If there is anything in my 29-years on this earth that I've learned from my mother about Canadian winters, it's to always make sure my feet, hands and head are kept warm. Whereas my hands and head are a different story entirely (pun intended), thanks to Sorel Footwear and the boots pictured above, my Jewish mother can rest easy knowing that my feet will stay warm and dry even in the coldest of conditions.
Let's take a quick look at both boots respectively and talk about why they're both amazing in their own unique right.
One of the only stand-out negative aspects of wearing the Caribou Wool is that they're the quintessential big clunky winter boots. They'll withstand pretty much anything - and I mean anything - that winter can throw at your lower legs, they are very heavy and not the ideal boot to wear, as a city dweller, for day to day wear. Enter the Cheyanne Reserve boots to fill that cumbersome void. Warm and cozy, yet light and un-intrusive, they're the perfect shoot/boot crossover for the fast-moving young professional.
The brown leather upper maintains the casual look perfectly suited for a pair of jeans or slacks tucked in or pulled over, while the waterproof rubber bottom/sole does the job it was made for with ease: keep your feet dry and warm (rated to -40 Celsius) even on the snowiest or slushiest of days.
I've never understood why bootmakers feel the need to make a uni-body suede/leather boot for Canadian winters. Whereas I understand that they're tying to appease fashion-minded buyers, no matter how much one can spray or "weather-protect" their nubucks, that material can still be penetrated; rubber, however, cannot be.
While I loved these boots in the city, where the snow doesn't fall nearly as much, they aren't as practical for Northern Ontario, where 10-inches of snow is like an afternoon snack.
Being said, let's now take a look at the bigger brother to the Cheyanne, and the benchmark Sorel boot,
the Caribou Wool ($190).
These boots are the real-deal holyfield and the benchmark the helped solidify Sorel as the leading name in winter boots in Canada. Also rated to -40 Celsius, the only way to really understand how good these boots are is to slide your foot in, tie the laces up and get on your way.
Winters in Blue Mountain, Collingwood, ON are cold and harsh, some nights dipping to a cold -15 Celsius and that doesn't include snow already falling and the wind-chill at the time. If you're not fully equipped, you're going to be in for a bumpy ride. Sorels Caribou Wool ensures your feet remain the least of your worries. I've been wearing them as my main driver, snowstorms and all, since I arrived in Collingwood on Monday and have not had the slightest inclination to look back.
As you can see, both boots have their own unique strengths and own the markets in which they are both targeted at for a reason: they're well made and well priced. The name comes with a long history and solid reputation.
Learn more about both boots, and other offerings from Sorel here