Winter Boot Review & Comparison

Good morning and happy Monday! I’ve been on a winter boot hunt, and I thought I’d share the results with you. And to make it a more comprehensive post, I’ll include some of the boot styles I already own.

My boot hunt all started with these Lennox Lace boots in the Sandy Tan.

Well, that’s not entirely true. These boots found me. Then I started a hunt for sneaker boots a couple weeks later. But for the sake of thoroughness, we’ll start with these.

The first time I saw them, I was smitten. They remind me of the Marc Fisher Izzie hiker/combat boots I have from last year in the black, which I love.

But sometimes the black is too harsh, and I wear so many light neutrals, so I thought the Lennox in the Sandy Tan would be the perfect addition to my winter boot wardrobe. I especially love the black accents, so they’ll also work with black and darker colors too.

Of course, the Lennox Lace happened to be the only Sorel boots NOT on sale over Black Friday weekend. The irony.

So, I settled for the Lennox Shearling booties, exclusive to Bloomingdale’s, which were 30% off.

The only difference, as far as I can tell, is the shearling accent on the front… which, I guess makes them even MORE like the Marc Fisher Izzie, but I prefer the plain Lennox boots because they’re simpler and more versatile. I feel like the shearling make these look more wintry and limits them just a bit.

Before those could arrive, Sorel started their Black Friday sale, and I started scoping out sneaker boots. What I had in mind was a casual, comfortable bootie as an alternative to my P448s and Vejas on those days that it’s too cold for bare ankles in sneakers.

I ended up ordering the Out N About Plus Conquest Boot in black, the  Explorer Joan in Black/Dark Stone and Ash Brown, and the Sorel Kinetic Sport Bootie in black.

Winter Boot Review & Comparison

For size reference, my true shoe size is an 8, but sometimes I need to size up in boots to an 8.5, so I consider both fairly true to size. Every once in a great while, I end up in a 7.5 or a 9, which means they definitely run large or small.

Lennox Shearling Booties

$140 only at Bloomingdale’s

These boots definitely have of a moto-inspired urban vibe that suits my personal style, which is probably why I was immediately drawn to them.

They have a 1.5″ heel with a 1.25″ platform and a 6″ shaft height; and they’re fairly lightweight for the style of boot, but heavier than some of other Sorels I’m reviewing in this post.

I couldn’t get a weight on the Lennox Shearling that I’m wearing here, but the original Lennox Lace weighs in at 1 lb 2 oz per boot.

v-neck sweater // blue jeans

They’re waterproof with seam-sealed uppers, and they have genuine sheepskin trim at laces and collar, so they’re more practical than they may first appear.

I still expect the would get dirty easily due to the light color and should probably be treated with a stain repellant of some sort.

leopard sherpa // blue jeans

Style-wise, they’re kind of narrow at the top of the shaft, which can make my jeans bunchy, but that’s the only thing about these that bothers me.

Otherwise, I think they’re absolute perfection from a style standpoint. I love the rounded toe and the shade of tan with the black accents.

Inside, they’re lined with a faux-fur microfleece lining that feels so nice against the feet.

One thing I did notice that the top of the shaft is rough against the leg, so I will definitely need to tuck my jeans (or wear socks) to avoid chafing.

crewneck sweater // black jeans

THE VERDICT: These are more of a fashion boot than practical winter boot, especially given the color. They probably should be treated with something, but they are seam-sealed and waterproof, and they’re warm and comfortable, so they make a good crossover boot for anyone living in an area with mixed weather conditions.

I’m wearing the 8, but they just fit without socks, so I would suggest sizing up if in between.

Marc Fisher Izzie

$249 at Nordstrom // at Zappo’s // at Evereve

These boots, I already own. I purchased them on a sale at Bloomingdale’s last year, and I wore them quite a bit. They’re definitely spendy at full retail, but I got mine for around $150 around Christmastime last year.

Style-wise, I like them a lot, but I could have probably sized down half. Mine are a size 8, and my feet kind of swim inside of them. I think they would look better if I had sized down, as well.

grey v-neck // black jeans

They’re excellent quality, and very comfortable on the foot, with a cushioned insole and a soft faux leather lining. They have a 1 1/2″ heel with a 1″ platform and a 7″ shaft, and they weight a whopping 1 lb 4 oz per boot — definitely not lightweight, but it’s all in the sole.

I did notice that they don’t seem to make my jeans as bunchy as the Lennox style, but that could be due to the extra inch in the shaft.

old vest + grey sweater // blue jeans

VERDICT: These boots have that popular hiking boot meets combat boot styling, and because they’re a shiny leather, they’re practical for messy conditions, but they aren’t waterproof like the Sorel options in this post.

At the end of the day, they’re definitely more of a fashion boot. I recommend these for anyone who wants the style and quality of Marc Fisher, but doesn’t really need the weather proof features.

Sorel Explorer Joan Boots

$140 at Sorel // at Backcountry // at Zappo’s

These boots are incredibly lightweight and flexible and definitely strike me as more rugged/casual than the Lennox and Izzie styles.

They lean more sneaker boot than hiking boot, but they aren’t really a sneaker boot. Sort of a shorter snow boot/hiking boot? Here’s what they say on the Sorel website: The fit of a sneaker meets the protection of our iconic winter boots. 

That sums it up nicely!

They have a full-grain leather and nylon upper with faux-fur trim, and that soft microfleece lining inside, so they feel AH-mazing on the foot, and I can’t say enough about how lightweight and flexible they are. They’re also very warm, with the 100g of insulation.

For measurements, they have a 1 1/4″ heel with a 1/2″ platform and a 7″ shaft, and each boot weighs only 13 oz. Plus, they have a removable, molded PU-like EVA footbed for comfortable underfoot support.

leopard sherpa // blue jeans

I think they’re cute with jeans and lighter tops, but this Ash Brown color could be somewhat limiting, although it is a light color that I thought I was looking for.

The black trim on the Lennox boots makes them seem more versatile, though. I think they’d work with darker colors as well as light, whereas these I would probably only wear with light.

v-neck sweater // blue jeans

Here’s how they look in the black. I didn’t take time to try them with any other outfits, but I can see these looking great with my black and grey jeans as well.

At first. I put this black pair back in the box without even trying them on, thinking I wanted a tan boot, but then after trying everything on and being conflicted about which pair(s) to keep, I went back to them and now I’m actually considering them.

If I keep the Lennox, maybe I could justify keeping these too… ha!

leopard sherpa // blue jeans

VERDICT: I can’t say enough about the comfort of these boots, and I think they’re cute for a wintry sneaker boot, but they don’t have the style factor of the Lennox and the Izzie.

These are great boots for anyone wanting comfortable, waterproof, lightweight, warm winter weather boots for ultra casual looks. Consider a darker color if you’ll be in a lot of messy conditions.

Also, a sizing note: these run a bit small. I ordered a half size up (the 8 1/2) and they fit perfectly.

Sorel Kinetic Sport Bootie

$155 at Sorel // at Zappo’s // at Amazon // at Nordstrom // at Macy’s

These boots are definitely more sneakery than the Explorer Joan, and they also have more of a snow boot vibe because of the partial textile upper.

They’re extremely lightweight and comfortable, with quite a bit of foot support. They have a 1 1/2″ heel with a 3/4″ platform and 5 1/4″ shaft, and the weight is 13 oz. They’re also well-insulated and completely waterproof.

When I first opened the box and put them on, I was IN LOVE. They’re just so rugged and freakin’ cool. I thought I was definitely keeping these, and deciding between the Lennox Lace in Sandy Tan and the Explorer Joan in the Ash Brown.

similar turtleneck // old vest // blue jeans

But as I’ve tried them on with a few outfits, I realized how limiting they are — especially considering my wardrobe.

They don’t work so well with cashmere sweaters and designer jeans; they’re better suited to puffer vests and sweatshirts, and I’m afraid I won’t get that much wear out of them.

fleece // leggings

That said, I do need shoes for wearing with puffer vests and sweatshirts, and my P448s won’t be practical for much of our Pennsylvania winter…

I tried them with leggings and a fleece pullover, just to see if I would like them better with an outfit like this. But the truth is, I rarely wear outfits like this, and I don’t think owning these boots would change that.

As I look back at all of my options, I think the Explorer Joan in black would serve the same purpose, and they feel a little more me.

leopard sherpa // blue jeans

THE VERDICT: These boots are super cool looking and very, very warm and comfortable. They’re perfect for anyone who lives in an area with messy winters who needs a cool sneaker boot to add to their wardrobe.

Unfortunately, they seem to be selling out almost everywhere. Boo! If you find them in your size, grab them quick.

Sorel Out N About Plus Conquest Boot

$130 at Sorel // at Backcountry // at Nordstrom // at Zappo’s

Well, these definitely scream SNEAKER BOOTIE!

I think I like some of the other color ways better because some have fun contrasting laces, but I ordered the black for a specific outfit I’m styling for the blog. Plus, they just seemed to be the most versatile.

These have a 1″ heel and a 5″ shaft, and the upper is made of waterproof full grain leather or waterproof suede with a faux-fur collar.

They also have the seam-sealed waterproof construction and microfleece lining, with a removable EVA footbed for underfoot comfort.

Style-wise, I just can’t get excited about these, but they are very lightweight and comfortable. (They weigh in at just 12 oz per shoe.)

turtleneck // black jeans

THE VERDICT: I was trying to find something to wear in lieu of my sneakers so I would not freeze my ankles, and I’d rather not have to wear socks to achieve that end, so I don’t think these are what I’m looking for. Plus, I don’t love the styling.

I might consider the grey with the rust laces if they had a higher shaft, but I definitely prefer the style of the Explorer Joan or Kinetic Sport Boot, so these will go back.

Sorel Joan of Arctic Wedge II Zip Bootie

$199 at Sorel // $119 at Zappo’s // $119 at Nordstrom

The Sorel wedge booties have been very popular for a few seasons; I believe I got this pair two years ago when I was doing a sponsored post with Lord & Taylor.

They’re very lightweight and comfortable and have great support for finicky feet. I’ve been known to wear these and then keep them on around the house for hours after I get home.

I love the urban moto-inspired styling and the deep treads. Also, the lower shaft pairs well with skinny jeans, but the lower shaft is beginning to look dated to my eye.

Please pardon the wacky lighting — this was the wrong time of day to take pictures, but while I do have older pictures wearing these boots, I wanted shoot new ones because…

Well, just take a look at this {embarrassing} picture of me from last December. This was pre-intermittent fasting. What is going ON with my face? I’m wearing the same sweater, and similar jeans but a size larger.

This is a very similar pose from this year…. funny that my legs don’t look much slimmer, even though I’ve dropped a pant size, but my face sure does!

ANWHO! Back to the boots… The upper is a waterproof leather, with a side zip closure for easy on and off, and they have the removable molded footbed with a synthetic top cover and a soft synthetic lining for added comfort.

They’re also very lightweight, considering the wedge heel, weighing in at just 14 oz each. The heel is 3″ with a 1″ platform, and they have a 3″ shaft.

I’m wearing the color Quarry, and because they’re old, they are on sale at Zappo’s and Nordstrom.

THE VERDICT: These are a nice winter fashion boot with an urban vibe, comfortable, and waterproof. They have great style with a lot of practical qualities as well, and you can dress them up or down within a reasonable range. Also, these boots run true to size; I have the 8.

Sorel Slimpack II Lace

$109 at Sorel // $145 at Zappo’s

These are by far my most worn Sorel boots. I love these things. Maybe it’s because they’re a throwback to my college days… It was the 1990s in New England, and I loved a good duck boot!

They’re the perfect mix of rugged and feminine, plus supportive and waterproof and warm. I never untie them, I just slip my feet in and out.

I wear them anytime I need a boot for a mucky adventure, which just so happens to be a couple times a week when I go to the gym to work out and trudge through the lawn to get to the door.

I also wore the to the tree farm last week, and I wear them often when it rains or snows. They’re just far more practical for the types of winters we have here in Philly than the traditional taller snow boots.

They have a waterproof leather upper with comfortable microfleece collar and microfleece lining, so they don’t chafe if you wear them against bare legs. They also have 100g insulation for warmth and comfort, and the Sorel molded EVA footbed for arch support.

Oh, and there’s the rubber outsole with herringbone pattern for excellent traction on wet surfaces. So yeah, they’ve got practical covered with these boots.

They have a 2″ heel with a 7 1/2″ shaft, and I’m wearing the Minor color, which is getting hard to find because the Slimpack II model is on its way out. But the good news is, they’re on sale in select colors at Sorel, or you can opt for the newer Slimpack III.

Also, this is not a lightweight boot, but at 1 lb 3 oz, the weight is fairly comparable to the other taller boots.

THE VERDICT: These all-weather boots are the perfect marriage of practicality and rugged style, and they’re practically indestructible. If I lost mine, I’d buy them again in a hot minute.

They aren’t the most stylish, and you can’t dress them up for a messy date night, but if you just need a practical all-weather boot for casual wear, these are my top pick. They do run small, though. I had to size up to a 9.

Sporto Minor Waterproof Suede Mid-Calf Boot with Faux Fur Trim

$67 at HSN

I ordered these when they went on a Today’s Special Deal at HSN, because I was curious to see them and compare to the pricer UGG and Sorel snow boots I’ve worn. And shhhh… I thought they might make a nice gift for one of my daughters. (I am 99% sure they never read my blog.)

I don’t know why I don’t have more pictures, but by the time I got to this part of the post, it was too dark to take more.

They’re made of a waterproof suede with a faux fur tongue and cuff, and they have a 2″ heel and 9″ shaft. The thermolite core is comfortable and warm, and they have a treaded rubber sole for stability.

These boots are every bit as soft inside as the Sorels, but they don’t have the foot support or the same quality look and feel.

THE VERDICT: While these aren’t as ridiculously comfortable as the Sorels, and they don’t have the same style factor, they are soft inside and very warm. For the price point, they’re a very good value for a practical winter snow boot.

Oh, and they run true to size; I ordered the 8 1/2 to be safe, but I didn’t need to. The 8 would fit just fine.

And finally, by way of comparison…

Sorel Joan of Arctic Boot

$209 at Sorel // $209 at Zappo’s // $199 at DSW

Now, this is a stylish snow boot! But I do feel that while these are a classic, they don’t look as modern as the sneaker boots and moto-inspired styles I’ve shown above.

These boots have a waterproof suede upper with seam-sealed construction and a faux-fur cuff, and the heel is 1 1/2″ with a 1″ platform and a 12″ shaft. They do weight in at 2 lb each, so definitely not a lightweight boot, but then the are also taller than the rest.

And they have all the practical features that Sorel has to offer, making them incredibly warm and weather-proof — waterproof leather and suede uppers, faux-fur trim collar, seam-sealed waterproof construction, removable felt InnerBoot, lightly cushioned footbed, 2.5 mm bonded felt frost plug, and handcrafted, waterproof vulcanized rubber shell.

THE VERDICT: These are absolutely gorgeous boots, and if you love them and they work for your climate and your personal style, I can definitely endorse their warmth and comfort.

Honorable Mention: Sorel Kinetic Conquest Sneaker Boots

$165 at Nordstrom // at Sorel // at Amazon

I keep coming across this pair of Sorel Kinetic Conquest Sneaker Boots and I’m really drawn to them, but they are sold out in my size everywhere. I feel like I might like them better than the Kinetic Sport, but they would serve the same purpose. Someone talk me down from ordering yet another pair of boots!

In Summary

I’m not sure what else I could possibly add to this post, but with a huge comparison post like this, I always feel the need to wrap it up and tie it in a bow!

For me personally, I think it comes down to the Lennox Shearling, the Explorer Joan in black, and the Kinetic Sport Boots. I still love those, even though I feel like they don’t quite work with my wardrobe. Maybe I need to play around with them some more…

And I did cave and order the original Lennox Lace, just to compare. I felt like at this price point, it only makes sense to see all the options before making a final decision. If they are more versatile than the shearling version, it will bring my cost per wear down, and they end up being a better purchase in the long run.

As for you, dear reader! If you are looking for a pair of stylish winter boots, I’d love to know which ones in this post resonate with you, and if you order some (or already have any of these), how you like them!

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34 Responses

  1. Oh man I love so many of these LOL!! I have the Sorel Joan Explorer pair in my cart and now I’m drooling over the Conquest pair at Nordy’s! I don’t need any more boots though lol! I have more than enough for only leaving the house 3 days a week. Great reviews and comparisons!

  2. I love so many of these cute boots!  Awesome post.  I ordered two pair of sandals for next year, 50% off from Sorel.  The shoes are darling and very comfortable!

  3. So many good boots! I love the Lennox Lace-up boots, but I would want them in the light tan, and I have so many tan boots now it’s ridiculous (But! she argues, not “lace-up” tan boots!) 😀 😀

    I also saw (and liked) the Marc Fisher Izzie, and really liked them, although again, not the shearling version. But I’m becoming spoiled by the waterproof feature that Sorel and Ugg have, so am less inclined to buy boots without that feature. There was a pair of Paul Green boots that I fell in love with (the Darcy), but ultimately passed on, even when they had a major sale on Black Friday, because I’m trying to be more practical. While also realizing I don’t need. every. single. boot. that I love.

  4. Thank you for this comprehensive post…so much helpful information. I am a lover of Sorel and you have now introduced me to my next “must have” (don’t need) pair of boots – the Lennox Shearling in the sandy tan. Now I just have to locate a pair in my size. My second choice would be the Sorel Explorer Joan in either color you featured. Dang, they are both so tempting. 

  5. Great post! I have and LOVe the Explorer Joan from last year. I’m still wearing and loving them, but I’m looking to add another pair this year. I think I might try the Slim Pack. 

  6. This is my favorite post yet! I love winter and I love buying cozy winter clothes. I live in northern Wisconsin – hats, mittens, and boots are required.

    I am going to order the Sorel Explorer Joan Boots in black. During my lunch break I try and get outside for a walk. I think these boots would be good for that. I have the Sorel Kinetics in brown and like them. A few years ago I tried the Sorel Slimpacks but returned them because the heel was too high for my power walks in the snow and ice. They are super cute though!

  7. I have the Sorel Joan Explorer in black from a few years back and absolutely love them!  I bought them right before a family trip to NYC in December and wore them every day (didn’t even bother wearing the other shoes I brought with me).  They kept my feet warm, dry and comfortable even with all the walking we did.  Would highly recommend!  By the way, I still have and wear them and they still look like new.

  8. Thank you for this post! I’m working retail part-time this holiday season and have been looking for stylish, comfortable boots to wear because my ankles get cold otherwise. I have a couple pairs of Timberlands that I really like but I’m going to try the Sorel Explorers in black as well. I sized up ½ size based on reviews so fingers crossed they work! 

  9. Great post!  I’ve been wanting to order the Jenni Kayne sweater.  It is so cute. Is it true to size?  
    Thank you!

  10. My finger is itching to pop the Sorrel Lennox Lace into my cart. In quarry because they would go best with the colors I wear. I have the Joan of Artic wedges in quarry from last year and I love them, but I don’t see myself running out in them often this winter — with nowhere to go. LOL. Great post, Jo-Lynne. I cannot imagine how long this took you to put together!

  11. Thanks for a comprehensive winter boots summary! Sorel has really upped their game. My vote goes to the Sorel Explorer Joan boot in black. The Kinetic Sport Bootie looks a little too Buzz Armstrong Cosmonaut boot to me 😂
    We rarely get enough snow for the Sorel Arctic boot. We usually get snow, it melts and gets slushy/ dirty: repeat 15x.

  12. I recently received the Explorer Joan in black. Bought them at dicks sporting goods for $104. I haven’t worn them out yet but they are very comfortable. And lightweight as you mentioned. As with all my Sorel boots I went up 1/2 size to wear thicker socks with them. I liked the tan color but thought they’d get too dirty walking through all the winter muck. And my most worn jackets are black and grey. 
    Happy hunting. Stay safe. 

  13. Well after this extensive post I now know why I’ve had a hard time finding the right boot for those messy days when I don’t want my UGGS … I ended up buying a pair that are very similar to the last pair on the post the Sorel  kinetic only they are Columbia… I had such a hard time finding a pair that weren’t super heavy or like a moon boot.. lol. I’m hoping to wear mine on days when I venture outside for walks and the roads are messy or to run errands. Thanks for a great break down on all these boots… I guess like coats we can’t have too many🤷‍♀️

  14. Awesome timing for this post!   I had just ordered the Joan Explorer in both the tan and black.  Thank you for helping me think through that choice.  The light is a such a pretty color, but I wear more dark colors.  Also, you reviews of the other boots helped confirm my style choice. 😁
    There are not a lot of good fashionable and practical (living in Ohio…… we get it all) boots that are orthodic-friendly.  I just entered the world of custom orthotics and want to reap all the benefits while still looking like myself.  Yeah…… I want my cake and eat it too.  🤷🏻‍♀️🤣
    You really are that honest  girl friend who shops with us.  Thank you!!!!

  15. Ordered the wedge booties on Cyber Friday and have already worn them several times.
    Really hope they don’t look dated. 

  16. Great winter boot comparison!  Fortunately, I still like the DSW brand boots that one of your daughters had last year.  Since we do t have harsh winter weather, they suit me just fine, thank goodness!

  17. Amazing and in depth – I feel I can always count on you to really dig into styles. I learn so much. I had no idea there was even a sneaker boot category 😂. From December – March I live in snow boots – maybe I should get a sneaker boot for around town? 

  18. Thanks for your post! I love the Lenox Lace Boots.   I like how they have the feel of combat boots but not quite as harsh.  I think I am too old for black combat boots! What do you think about the velvet tan color with the red laces? That color seems to be the most available right now.  I like them but I worry the color is limiting?  I may look like I just walked off a construction site.  What are your thoughts?

  19. Loved your winter boot review! This is a little off the subject, but I am looking for a red PVC trench type coat with reptile texture. I saw one on a tv show and can’t figure out where to find one similar. Do you have any idea where I could look? Thanks.

  20. The link to the Marc Fisher Izzie says can’t be found… They are gone sold out on bloomies.

    How did I miss this post. Ugh

    The search continues.

    Have a great weekend!!


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