The North Face Nuptse Purna Review
Cons: Not very warm, uncomfortable footbed, poor traction
Manufacturer: The North Face
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We liked this boot for general around-town use; however, it is best saved for days when it's not frigid outside.
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.
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.
— Amanda Fenn