Joan of Arctic
With so many great Sorel boots to choose from, it’s hard to make the right choice.
The Joan of Arctic is a stylish boot that sits very high on your leg, protecting you from the snow and cold.
The Carnival, on the other hand, looks quite similar but is significantly lower.
There are a few other big differences which I will explain below.
Apart from some minor differences, these boots look quite the same, at least in the lower section. Same rubber protection around the bottom, lace loops with leather attachments along the front, and general look to it.
The big difference comes in the length, with the Joan being 12 inches from the arch and the Carnival on 7.5.
The Joan of Arctic also typically has a significantly overflowing fluffy faux fur cuff, while the Carnival has a more restrained and neat Sherpa Pile cuff. There are a couple of models of the Joan with this style of cuff too, but it is not on most of them.
The Carnival has quite a few color choices, and many of them are quite bright: Purple, Sky Blue, Aviation (Blue), Peatmoss (Green), Candy Apple (Red) as well as White, Pewter (Gray,) and Black.
The Joan of Arctic also has some great color choices but perhaps not quite as bold as those of the Carnival.
This is another of the big main differences between the boots. The Joan of Arctic has a suede upper with a faux fur cuff. The Carnival uses waterproof nylon for the upper and Sherpa Pile for the cuff (which is more like a wool texture).
Weight is a bit of an issue with some of the Sorel boots like the Caribou, as it is quite heavy. But these two are quite similar and perhaps the difference in weight (0.5lb) is really only due to the difference in height of the Joan.
Again, there is no real difference here, as they both share the same tread material and pattern. They grip well in the snow, but you will always want to be careful on the ice (this is the case with 99% of boots anyway).
Although it is great to have a really high boot when walking in snow for some people these boots can be annoying when they are rubbing on your calves, especially when they get too high.
If that is the case for you, then take a shot at the 1964 over the Caribou because it is nearly an inch shorter in the height.
Both the Joan of Arctic and Carnival have removable 6mm thick inner lining. They are rated down to -25, which means most people can comfortably walk around town in them or stand outside for short periods of time. Don’t expect them to keep everyone warm (varies from person to person) for hours on end in sub-zero temperatures though.
Of course, style and personal color preference play a big role when choosing shoes, so I will leave that part up to you.
But as far as features and use go, the Joan of Arctic works a lot better in deeper snow conditions and the faux fur cuff might be a little better at keeping the snow out. It also sits higher on the leg, helping to keep you warm, but the trade-off is a little more restriction of movement.
The Carnival will also work well in snow and cold, but I would not be using it if you get big winter storms or tend to be in deeper snow at any time. For the rest, it should suit most for anyone who just wants a warm stylish boot.