around town.
With many great warmth features, the Kamik allegedly offers warmth to temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. The boot features 200-grams of 3M Thinsulate insulation coupled with a water-resistant nylon exterior. The interior is fully lined with a cozy, fleece material, and the sole of the shoe is relatively thick. The collar is fur-lined, doing a great job of locking in warmth throughout the day. This boot is an ideal option for those in search of a boot to stand around in cold temperatures all day or if you just need to complete some chores around town. It scores an average six out of ten in this metric.
While this is allegedly one of the warmest boots in this review, there are warmer boots out there. For example; the Keen Durand Polar, our Editors' Choice winner features 400-grams of KEEN warm insulation, rated to -40 degrees. When comparing these boots in our cold water tests, the Keen Durand provided much more warmth (and weather protection) overall. While this is a hiking boot, there are other Pac boots like the Sorel Joan of Arctic, our Top Pick for Severe Weather and the Sorel Caribou that both proved to warmer than the Kamik. The Caribou is the warmest of them all with the thickest soles tested.
All in all, the Kamik performs well in the cold and even into the double negative digits. It has a plethora of warmth features and is bound to keep you warm this winter.
We're not completely convinced it will perform to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. During out cold-water tests, we noticed cold percolating inwards after just seven minutes of marching in the water. Cold from the nylon also percolated easily into the boot. We did not feel any cold underfoot though (attributed to the thicker sole). For a boot rated to -40 degrees, this is unexpected, which leads us to believe that it won't be able to handle super frigid temperatures for long periods of time.
Scoring a seven out of ten in this metric, we are happy to report that this boot does keep feet protected from the elements for short periods of time. That said, during our slush and water tests, we learned that the nylon upper just doesn't cut it. During these tests, we noticed leakage around the edge of the foot. The nylon seeps when it's saturated, making this boot unusable for climates that have super wet weather all the time. That said, despite its performance flaws with water, it did a wonderful job keeping out drier snow and slush. With a shaft height of 12.5 inches and a faux fur collar, snow does not get into the boot easily. Overall, it performed well in a dry Colorado climate, but users seeking a boot that will perform in wet-climates should consider other options.
If you are seeking a boot that does exceptionally well in wet weather, Pac boots like the Sorel Joan of Arctic and Sorel Caribou are both great options. Both performed flawlessly in our water tests, and both have removable liners (unlike the Kamik Momentum). If you prefer a boot that's a little less bulky with similar weather protection, check out the Sorel Tofino II, a super cute waterproof Pac boot.
If you're more interested in a waterproof hiking boot, be sure to check out the Keen Durand Polar and the North Face Chilkat III, two of the most weatherproof winter boots tested. Both are entirely waterproof up to their collars and did great in snowy conditions.
This boot gets wet and takes at least a day to dry. If you live in a climate with wet winters, we recommend investing in a boot with a removable liner like the Sorel Joan of Arctic or Sorel Caribou.
Comfort & Fit
Scoring a six out of ten in this metric, comfort, and fit are about average, but not above and beyond. Unlike some boots that didn't come with a host of comfort features, the Momentum has one of the coziest inner linings of the bunch. Although the lining is synthetic, it's super soft and touchable all the way down to the tip of the toe box. The supple shaft allows the leg to move freely and is quite flexible. That said, it doesn't provide a whole lot of ankle support, and wouldn't take it out on a day of hiking. The footbed also isn't the most supportive, but the boot and its liners hug the foot, giving it the illusion of support.
If you're searching for a super comfortable boot be sure to check out the Keen Elsa, a shorter shaft boot with a cozy collar. Unlike the Kamik, it is lightweight and not super bulky. That said, it's also not as warm or weather protective.
The boot is true to fit with a bit of a bulkier feel, despite its lower weight. The heel is not super fitted, nor is there a whole lot of arch support like we found with our Editors' Choice winner, the North Face Shellista II. There is a lot of volume in the forefoot that allows toes to splay and wiggle freely and accommodates thicker socks well. Our general thoughts on fit? It's not precise and quite sloppy but works for just running errands around town or shoveling the driveway.
For this reason, our Best Buy Award winner may not be the best option for those who need to wear their winter boots day in and day out, both outside and in. For a task like this, we would recommend either something more waterproof and a little more breathable like our Top Pick for Style, the Ugg Cecile.
This boot only comes in whole sizes, and we recommend sizing up if you're a half size. Although the elastic pull cord doesn't provide a precise fit, the boot is still comfortable to wear and has surprisingly little heel slippage.
Ease of Use
Earning a nine out of ten in this metric, the Momentum is one of the easiest boots to take on and off. It features a super simple elastic pull cord closure system and a rigid shaft that has you sliding your foot in and out easily. That said, we were often frustrated by the fact that the insole often slipped out when we pulled our foot out (especially with wet feet).
As a result, we found ourselves continually readjusting the insole before putting it back on. Other than the insole issues, you'll be out the door in seconds or in front of your fireplace in moments if you opt for our Best Buy winner! No other boot scored higher in this metric.
We were shocked when our Best Buy Award winner out-performed many of its competitors in our traction tests. This model is fitted with Kamik's Peak Winter outsole, and we found that it allowed us to cruise over icy patches, steep snow banks, and wet logs with relative ease. The lugs are huge and multi-directional. In addition, the rubber is softer, adapting to colder and warmer temperatures. As a result, this boot scores a solid eight out of ten in this metric.
Our only complaint in the traction category is that the less technical fit affected our overall stability. If you prefer a boot with more stability as well as high traction, check out our Editors' Choice winner, the Keen Durand Polar or the North Face Chilkat III. Both feature a relatively stable platform that grabs all sorts of surfaces.
None of the boots performed well over ice. If you plan on treading over the iciest parts of town, be sure to wear a pair of YakTrax.
This model, unfortunately, lost the majority of its points in our style metric. Although it's not downright ugly by any means, this boot resembles a youth snow boot, or as one of our testers said: "an old ladies boot". It doesn't use sophisticated materials (like leather or suede), and the elastic pull cord closure system just looks less mature than laces or even a slip-on design. One interesting fact was that it did score high in our online-style poll, but when our testers got a good look at it up close, they quickly changed their mind about their initial thought on the boot. Overall, the boot looks bulky without any real stylish additions.
If you're in the market for a boot with more style be sure to check out our Top Pick for Style, the Ugg Cecile. Our testers love to wear this boot around town and to work. Adding that extra zing to any mountain-chic outfit, it works well with a pair of skinny jeans and a cute sweater. We also liked to sport it with a cute winter dress from time to time. The Keen Elsa also got many compliments on the street and featured a very different style than the Kamik Momentum. It's shorter, lighter, and just cuter overall.
The Momentum is just $90, and one of the best-valued items in this review. If you don't mind this boot's adolescent styling and just need casual around-town footwear, this is our top recommendation.
As all-purpose winter boot, the Kamik Momentum is an inexpensive product that will meet your needs for simple outdoor chores and around-town missions. Although it may not be the most stylish, it is certainly warm and boasts great traction for a low price.
— Amber King
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