Winter savviness and style are what define The North Face Shellista Mid III. It stands out for its great all-around winter performance that makes taking on winter a breeze. Its mid-calf construction blows down snowdrifts while its softer and less aggressive outsole sticks to snowy packed trails interlaced with ice. Perhaps the most stand-out feature is its comfort and warmth, wrapping your feet up like a warm blanket all day long. Its lightweight construction doesn't feel bulky, and it's streamlined enough to drive a stick shift with ease! While it certainly protects from slush and snow, it's not completely waterproof from the deepest puddles. The new updates to this boot have made it easier to use and more protective than past iterations. Enjoy winter with this high-value boot, built for basically anything that you'd want to do in the coldest months of the year.
The North Face Shellista III Mid Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, waterproof, protective, warm
Cons: Style is questionable, not as versatile as a shorter boot
Manufacturer: The North Face
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The North Face Shellista III Mid
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|Pros||Comfortable, waterproof, protective, warm||Protective and durable, very warm, breathable, excellent traction, great for hiking, high value||Warm, wider-forefoot, waterproof, fantastic traction, stability and support||Affordable, excellent protection, super stylish, easy to get into||Warm, breathable, comfortable all-day wear, cute and protective, great price|
|Cons||Style is questionable, not as versatile as a shorter boot||Not the most stylish||Aggressive and techy look, not cozy, less arch support||Poor leather durability, thinner construction isn't super warm||Leaky at upper seam, heel is uncomfortable to some, half size too small|
|Bottom Line||This is a really comfortable, waterproof, and protective boot that's ready for the most wintery days||An affordable and high performance winter hiking boot||A great winter hiker, perfect for slippery trails and long days||A stylish and high value boot built to take on snowy weather and tall snow banks||Another high value boot with great all-around performance and good comfort|
|Rating Categories||The North Face Shel...||Keen Revel IV Polar...||Columbia Bugaboot P...||Kamik Ariel||Kamik Sienna 2|
|Weather Protection (25%)|
|Comfort & Fit (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||The North Face Shel...||Keen Revel IV Polar...||Columbia Bugaboot P...||Kamik Ariel||Kamik Sienna 2|
|Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking||4 inches||7.5 inches||6 inches||5 inches||5.5 inches|
|Measured Weight (one boot, size 9)||22 oz||22.7 oz||20 oz (size 7)||20.2 oz||22 oz|
|Type of Boot||All-around winter||All-around winter||Hiking||Casual winter wear||All-around winter|
|Fit Details||Runs 1/2 size too small||True to size, wide||True to size||True to size||Runs 1/2 size too small|
|Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft, size 9)||11.5 inches||7.5 inches||7.5 inches (size 7)||12 inches||11 inches|
|Lining/Insulation||200 grams PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Eco||200 grams KEEN.WARM Recycled PET||Omni-Heat reflective lining, 200 grams of insulation||200 grams Thinsulate, fleece lining||200 grams 3M Thinsulate|
|Footbed||Injection-molded waterproof TPR shell||EVA||Techlite EVA||EVA||Molded EVA|
|Upper Material||Waterproof, BLC-compliant nubuck leather upper, knit collar||Mesh and Leather||Leather, nylon||Leather & breathable membrane made from Nylon||waterproof leather, water resistant flannel|
|Outsole||Winter Grip rubber outsole with IcePick temperature-sensitive lugs.||KEEN.Polar Traction||Michelin winter compound rubber||EDITH, rubberized traction||Rubber|
|Cold Weather Rating (company claimed)||Not stated||-25F||-25F||-4F||-4F|
|Sizes Available||5 - 11||5 - 12||5 - 12||6 - 11||6 - 10|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This is one of our favorite all-around performers that's seen a major update since it's last iteration. It transfers from the town to the trail with ease and offers improved protection and ease of use. That said, the competition amongst other boots is stiff, and this one ends up in the middle of the pack. Still, it's still among our favorites for its great all-around performance, comfort, and versatile application.
Built with 200 grams of high-quality PrimaLoft Silver Eco insulation and a thicker outsole, this boot offers lots of warmth throughout the coldest days of winter. It kept our feet warm, even when a polar vortex hit the town, sinking temperatures well into the double negatives. Since the boot is so tall, it insulates 11.5 inches up the leg. The thicker outsole insulates from the ground, locking in the warmth generated from movement. The leather upper is quite breathable, offering decent ventilation so your feet don't get swampy and can stay dry. Overall, we are impressed by the warmth of this boot. Trust it to keep you warm with a decent pair of socks through the coldest days of winter.
This boot is made from high-quality materials that make it relatively weather-resistant for most winter conditions. The shaft is composed of a leather upper with wool and suede at the top of the boot. The outsole is a lightweight and durable rubber compound that is waterproof. That said, the seams are only water-resistant and not waterproof.
The Shellista offers great protection from snowdrifts that get as high as 11 inches. The new insulation at the collar of the boot does a great job grabbing and glomming snow, so it doesn't sink into the shaft of the boot.
While this boot does really well in snow, extremely wet conditions are another story. During our puddle tests, water seeped into the boot a mere 4 inches from the bottom of the outsole, right at the seams. Furthermore, when we walked deeper into the river, water came flooding into the shaft.
While this boot offers protection from flying snow, slush, and small puddles, it won't keep you dry if puddles get deeper than 4 inches or if you're trying to cross a creek. It's protective for most things that winter will throw at you, but its performance breaks down in extremes. This was a problem with the previous version, and we're a little unimpressed that North Face has not fixed this issue yet.
Comfort & Fit
Oh boy! How we love the fit and comfort of this boot. If you're seeking a comfortable midsole with a plush-lined interior and stability throughout the shaft of the boot, this is a keeper.
The midsole is quite supportive, with a regular width toe box, offering plenty of wiggle room for the wide footed. We ordered a size 9 and thought it was pretty true to fit. However, when reading user reviews, many say it's a little small. If you're on the fence or like a thicker sock, we'd recommend sizing up a half size. Aside from that, enjoy the comforts of this super cozy winter boot through all the cold days of winter.
Ease of Use
One of the best updates to this boot is the new 'easy pull tabs' on the sides of the boot and fewer eyelets.
The laces are thicker than the past version but still don't have a one-pull use that tightens them all at once. Still, the construction has improved since the last iteration. We appreciate that you can keep the shaft of the boot laced up, put your foot in, pull it on with the tabs, then simply lace just the last two eyelets. This makes this boot far easier to get into than before. While you can't simply slip it on without using your hands, it's still pretty easy to use.
The Shellista offers enough traction to take you over most winter surfaces, including the odd winter trail or snowshoe trip. The traction pattern is far from aggressive, but we appreciate the softer rubber that hugs to undulations in the surface, doing okay on hardpacked surfaces and other types of terrain. When testing it while hiking on steeper snowy trails, however, we found ourselves slipping out quite a bit.
We'd recommend a burlier hiking boot for more technical applications — stick to flatter, snowy trails in this boot. Like most snow boots, it doesn't do the best over ice. However, the softer rubber compound does better than boots that are constructed with super hard rubber. Therefore, it'll suffice for the odd slippery sidewalk, but be sure to strap on a pair of microspikes if your sidewalks and streets are completely iced over.
This boot is relatively well priced with great performance for the winter months. It is comfortable with a mountain-chic style that you can wear from work to the local town trails. It's versatile and protective, offering performance that should last you for many years. We've tested different versions of this boot over the last four years, and it's kept up its relative warmth and proven to be quite durable. If this new iteration is anything like that, we can stay (with confidence) that this boot is of great value.
The North Face Shellista III stands out as an all-winter warrior conquering simple hiking trails and pavement surfaces with ease. It looks cute and stylish while offering a hefty level of warmth, well into the double negative digits. While it's not the most waterproof option out there, it'll certainly suffice as you travel from the coffee shop to your car and up the mountain to your favorite ski hill. It's easy to take on and off and offers amazing all-day comfort.
— Amber King