Sorel Joan of Arctic

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Sorel Joan of Arctic Review Facts

Whether you are looking for winter time boots or live somewhere that winter boots are all-year-round footwear, you may want to take a peek at this stylish pair to keep your feet warm. The Joan of Arctic boots by Sorel are getting a fair amount of attention form many, and a good amount of praise to go with it. They look beautiful right away, and to the first glance, they look warm as well. Just their appearance suggests some deeper looking into is definitely going to be indulged upon.

That being said, a little overview of research immediately uncovers information that makes these boots show up on the radar of ‘know what they are doing’ because the company is founded in a country that knows snow- Canada. If you are looking for a trustworthy source of gear and what’s needed, one of the first things you will agree on is that a company that is founded where such a product is a necessity is bound to understand its ins and outs. Continuing on we find that Sorel has been around for quite a while as well, founded in the 1960s so it has had plenty of time (and diversity of ever-changing and growing source of materials) to figure out what would do the best job to keep your feet warm, comfortable and dry all while keeping up a great look. Not only that but unlike many boots, its liner is machine washable and can be easily removed so you can wash and/or dry them whenever it is needed. While that may not seem important to some at first, those who have has to deal with long winters and constant use of a single pair of boots will attest to just how important this is when you want your boots to last.

With many other areas to cover though, we’ll leave the final judgment to you as to whether or not this is the boot you want when heading into colder weather.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Very warm
  • Removable insert for cleaning
  • Protection against snow
  • Stylish
  • Durable
  • Bad arch support
  • No flexibility
  • Heavy


The outsole is designed to take tough and rugged weather and is made of a vulcanized rubber shell material which makes it extremely sturdy, though heavier than many other boots. What is a vulcanized rubber? Well, it is a type of rubber produced during the making where it is combined with other materials in order to make it more elastic as well as sturdier and tougher than other rubbers over a wider range of temperatures. This can be done several ways, but the end result is a boot that can withstand vast temperature changes without falling apart, cracking or being easily worn out. This is very important when considering boots to protect against extreme cold weather.


The midsole for this particular pair is made with a type of plug. The term “bonded felt frost plug” actually had us wondering what in the world we were going to be describing, well, at least you don’t have to go through the time to look for it, we will state what it is right here: it is a plug inside of the boots sole which gives added thermal protection to prevent your feet from getting cold. Many shoes and boots lack a plug, and for the sake of being lighter, the midsole may actually only have padding between you and basically a hollow middle section with a few important supports. The felt plug fills up these gaps so that cold air won’t gather and take away from the rest of your insulation. Unfortunately, though, it does add weight.


The upper part of this boot is what gives it both style and most of its insulation measures. The boot has a hard suede and rubber blend top which rises all the way to mid-calf where the laces tie to create a seal with both the liner and the faux fur trim. This makes for excellent heat holding and keeps your boot sealed against higher levels of snow and cold getting in and freezing both legs and feet. The insert itself is where most of the padding is in this boot which keeps your feet warm against extreme cold. While this heat-trapping can cause your feet to sweat after a while (not to mention your leg!) the good news is that it is able to be easily removed and cleaned so you don’t feel like your sticking your feet into a great unknown abyss of germs and smells after only a few times wearing them out. Some companies seem to forget that a washable liner is a necessity for prolonged use and only make it removable so you can air dry it- at least we know these won’t just be dry they will be clean and sanitary as well!


This is the true downside for this winter boot. Where most everything else about it makes this boot one of the must-haves for any cold winter, the fact it weighs so much creates a problem for longer treks in them. They can stress your legs and ankles, tiring you after only a bit of an errand run. So if you are looking for boots built to wear all day every day, this is not the pair you want. They are good looking, and the weight of them comes from the very materials that keep you warm, but they simply are too heavy to not mention this fact. These weren’t made as designer wear, they were built to do their job- and they do it with flying colors. For short term heavy cold and bad weather, these will do just fine, but keep it to smaller treks to prevent wearing yourself out and getting sore.


This is the aspect of these boots that have the greatest amount of praise. While it is not considered the absolute warmest, it ranks in the top three wherever you look, and in many places, it's in the top two. This boot is designed for warmth and will keep the cold from your feet even in the double negatives which is a great thing no matter how you look at it. The design and materials of this boot lock in heat and keep it from being lost even in the coldest temps. From the suede outside to the thick liner inside and even an added faux fur around the top edge where it seals at your thigh, all designed to assure you are nice and warm with these boots, no matter how cold it gets outside. When your liking for winter boots, this is definitely a must-have.


These boots aren’t too bad, but they were built for practical use over comfort. They look great, and will keep the cold and wet out, however, they are heavy and not very flexible which can quickly make wearing them tough on your feet. The other major complaint is in its support. It is built sturdy and firm to protect your feet from the weather and outside debris that comes from winter weather such as ice and hail. Unfortunately, you sacrifice comfort in all other ways to get that protection and they trap heat well enough that it can cause a lot of sweat over prolonged wear, so the trade-off is to have great protection from winter, but not from soreness and weariness.


You wouldn’t think any boot with rubber anywhere visible on top could be called ‘stylish’, but this particular design is exactly that! Despite having waterproof rubber and on the toes that aren’t covered by the suede that climbs up the rest of its surface, these boots still pull off good looking and practicality together beautifully. Sorel did not have to sacrifice good looking to keep your feet warm, and honestly- we find that to be highly impressive. Not only did they have that gorgeous suede up the rise but trimmed the boot in faux fur as well for added protection from the cold that makes the whole boot look great! Let’s not forget that they also come in a wide array of colors and even without the faux fur if that just isn’t your thing. (Though we really like how it looks.)


Thanks to the extra effort put into the rubber and the lining, these boots are highly durable. Unlike many boots, the rubber is treated to prevent cracks and tears as well as to resist drastic temperature changes so that it stays pliable enough to traverse hard snow and ice without an issue and survive double-digit negatives. The liner will survive longer than most as well because unlike others it can be washed and continuously kept sanitary of germs that might otherwise ruin a good pair of boots. While the liner seems to be something many overlooks, in this case, you know that you will have a pair of boots that stay clean and useable for years while retaining their shape and ability to keep you warm.


Unfortunately, the more durable you make rubber, and the more you add insulation, the less responsive a shoe or boot will become to your movements. This can be a heavy downside if you need something for consistent all-day walking use. If what you need though is something to keep you warm too and from a vehicle for short errand runs or even just to go outside for a couple of hours, these will serve you well in the colder regions and during harsher winters. Just don’t expect a miraculous ‘breaking in’ for this pair- the rubber was treated to resist breaking down, particularly to prevent excessive wear during extreme temperatures- which means wearing them isn’t likely to change how stiff they are.


We mentioned a lack of support, and this is in the arch of the foot. Due to all the padding and stiffness of the material of the boots to protect against the winter, the boot is hard pressed to support your arch and even lacks in supporting an easy movement. This can and likely will cause problems over long term use. When you live in a more rugged area according to temp, this is worth it in the long hull, since keeping warm is a matter of security and a necessity for health. While it supports health and protection and does not fail in it, the decision of what is more important is up to the buyer. For those with foot problems likely should look into other boots to try and find a pair that can both support and give warmth, as these are simply not able to give what is needed.


While designed for cold weather, the question remains, what kind of ground can they handle while keeping you upright? Well, to be honest, their design was not intended for hiking, obviously, and due to the way the tread is built, and how inflexible the rubber is, going through any sort of forested or inclined area would be almost impossible anyway. They will keep you safe on the flat ground and slight inclines, but don’t go hiking in the winter with these boots or trotting into areas where the terrain isn’t truly even or stable. You get a good pair of winter boots for traveling in city/suburban environments with these.


These are an expensive purchase, and with the company only listing the price by the Canadian dollar, when you are purchasing from elsewhere it can get confusing to figure out just how expensive they are. Of course, we wouldn’t mention this without being willing to let you know what the price is in other currency. This pair is listed at its low end to be $143 in Canadian, that translates to about $107 USD and $95 Euro. A bit pricey for most kinds of seasonal footwear, but when you consider their durability and longevity you know its worth it to have a boot that lasts. The real thought to this being: you could end up spending two to three times that on boots for the amount of time these are likely to last you in cheaper boots.


Expect traction with these mainly on flat surfaces and not really up inclines. They will get you over ice, but a hill will quickly send you rolling and forested areas will still trip you up. These boots were mainly built for urban areas to keep your feet warm on flat ground and not intended for hiking or long hours on your feet.

Key Features

-Vulcanized rubber
-Insulated plug sole
-Very insulated inside against up to double-digit negatives
-Removable washable liner

Bottom Line

If your main concern is keeping your feet warm and dry duting extreme cold, these boots are exactly what you need. They are great for urban wear and designed to be used for short walking distances over flat ground. They look great, but the insulation does make them heavy and inflexible which makes them impractical for hiking and long outdoor or walking/hiking trips.