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Baffin Impact Review

These ultra-warm boots are huge, making them suitable only for those who spend lots of time in the extreme cold
baffin impact winter boots review
Credit: Baffin
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $261 List | $250.00 at REI
Pros:  Extremely warm, relatively durable
Cons:  Not waterproof above rubber shell, heavy, bulky, expensive
Manufacturer:   Baffin
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 23, 2022
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 10
  • Warmth - 25% 10.0
  • Weather Protection - 25% 3.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 4.0
  • Traction - 15% 6.0
  • Durability - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Baffin Impact is a super-insulated top-rated winter boot that will keep you warm at any temperature. These boots feature a removable, synthetically-insulated liner with a heat-reflective fabric, and the shell of the boot is also insulated. They absolutely kept us warm in frigid temps, but that's about all that they do well. The seams leak water, making them a poor choice for winter climates where temperatures rise above freezing. Additionally, these boots are so bulky and heavy that you won't want to wear them for anything other than standing around or doing light outdoor work in the extreme cold. However, if that's the situation you're in, you almost can't find a more suitable footwear.

Editor's Note: This gear review received an update on February 23, 2022, to provide more details about the boots we'd choose and why.

Compare to Similar Products

 
baffin impact winter boots review
This Product
Baffin Impact
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $261 List
$250.00 at REI
$159 List
$159.00 at REI
$195 List$120 List
Check Price at REI
$225 List
$239.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Extremely warm, relatively durableGreat traction, excellent fit, very comfortable, warm, affordableExtremely durable and weather resistant, excellent traction, easy on and offGreat traction, very comfortable, inexpensiveStylish, comfortable, relatively warm
Cons Not waterproof above rubber shell, heavy, bulky, expensiveOther boots are warmer, relatively low water-resistance heightNot that warm or comfortable, baggy fitNot that warm, fabric eyelets, low heightLow waterproof height, lacks traction
Bottom Line These ultra-warm boots are huge, making them suitable only for those who spend lots of time in the extreme coldThese boots are the total package, with warmth, comfort, a great fit, and a fair priceThese slip-on work boots are protective, durable, and convenient, making them perfect for outdoor winter choresThis very comfortable and inexpensive winter hiking boot has excellent traction, but won't keep you dry in deep snowThis stylish and cozy boot is built to handle most adverse winter conditions and is very comfortable
Rating Categories Baffin Impact The North Face Chil... Muck Boot Arctic Ic... Merrell Thermo Chil... UGG Butte
Warmth (25%)
10.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Weather Protection (25%)
3.0
6.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
4.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
8.0
Traction (15%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Durability (15%)
7.0
7.0
10.0
5.0
8.0
Specs Baffin Impact The North Face Chil... Muck Boot Arctic Ic... Merrell Thermo Chil... UGG Butte
Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking 4" 8" 13.5" 6.5" 6.5"
Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft) 15" 11" 13.5" 7.5" 11.5"
Measured Weight (per pair, size 13) 6.42 lbs 4.14 lbs 4.48 lbs 2.74 lbs 3.44 lbs
Appropriate Activity Chores Town, errands, chores Chores Hiking, town Town, errands
Fit Details Roomy True to size Roomy True to size True to size
Lining/Insulation Removable Comfort-Fit Liner 400g PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Eco 5mm CR Flex-Foam Neoprene w/ Fleece Lining 200g M Select Sheepskin wool
Upper Material Nylon Full-grain waterproof-leather upper 5 mm CR Flex-Foam Neoprene Waterproof polyurethane-coated leather and mesh Waterproof full-grain leather
Toe Box Rubber Rubber Spandura rubber Rubber Rubber
Outsole Polar Rubber TNF Winter Grip Rubber Vibram Arctic Grip Rubber Vibram
Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating -148 F -40 F Not listed Not listed -20 F
Animal Products? No Yes No No Yes
Sizes Available 7 - 15 7 - 14 7 - 15 7 - 15 7 - 18

Our Analysis and Test Results

We have never worn a warmer pair of winter boots. We have also never worn boots that are so heavy and bulky. Don't plan on doing anything that involves foot precision while wearing these boots, including driving.

Performance Comparison


baffin impact winter boots review - the baffin impact is a huge winter snow boot that is extremely warm.
The Baffin Impact is a huge winter snow boot that is extremely warm.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Warmth


The Baffin Impact is a very warm boot. It has two significant layers of insulation, one being the removable synthetically insulated liner and the other being the thinner fixed lining on the inside of the shell. The sole also features a honeycomb pattern platform to capture air underneath the foot, making this well-insulated boot even warmer. We never felt cold feet while wearing these boots, and we can't imagine the temperatures necessary to defeat the insulation here.


The inner liner is removable for drying purposes, but don't try to wear these boots without the liner, as the foot cavity is too large to be useful. The insulation fixed to the shell's inside isn't thick; about the thickness of the neoprene layers on the inside of most slip-on winter work boots. Combined, the two insulation layers make the warmest boot we've ever tested. But they also make the boot thick, unwieldy, and heavy.

The removable liner features tons of synthetic insulation, which is...
The removable liner features tons of synthetic insulation, which is the highest-performance insulation available in winter boots.
A look down the boot shaft reveals more insulation fixed to the...
A look down the boot shaft reveals more insulation fixed to the inside of the shell, and a honeycomb pattern in the footbed below the liner where warm air insulates the foot from below.

Weather Protection


Upon first glance, these boots look extremely waterproof. They feature a rubber shell around the foot and an incredible shaft height of 15 inches. They even have a drawcord hem at the top of the shaft, sealing out snow and cold temperatures from above. And in the well-below freezing temperatures that this boot is meant for, these boots effectively shield the foot and calf from snow and wind.


However, a closer look at the boot's construction revealed a major flaw in the waterproofing, which was verified when we submerged these boots in the deep end of the local swimming hole. The seam between the rubber shell and the leather panel around the ankles isn't sealed, and the stitching isn't tight enough to pull the leather close enough to the rubber to make it waterproof. After about ten seconds of submersion, we started to feel a leak, and after a minute, water had fully soaked through the removable liner.

baffin impact winter boots review - we noticed water coming in through the main seam between the rubber...
We noticed water coming in through the main seam between the rubber foot shell and the fabric above that. Upon further inspection, we found that the seams are not sealed or tight, allowing liquid water to penetrate easily.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

This only happened on one foot, but our closer inspection of the boot's construction gives us reason to think this will occur to any user of these boots. Beware of wearing these in above-freezing temperatures or wet environments!

baffin impact winter boots review - the deep-water submersion test was not successful for the impact.
The deep-water submersion test was not successful for the Impact.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Comfort and Fit


Unsurprisingly, the Impact are a chore to wear. The insulating liner is soft and cozy, and our foot itself never felt uncomfortable or pressured. But, due to the huge amount of insulation and thick shell materials, these boots are wide and unwieldy — we felt like we were wearing space boots. They also weigh in at nearly six and a half pounds per pair, over three pounds per boot, making them very difficult to wear if walking any distance. The shaft has two tightening straps secured by large plastic clips, and these clips do an ok job at making the boot feel tighter. However, they are so wide already that we rarely took the time to tighten them; we just slipped our feet inside and started walking.


It's not that the fit of the Impact is off — in fact, our feet felt cocooned, cozy, and didn't slide around much. But these boots are so darn wide that it is hard to imagine doing anything other than standing around or performing very basic work or chores, like brief shoveling missions. Users in the coldest winter climates at arctic latitudes may find themselves in need of these boots, but for everyone else, they are so bulky that they are hard to use.

baffin impact winter boots review - the baffin impact is a wide boot, with a comfortable fit around the...
The Baffin Impact is a wide boot, with a comfortable fit around the feet, and a scale-busting weight.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Traction


The Impact has a good tread pattern with sharp lugs that bite into snow effectively. There is enough negative space to provide purchase in powder, but not enough to absorb dry surface irregularities like rocks and gravel if used off of paved surfaces. We didn't slip on any surface covered with snow, which is a good sign for those hoping to use these boots for shoveling the drive or for highway work.


There is a circular lug pattern on the heel and ball of each foot, which we couldn't understand, and it seems gimmicky. And, there is no tread under the foot's arch, only negative space. We would like to see full-length tread with patterns like those seen on snow tires, which would improve this boot's traction on unpaved surfaces.

baffin impact winter boots review - the impact has enough traction for paved surfaces covered in snow...
The Impact has enough traction for paved surfaces covered in snow, but not enough for rocky trails and uneven ground or hillsides.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Durability


Overall, this footwear is built to last. They feature thick, hard leather lugs that won't wear down anytime soon, especially in the deep snow that they are designed for. The seams are all double-stitched for redundancy, and a toe cap helps protect the front of the boot.


The weak spot in the armor is the plastic hardware used for the front clips and the cinch cord at the top of the boot shaft. These components are flimsy and will be the first things to go. We've all broken plastic clips before, and it's no fun to deal with. One side of the front clip is fixed, so if that clip breaks, you'll have to send the boots in to get professionally repaired. Furthermore, these clips are in a high-impact area of the boot. The drawcord itself is also a weakness, which seals the boot cuff. Over time, drawcords get frayed from the sliding cinch mechanism from scratching along the surface, and they can eventually snap.

baffin impact winter boots review - the plastic clips that tighten the shaft around the calf are the...
The plastic clips that tighten the shaft around the calf are the main durability weakness.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Should You Buy the Baffin Impact?


The Baffin Impact is an incredibly warm winter Pac boot, but it isn't waterproof. It's also so huge that it makes walking hard. It is cozy and comfortable against the foot, but we can't imagine using these boots unless temperatures drop below zero and we had to spend a lot of time standing around outside in the winter. But for extreme cold, they are the best option. These boots are expensive! If you need boots this warm, they could be lifesavers and are probably worth the money, but that is such a small segment of the population that we have a hard time saying that these are a good value.

baffin impact winter boots review - the baffin impact is a warm, but bulky, winter boot for only the...
The Baffin Impact is a warm, but bulky, winter boot for only the coldest and snowiest climates.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?


If you don't need the absolute warmest boot going and you need a little more precision, then the Baffin isn't the best choice. For outdoor chores, we prefer the slip-on comfort and style of the Muck Boot Arctic Ice Mid that isn't as warm but is easier to maneuver and offers more flexibility for outdoor shoveling and such without the bulk and weight of the Baffin. If your goal is outdoor fun and you don't need a bott as tall as the Baffin, the The North Face Chilkat 400 is a well-rounded boot that can keep you warm and dry for all-day activities.

Jeff Dobronyi
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