The low-cuffed Baffin Maple stands alone in our test. It is a two-part pac style boot that has a low cuff. As such, its application for most people is quite limited. It is among the warmest in our test, but walking comfort and snow-resistance is limited. For a more general-purpose pac boot at just a little more than half the price of the Maple, check out our Best Buy winning Kamik NationPlus. In our test selection, the Baffin Arctic brings slightly greater warmth than the Maple model, and seals it in with a tall gaiter style cuff. The construction of the Arctic model earned it our Top Pick award. Read on for more information on the specialized low-cuffed Baffin Maple boot.
Baffin Maple Review
Cons: Clumsy fit and low cuff
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Baffin Maple is the second lowest- cut boot in our test. As such, it will appeal to those that don't like their boots around their calves.
Fit and Comfort
Our testers' initial impressions of the Baffin Maple was that it is cushy and deluxe. The insulated and removable liner is soft and squishy. The fit is generous and allows for free circulation of warming blood. With some walking distance though, this generous and deluxe fit works against the Maple boots. Feet move around a lot within the boots and friction accumulates. If you mainly want winter boots for standing around in the cold, these could be excellent boots for you.
In our entire test, only another Baffin boot model was more insulating than the Maple. We chose the Baffin Arctic as our Top Pick award winner for its no-holds-barred commitment to lightweight insulation. The Arctic is the warmest in our test, hands-down. However, the Maple is warmer than the rest of the field. All boot insulation loses some of its value with time. Baffin boots are no exception. Baffin backs up their boots though, offering aftermarket liners for all of their boot models. Your Baffin Maple boots, with an occasional and inexpensive liner replacement, will keep you warm for a long time.
The Maple boots are as waterproof as they are tall. As the shortest pac boots in our test, they're also the least waterproof. Whether that water is liquid, or frozen as snow, these boots are limited by their low cuff height.
The Baffin Maple has deep lugs in its soft rubber sole. This is about as good as a boot can do for wintry traction on loose and packed snow.
Ease of Use
The lower height of the Maple is its most unique quality. All else equal, this should make it easier to get on and off. However, the soft, almost structureless liner complicates footwear changes. The liner bunches up as the boot is put on and sometimes comes off with the foot. Finally, our testing team's clumsier side found that the bulky external dimensions of the Maple led to noticeably more frequent tripping.
No one on our testing team indicated any strong feelings about the look of the Maple model. If anything, the black and bulbous look reminded our testers of inexpensive orthopedic footwear. This is perhaps not the most flattering analogy, but it seems apt.
If you work and play in dry and cold climates with minimal walking in your routine, the Baffin Maple could be just the ticket. The low height is indeed more comfortable for most people, provided you aren't faced with deep water or snow.
Baffin boots are not inexpensive. However, they are well-made, backed up with a deep Canadian heritage, and can be refreshed by heavy users with aftermarket liners. If these somewhat niche boots work for you, you will get your money's worth.
Our testing team didn't dislike the Baffin Maple, but we did find it to be a bit mystifying. Why make a boot so warmly insulated but so vulnerable to snow and water?
— Jediah Porter