It doesn’t seem on the surface like women’s winter boots vary much. A bit more fashion sense, maybe some faux fur and a different color scheme. That’s about it. Usually, anyway. That’s not the case with the Merrell Aurora 6 Ice boots, which are new for the winter 2016/17 season.
The Merrell Aurora 6 Ice boots are good-looking, warm and keep you stable on the ice courtesy of Vibram Arctic Grip. That last feature is the clincher, and I’ll get to it later. First things first: comfort. Somewhat surprisingly, the boots are true to size and comfortable even though they have 200 grams of “M Select WARM” insulation. I usually wear a 6.5 in non-insulated boots, and that size fit well in spite of the extra insulation. As a bonus, the insulation made the boot very cushy and comfortable to wear during longer hikes.
One thing I noticed the first time I put the Merrell Aurora 6 Ice boots on was how firm they were. It felt like my ankle was immobilized. I tried wearing them fully laced the first few times out, but it made the boots feel too stiff at the ankle. I experimented with just tying the laces and leaving the final clasp unlaced, and the boots were much more comfortable that way. The boot still felt secure even without lacing through the top clasp, though if you wanted more support for certain activities, the upper clasp would certainly provide that.
After several days of snow and ice, I found myself wearing these boots more than my others because of the warmth. I have other snow boots rated for colder temperatures, yet I found these Merrell Aurora 6 Ice+ boots to be warmer for longer periods of time.
The Merrell Aurora 6 Ice boots are also completely waterproof up to the level of the laces. Whether I used them in shallow snow and ice or slushy conditions, my feet never got wet. The boots might even be effective rain boots if you needed multi-functional footwear. They’re not tall puddle-stompers or powder-plowers, though. The height of the boots stops just above the ankle, so without snow pants or gaiters you do run the risk of getting wet above the ankle.
As mentioned earlier, one of the greatest features of these boots is Vibram Arctic Grip. Merrell is one of a handful of companies that’s using the technology this year, and it’s no wonder why others are planning to use it in winter 2017/18. The sole of the boot has a specialized rubber that grips the ice. While my companions slipped their way down sidewalks and trails, I was able to walk with noticeably more traction. The sole doesn’t provide the stability of a metal crampon or stud-like product, but I would highly recommend this boot because of the Vibram Arctic Grip. It really seems like a feature all winter boots should have.
All things considered, I would definitely recommend the Aurora 6 Ice boots. Make sure to try the boot out with different levels of lacing, and consider the boots’ height, which may not keep the snow out if you normally encounter deep snow conditions. But by my standards, the comfort, waterproofing and Arctic Grip make the Merrell Aurora 6 Ice+ a great women’s winter boot to keep your feet warm, dry and stable.
The Merrell Aurora 6 Ice boots were provided for review. All opinions and words are my own and honest, and the article above contains no affiliate links.
Merrell Aurora 6 Ice+ Boots
- Vibram Arctic Grip is incredibly sticky on ice
- Insulation provides plenty of warmth without impeding true-to-life sizing
- Waterproofing is good for slushy conditions or snow melt
- Ankles feel a bit stiff when the boots are laced all the way up