Test rider Steve has been at this snowmobiling game for quite a while – with a riding history that dates back into the 1970s, starting with brands like Chaparral up to his current fleet of Ski-Doos. But last winter, he had to learn anew how to put on his boots.
No, he didn’t suffer a catastrophic medical condition – instead, he got a new style of boot from Arctiva that features a truly unique system for providing warmth and comfort.
The Advance Boot features what amounts to an internal slipper with an open back. First you slide your foot into that cozy slipper – or, technically, the “insulated insole with toebox” – and then you stuff your slipper-wearing foot into the boot. That may sound cumbersome, and the first time it does seem odd, but by the second ride it seemed natural.
Out in the elements, the design shined. Feet stayed comfy in a variety of riding conditions – in fact, possibly too warm on riding days above freezing. The boots are rated to minus 40 degrees, but a lot of other boots we’ve worn brag of similar ratings and then don’t live up to the promise. These boots did – thanks to 200 gram Thinsulate in the boot, with an additional 200 grams in the slipper, resulting in 400 grams across the toes.
If you do sweat-up the boots during a fun day of riding, not to worry: These boots dry more quickly than traditional designs because of the way the whole toebox is removed. Instead of just pulling out a removable insole, the damp insulation that is in front and on top of your toes comes out, too, and can easily air dry overnight.
Steve had other reasons to adore his size 10 Arctiva Advance Boots as well. The sturdy 12-inch tall exterior of the boot provided protection and durability, but they were also flexible enough to allow for easy walking – whether strolling out to a scenic overlook where the trail ends or clearing the driveway before heading out for a ride. Plus, the sole of the boot provided decent traction, and Arctiva’s waterproof claim proved legitimate when walking around in slushy snow helping a wayward friend get unstuck.
The boots even looked good – florescent/hi-viz laces, lace pulls and pull straps added just enough style without being overwhelming (though an all-black option is also available for those who prefer boots without any flare).
Editor’s Note: This review was originally published in the October 2020 issue of Snow Goer. Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.