I hate to be cold or wet when I’m photographing outdoors. Nothing stifles my creativity faster!
When I lived in British Columbia I used to take regular trips to the Rockies, where temperatures would always be a lot lower than my home mountains (Coastal Range BC). For this reason I was somewhat well prepared for my recent move to the Yukon, but there’s still a slight difference between having to put up with occasional temperatures below -18Celsius (0F), and having that be part of your daily routine for several months of the year. In fact its regularly -30Celsius (-22F) here in the Yukon!
One area of my kit that needed improving was winter footwear. The boots I had simply couldn’t stand up to an entire day outdoors in those kind of temperatures, and I also found that they didn’t breathe well enough to wear in milder temperatures such as when driving from location to location in a slightly warmed vehicle.
After some online research and a good amount of in-store boot testing at MEC, I settled on the North Face Chilkat EVO boot and I couldn’t be happier! This may very well be my favourite boot of all time.
So far I have been comfortable in every temperature that the Yukon has thrown at me, so that’s at least down to -35C (-31F). On top of that – and this is a crucial point – I’m also comfortable wearing them in temperatures slightly above 0C (32F) without feeling like my feet are just sweating uncontrollably. This is really important, because sweaty feet will get extremely cold once you get outside.
So, breathability is good! Warmth is also excellent, grip on snow and ice is top notch, and with many days of prolonged usage in snow I can confirm that waterproofing is also excellent. To top it all off, these were actually on the cheaper end of the pricing spectrum when I was comparing options from other popular winter boot brands.
If you’re planning a winter photographic expedition to popular destinations like the Canadian Rockies, Iceland, Svalbard, the Southern Ocean or Japan (anywhere with snow, really), I highly recommend these versatile winter boots if you can find them.