Living in the Upper-Midwest, I believe that I have a greater understanding of what “cold” really is. In fact, Minnesota boasts the sixth coldest temperature ever recorded in the United States at -60ºF. Yup, that cold. I was recently chatting with an employee of Hi-Tec Boots from Canada who told me about their new Trail Ox Winter 200 boots. If there’s anyone that understands the cold as well as a Minnesotan, it’s likely a Canadian – and I told him that I’d give them a try.
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One of the challenges that I often find in cold-weather gear, is that it’s solely warmth-driven. Don’t get me wrong, warm is good – but even better when it’s combined with function. I’ll admit, I’ve become a bit of a fan-boy when it comes to the Hi-Tec boot line-up. Neither form or function are overlooked, making for a comfortable boot that gets the job done. The Trail Ox Winter 200 is no exception.
Let’s start with the Trail Ox Winter 200 namesake. The Winter 200 is insulated with 200g of Thinsulate. Warm stuff. To add to the warmth, the tongue and collar are both beefed up with extra padding – providing both warmth and comfort. The material on the inside lining of the boot is a micro-fleece that’s designed to wick moisture away from your foot, because we all know that a wet foot is an unhappy foot.
One of my favorite features that’s incorporated into many of the Hi-Tec boots, is the Ortholite Impressions sockliner. This footbed not only softens impact, but I’ve found that it helps with boot fit, almost forming to my foots shape. The Trail Ox Winter 200 features the Ortholite technology, as well as a Michelin rubber outsole – which are built like tanks. I’ve been wearing them through both the snow and the ice with no problems.
Overall, this is a great boot that can easily crossover from city to trail. They’re rated down to -13ºF, and they’re comfortable to wear. I think I might’ve just discovered my new go-to winter boot when the going gets tough.