Every winter I face the same dilemma: do I want to stay warm and comfortable with clunky boots – or do I suffer the cold with a stylish pair of shoes or sneaks?
Well, I found myself choosing the second choice most of the time and it kinda sucks, especially when I begin to ruin my favourite shoes. This year I decided to move away from that for a few obvious reasons:
- Keeping my toes warm during the harsher cold days
- Keeping my socks nice and dry (slush on the sidewalk is the worst)
- Avoid slipping on ice
- To start acting like an adult (whatever that means) and trying to take care of myself appropriately.
I browsed for a while and even tried on a few pairs that I thought might work, but they weren’t quite what I was looking for. After some time, I was invited out to try Merrell‘s Stick It To Winter experience at The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. There was a simulation inside that allowed me to try on the Overlook boot in an elevated and extremely icy environment – in order to put the boot’s Vibram Arctic Grip technology to work. (It’s also super cool because when it activates, these little specks illuminate and become a bright blue)
(as a side note, I’ve recently picked up the Saucony Peregrine 7 runner, which also uses the Arctic Grip technology. It’s a no brainer for winter runs)
It was awesome. Beyond that, the grip really made a difference in the simulation and practicality, since it would naturally ‘catch’ you if you were to slip. The boot itself was also super warm and had a stylish silhouette. It wasn’t the prettiest boot compared to other stylish figures, but it combined that and functionality for an overall comfortable pair of boots.
The reason why I wanted to write this piece a few months later after trying these was because I really wanted to see if they would hold up with the promised features. They have been holding up much better than I expected (it’s been over 4 months, and I’ve used them in BC and Ontario across various terrains) – and I’m proud to say that winter has no chance against these bad boys. I usually like to give them a quick wipe down after use (especially with Toronto’s horrible salty conditions, they get a little crusty) and they’re still good as new.
I’ve added specifications below for those who are interested in knowing more, but I have to say that this has been one of my favourite experiences with a functional product.
Men’s Overlook 6 Ice+ Waterproof (in Black)
Retail Price: $190.00 CAD
– Leather upper
– TPU waterproof shell
– Traditional lace closure
– Bellows tongue that keeps debris out
– Conductor Fleece lining for added warmth
– M Select WARM lightweight – low bulk 200g insulation that keeps
– Single density removable footbed
– Moulded nylon arch shank
– Merrell air cushion in the heel that absorbs shock and adds stability
– Vibram Arctic Grip outsole which provides unparalleled traction on ice
even in the most extreme winter conditions
– 4.5 mm lug depth
– Weight: 3lbs 4oz / 1474g