Very comfortable and fashion-forward, the smart Columbia Slopeside Village Omni-Heat High offer good warmth for winter travels. A stylish boot, they’re certainly not out of their depth in an après ski setting, but the internal tech and grippy sole will also keep feet warm when you’re out and about walking. That said, you’re unlikely to want to get these too messed up in the mud and sludge of any seriously technical trails, and that’s not what they’re designed for.
- Soft and comfortable
- Odd sizing
Okay, so the Columbia Slopeside Village Omni-Heat High boots do look a bit like ski bunny wear – but these faux fur-lined shoes are designed with substance as well as style in mind, and are deliciously warm and comfy to wear as well as waterproof enough to repel snow.
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A quilted lining and 200g of insulation make these boots as cosy on your feet as your favourite slippers, and they are also lined with Columbia’s own-brand Omni Heat technology – which uses little silver dots to trap and reflect body heat and keep feet snug even in sub-zero conditions.
•RRP: $120 (US) / £115 (UK) / €130 (EU)
•Insulation: Omni-Heat reflective lining
•Compatibility: These very comfortable lined boots are great for ski holidays
In the field
The combination of insulation and the thermo-reflective power of the Omni Heat technology made these boots impressively warm on test. In terms of functionality, the laces are easy to adjust, so despite that glam-looking wide fur-lined cuff, you can either achieve a really snug and warm fit around your legs by lacing tightly for more challenging walks, or leave these tall boots loose on more casual strolls. The soles of the Slopesides also proved very good on test, offering decent grip on icy pavements and snowy trails alike. As the name suggests, these boots are a great choice for wearing when you’re not busy skiing on a winter sports holiday, or for popping on for daily walks in the winter months, especially if comfort is at the top of your wish list. Did we have any quibbles when testing these boots out? The fit of the Columbia Slopeside Village Omni-Heat Highs is definitely way off – we couldn’t even fit our feet into our normal size – so go at least one size up, especially if you have wide feet or plan to wear thicker socks (as many walkers will do in mid winter). A mid-height version of the Slopeside is also available but we prefer the extra warmth, dryness and support the taller boot offers.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.
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