The Good and the Bad about Baffin and Sorel Boots.

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Last year I bought 5 pairs of Baffin Boots and 5 pairs of Sorels and I thought it was about time I test them out, With both brands being premier cold weather boots I noticed that each brand has it's own merits which some will like and some won't,

First off comfort and fit, The first pair I bought back in 2013 and they were the Baffin Impact, The first thing you notice is the size of the Impacts, compaired to a normal Hiking boot the Impacts are Huge with a Capital "H" due to the amount of insulation they measure 5 and a half inches wide or 140mm and around 14" long or 350mm based on a size 12 US or size 11 UK,

The Impacts have a Foot hugging 8 layer insulation system which moulds it's self to fit your foot, I was advised by the retailer to size up going from a US 11 to a US 12 which works Spot On because of the excess of Insulation I can wear 2 pairs of socks and still have some wiggle room or I can wear one pair of socks and the lining will adjust to suit my foot resulting in something that feels like putting your foot in to a close fitting sleeping bag, This Up Sizing works with 4 out of the 5 pairs I bought due to the thick liners they have, The Boots in question are the Baffin Impacts, Baffin Crossfire's, Baffin Snow Monster's and the Baffin Titans, But the one model that sizing up is not a good Idea it the Baffin Trapper rated down to -60*c / -76*f which is a very nice light boot compaired to the other 4 but the liner is much thinner than the others,

Another good thing about the thick liners in the other 4 pairs is that there is less Heel Slip that is found in other brands due to how they hug your foot,

Then I bought 5 pairs of Sorel Boots, Here my first lesson was "Don't Size Up" on their Glacier XT and their Caribou XT's, Because with either of these Boots I can wear 2 pairs of medium thickness Socks and no matter how tight I lace them up there is still an annoying amount of Heel Slip, No doubt I can off set this by buying Thicker Socks, On the up side the Felt type liners in the Sorels are very comfortable but due to the heel slip when you take a step it feels like the Heel is Flexing under your foot when you step on a hard surface which makes the Boot feel looser than it really is So what ever you do forget sizing up in these two models,

Next came the Sorel Conquests whick are really nice boot, I bought one pair in US 11 / UK 10 and another pair in US 12 / UK 11, I like every thing about these boots, I take a US 11 / UK 10 in all other footwear but I found that wearing the US 11 gave me survere Cramp type pain in the Toe's of my right foot when sitting still after a couple of hours, So then I tested the US 12 and that was Great but then I noticed that it also did the same after a few hours, I am hoping that this is a breaking In Issue because they are a great Boot and the only pair out of all of the Sorels that can be worn for Driving,

The Conquests do not have a removable Liner like the XT's or the Baffin's which I am undecided about what I think of that, Rated down to -40*c / -40*f I think might a walking rating not a sitting still rating because when you Compare it to the -40 * Baffin Crossfire which has over 1" / 25mm of insulation I very much doubt if the Sorel Conquests can match the Cold Weather performance of the -40* Crossfire and as much as I like the Conquests I would rather wear the Baffin Crossfire's when the weather turns bad,

Out of all 10 pairs of Boots the only ones made in Canada are the Baffin Titan's and the Baffin Trapper's and all the others are made Over seas and All the Liners are made over seas also, Regardless of where they are made Both the Baffin's and the Sorels are the Best Extreme Cold Weather Boots money can Buy,

My favourite Boots has to be the Baffin Impacts, These boots are all but Bomb Proof and If the Liners are Dry and you get cold feet wearing the Impacts you need to get to the Doctors real Quick,

For Winter everyday City, Town, Work and Hunting etc the Baffin Crossfire -40* boot is a real winner and is fast becoming my Go to Boot, But if you want a medium Mid Shin height Boot that is water proof right to the top, rated down to -70*c / -94*f then take a look at the Baffin Snow Monster, The Snow Monster is a nice balance between the Impact -100*c / -148*f and the Crossfire -40 Boot,

The Baffin Titan is an Awesome Wellington Boot Rated down to -100*c / -148*f I find it too narrow to wear 2 pairs of socks and due to the design It has a little more heel slip than all the others, Lastly The Baffin Trapper it's a really nice light weight Wellington Boot, Rated down to -60*c / -76*f but what ever you decide I personally would order my True size in the Trapper,

My personal favourites, 1st Baffin Impact, 2nd Baffin Crossfire, 3rd Baffin Trapper, 4th Sorel Glacier XT "If I had bought the right size",

Anyway I hope that helps,
 

pluton

Adventurer
I had pair of Sorel Caribous that I bought in 1996. They lasted a long time (≈10 years) of occasional use. Recently, when I went to possibly replace them with the same, I noticed that many of the user reviews claimed that since Columbia bought Sorel, and then moved the manufacturing to China, the rubber parts don't last as long as they used to. As in "the old pair lasted 5 Canada winters, the new pair lasted 5 weeks" before the rubber started to decompose. Do you have any intel about whether the quality of Sorels has gone down in recent years?
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Just to Clear things up, I do not work for Baffin or Sorel and I paid retail for all 10 pair of boots, I don't work for any companies or out lets of any kind, My buying and testing came about purely because I got fed up of having cold feet along with buying expensive Boots that either fell apart or never kept my feet warm even sitting doors, And because of a lot of bogus reviews I thought I would settle this once and for all, I found that a lot of those reviews were either people with a Grudge or reviews that were Hi Jacked from else where, To the point that even one of my own reviews was Hi Jacked and reworded in places and then posted on other sites, When confronted I got all types of excuses,

All of the Boots I bought were bought at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, The Caribou XT I bought are really first class and the Rubber is quite supple and very well made If the label did not say Made In China I would never of guessed,

As for the Quality All 10 Pairs are perfect, I wore them in winter and Autunm/Fall and in the Spring, sure it made my feet cool at times because of sweating because I wore them in weather that too warm, I wore them out in the cold or walking to the Shops and around town wearing them for all the wrong reasons and not one Boot failed,

For some reason some folks in the US and Canada have a grudge against China and because these boots are no longer made in Canada everyone screams they use to be good but now they are ****, but the fact is they are all still made to Baffin and Sorel's specs and both companies keep very tight reigns on quality control.

I have seen this Exact same Claims with Stanley Vacuum Flasks China Vs the US versions So I bought 13 of them from Vintage US models from the 1970/80's right up to 2018 model, and again the Made In China were lighter, easier to clean and they kept things hotter and the Latest Master Series Flasks are incredible where it managed to keep water at over 35*c / 95*f after over 5 days and nights, But even though they are the best in the World because it says made in Chine people in the US still claim they are **** when they know nothing, This is the Same issue Baffin and Sorel are facing as you have seen,

There is not one company on earth that achieves 100% perfection and Baffin and Sorel are no differant To the Point quite a while back I bought my Dream watch, A Rolex Sea Dweller, 4 times I took it back to the Factory in 3 weeks and it still was not right and the last time it came back with a bent second hand, My point is all companies have issues but as far as Baffin and Sorel are concerned my Boots are 10 out of 10 every single pair, On Line I have seen boots with the tops ripped off the bottoms but that is due to people not undoing the Buckles or Laces properly or trying to stuff their feet in Boots that are too small or wearing too many pairs of Socks Instead of buy their boots a size or 2 bigger to allow for extra socks, This is a bit like the person who Backs their Car in to a fense Post and then Blaimes the property Owner.

And Yes Columbia did buy Sorel and Columbia is one of the big Names in the Camping and Climbing circles,

Also 2 or 3 years ago Baffin was bought by Canada Goose which is still a Canadian Company but not all of their products are Made In Canada with the exception of their Top of the Line Parka's, I Bought my Baffin impacts back in 2013 and altough I have not worn them much none of the materiels have degraded in that time.

Baffin and Sorel are still as good as they ever were but if you want another -40 boot to replace the Sorel Caribou take a look at the Baffin Crossfire, You won't believe how warm and cozy they are and they have a tread patten like a Climbing Boots only better.

I hope that helps,
 
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Grassland

Well-known member
I'm Canadian, and I not only can't afford a condo in Florida, I don't have ten pairs of full on winter boots!

Where do you live 67Cj5?

Mind you as I get older I'm starting to mind the cold where I didn't before.
I have a few pairs of active use fall and light winter boots which are dandy when walking or hiking, but am down to one pair of actual winter boots. Just Baffin Arctic Men's and at least 5 years old if not more, as I don't wear them frequently. They have been ok but not warm when sitting still for long periods below -20 C
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
Thanks for the review. I am always on the lookout for warm boots because I have Raynaud's disease, which means I always have cold toes and hands when in cold weather. I can be in my living room where it is set at 70F and be hot but my toes are freezing. It sucks given I like to be in the cold so much. I may have to try one of your top choices if they are water proof.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
I'm Canadian, and I not only can't afford a condo in Florida, I don't have ten pairs of full on winter boots!

Where do you live 67Cj5?

Mind you as I get older I'm starting to mind the cold where I didn't before.
I have a few pairs of active use fall and light winter boots which are dandy when walking or hiking, but am down to one pair of actual winter boots. Just Baffin Arctic Men's and at least 5 years old if not more, as I don't wear them frequently. They have been ok but not warm when sitting still for long periods below -20 C
I travel all over, I am in the UK at the moment, it was -12 here last night, If you are doing just every day Life then the Baffin Crossfire's would be my pick, The Sorel Conquest are rated the same but they have very little Insulation,
 
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67cj5

Man On a Mission
Thanks for the review. I am always on the lookout for warm boots because I have Raynaud's disease, which means I always have cold toes and hands when in cold weather. I can be in my living room where it is set at 70F and be hot but my toes are freezing. It sucks given I like to be in the cold so much. I may have to try one of your top choices if they are water proof.
Yeah I know what you meen, I have found the Baffin Crossfires rated to -40*c/f are a lot easier to walk in than knee length Pac Boots, But with your problems I would go with the Baffin Snow Monster's rated down to -94*f/-70*c their comfort range is 30*f down to -94*f / -1.1*c down to -70*c, These lace up shorter boots have less Heel Slip than slip on boots and they are about 12" tall and they have a Snow Coller which is good, If you want the Taller Boots then pick the Baffin Impact Boots rated down to -148*f/-100*c Vs the Sorel Glacier XT's, The Baffins you need to size up and the Sorel Glaciers are True to Size, But the Baffin Impacts have less Heel Slip than the Sorel Glacier XT's.

If you are going to be walking around in them then I would go with the Baffin Crossfire's or for real cold the Baffin Snow Monsters.

Hope that helps,
 
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autism family travels

Active member
We live in Newfoundland. I lived in the Northwest Territories back in the late 90s. The cold in NL is worse than the cold in NT. Here, it's damp frigid cold that cuts through everything. I have a wood branded winter jacket that is warm for outdoor activities, I was in the back garden today with our new Husky, it was showing -2c and sunny, and the wind was so damp and cold it was cutting through everything. In Yellowknife, I walked to work for the first part of the winter in a wind river 3 in 1 jacket and was never as cold. I then bought a SNOW GOOSE jacket for walking to work. These are Canada Goose jackets now. Another company bought out snow goose and turned them in to a city dweller's fashion accessory instead of a northern climate necessity. Back to the boots, I bought my son a pair of Sorel Caribous for school, and he's yet to complain about his feet being cold. I think Sorel still has quality products, even though Columbia has purchased the company.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
We live in Newfoundland. I lived in the Northwest Territories back in the late 90s. The cold in NL is worse than the cold in NT. Here, it's damp frigid cold that cuts through everything. I have a wood branded winter jacket that is warm for outdoor activities, I was in the back garden today with our new Husky, it was showing -2c and sunny, and the wind was so damp and cold it was cutting through everything. In Yellowknife, I walked to work for the first part of the winter in a wind river 3 in 1 jacket and was never as cold. I then bought a SNOW GOOSE jacket for walking to work. These are Canada Goose jackets now. Another company bought out snow goose and turned them in to a city dweller's fashion accessory instead of a northern climate necessity. Back to the boots, I bought my son a pair of Sorel Caribous for school, and he's yet to complain about his feet being cold. I think Sorel still has quality products, even though Columbia has purchased the company.
It's a pitty that Alpha stopped making the Extreme Cold Weather "ALASKA" model of their N-3B Parka because it is a 100% waterproof and with the right layering will keep you warm down to -51*c / -60*f but when worn as a normal coat it is good for -20*f/-28.8*c. Out of my normal N3B and the Alaska model and my Canada Goose Parka's I find my self picking the Alaska one most of the time due to the constant changing of the weather where I live, Another thing I like about it is that no matter if I am wearing my Outdoor Research Alti Mitts or my N4B USGI Flyers Mitts there is plenty of room in the pockets for me to put my hands,

I like the snugness of the Baffins Boots but my Sorel Glacier XT Boots are extremely warm but due to the pure Rubber lower boot section they feel a bit heavy to the point they are not a boot I would want to walk very far in, I think they would be fine for Snow Machining or Snow Blowing or for anything where you have a low lift off rate, but they would be too heavy for Dog Mushing where you have to get off the sled and run up hill,

The Sorel Caribou range of boots are nice and light weight for everyday wear,
 
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