Taking home the Editors' Choice award for the second year in a row, The North Face Shellista II is one of our favorite women's winter boots. As one of the most versatile boots tests, we think it's a great choice for wearing out on the town or hiking a short local trail. The 12-inch leather shaft features a waterproof NuBuck leather that provides good weather protection in the snow. The rubber toe cap provides fantastic protection from any mix of slush, snow, and ice that you might encounter on the street. The outsole provides decent traction on hard or soft-packed snow but doesn't grab the ice. The diversity of lugs are multi-directional, sticky, and temperature sensitive. This provides good grip over rocks and uneven surfaces. In our style metric, it is a favorite among our testers, receiving many compliments on the street for its sleek design and cute knit upper. We also like that it fits well under a pair of boot-cut pants or overtop a pair of tights.
While this boot is versatile and provides good winter protection in temperatures reaching as low as the double negatives, it's not the easiest to put on nor is it the most protective. Even though it proved to be fairly water and snow resistant in the field, during our water tests, water flooded into the knit exterior at the back of the shoe, making it much less weather protective in comparison to the Sorel Tofino II or the Sorel Caribou. We also wish it had a one-pull cinching system that would save some time when trying to get out the door. Aside from those caveats, this relatively lightweight shoe does a great job in the winter months.
Overall, if you're looking for a boot that isn't necessarily the warmest or weather protective, but boasts a cute style, is lightweight, and keeps you upright in slippery situations, the North Face Shellista II Mid maybe what you've been searching for. This versatile winter boot is recommended for anything from light hiking on wintery trails to running errands around town all day.