As I started up the car this morning, it chirped up a large red snowflake and announced that it was -5C, which went some way to explain why it was so hard to scrape the windows and why my fingers felt like mini milks.
I had a morning of working on a charity stall ahead and wasn’t looking forward to standing on cold concrete, with the chill coming up through my feet for the next 4 hours. So I turned to the Hi-Tec St. Moritz Snow Boots, which are a great-looking and chunky pair of suede boots designed for cold, snowy weather.
Most noticeable about the St. Moritz is the huge tongue of faux-fur which runs up behind the laces. It makes it look like the boots are so tightly packed with bearskin that the fur is cascading out, but in actual fact it’s largely cosmetic and the inside of the boot is lined with a thick Thinsulate fleece material, which is seriously warm and wicking. They’re a bit too warm for wearing indoors, and can result in sweaty feet quite quickly.
The boots don’t feature a tongue, but rather a more welly-like construction which makes the lacing system unnecessary if you’re just slipping these on to go to the shops. The sizing seems quite accurate and snug due to the abundant lining, and the laces can be employed for a nice tight fit if you’re wearing the St. Moritz on uneven ground.
The soles of the St. Moritz are quite impressive in grip, even on slippery surfaces. We haven’t had any ice to test them on, but frosty slopes aren’t a problem. There’s plenty of depth to the tread to help you through snow or even mud. Although, in the case of deep mud, the suede and fur uppers of these boots is going to get dirty quickly.
The suede is waterproofed, and whilst they don’t feature a waterproof membrane, the seams have been cemented to keep dampness from creeping in at any edges when you’re ankle deep in snow. Rain runs off the faux fur nicely, but it hasn’t yet been hard enough to know if it will eventually saturate and let wetness through. It doesn’t feel like there’s any layer of protection between fur and Thinsulate.
The front and rear of the boot have great big plastic bumpers to protect your feet from anything sharp and nasty lurking in the snow. The midsole is also pretty thick at the edges to help both cup and protect your foot from the trail. Comfort-wise, all this foam makes for a cushioned walk which is pretty disassociated from the trail. It’s moderately stiff when new and a steel shank in the sole makes for a nicely stable walk. It doesn’t have the same sort of feel as a walking boot, but you get the impression of a good deal of ankle support from the sheer snugness of the boot.
At £80, the St. Moritz boots are well priced for winter. They’d make a great day-walk boot recreational boot for girls about town, and look amazing with skinny jeans.
SUMMARY: Hi-Tec’s St. Moritz boot is very, very warm and snug, and a comfortable all-day wear. They provide moderate support for well-made trails and look the part everywhere from the high-street to the field. They’re sold as waterproof, but don’t have a membrane, so could saturate in really bad weather. I’d be concerned about wearing them in dirty, muddy conditions because of getting the fur and suede soggy and ruined.