Hands-on Gear Review

The North Face Nuptse Purna Review

North Face Nupste Purna
Price:  $130 List
Pros:  Lightweight, not bulky, cute, easy to take on and off
Cons:  Not very warm, uncomfortable footbed, poor traction
Editors' Rating:   
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Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft):  11.5 inches
Maximum puddle depth before major leaking:  4.75 inches
Upper:  Waterproof velvet suede
Manufacturer:   The North Face

Our Verdict

The Nuptse Purna is Discontinued as of December 2016
The North Face Nuptse Purna is a mid-height women's winter boot with a faux fur cuff. Its toe box features an abrasion-resistant scuff guard and the rest of the upper is a combination of waterproof velvet suede (which passed our water resistance tests) and a techy-looking baffled nylon accent across the back of the calf. Overall, our testers think that this model looks pretty cute, but it still falls squarely on the "mountain casual" side of the spectrum. On the performance side, the Nuptse Purna does not offer as much warmth as many of its competitors and its footbed is surprisingly uncomfortable. If you're looking for a short or mid-height boot that really provides lots of comfort, we'd strongly recommend the UGG Adirondack II.


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

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amanda Fenn

Last Updated:
Monday
November 21, 2016

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Hands-On Review


Measuring 11 inches from the sole to the top of the shaft, The North Face Nuptse Purna has 200g of PrimaLoft ECO insulation. It is easy to slip on and off, offers a fair amount of water resistance, and has a relatively inexpensive price tag. It scored poorly in our traction metric, but otherwise earned average ratings. We neither loved nor hated this boot, but don't recommend it for extremely cold weather.

Amanda tests out the Nuptse Purna during a long day on campus during the first big snow storm of the year. Although we liked this boot overall  it didn't stand out in any of our metrics.
Amanda tests out the Nuptse Purna during a long day on campus during the first big snow storm of the year. Although we liked this boot overall, it didn't stand out in any of our metrics.

Warmth


During Boulder's first serious snow storm of the year, our lead tester made the mistake of grabbing the Nuptse Purna for a mile-long bike ride followed by 35 minutes of waiting for a delayed bus in three-degree weather. Although this boot was easy to bike in thanks to its compact, lightweight design, it definitely did not keep our feet warm when sitting still for longer periods of time. Likely, the only boots that would have really kept us warm in this scenario would have been the Sorel Joan of Arctic, our Top Pick for Severe Weather or the Vasque Pow Pow II, our Top Pick for Winter Hiking.

Brrr! Although our feet stayed dry  this boot is not the ideal choice for frigid days.
Brrr! Although our feet stayed dry, this boot is not the ideal choice for frigid days.

Comfort & Coziness


We loved the featherweight feel of this boot; when you're walking longer distances, lighter weight and less bulk definitely equate to increased comfort. That said, the footbed in this product was stiff and unforgiving, even after a fairly significant break-in period. We would probably replace the stock insoles with something more comfortable.

For another boot that's comfortable for longer distances and earned higher marks overall, be sure to consider our Editors' Choice winner, the Sorel Tofino.

The fluffy faux fux cuff adds some comfort; however  the footbed is not the coziest.
The fluffy faux fux cuff adds some comfort; however, the footbed is not the coziest.

Weather Protection


The velvet suede uppers protect from flooding and slow leaks, but once we reached the stitching where the nylon baffle meets the suede, we had problems. This boot floods in puddles that are 4.75 inches deep.

Our feet stayed dry in snow  but in puddles  this boot started leaking right where the visible dark brown baffles meet the lighter brown suede.
Our feet stayed dry in snow, but in puddles, this boot started leaking right where the visible dark brown baffles meet the lighter brown suede.

Style & Fit


Overall, we liked the tech-casual look of this boot. Although we weren't overly crazy about the "calf baffles," the look works with the somewhat beefy toe guard. We also liked the design and feel of the faux fur. This boot runs just a little bit small, so we suggest sizing up, or at the very least trying on a half size larger than you think you might wear. Another tech-casual boot you may like is the Sorel Tivoli High II, which earned good marks across our metrics.

These boots have a tech-casual look that is perfect for normal daily use  but may not go with your favorite sweater dress.
These boots have a tech-casual look that is perfect for normal daily use, but may not go with your favorite sweater dress.

Traction


This product features The North Face's Winter Grip rubber with IcePick lugs. Unfortunately, we found this sole to be sub-par in our traction tests. We slipped more easily on the ice, we lost our footing on steep slush slopes, and skidded on slick logs. Boots that are more designed for winter hiking, such as the Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Titanium - Women's, are better options for high traction performance.

Unfortunately  this boot had some of the poorest traction in our review. The snowflake-shaped lugs might be cute  but they just don't perform.
Unfortunately, this boot had some of the poorest traction in our review. The snowflake-shaped lugs might be cute, but they just don't perform.

Ease to Take On & Off


Thanks to its lighter weight, easy-to-pull laces, and malleable shaft, this model is one of the easier ones to take on and off. As with the Adirondack II, it's easy to roll down the shaft just a bit and use that as a gripping point to pull the boot on.

Best Applications


We liked this boot for general around-town use; however, it is best saved for days when it's not frigid outside.

Ideal for casual winter use on non-frigid days  the Nuptse Purna is a good option for those on a budget.
Ideal for casual winter use on non-frigid days, the Nuptse Purna is a good option for those on a budget.

Value


At $130, this product is on the less expensive side of the spectrum. If you're looking for a casual around-town boot with a little faux fur, and don't mind a lack of extreme comfort and traction, this is a very affordable option. Our Best Buy Award winner, the Kamik Momentum is even less expensive, but offers less style than the Nuptse Purna.

Conclusion


Our testers didn't note anything remarkably great or too remarkably terrible about The North Face Nuptse Purna. It's a decent boot for use around town, but we certainly don't recommend it if you're looking at enduring some frigid weather this season.

The North Face combines attractive suede with slightly "techier" materials to make the Nuptse Purna. While we weren't impressed with this boot  we didn't necessarily dislike it.
The North Face combines attractive suede with slightly "techier" materials to make the Nuptse Purna. While we weren't impressed with this boot, we didn't necessarily dislike it.

Amanda Fenn

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Most recent review: November 21, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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