Reviews You Can Rely On

Kamik Nation Plus Review

A casual boot for tromping around in the snow at a budget friendly price
kamik nation plus winter boots review
Credit: Kamik
Price:  $100 List
Manufacturer:   Kamik
By Jeff Dobronyi and Andy Wellman  ⋅  Dec 15, 2022
65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Warmth - 25% 7.0
  • Weather Protection - 25% 6.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 5.0
  • Traction - 15% 7.0
  • Durability - 15% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Kamik Nation Plus is a traditional Pac boot, meaning that it has an insulated inner liner and a waterproof outer. This design has long been considered a hallmark of winter boots, and we feel that while the Nation Plus bears many similarities to Sorel boots, it's actually a step ahead when it comes to fit and warmth. The fit of the Nation Plus is surprisingly snug, allowing for more capable footwork on icy pathways and snow-covered driveways and trails. This performance was also bolstered by the boot's quality high-traction sole. While we have some concerns about the boot's long-term water resistance and durability, this is an excellent choice for the money.
REASONS TO BUY
Warm
Comfortable
Affordable
Good traction
REASONS TO AVOID
Not completely waterproof
More labor intensive to put on than others
Editor's Note: We updated this review on December 15, 2022, with additional results after a full retest.

Compare to Similar Products

 
kamik nation plus winter boots review
This Product
Kamik Nation Plus
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $72.13 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$159 List
$159.00 at REI
$130 List
$149.99 at Amazon
$160 List
$153.51 at Amazon
$120 List
$120.00 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
65
79
77
76
73
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Warm, comfortable, affordable, good tractionGreat traction, excellent fit, very comfortable, warm, affordableRelatively inexpensive, great performance across the boardConvenient slip on design, waterproof to 11.5 inches, good priceGreat traction, very comfortable, inexpensive
Cons Not completely waterproof, more labor intensive to put on than othersOther boots are warmer, relatively low water-resistance heightClunky, style isn't the best, questionable construction qualityHandles let in water or debris, only come in single whole sizes, not as warm as some competitorsNot that warm, fabric eyelets, low height
Bottom Line A casual boot for tromping around in the snow at a budget friendly priceThese boots are the total package, with warmth, comfort, a great fit, and a fair priceThese affordable boots nearly match the performance of the best models but without straining your walletA convenient and protective boot with good weather resistance and a very wide toe boxThis very comfortable and inexpensive winter hiking boot has excellent traction, making it perfect for winter walks and treks
Rating Categories Kamik Nation Plus The North Face Chil... Columbia Bugaboot III Bogs Bozeman Tall Merrell Thermo Chil...
Warmth (25%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Weather Protection (25%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
9.0
Traction (15%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
10.0
Durability (15%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
10.0
5.0
Specs Kamik Nation Plus The North Face Chil... Columbia Bugaboot III Bogs Bozeman Tall Merrell Thermo Chil...
Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking 8" 8.5" 8" 11.5" 6.5"
Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft) 12" 11" 10.5" 13" 7.5"
Measured Weight (per pair, size 13) 4.56 lbs 3.86 lbs 3.69 lbs 4.88 lbs 2.74 lbs
Appropriate Activity Town, Chores, Errands Town, errands Hiking, town, chores, errands Chores Hiking, town
Fit Details True to size True to size True to size Roomy True to size
Lining/Insulation 200B 3M Thinsulate 400 g Heatseeker Eco 200g synthetic 7mm Neo-Tech Neoprene 200g M Select
Upper Material Waterproof suede Waterproof leather & suede Waterproof leather Rubber Waterproof polyurethane-coated leather and mesh
Toe Box Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber
Outsole Rubber Surface Control rubber Omni-Grip Rubber BioGrip Rubber
Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating Not listed Not listed Not listed -72 F Not listed
Animal Products? Yes Yes Yes No No
Sizes Available 7 - 14 7 - 14 7 - 17 7 - 14 7 - 15

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Nation Plus is noticeably less expensive than other similar models, but there are flaws that were hard to overlook. The lower flood height severely impacted wet weather performance, and the wet material leached color and ended up staining the wood floor of our entryway, so exercise caution. We also found the leather heel reinforcements to be uncomfortable when walking.

Performance Comparison


kamik nation plus winter boots review - the kamik nation plus, hard at work shoveling snow after a winter...
The Kamik Nation Plus, hard at work shoveling snow after a winter storm.
Credit: Sam Willits

Warmth


The Nation Plus winter boot has just 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation. At first glance, we thought it would be one of the coldest boots in our test. In reality, it performs well against boots with double the insulation. This is because the insulation is allowed to maintain its loft, while other boots compress their insulation by sewing it behind an inner liner material. The sole is thick rubber and provides good insulation from cold concrete and asphalt. A thin metallic lining is sewn into the bottom of the boot liner to increase its R-Value, blocking heat transfer from your feet to the ground.

kamik nation plus winter boots review - a removable liner with synthetic insulation provides warmth.
A removable liner with synthetic insulation provides warmth.
Credit: Sam Willits

Water Resistance


The exterior of the Nation Plus is built from thick rubber and suede leather, which did not suffer from major leakage issues, though it performed less admirably than we would have hoped for such a tall boot. That said, the rubber sole and outsole are one molded piece, so major damage would have to occur for a leak to spring there, and a waterproofing agent is daubed along the inside stitching where the rubber meets the suede.

However, the seam that stitches the waterproofed, gusseted tongue to the leather upper allows water to leak through, lowering the maximum puddle depth to 4.5 inches. This is a shame since the boot's shaft is a full 12 inches high. While prolonged deep immersions are not what this model is meant to withstand, as soon as water enters through the tongue gusset, the Thinsulate foam insulation is very quick to soak it up, making the inner liner cold and soggy.

kamik nation plus winter boots review - usually, we'd watch out for water seeping in through the saddle...
Usually, we'd watch out for water seeping in through the saddle between the tongue and the shaft, but these boots leak where the leather meets the rubber, only 4.5 inches above the ground.
Credit: Sam Willits

Comfort and Fit


This boot fits true to size, though Pac boots tend to give a sloppier fit than others because they occupy a space somewhere between a traditional lace-up boot and a slip-on. The bottom of the liner on the Nation Plus offers only a thin felt piece between your foot and the firm sole below. After standing around in the boot for a while, we could feel the hardness of the sole. There is also a stiff leather reinforcement patch on the outside of the heel, where lots of abrasion occurs. This patch is stiff and dug into our Achilles tendons whenever we took a step forward. We thought this would change over time as the boots broke in, but it didn't. As such, these boots aren't that comfortable to wear.

kamik nation plus winter boots review - the nation plus fits easily and somewhat spaciously, but a thick...
The Nation Plus fits easily and somewhat spaciously, but a thick leather pad on the heel limits mobility and comfort when walking.
Credit: Sam Willits

Traction


The tread pattern on the Nation Plus is reminiscent of a pair of burly off-road tires, featuring deep lugs that offer good traction in soft snow and muck but keep enough surface area to travel on flat and slippery surfaces like icy pavement effectively. The soft, sticky rubber compound seems to aid in the grip on icy surfaces and does not cost the boot any grip on snow or hardpack. Every time we thought we had found a boot with good grip on the ice, we would slip the Nation Plus on the other foot and test them side by side, and every time the Nation Plus was among the grippiest. That said, ice is still ice, and nothing will guarantee you can stay on your feet on an ice rink, but these boots did better than most of the others.

kamik nation plus winter boots review - the nation plus has a decent tread pattern, but there is a lot of...
The Nation Plus has a decent tread pattern, but there is a lot of negative space.
Credit: Sam Willits

Durability


These boots are built relatively well and last a long time. Every seam is double-stitched, meaning it would take a lot of wear and tear to get the pieces of leather to separate. We have been testing these boots for a long time and haven't experienced a leather panel separating. However, we have noticed that the leather can leach out color when wet, and one tester noticed some color from the leather staining his mudroom floor. Also, unlike other Pac boots, the Nation Plus has a synthetically-insulated liner instead of felt, and this material packs down over time and loses its loft, but not for a while.

kamik nation plus winter boots review - the nation plus is built to last, with leather reinforcements and...
The Nation Plus is built to last, with leather reinforcements and double stitching.
Credit: Sam Willits

Should You Buy the Kamik Nation Plus?


This boot performs decently well, and it comes for a price that is hard to complain about. However, for just a little more money, you can get a much better boot. Modern winter boots have diverged from Pac boots by combining the insulation with the shell, which creates an overall lighter and better-fitting boot that is easier to wear. We recommend either spending a little more money on a much better boot or choosing a bargain-basement model that will get you through an average winter just as well as this one will.

kamik nation plus winter boots review - pac boots are usually not supportive enough for long hikes but they...
Pac boots are usually not supportive enough for long hikes but they work great to get you outside for a dog walk.
Credit: Elizabeth Riley

What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?


If you are looking for the best traditional Pac boot on the market, the Sorel Caribou is a tried and true model that will last forever. If you want a warm, comfortable, and durable model that is also lighter and more nimble, The North Face Chilkat V 400 is our recommendation for most users. And if the low price of the Nation Plus is what appeals to you, check out the Columbia Bugaboot III, which is only a little more expensive but delivers great performance.

Jeff Dobronyi and Andy Wellman
 
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More