Last Updated: July 10, 2019

Sorel vs Kamik: How To Choose A Great Winter Boot

Sorel are well known for their winter boots and they have been making them for decades. Since 1962 in Canada in fact! So, they know a thing or two about how to make warm, comfy, boots.

Kamik, if you haven't heard of them, have also been making boots for a white too. Any idea how long? Since 1898! Now that is insane. And they are also Canadian. I guess the neighbors to the North know a little about keeping warm in the snow :>

In this comparison post, I am going to show you a few of the most popular models from both of these companies and how they compare. That way, you should easily be able to find a boot for winter. Something to give you grip, keep you warm and make you enjoy being in the snow!

Snow Boots

The Kamik Nation Plus and Sorel Caribou are both great boots for walking around in winter in cold temperatures. They are not designed for long distances (hiking, snow shoeing, hunting etc) however are comfortable to wear around town or outside shovelling snow.

They are both fully waterproof, well insulated and come up quite high on the calf.

The main difference between these boots is the build quality, with most reviewers preferring the Sorel Caribou. However, a lot of people love the Kamik Nation Plus too. Especially since it is significantly cheaper.

The Caribou is a bit of a thicker boot (so feels bulkier) and also weighs in nearly a pound more than the Kamik. But, the Caribou's use of felt inner tends to keep people warmer, as does the thicker lining on the sole too. The Kamik uses synthetic Thinsulate from 3M instead.

The other main difference you will notice (apart from the color - although both come in a variety of colors like cream, brown, black, gray etc) is the style of the boot, especially the laces. The Sorel only has 4 lacing loops, while the Kamik has 6 plus a tie off hook which can come in handy for ensuring the bottom half is holding your foot well (the Sorel does not have that). 

You can check out the full specs below.

Best suited for

Heavy Snow

Heavy Snow

Weight (average)

Approx 4 lb 10 oz

Approx 3 lb 10 oz

Shaft Height

9 1/4 inches

10 inches

Temperature Rating

-40° F / -40° C

-40° F / -40° C

Upper Material

Waterproof nubuck leather upper

Waterproof suede upper

Insulation

Removable 9mm ThermoPlus washable recycled felt inner boot with Sherpa Pile snow cuff

200B Thinsulate insulation

Sole

Midsole: 2.5 mm bonded felt frost plug

Outer: Handcrafted waterproof vulcanized rubber shell with Sorel aero-trac non loading outsole

Snowtread synthetic rubber


Another two models worth comparing are the Sorel 1964 and the Kamik Canuck. They do not directly compare as well as the above two, but are great options for everyday snow boots.

The first big difference between these boots is the weight and material. The Sorel's upper is leather, while the Kamik is made of Nylon. The Kamik is nearly twice as heavy as the Sorel too.

They way they lace up is also quite different. The Sorel 1964 is a full lace system, which allows you to tighten them up well, but it is a bit of a pain in the ass to get in and out of. They even come with pulls at the top of the boot to help lever your foot in.

The Sorel Caribou above a lot easier (less laces). 

The Canucks use a bungee cord system. First,  around the foot, which helps keep the boot on your foot. Not as good as laces in my opinion, but enough to keep them in place. There is also one at the top, which will close the boot off to keep the snow out if you are walking in deep powder. Just be aware that this top bungee can rub on your leg and hurt after a while if it's tied tight and you are wearing thin pants (one reviewer on Youtube complained of this).

So, for some people the Canuck will be more comfortable with less laces/cord around your calves, and it will definitely be easier to get on for sure.

Both these boots have removable liners, which is a necessity if you ask me. You have to be able to dry your boots out by the heater/fire either because they get a little wet or you sweat in them. Either way, it helps a lot.

As far as the liner material goes, Sorel has felt, which a lot of people like better than the synthetic material in the Canucks. But they both seem to offer at least reasonable warmth in the snow. Although they are both rated to -40, be aware that many reviewers on Amazon have complained their feet get cold in negative temperatures. This is partly the boot, but partly about what socks you wear and how cold you tend to get in your toes (it varies a lot from person to person). It also depends on if you are sitting still or moving, and how long you spend outside.

Overall, these are both decent boots for errands or small chores outside, but I would personally not be wearing them for long periods standing in the cold or for long walks/hikes in the snow. There are other options for that kind of thing. 

Best suited for

Heavy Snow

Heavy Snow

Weight (average)

Approx 2 lb

Approx 3.8 lb

Shaft Height

8 1/2 inches

8 1/2 inches

Temperature Rating

-40° F / -40° C

-40° F / -40° C

Upper Material

Waterproof leather

Waterproof 1000 denier nylon upper

Insulation

Removable 9mm washable recycled felt inner boot

8 mm Zylex® removable liner (97% recycled content)

Sole

Waterproof vulcanized rubber

Waterproof and lightweight synthetic Rubber 

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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