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It’s no understatement to say a proper pair of winter boots is essential to my quality of life. Between Canada's piercing-cold temperatures and record-setting snowfalls, boots have long helped me stay warm, dry, and safe during the most grueling winters. I’ve worn my fair share of styles—sometimes eight months out of the year—so I know a good pair when I see one. For me, those just happen to be the Ugg Adirondacks, a sturdy $250 winter boot lined with Uggs’ signature plush shearling.
In the five years that I’ve owned them, I’ve not once had to retire early for the day due to cold feet. Here’s a breakdown of the good and the not-so-good, so you can find out if Ugg Adirondacks are the right boots for you.
What I love about Ugg Adirondack boots
Like a bra, boots are usually one of those things you want to slip off as soon as you get home. The Ugg Adirondacks are so comfortable, I’ve looked for any opportunity to wear them, and even immersed myself in temperatures I’d normally dread just to sink my feet into their plush interiors. I can confirm that they keep you warm in temperatures as low as -25.6 degrees Fahrenheit, as the brand claims. Wearing them in veritable ice storms over the years, my feet were the warmest part of my body. Unlike other boots I’ve worn in the past, I don’t feel the need to pile on multiple layers of socks because the boots do just fine providing insulation on their own.
While they look bulky and have a thick tongue, tufts of shearling poking out, and a wide toe box, they’re surprisingly light on my feet, at just one pound each. In the five years that I’ve owned them, I haven’t found a single nick or stitch out of place on the leather and suede upper. I chalk that up to the durable double stitching on high-wear areas of the boot because I’ve taken them on a serious winter hike or six.
If you’re prone to slipping, take solace in the fact that the boots truly shine in the traction department. Thanks to a rubber Vibram outsole—which is used on everything from hiking boots to athletic shoes—I feel stable and secure walking across streets coated with sheets of ice. The outsole contains plenty of channels, lugs, and treads to move slush out of the way while latching onto ice so that neither compromise your gait. Due to their generous arch and removable cushioned shearling footbed, the boot feels as comfortable as a walking shoe. While wearing them, I’ve even run at full speed to catch the bus and felt zero pain or unsteadiness and plenty of support around my ankles.
The classic Uggs we’ve all been wearing since the early aughts are notoriously difficult to clean, and tend to accumulate enough salt stains to compromise the color and structural integrity of the boot. Not only are the Adirondacks easy to wipe down with a damp cloth, they repel the majority of dirt in the first place. Their waterproof, full-grain leather and suede upper allow water and dirt to glide off easily, so you’re less likely to get wet feet that can put you at risk of frost bite or worse. I like that I can customize the look by rolling down the collar to reveal the inner shearling lining. Said lining contains tiny pores that allow your feet to breathe, and I appreciate this feature when I wear the boots indoors for several hours at a time without overheating.
Since I bought the Adirondack IIs in 2016, Ugg released the Adirondack IIIs, which are essentially the same boot but offer deeper lugs for improved traction. I can’t speak to how well they perform on ice, but Reviewed's expert named them as one of the best women’s boots for their superior grip.
What I don't like about Ugg Adirondack boots
This is a small quibble, but it is worth noting: Because the boot is quite bulky, the laces feel extra short. The only way I've found to secure them properly is to really pull the laces—more than I'm used to—in order to be able to tie a proper bow. I have a high instep, so to circumvent having to lace them up super tightly, I leave them unlaced like slip-ons. This makes them great for sliding on when I need to run out for a quick errand. If you also go this route, you'll want to ensure that no more than a couple inches of lace are poking out from the eyelet to prevent tripping. Better yet, tuck those laces inside for a cleaner look.
The boots come in both standard and tall versions. While this is no fault of the brand, you may get your legs wet, as I have, if you opt for the shorter option and run into puddles.
The brand says the boots—which come in women's sizes 5 to 12—run small and that you should order half a size up. I’m a true size 6 and ordered the size 6 without any tightness issues. Therefore, sizing might be your biggest hurdle if you’re ordering online.
Are Uggs Adirondacks worth buying?
If you’re having, ahem, cold feet about buying the Adirondacks, rest assured, they’ll only make a freezing winter more bearable. Because mine have held their shape, retained their cushioned footbed, and maintained adequate traction for half a decade, I’ve saved tons of money not having to invest in several pairs of boots. While the price is a little steep at $250, I look at it as $50 per year to improve my quality of life when days are shorter, colder, and, quite frankly, a bit of a bummer. Without my Adirondacks to lean on, I may not have discovered that winter isn’t so bad after all.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.