On those frigid snowshoeing days, keeping your feet (and other extremities) warm is of utmost importance. One boot not to be overlooked for those outings is the Men’s Wolverine ShiftPlus Polar Range BOA Winter Boot. This boot has a few features that make it ideal for snowshoeing. I’ve had the opportunity to test and review this Wolverine boot and break down the features below.
The Wolverine ShiftPlus Polar Range BOA Winter Boots are some of the warmest boots I’ve tried. The reason is that they use an incredibly warm, synthetic insulation, 600g PrimaLoft® Gold Aerogel.
I’ve tested these down to about 15°F (-10°C), and my feet never got cold. I’d assume these boots are warm until about 0°F (-18°C) with regular crew socks. If you wear thicker merino wool socks or layer your socks, these boots could keep your feet warm even below 0°F.
Due to the level of insulation, I wouldn’t recommend these boots in temperatures above freezing (32°F) as your feet would likely get too warm.
Of course, I can’t review these Wolverine boots without addressing one of the most interesting features. The Wolverine ShiftPlus Polar Range BOA Winter Boot uses a BOA Fit System closure instead of shoelaces.
I’ve used the BOA before, and in practice, I’ve found the BOA very user-friendly. Since the BOA is a dial, I can easily adjust the boots’ tightness without removing my gloves. I’ve found this perk extremely useful when I get a half-mile down the trail and I want to tighten my boots. I can twist the BOA rather than having to sit down, remove my gloves, and retie my boots. If you prefer, though, these boots come in a standard shoelace version for a lower price.
With all the positive aspects of the BOA, there is one caveat I found. Since the BOA offers excellent ankle support (compared to the non-BOA version), the boots fit very snugly and are pretty tricky to get on and off. So, I’ve had to loosen the boots significantly to get them off.
To me, the extra effort is not a dealbreaker because the process of loosening them is much easier than standard shoelace boots. But, just something to keep in mind, and with that said, I’d still recommend getting the BOA version of these boots.
The materials used for the Wolverine ShiftPlus Polar Range BOA Winter Boot are a full-grain leather upper and a breathable moisture-wicking membrane. What does this mean? These boots are breathable but completely waterproof. I’ve put these boots in streams and puddles multiple times. They never leaked, and my feet remained dry.
I weighed these boots, and one boot comes in at 690g, and another comes in at 700g. That’s 1400g or 3lbs, 3 oz per pair. This weight is actually on the lighter end of the scale for 600g insulated boots. Furthermore, these boots are more lightweight than many 400g boots. So, overall, 1400 g is relatively light, especially considering the full ankle support.
The boot’s tread is their Vibram® Arctic Grip outsole, a very soft rubber compound. In my review, I’ve found this grips on all forms of ice and is an excellent outsole in these Wolverine boots. That said, I wonder about the durability of these rubber compounds on rocks and gravel.
Sometimes, softer rubber compounds tend to tear quicker when up against sharp rock edges. But, you most likely won’t be wearing these boots in anything but snow and ice due to the insulation, so I wouldn’t call that a problem for these boots.
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The Fit & Comfort
Fit and comfort are your personal preference. As I mentioned, getting the boot on and off is tight because of the BOA closure. But once on, they’re very comfortable to wear. Personally, I’ve had no discomfort in my feet or no blisters after a few hours of hiking. I’d argue that these boots are very comfortable compared to all boots I’ve worn and used.
It feels like their natural habitat is on top of a pair of snowshoes. The Wolverine ShiftPlus Polar Range BOA Winter Boot is stiff enough to handle the snowshoe crampons, yet not too stiff to where walking is difficult. Also, since the boot has stiff ankle support, they are excellent when walking on “potato-like” and unstable snow on packed trails and without snowshoes.
Also, these boots have DuraSpring cushioning in the midsole for long-lasting comfort, and for extra support, the boots offer a removable full-cushion low-density footbed. If you like to use insoles for your boots, I’d recommend trying them out first before buying them, as the footbed feels like a well-fitted insole itself.
Overall, since there are so many types of feet, you need to figure out what’s best for you. So, it’s always best to try before you buy if possible. Luckily, this boot comes with Wolverine’s 30-day comfort guarantee, so you can try them out before making your final decision.
In conclusion, Wolverine made some very excellent winter boots with the ShiftPlus Polar Range BOA Winter Boot. These boots have all of the features I want from a winter boot and are particularly good for anybody who routinely snowshoes in freezing temperatures.
Keep in mind, though, to test these boots’ fit beforehand since they are tight when getting on and off. Once on, though, the insulation, grip, and comfortable soles make this an excellent snowshoeing boot.
Would you use or have you used these boots? What is your review of the Wolverine ShiftPlus Polar Range BOA Winter Boots? Please share your thoughts and insights with us in the comments below.
This article was first published on December 29, 2020, and was most recently updated on September 22, 2022. Wolverine provided the pair of ShiftPlus Polar Range BOA Winter Boots for testing. The opinions and experiences expressed in this article are entirely the author’s own.