Hands-on Gear Review

Sorel Tofino II Review

Sorel Tofino II
Price:  $170 List | $67.98 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Cute, stylish, great weather protection, precise fit, lightweight.
Cons:  Not suited for super cold weather.
Bottom line:  This super stylish boot is both weather proof and comfortable, suited for all-day wear.
Editors' Rating:   
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Measure Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft, size nine):  12 inches
Measured Weight (ounces, one boot, size nine):  1 lb. 5.50 ounces
Upper Material:  Waterproof coated canvas upper, faux fur collar, waterproof breathable membrane construction
Manufacturer:   Sorel

Our Verdict

As one of the cutest and best-performing winter boots, the Sorel Tofino II is one of the best faux-fur collared boots tested. Although it doesn't shine in any one particular performance category, it performs well as a winter boot. This stylish winter boot has faux-fur collar and canvas shaft that measures 11 inches tall. The canvas upper is a waterproof textile with a super cute quilted patterning. The boot offers stellar weatherproofing and great comfort features. There are also many great color combos offered by Sorel that our testing team love.

With just 100-grams of insulation, this boot is not as warm as competitors like the Sorel Joan of Arctic, our Top Pick for Severe Weather or our Best Buy winner, the Kamik Momentum. Nor is the traction bomber. However, it does beat both when it comes to comfort and fit. It's lightweight and more streamlined design is not bulky. The fit is narrower than other Pak boots tested and more precise. While there's not a whole lot of arch support, the heel cup is nicely fitted, making it a great everyday wear option. Enjoy this versatile and cute faux fur winter boot while commuting to work or shopping around town during the winter months. Just be sure to pair it with a pair of hefty wool socks on the coldest of winter days.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Women's Winter Boots of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Wednesday
February 14, 2018

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A long-time favorite of our testers, the Sorel Tofino II is cute and weatherproof. This high-performing women's winter boot offers terrific comfort and weather protection along with a stylish appearance. We recommend if for women looking for an all-around faux-fur winter boot that will protect against tall snow drifts and slushy puddles.

Performance Comparison


The Sorel Tofino II is super cute and comfortable with great weather protection.
The Sorel Tofino II is super cute and comfortable with great weather protection.

Warmth


While this boot has a few great warmth features, it's not warm (by comparison) to most. While it will keep feet relatively warm in sub-zero temperatures, it does not do well in double negative digits. This boot is a single piece construct offering 100-grams of insulation and a fleece-lined liner. 100-grams of insulation is not a lot in comparison to the amount of insulation offered in most boots designed for temperatures that dip into the double negative digits. As a result, it's not recommended for super cold weather. Wear it when temperatures get to 30 degrees but pair it with beefy wool socks if it gets any colder than that. It scores a five out of ten.

During our warmth testing, we noticed that heat left readily through the thinner shaft of the boot. Since the sole of this boot is relatively thin in comparison to other super warm contenders like the Sorel Joan of Arctic and Sorel Caribou, it did not insulate from the ground as well. As a result, it's not recommended for standing around on snowy surfaces for long periods of time. The furry liner keeps calves cozy, it doesn't compare to other Sorel options that both offer super thick removable liners — ultimately providing a higher level of warmth. If you're looking for a super warm boot, consider either of these options, with the Sorel Caribou being the warmest, but also the chunkiest option.

The outsole of the Caribou is much thicker than the Tofino  providing more insulation and warmth.
The outsole of the Caribou is much thicker than the Tofino, providing more insulation and warmth.

If a warm hiking boot is more up your alley, consider our Editors' Choice winner, the Keen Durand Polar that offers 400-grams of insulation in a single-boot construct. This boot features a far more precise fit that will keep you hiking on trails during the coldest of days. All in all, the Sorel Tofino II is an ideal option for those looking for a boot that will keep warm in moderately cold temperatures. Unlike the Sorel Joan of Arctic, it breathes extraordinarily well; so, feel free to walk all day!

Weather Protection


Boasting top points in weather protection, this boot scores an exceptional eight out of ten. This high score is largely attributed to the waterproof coated canvas upper and 11-inch shaft. When performing our slush bucket tests to determine both warm and water resistance, our feet were bone dry.

This was after marching in seven inches of slush for about seven minutes. It wasn't until the lake test that we learned the maximum puddle depth of the boot, which was about 8.5 inches! Roughly to the point where the tongue meets the main body of the boot. In snow tests, the faux-fur collar does a great job keeping snow out of the boot up to 11-inches. Overall, the Sorel Tofino II boasts wonderful weather protection only beat by a few other contenders.

The outsole if completely waterproof.
The outsole if completely waterproof.

If you're interested in a boot with the absolute best weather protection, consider the Sorel Joan of Arctic or the Sorel Caribou. The Joan of Arctic features the tallest shaft height and protects against snow banks up to 13 inches. The full-grained leather outer is super water resistant. The Sorel Caribou offers a beefier liner than the Joan of Arctic and keeps feet protected from all elements. It earns a cool ten out ten in this metric. Both are great options but are sadly both bulkier than the Sorel Tofino II.

The synthetic textile is also waterproof.
The synthetic textile is also waterproof.

If you prefer a hiking boot, the Keen Durand Polar and The North Face Chilkat III offer excellent water protection. While neither are as tall as the Sorel Tofino II, the Keen Durand has a small fur collar that functions as a mini-gaiter system, keeping snow out of the top of the boot. Both score eight out of ten in this metric.

Comparing the water resistance of the Sorel Joan of Arctic (right) and Sorel Tofino II (left).
Comparing the water resistance of the Sorel Joan of Arctic (right) and Sorel Tofino II (left).

Comfort & Fit


With many comfort features that our testers love, this boot earns an above average seven out of ten. To start, we like the support of the footbed and the soft lining throughout the inside shaft of the boot. We also love the fur collar that provides additional coziness. The fit is far more precise than any other Pak boot tested. The toe box isn't as roomy as other Pak Boots, fitting a narrow foot best, with a tight heel. The shaft of the boot is less voluminous than other boots while the shaft is a little stiffer, offering better support overall. That said, be sure to order a half size up if you plan on wearing thick wool socks. Our overall feeling is that the fit is precise and doesn't feel bulky while is attributed to its lighter weight at 1 lb and 5.5 ounces. It's a great option for all-day winter wear.

While this one of the most comfortable and best fitted Pak boot out there, other boots performed better in this metric. For example, the lightest boot tested is the Columbia Heavenly Omni-Heat which weighs less than a pound and features a super cozy fur-lined interior with a flexible shaft.

This boot features a super cozy faux-fur collar and fleece-lined shaft.
This boot features a super cozy faux-fur collar and fleece-lined shaft.

The Ugg Cecile also scores high in this metric. As a 7-inch lightweight leather boot, it is super versatile with excellent arch support. Both are great options for all day use, with entirely different designs. That said, if a comfortable Pak boot is what you crave, the Sorel Tofino II is your best bet.

Ease of Use


Earning an eight out of ten, we enjoyed how easy this boot is to take on and off. The stiffer shaft and slippery plush lining make sliding your foot in and out simple. The laces are extra long so that you can loosen them enough to kick off the boots and pull them on with one action. When you're ready to pull the boot back on, the leather pull tabs at the top are easy to grip and tug.

Although the Sorel Tofino II is not as simple to put on as the Kamik Momentum(which has a one-pull lacing system), you don't have to sit down and use brute strength to pull it on and off (like we had to with the Sorel Joan of Arctic). That said if you prefer a lower boot that you can easily pull on and off, check out the Keen Elsa or the Ugg Cecile.

The laces require one simple pull to tighten up.
The laces require one simple pull to tighten up.

Traction


Scoring a below average score of four out of ten, this boot is not ideal for conquering steep snowy slopes or icy sidewalks. Instead of a lug-based outsole, the Sorel Tofino II has a herringbone/zig zag tread with a rubber outsole. While these boots do great on soft and hard packed snow, you're bound to slip and slide when it gets icy outside. In that case, pair this outsole with a pair of YakTrax to up the ante on traction this winter. Overall, decent traction on snow but not ideal for slippery surfaces.

Of the faux fur boot options, the Kamik Momentum features the thickest and deepest lugs that do best for more technical winter terrain. Unlike the outsole of the Sorel Tofino II, it grips steep slopes and slippery rocks. If you're in search of a super warm and weather protective boot with decent traction, don't miss the Sorel Caribou, our Top Pick for Winter Chores. If you're looking to kick snow steps up a hill or you want to venture into the backcountry, check out the Keen Durand Polar or the Columbia Bugaboot Plus III, a winter hiking boot that earned top marks in traction.

This boot features a wave-like lug pattern that floats on top of the snow.
This boot features a wave-like lug pattern that floats on top of the snow.

Style


Out testers love this boot. Of all the boots tested, it got some of the most on-the-street compliments. As a result, it was given a nine out of ten, and one of the highest ratings in this review. The tall shaft and quilted canvas upper give this piece a distinctive flair, while the faux fur cuff adds a bit of sass. We like the look of the leather detailing throughout the boot, including the lace fixtures, pull tabs, and back leather stay. These features are a bit more polished than those on the Sorel Joan of Arctic, giving the Tofino II a more chic look. As we mentioned above, the sole and toe box are a bit more narrow, which makes this model a little more feminine looking. We commonly paired this boot with a pair of legging and a skirt, or a pair of skinny jeans for a wonderful winter-chic look. Just don't expect to put it under a pair of pants — it doesn't work.

If you're searching for a boot without faux-fur the North Face Shellista is a great 12-inch boot option with a quilted exterior over a NuBuck leather shaft. Or, check out the Top Pick for Style, the Ugg Cecile. This waterproof leather boot features a duckbill toe box and 7-inch shaft that pairs well with both jeans and leggings. The buckle on the side adds a little flair that received many kudos from those passing by. We also like the Keen Elsa with its colorful exterior, 8-inch shaft, and rubberized toe box.

This winter boot is a favorite for style. It's super cute and water resistant.
This winter boot is a favorite for style. It's super cute and water resistant.

Best Applications


We love wearing the Sorel Tofino around town and out to dinner with friends. It is relatively versatile in that it will keep your feet dry while you're shoveling out your car and looks great when with many different outfits. Feel free to wear it all day long while running errands or shop. That said, avoid wearing it on super cold days, or layer it with some warm, thick ski socks. It's also not ideal for winter hiking.

Heather tests while going out for a beer at the local brewery Colorado Boy. This boot is cute enough to be worn out for an afternoon drink or while walking around town. A favorite among our testers!
Heather tests while going out for a beer at the local brewery Colorado Boy. This boot is cute enough to be worn out for an afternoon drink or while walking around town. A favorite among our testers!

Value


This model rings up at $170, which we think is a good deal. Our only hesitation in recommending this boot is that it is not the warmest in our review. Additionally, you need to like faux fur to appreciate it. But if you are ready to rock the faux fur and you don't have to endure super cold winters (or you're willing to sacrifice a bit of warmth for increased comfort) then this is a great choice. Alternatively, check our the far-less stylish, but way cheaper Kamik Momentum, our Best Buy winner for just $90.

Conclusion


This super stylish boot provides stand-out protection and comfort from the elements. Although it falls short in warmth, it makes up for its shortcomings by earning high marks in style and water and snow resistance. This winter shed snow and give your wardrobe a boost with the 11-inch faux-fur collared Sorel Tofino II.

Here we wear the Sorel Tofino II on a short local hike around town.
Here we wear the Sorel Tofino II on a short local hike around town.

Amber King

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 14, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
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