Outfitted: Kicks to live in this winter | AspenTimes.com

Outfitted: Kicks to live in this winter

Meg Simon

Mountain living can take quite a toll on our feet, so having them well-outfitted can be the difference between joy or pain. My feet tend to be high maintenance, whether heading up Smuggler with my Stabilicers, strapping on snowshoes for a Christmas Tree hunt past Ruedi Reservoir or peeling my ski boots off after a day of blustery trips up Highland Bowl. Here are some kicks that have made the cut as this winter’s faves.

1. North Face VECTIV Exploris Mid

I’m always looking for a capable winter hiker that will be durable and strong enough for extra traction devices. They generally end up being too heavy, too flimsy or not breathable enough, but the Exploris Mid’s seem to do the trick. With a soft leather upper and a breathable but waterproof membrane, they have a super grippy outsole for great traction and the base is built up enough to support traction add-ons. North Face’s Futurelight technology keeps them lightweight but protective enough that my feet don’t get cold. Available in women’s and men’s sizes and colors. I would recommend going up a half size on these. $179

2. Ugg Romely Buckle

The Romely has the comfy, lightweight feeling of UGG’s classic boot, but transitions into in-town activity a bit better. Made with leather and sheepskin, it’s lined with UGG’s cozy signature wool blend. The front flap has a tendency to fall and stay folded forward which can seem a bit sloppy, but the adjustable outer buckle should help keep it propped up. As with most UGG boots, I would recommend weatherproofing these. $170

3. Sorel Explorer Series

A warm, weatherproof boot is a winter essential and this series from Sorel has many styles that fit the bill. I’ve been wearing a faux shearling-lined version that is stylish, waterproof, lightweight and warm with a grippy sole that gives me confidence on questionable terrain. I even wear them with my snowshoes. Available in women’s and men’s styles and colors, there’s sure to be a boot in this series that will be your everyday go-to. $130-150

4. Bogs Snowday II Mid

A go-to for après-ski, Bog’s Snowday boots are hard to beat. They kind of feel like wearing a comfy slipper boot but have the gusto to hold up to varying conditions outside. Fully waterproof and fleece lined, the boots are rated to be comfortable down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit. While I can’t say I’ve had the opportunity to test them to that point, they are incredibly warm for such a low profile. Bogs also incorporates algae-based EVA footbeds to replace petroleum-based plastic foam found in most boots, so you can feel better about reducing waste and helping clean polluted water habitats. $110

5. HOKA Ora Recovery Slides

While these shoes will most likely never see the outdoors, they are a life saver for tired, overworked feet. A traditional HOKA oversized midsole is incorporated into a meta-rocker slide-on design. Grooved ventilation on top keeps the slides from creating that uncomfortable sweaty plastic feeling. Although they won’t turn any heads for their fashion statement – especially if you rock them with socks – I love sliding into these after my feet have been cooped up all day in tight ski boots. Available in women’s and men’s sizes and colors. $50

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