Every now and then you hear people say insulated winter boots have to be bulky, or that women’s winter boots have to sacrifice function for the sake of form. I gear-tested the Kamik Snowvalley boots for four weeks, and I can reassure you that both of those statements are completely false.
Bulkiness is often perceived as strictly a visual thing, but it can also he a comment about a boot’s comfort. In the case of the Kamik Snowvalley boots, the complete absence of bulk means the boots look good and feel really comfortable. Although they look quite tall and thick, the boots are surprisingly lightweight. This is great for long hikes in the cold, but I really noticed it while snowshoeing, where you also have to consider the weight of snowshoes. The Snowvalleys also have lots of adjustment points, like a tongue that can accommodate a larger leg or a body that can be tightened up via the toe-to-top laces for smaller legs. This also gives you the flexibility to tuck pants into the boots or wear them on the outside, whichever is your preference. I tried the boots both ways, and nothing ever felt cramped or pinched.
I was a bit concerned about sizing, because I normally wear a 6.5 in women’s hiking shoes. The Kamik Snowvalley boots only come in full sizes, and I was encouraged to size up to a 7. I probably should have worn a 6, and I’d recommend going down a size rather than up if you’re a half-size like me. Having the boots a little big isn’t a major obstacle, but you do end up with a little extra room in the footbed and lots of extra lace length. You also don’t need to size up them just for the sake of accommodating several layers of socks, because the Snowvalley boots keep your feet warm enough with just a single pair of socks.
On multiple snowshoeing trips I stayed out for several hours wearing a single pair of medium-weight wool socks and the Kamik Snowvalley boots. Not only did the boots feel like someone wrapped a fuzzy blanket around my feet, but they had that same level of warmth. The week before my review period started, I had gone snowshoeing with the same socks but in hiking boots. Within 15 minutes my feet were freezing. Obviously I loved the warmth factor of the Snowvalley boots, but my family liked that I was able to stay out in the snow longer because my feet never got cold.
At first glance, the boots look frilly and somewhat prone to moisture. I’m pleased to report they’re completely waterproof in spite of their attractiveness. The snow went up and over the boots many times, and my socks never got wet.
It’s hard to choose which feature is the nicest with the Snowvalleys: their warmth, their waterproofing or the fact that they’re well-built. Fortunately, Kamik doesn’t make you choose. Those features are all included, resulting in quite possibly the last pair of women’s snow boots you’ll ever need to purchase.
Kamik Snowvalley Boots
- Kept my feet extremely warm
- Never let moisture into my socks
- Fleece lining is soft *and* wicks moisture
- Attractive uppers without being too frilly
- Lacing could've been faster
- Only available in whole sizes (e.g. no 6.5)