Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Gear Box: Korkers SnowJack Boots
Gear company Korkers is looking to change that with a new line of boots that features a truly innovative approach to winter footwear. Their new shoes feature interchangeable soles that can be quickly and easily switched out depending on conditions, making them one of the most versatile pair of snow boots that I've seen in a very long time.
I recently had the opportunity to test out Korker's SnowJack boots and found them to be an excellent option in every way. They are comfortable, lightweight, warm, and rugged, which makes them a great choice for any cold weather outdoor activities. The boots use 3M's Thinsulate to insulate the foot and keep your toes toasty warm, even in sub-zero temperatures, and the design is a nice mix of leather and webbing on the outside, with a waterproof bootie on the inside. The result, is a shoe that breathes well but keeps moisture out – an important combination for extended, active winter excursions.
Of course, there are plenty of excellent winter boots on the market that would match the description above, but what sets the SnowJacks apart from competitors is its sole. Or perhaps I should say soles. Out of the box, the boots come equipped with Korker's patented SnowTrac outsole, which has a solid, dependable feel. This sole is designed for keeping a steady grip in wet, snowy conditions on a wide variety of surfaces ranging from pavement to muddy trails and even powder-covered rocks. But should you find conditions worsen, and you have to deal with icy conditions instead, these boots come with a second sole that can be used be swapped out in times of need. This second sole is called the IceTrac, and it features 32 carbide studs that provide a much better grip when walking across slick, icy surfaces.
Switching between the two different soles is easy and takes just a few seconds, even while wearing gloves. Once the new sole is locked into place, you would never even know that it is removable, and other than a noticeable change in grip on the specific surface that they are designed for, you would think that they are a natural extension of the boots themselves.
Beyond the innovative system for swapping out the soles, I was also impressed with how thin these boots are while still remaining very warm. I'm not a fan of bulky boots of any kind, especially if they make me feel like I'm clumsily plodding along through snow and ice. The SnowJacks don't feel that way on my feet, and while wearing them, I actually still felt nimble and relatively light on my feet. Because of this, these boots are a great choice for winter hiking or snowshoeing.
If you're in the market for a new pair of winter boots, and you're looking for comfortable and versatile footwear for your cold weather adventures, then I definitely recommend the SnowJack from Korkers. The boots carry an MSRP of $159.95, which is actually bargain, since it feels like you're actually getting two pairs of boots at that price.