Testing the warm and comfortable UGG Adirondack III was a true pleasure. The newest iteration of this winter boot boasts better traction and weather protection while maintaining the same fashionable style that we know and love. We've tested this award winner while hiking at 13,000 ft over winter-laden trails. We've worn it comfortably to work, weekend errands, and dog walks around town. The sheep wool liner is warm, the leather is completely weatherproof, and the versatile style makes for a do-anything, go-anywhere boot. We could wrap our foot in this warm wool winter boot cocoon all winter long. And we have.Editor's Note: We performed an update on this gear review on February 23, 2022, with two new sections designed to help you make a buying decision that is right for you.
UGG Adirondack III Review
Cons: Expensive, slightly bulky
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UGG Adirondack III
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|Pros||Cozy wool lining, very warm, highly waterproof, versatile construction||Full coverage protection, highly durable, reliable traction||Good value, ultra warm, great traction, highly waterproof||Protective, durable, very warm, breathable, excellent traction, high value||Lightweight, super soft interior, durable leather exterior|
|Cons||Expensive, slightly bulky||Pricey, very heavy, retains moisture, difficult to drive in||Only ankle-high coverage, hiking-specific style, narrow fit||Less stylish, somewhat heavy, stiff collar||Unimpressive outsole traction|
|Bottom Line||This boot is the epitome of comfort and warmth wrapped in a versatile, high-performing, waterproof package||This highly durable boot is completely waterproof and great at insulating, though it's a bit too bulky to wear on low-snow days or during high-output activities||This well-priced boot hits all the marks with a winter-friendly design that maintains great traction, weatherproofing, and warmth||Great for winter hiking on slippery trails thanks to incredible traction, support, and weatherproofing||One of the most comfortable choices in our lineup, with a soft, heat-retentive interior and durable, waterproof exterior|
|Rating Categories||UGG Adirondack III||Muck Boot Arctic Ic...||Merrell Thermo Chil...||Keen Revel IV Polar...||The North Face Shel...|
|Weather Protection (25%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||UGG Adirondack III||Muck Boot Arctic Ic...||Merrell Thermo Chil...||Keen Revel IV Polar...||The North Face Shel...|
|Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking||9"||16"||6"||7"||7"|
|Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft)||8" rolled / 10" extended||16"||6"||7"||10"|
|Measured Weight (per pair, size 7)||2.36 lbs||4.59 lbs||1.79 lbs||2.41 lbs||2.25 lbs|
|Type of Boot||All-around winter||Winter workwear||Winter hiking||Winter hiking||All-around winter|
|Fit Details||True to size||Runs big||True to size||True to size, wide||True to size|
|Lining/Insulation||UGGpure wool||Fleece||M Select Warm (200g)||200 grams KEEN.WARM Recycled PET||Heatseeker Eco Pro (200g)|
|Footbed||EVA||bioDEWIX||Kinetic Fit BASE||EVA||OrthoLite|
|Upper Material||Waterproof suede and leather||Rubber||Waterproof PU-coated leather and mesh||Mesh and Leather||Full-grain leather and ballistic nylon|
|Outsole||Molded White Spider Rubber||Vibram Arctic Grip A.T.||M Select GRIP||KEEN.Polar Traction||Surface Control rubber|
|Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating||-32°C/-25°F||Not stated||Not stated||-32°C/-25°F||Not stated|
|Temp Change in Ice Bath||-7.2 F||-9.5 F||-5.2 F||-3.8 F||-6.5 F|
|Sizes Available||5 - 12||5 - 11||5 - 11||5 - 12||5 - 11|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Adirondack III is one of the most comfortable and versatile winter boots we've had the pleasure of testing. Rated to -32 degrees Celsius / -25 Fahrenheit, it'll keep you warm even when the coldest of weather hits. With the ability to roll the fur collar up or down, it stands out as one of the more functional styles in our review. We took the Adirondack III out on snowy morning dog walks and high-alpine hikes to test its traction and stability. While the shaft isn't super stiff, it still holds up on decently technical terrain. Waterproof and ready for snow-covered trails, this fantastic boot will keep you happy.
The Adirondack III was, yet again, one of the coziest options in this year's review. Year after year, it performs well across each of our performance testing categories, particularly this one. The liner is insulated with 200 grams of wool, keeping toes warm even when it's frigid and wet outside.
The Adirondack is made of relatively thick and porous leather and suede, offering good insulation along the shaft and surprising breathability. The outsole is thick enough to insulate the feet from icy temperatures but is thinner than some of the warmest boots in this review. When tested at freezing (0 degrees Celius and 32 degrees Fahrenheit), this boot offered sufficient warmth while walking the dog and shoveling the snow off our deck.
To test each boot in a controlled (and extremely cold) environment, we created an ice bath test where we measured the internal temperature of the boot before and after 10 minutes of sitting in ice. The internal temperature of the Adirondack dropped by 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit, one of the better performances, though not the best. Regardless, this is still one of the warmest options to keep your feet protected during chores, work, or simply driving home from your favorite ski resort. The surprisingly breathable design offers ventilation for great odor resistance and sweat resistance, too.
We love the design of this boot. Previous iterations failed miserably in our waterproof tests, but version III excels. The Adirondack III offers 7 inches of protection when the boot's shaft is rolled down and about 10 inches of coverage when the collar is completely extended. The liner pops out of the boot's collar, helping keep fly-away snow out. UGG makes a tall version for those looking for more coverage, which provides 12 inches of protection.
We inched our way into the Truckee river to test water resistance and were pleased to still have dry feet after soaking the boot up to the collar. The exterior leather gets slightly damp, but the interior fur remains dry. We didn't see or feel any excessive moisture in the interior, even during our ice bath test.
When stomping through snow, slush, and water on a trail, the leather on the Adirondack offers great protection. It remains flexible even in low temps, adding to the agility and versatility of the boot. After months of heavy use, it continues to impress and protect, and overall, we are very pleased with its construction. Just be sure to use leather treatments and conditioners to maintain its weather protection over the years.
Comfort and Fit
The comfort of this winter boot is truly top-notch. The wool liner is cozy and breathable, providing one of our favorite out-of-box fits. It's very true-to-size, unlike some of the bulkier options in our review. The beauty of the Adirondack is the dual-wear option that lets you expose the fur on the collar or extend the collar to maintain more coverage and a sleeker design.
The interior is lined with super warm sheep's wool, but the boot doesn't overheat due to its excellent breathability. The fur-lined insole is removable if you would like to use an insole of your own or if you need to dry out the interior. The midsole is injected with dual density EVA foam for a responsive cushion that supports hiking and walking. It offers a little bit of arch support, but if you'd like more, we suggest adding your own insoles.
This version of the Adirondack fits like a glove; not too wide and not too narrow, it feels snug, relaxed, and pliable. Interestingly enough, both thinner and thicker socks fit fine in this boot, but our thickest wool socks did begin to feel a bit tight by the end of the day. If you're on the fence or like to wear thicker socks, you can size up half a size to be safe.
The soft and supple suede of the upper is noticeably less stiff than some of the thicker boots we tested, making it more comfortable but less stable on uneven terrain. Some of our testers experienced slight ankle roll on uneven or rocky surfaces, even with the laces done up tightly. This boot isn't the best option if you need an ultra-supportive boot around the ankle. Our lineup has other options with a more rigid shaft and stiffer walls that offer more support. Overall, however, this is one of the most comfortable winter boots we've had the pleasure of testing, assuming your body can handle the less stable construction.
Unfortunately, the Adirondack III did not score as high in this category. A few things factor into the durability assessment with each of our test boots. We purposefully did not treat any of the products in the lineup because, frankly, most people do not weatherproof their footwear (even if they should). To give the boots an honest performance review, we attempt to put each product through the wringer right out of the box to get an idea of its' capabilities under the most extreme conditions.
From our testing process, we found the suede on this boot can scuff a bit when knocked around on pavement, sticks, or stones. The rubber outsole offers good coverage around the foot, and the upper suede material is on the thinner side. While these features didn't deteriorate during our testing period, they may likely experience more wear and tear than boots with rubber soles that cover the entirety of the exterior of the midsole. The rubber compound does seem rather tough, which would suggest it has a longer lifetime than softer, stickier compounds.
While we do worry about the leather and suede getting gummed up, it's easy to rinse these boots off with water once you've walked through some muck. It's also important to note that some online reviews claim that this boot has fallen apart after just a few months of use. That said, our testers have not run into the same issues even after several years with this boot. Regardless, we recommend using waterproofing solutions and suede conditioning for a better guarantee of longevity.
The rubber outsole offers traction on hard-packed snow and slippery surfaces. The well-spaced lugs are deep enough for around-town use and outdoor work, though they are shallower than some. We took this boot hiking up steep slopes and didn't slip or slide too often, though the traction was a little less consistent when hiking up trails with wetter snow. Regardless, the Adirondack III can be used for winter hiking on hard or soft-packed trails as long as you're okay with a little less ankle support.
The stiff white rubber compound on the Adirondack III is made for high friction use and offers enhanced traction on wet and dry surfaces. The wave pattern at the tip and heel of the boot is designed to grip wet surfaces, while the dispersed lugs underneath the sole provide grip and stability in snowy conditions. This boot proved to have solid traction on various surfaces and even shed mud well when dipping into stickier terrain. It also feels nice on warm and cold pavement as the lugs aren't too sticky or bulky.
Should You Buy the UGG Adirondack III?
The UGG Adirondack III is a highly impressive and versatile boot. We love its fashionable yet functional design and fantastic performance that'll have you walking your way through winter without worry. It's a technical but stylish boot that can go from winter trails and back to the office without blinking an eye. While this is certainly an expensive boot, the quality and performance live up to the price. If you're ready to invest, it will bring you warmth and happiness throughout the burly winter months and chilly shoulder seasons. While the price tag may be high, we appreciate the craftsmanship and overall design of the Adirondack III. Its surprising performance during weatherproofing and traction tests set this boot apart from the less expensive options. With a soft and smooth suede upper and two styles for wear that are both attractive and functional, we'd say it's worth the price for a place in your footwear lineup.
What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?
If you need to save some money and your winter wonderland is hiking in shallow snow, the Merrell Thermo Chill Mid WP - Women's could be a better solution than the Ugg. It is more like a traditional hiker and could be all the boot you need or want with a lighter weight and more precision. Alternatively, if you have dirty or regular outdoor chores to complete, the Muck Boot Arctic Ice Tall AGAT - Women's is a high-ranking choice that you won't feel bad about getting dirty. Plus, it is ultra-warm and cozy with a high style for deep muck.
— Liz Chamberlain and Amber King
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