Sorel Caribou - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Warm, great weather protection, removable liner
Cons: Sloppy and clunky fit, heavy, not very stylish
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Sorel Caribou - Women's
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|Pros||Warm, great weather protection, removable liner||Protective and durable, very warm, breathable, excellent traction, great for hiking, high value||Quality leather construction, warm, waterproof up to the cuff, beefy traction, stylish for town or city wear, great trail performance||Warm, wider-forefoot, waterproof, fantastic traction, stability and support||Affordable, excellent protection, super stylish, easy to get into|
|Cons||Sloppy and clunky fit, heavy, not very stylish||Not the most stylish||Smaller volume through the toe box requires a half size up||Aggressive and techy look, not cozy, less arch support||Poor leather durability, thinner construction isn't super warm|
|Bottom Line||A beast of a boot built for burly 'brrr' inducing weather||An affordable and high performance winter hiking boot||A stylish hiking boot that works for both the trails and the city||A great winter hiker, perfect for slippery trails and long days||A stylish and high value boot built to take on snowy weather and tall snow banks|
|Rating Categories||Sorel Caribou - Wom...||Keen Revel IV Polar...||Danner Mountain 600...||Columbia Bugaboot P...||Kamik Ariel|
|Weather Protection (25%)|
|Comfort & Fit (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Sorel Caribou - Wom...||Keen Revel IV Polar...||Danner Mountain 600...||Columbia Bugaboot P...||Kamik Ariel|
|Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking||10 inches||7.5 inches||6 inches||6 inches||5 inches|
|Measured Weight (one boot, size 9)||33 oz||22.7 oz||19.8 oz||20 oz (size 7)||20.2 oz|
|Type of Boot||Outdoor work and chores||All-around winter||Hiking boot||Hiking||Casual winter wear|
|Fit Details||True to size||True to size, wide||True to size||True to size||True to size|
|Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft, size 9)||11 inches||7.5 inches||6 inches||7.5 inches (size 7)||12 inches|
|Lining/Insulation||9 mm recycled felt inner boot with Sherpa Pile snow cuff||200 grams KEEN.WARM Recycled PET||200 grams PrimaLoft||Omni-Heat reflective lining, 200 grams of insulation||200 grams Thinsulate, fleece lining|
|Footbed||2.5mm bonded felt frost plug||EVA||OrthoLite||Techlite EVA||EVA|
|Upper Material||Waterproof nubuck leather||Mesh and Leather||Leather||Leather, nylon||Leather & breathable membrane made from Nylon|
|Outsole||Vulcanized rubber||KEEN.Polar Traction||Vibram Nisqaully Arctic Grip||Michelin winter compound rubber||EDITH, rubberized traction|
|Cold Weather Rating (company claimed)||-40F||-25F||Not stated||-25F||-4F|
|Sizes Available||5 - 12||5 - 12||5 - 11||5 - 12||6 - 11|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Sorel Caribou is destined to perform your demanding chores on hard days. It is extremely warm and protective, but it lacks a precise fit. Use it to shovel the driveway or walk around town, but don't consider it for a winter hiking boot.
Among the warmest boots tested, the Caribou features a 9mm felt removable liner in addition to a super bomber outer that locks in warmth. The shaft height is about 11 inches with a Sherpa-Pile snow cuff that keeps the heat inside where you want it.
With a removable liner, this double boot system provides more warmth than most single-layer systems. The liners are easy to take out and dry if they get soaked. According to Sorel, this boot keeps feet warm to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. While we can't verify that temperature, it is a believable claim due to the boot's thick liner and soles, and we were able to test and stay warm in -20 degrees. Not many contenders proved to be as warm as this one.
Equipped with a bomber nubuck leather upper and a removable liner, the Caribou offers bullet-proof weather protection. In our cold water and puddle tests, it kept our feet dry to roughly ten inches. There was absolutely no leakage throughout the boot when properly laced up, and the material did not saturate or become less protective at any point during testing. These factors make it a great choice for the worst and coldest weather.
Comfort & Fit
The Caribou scored low in this metric because it is not particularly comfortable or well-fitted. It is extremely voluminous throughout the footbed and shaft, making it feel like you're wearing a pair of heavy clown shoes. Weighing over 2 lbs per boot, our testers were not psyched to be wearing this beast for long days, and we found ourselves tripping over our feet on some occasions.
The footbed of this hefty number has little to no support, the heel is large and not fitted, and the shaft of the boot can't tighten down very far. This boot earns the lowest score of any in our selection for comfort and fit. Because of this performance, we only recommend it for winter chores around the house or the odd errand around town. It's not ideal for all-day wear at work or while hiking technical winter trails.
Ease of Use
Our testers found this boot easy to slip on for a quick excursion outside. The laces are a quick one-pull system that doesn't bunch or bind. The leather outer holds its structure well, so you don't have to make too many adjustments. It also features a handy pull-on tab on the back.
The liners are removable — getting them in and out can be a bit of a hassle, but you only need to do that if they are really soaked. Other than that, it's a pretty straightforward construct. And, since we couldn't get a precision fit anyway, we often left ours loosely tied for super easy in-and-out.
Utilizing a vulcanized rubber composite, the Caribou features a unique outsole not seen in any other models we tested. The lugs are long ball-like shapes, resembling the outsole of a strange-looking cleat. We found this boot to grab most surfaces well. We trudged over snow, ice, sand, and dirt, and it proved to grip nicely on all surfaces. During our snowy hill tests, it grabbed the slope better than any of the other Sorel boots we tested, which feature a lug-less design with a wave-outsole.
This super burly boot comes with a hefty price tag. However, while perusing reviews online, we learned that, for many, this boot has been a go-to mainstay that has lasted for years. That said, recently there have been reports of lugs wearing and breaking off after about a year of use. This is concerning, but we didn't have any durability issues during our testing period, and in our experience, this boot has proven to be fairly durable. Overall, we would say this is worth the money for a super warm and protective Pac Boot.
This workhorse Pac Boot is designed to take on the elements. A classic, the Sorel Caribou provides ample warmth and weather protection through the coldest days of winter. Use it to collect firewood or shovel the driveway, but leave it at home for long hikes in the wilderness.
— Amber King