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Vans Standard Snow MTE Review

These stylish Pac boots aren't as warm or protective as other heavy-duty options
Vans Standard Snow MTE
Credit: Vans
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Price:  $160 List | $95.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, decent weather protection and warmth
Cons:  Poor traction, not as warm as other options
Manufacturer:   Vans
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 23, 2022
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Our Verdict

The Vans Standard Snow MTE is a stylish Pac boot with a smaller profile than other large and cumbersome winter boots. It is insulated with a removable felt liner and features a rubber shell around the foot and leather uppers. This creates a relatively warm and protective package for your feet, but not as much as other similar options. The boot's traction suffers from small and shallow lugs, making these more suitable for dry pavement than wet and snowy surfaces. They're stylish and might be a good option for users who want to look hip while wearing Pac boots, but for the warmth and weather resistance to protect you every day of the winter, look at other footwear.

Editor's Note: We performed an update on this gear review on February 23, 2022, to provide more information designed to help you with your buying decision.

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Vans Standard Snow MTE has an interesting look that combines classic Pac boot styling with a skateboard shoe aesthetic. We aren't sold on the style but can appreciate that many users will think it looks appealing and unique.

Performance Comparison


Vans Standard Snow MTE winter boots - the vans standard snow mte provides decent performance in cold and...
The Vans Standard Snow MTE provides decent performance in cold and snowy weather, but there are more protective boots out there.
Credit: Sam Willits

Warmth


The Standard Snow has a removable felt liner that provides all of the insulation. In our experience, felt provides decent warmth, but not as much as synthetic insulation. Our testing showed that these boots aren't as warm as other Pac boots, likely due to a thinner insulating layer than other models. The sole is thinner than other models, and we noticed that the bottoms of our feet became cold if we stood in the snow for a couple of minutes. These boots lack the insulation that warmer winter boots provide, but this helps them remain relatively light — at least for a Pac boot. This also allows a better fit than other large winter boots. These trade-offs might be worth it if you live in a warmer winter climate where only the occasional snowstorm blows through because they will perform well across the board in mild winter weather and still be just fine for a cold day here and there. But if you live in a climate where temperatures are consistently below freezing, these boots aren't warm enough.

Vans Standard Snow MTE winter boots - a felt liner provides insulation, though not as much as we'd like.
A felt liner provides insulation, though not as much as we'd like.
Credit: Sam Willits

Weather Protection


The Standard Snow MTE has two layers like other Pac boots. The outer shell is rubber around the foot and leather in the upper. The nylon tongue is waterproof, and the weak spot in the armor is where the tongue ends and the leather upper begins. This low point in the tongue is 8 inches off the ground, meaning that these boots will remain waterproof until submerged more than 8 inches. This is about average for the boots we tested, but on the low end for Pac boots, which are designed to provide maximum weather resistance. Most people rarely submerge their feet in water deeper than 8 inches, but this measurement gives an objective comparison. Also, the top of the boot shaft is 11.5 inches off the ground, which is about average for Pac boots, meaning they'll provide great protection from deep snowdrifts and are adequately tall for use in snowy winter climates.

Vans Standard Snow MTE winter boots - this boot is generally resistant to water, but the tongue attaches...
This boot is generally resistant to water, but the tongue attaches to the leather upper relatively low on each side, diminishing the maximum submersion depth.
Credit: Sam Willits

Comfort and Fit


These boots are more comfortable and better fitting than other Pac boots on the market. They have a relatively thin liner, which creates a better fit, and the toe box isn't too large. They fit our feet better than most winter boots. The lacing system is well-designed and allows the user to cinch the boot tight from the foot's arch all the way to the top of the boot shaft.

Vans Standard Snow MTE winter boots - the lacing system on the standard is good, allowing us to crank the...
The lacing system on the Standard is good, allowing us to crank the boot tight and snug for more comfortable use when walking.
Credit: Sam Willits

Traction


The Standard Snow has a sole that is not designed well enough to grip slippery surfaces. The small lugs allow for plenty of negative space, but the lugs are small and round, which isn't great for traction. Also, the lugs aren't deep, meaning these boots will simply pack down the snow beneath them and create more slips. However, the Vans rubber bites well on hard surfaces and provides good traction.

Vans Standard Snow MTE winter boots - the standard's soles have small and shallow lugs that are great on...
The Standard's soles have small and shallow lugs that are great on dry pavement but don't have much traction on slippery surfaces.
Credit: Sam Willits

Durability


These boots have reasonable durability, thanks to heavy-duty materials. The sole rubber is relatively soft, which provides good friction for walking on dry pavement, but soft rubber also wears down quickly, making the tread less effective. Also, our experience with felt liners has shown that they tend to wear thin and pack out quickly. There is a lot of exposed stitching. We can't find a structural reason for the horizontal stitching on the leather uppers, and we assume it is for style. Still, these stitches aren't redundant, making them susceptible to quick wear and subsequent unraveling.

Vans Standard Snow MTE winter boots - the standard has a lot of exposed stitching that invites wear and...
The Standard has a lot of exposed stitching that invites wear and tear.
Credit: Sam Willits

Should You Buy the Vans Standard Snow MTE?


The Vans Standard Snow MTE is a decent Pac boot with modest warmth and weather resistance. It has plenty of performance for most temperate winter climates and great traction on dry surfaces, making these boots a good choice for mild winter climates that experience the occasional snowstorm if you like the style. But if you need a Pac boot for the warmth and weather resistance they are known for, this isn't the boot for you. These boots come at an average price for Pac boots, but cheaper options perform better. They are certainly less expensive than the most protective boots on the market, and they may provide you with an adequate level of weather protection if you don't live in the coldest and wettest winter climates. If you like the style and don't need maximum protection, these could be a good value, though users who need better performance can find it for less money.

Vans Standard Snow MTE winter boots - the vans standard snow mte provides decent weather resistance and...
The Vans Standard Snow MTE provides decent weather resistance and warmth with a different style than your average Pac boot.
Credit: Sam Willits

What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?


We really love the The North Face Chilkat 400 II for outdoor time in the winter. It has impressive performance in our tests for warmth and weather protection. It also offers better traction and durability for a similar price point. It is a great all-around boot that is good for almost any outdoor fun or chore.

Jeff Dobronyi
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