The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Sorel Tivoli High II Review

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Price:  $150 List | $146.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Cute, comfortable, fairly warm
Cons:  Not as water resistant
Manufacturer:   Sorel
By Amanda Fenn ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 11, 2016
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68
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 20% 7
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Weather Protection - 20% 7
  • Style - 15% 8
  • Traction - 15% 5
  • Ease of Use - 10% 6

The Skinny

We have almost nothing but positive things to say about the Sorel Tivoli High II. An update of the company's classic Tivoli, the II has a new look (including a techier-looking wrap-around sole and new fabric combinations), but maintains the performance of its predecessor. This is not the warmest boot that we reviewed, but it will still keep your feet toasty for short trips out in frigid weather and longer jaunts in milder temperatures. Performance-wise, this product is very similar to the Editors' Choice winning Sorel Tofino, but has a notably different look. We think the Tivoli is a better choice if you seek a winter boot that's a bit more casual and has less faux fur.

Want to Take it Down A Notch?
In addition to the Sorel Tivoli High II line of some sweet new colors including leather and felt, the Tivoli High comes in a shorter Tivoli II model. Sometimes you don't need a towering 11.5" boot, and we get that. At 7" high, the Tivoli II would be a great option for a stylish around town boot.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Sorel Tivoli High II measures 12.5 inches tall, but begins slowly leaking in puddles about three inches deep. We loved its casual look and think this product is a great option for everything from daily errands to mountain town bar hopping! We also did some light hiking on a dry winter day and found this model to be pretty comfortable, although not nearly as comfy as winter hikers like the Vasque Pow Pow II (our Top Pick for Winter Hiking).

Performance Comparison


We liked the Tivoli II for everything from short walks to evenings out with friends. This boot wasn't the most stylish or highest performing in our review  but we loved its look and it kept our feet warm and happy on most days that we tested it.
We liked the Tivoli II for everything from short walks to evenings out with friends. This boot wasn't the most stylish or highest performing in our review, but we loved its look and it kept our feet warm and happy on most days that we tested it.

Warmth


With only 100 grams of insulation and a light fleece lining, this boot did not score as well as some of its competitors in our warmth category. It's on par with the Tofino and warmer than The North Face Nuptse Purna and the Sorel Conquest Carly. The Tivoli laces up tight to the mid-calf and its fleecy insulation helps block out wind and snow.

In addition its 100 grams of insulation  this boot features a cozy faux fur cuff and soft inner lining. It has a thicker insulative sole and the slightly wider toe box lends a bit of extra warmth as well.
In addition its 100 grams of insulation, this boot features a cozy faux fur cuff and soft inner lining. It has a thicker insulative sole and the slightly wider toe box lends a bit of extra warmth as well.

Comfort & Coziness


Although this model has a cozy fleece lining, it does not have a very supportive footbed. The upper is a bit stiff, but not as stiff as the Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Titanium - Women's winter hiking boot. Additionally, the Tivoli II has a slightly wider and more comfortable toe box than boots like the Tofino and Merrell Dewbrook Zip.

This model doesn't have the most supportive footbed  but it was still comfortable enough to wear all day long.
This model doesn't have the most supportive footbed, but it was still comfortable enough to wear all day long.

Weather Protection


Although the tall shaft on the Tivoli High II will keep your shins dry in tall snow drifts, it doesn't do as much to protect you from puddles as some of its competitors. The Tivoli had a slow leak in puddles three inches deep. We think it was leaking where the canvas material that forms part of the upper meets the rubber portion that wraps around the edge of the foot. Unless you're planning to stand in deep puddles for a long period of time, however, this weakness shouldn't affect you.

Thanks to its tall shaft  this boot will allow you to explore off-trail  or just shovel snow without worry. The cuff also cinches up tightly to the calf to prevent snow from falling in.
Thanks to its tall shaft, this boot will allow you to explore off-trail, or just shovel snow without worry. The cuff also cinches up tightly to the calf to prevent snow from falling in.

Style & Fit


We really like the slightly techy, but casual look that the Tivoli II brings to the table. Sorel actually makes two version of this boot; the one that we tested has canvas panels on the sides and a rubber piece that wraps around the edge of the foot; the other design has an upper that is made entirely of suede and has a leather piece around the edge of the foot. We think that the canvas provides unique stylistic appeal, but we also really liked the black all-suede model, which looks a little less techy. All-around, we think that the updated version is much more stylish than its predecessor.

This boot has attractive detailing across the top of the toe box, a slightly raised heel, and subtle faux fur at the cuff. Some of our testers didn't love the oversized "SOREL" label across the back of the heel, so be sure to take a close look at that before ordering. This model has a somewhat narrow toe box - though not as narrow as the Tofino - and it runs a little bit small.

We recommend either sizing up this boot or at least trying on the next size up to make sure you're getting the best fit.

Ideal for casual daytime wear  the Tivoli II looks great with jeans and could even be worn with slightly dressier outfits for the evening.
Ideal for casual daytime wear, the Tivoli II looks great with jeans and could even be worn with slightly dressier outfits for the evening.

Traction


Like the other Sorels we tested, the Tivoli High II does not have stand-out traction. If you want better traction, consider the Columbia Bugaboot or our favorite winter hiker, the Vasque Pow Pow II.

This boot features two complementary sets of tread - the inner section and the outer edge.
This boot features two complementary sets of tread - the inner section and the outer edge.

Ease to Take On & Off


With its slick inner lining and back pull tab, this model isn't too difficult to take on and off. However, since the shaft is a bit stiffer than boots like The North Face Nuptse Purna, it's challenging to grip the sides of the faux fur cuff and pull it on that way.

Best Applications


The short version of this boot would work well for light winter hiking, but generally speaking, we don't love going off-road while wearing taller models (with the exception being the Ahnu Northridge). With this in mind, we'd recommend this boot for all around-town activities. It's comfortable enough to wear all day long and versatile enough to go from casual errands to an evening out with friends (especially if you opt for the all black version).

Attractive  comfortable  and fairly warm  we loved this updated Sorel model!
Attractive, comfortable, and fairly warm, we loved this updated Sorel model!

Value


At $150, this is one of the least expensive products in our review and we think it's a great value! That said, the Sorel Tofino and Joan of Arctic are each only $10-20 more, so if you like the look, fit, or performance of either of those models better, we don't think you should let that final $10-20 hold you back.

Conclusion


A great upgrade from the original Tivoli, the Sorel Tivoli II offers more style and a little extra warmth. The tall shaft version that we tested is comparable with other boots such as the Sorel Tofino and The North Face Nuptse Purna, which are best saved for around-town use. That said, we still walked miles in the Sorel Tivoli High II and we were extremely happy with our choice both performance-wise and style-wise.

No matter where we took this boot  we always loved wearing it. Although it didn't win one of our top awards  it was often one of the first pairs of boots we grabbed on our way out the door.
No matter where we took this boot, we always loved wearing it. Although it didn't win one of our top awards, it was often one of the first pairs of boots we grabbed on our way out the door.


Amanda Fenn