Classy looking and capable in the white stuff, Columbia’s Slopeside Peak Luxe deliver on all fronts (but beware the paler colors, which become scruffy very quickly).
Attractive urban looks
The white colorway looks dirty easily
Not very breathable
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Columbia Slopeside Peak Luxe: first impressions
We like the look of this rather sporty Columbia Slopeside Peak Luxe snow boot, which combines the urban feel and oversized sole of your favorite trainer with added technical oomph suitable for wear in chilly conditions (namely a waterproof outer membrane and a cozy shearling fleece inner liner). But does that mean it’s a contender for our Best women’s winter boots buying guide?
• List price: $130 (US) / £115 (UK)
• Insulation: Omni-Heat
• Main material: Suede
• Weight: 550g / 1lb 3.4oz
• Sizes: 3-10
• Colors: White / Black / Gray
• Compatibility: A good all-rounder winter boot, especially in freezing conditions
The Columbia Women’s Slopeside Peak Luxe Snow Boot also uses the brand’s own Omni-Heat technology to trap in warmth – tiny gold dots reflect body heat very well (so well that we’d only use these boots in proper cold weather, otherwise your feet are likely to sweat quite vigorously).
The chunky soles offer good grip, and we found the Peak Luxe waterproof enough to tackle snow. so they’re deal for frosty snow days in the city as well as ski holidays. But if you're after something for serious winter trekking and venturing into the more challenging parts of the mountains, you'll be served better by our roundup of the best winter hiking boots.
Columbia Slopeside Peak Luxe: in the field
The recent cold snap gripping Britain has had an upside – plenty of time to test out Columbia’s Slopeside Peak Luxe boot, designed for frosty snow days. I tested out the all-white version of this smart boot, which does look a little like something the tres fashionable would sport to après ski rather than a practical boot for winter wear, at least at first glance. But once you do pop these comfy boots on, they prove ready to perform.
Like a lot of Columbia’s winter-ready clothing, these boots are lined with the brand’s clever Omni-Heat material (see also the Columbia Omni-Heat 3D Knit Crew II base layer shirt and the Columbia Slopeside Village Omni-Heat High boot). This uses tiny gold-colored dots that reflect your body heat back at you, trapping in more warmth. I’ve always found this material delivers some welcome extra warmth on test when lining jackets, and it works for footwear too – these boots feel instantly warm and cozy when you lace them up, and I didn’t notice the cold biting my toes even in temperatures of -5.
The lacing system gives a snug fit and I liked the faux fur that fringes the top of the boots and helps keep snow and rain out and warmth in. The bouncy soles are decent too, offering good grip on icy surfaces. I did find the boots to lack breathability in warmer weather – stick to wearing them in the snow rather than on milder winter walks. The Slopeside Peaks are also fully waterproof, effectively repelling snow even when I trod through drifts of the stuff.
While the white boots proved warm and grippy, I’d stick to choosing the black or gray colorways over the snow-white – after a few days of wearing them on slushy roads, the suede outer was dirty and stained.
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.