The Vans Standard Snow MTE is a stylish Pac boot with a smaller profile than toerh large and cumbersome models in our best winter boots review. It is insulated with a removable felt liner and features a rubber shell around the foot and leather uppers. This creates a relatively warm and protective package for your feet, but not as much as other similar options. The boot's traction suffers from small and shallow lugs, making these more suitable for dry pavement than wet and snowy surfaces. They're stylish and might be a good option for users who want to look hip while wearing Pac boots, but for the warmth and weather resistance to protect you every day of the winter, look at other footwear.Editor's Note: We performed an update on this gear review on February 23, 2022, to provide more information designed to help you with your buying decision.
Vans Standard Snow MTE Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, decent weather protection and warmth
Cons: Poor traction, not as warm as other options
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Vans Standard Snow MTE has an interesting look that combines classic Pac boot styling with a skateboard shoe aesthetic. We aren't sold on the style but can appreciate that many users will think it looks appealing and unique.
The Standard Snow has a removable felt liner that provides all of the insulation. In our experience, felt provides decent warmth, but not as much as synthetic insulation. Our testing showed that these boots aren't as warm as other Pac boots, likely due to a thinner insulating layer than other models. The sole is thinner than other models, and we noticed that the bottoms of our feet became cold if we stood in the snow for a couple of minutes. These boots lack the insulation that thebest winter boots provide, but this helps them remain relatively light — at least for a Pac boot. This also allows a better fit than other large winter boots. These trade-offs might be worth it if you live in a warmer winter climate where only the occasional snowstorm blows through because they will perform well across the board in mild winter weather and still be just fine for a cold day here and there. But if you live in a climate where temperatures are consistently below freezing, these boots aren't warm enough.
The Standard Snow MTE has two layers like other Pac boots. The outer shell is rubber around the foot and leather in the upper. The nylon tongue is waterproof, and the weak spot in the armor is where the tongue ends and the leather upper begins. This low point in the tongue is 8 inches off the ground, meaning that these boots will remain waterproof until submerged more than 8 inches. This is about average for the boots we tested, but on the low end for Pac boots, which are designed to provide maximum weather resistance. Most people rarely submerge their feet in water deeper than 8 inches, but this measurement gives an objective comparison. Also, the top of the boot shaft is 11.5 inches off the ground, which is about average for Pac boots, meaning they'll provide great protection from deep snowdrifts and are adequately tall for use in snowy winter climates.
Comfort and Fit
These boots are more comfortable and better fitting than other Pac boots on the market. They have a relatively thin liner, which creates a better fit, and the toe box isn't too large. They fit our feet better than most winter boots. The lacing system is well-designed and allows the user to cinch the boot tight from the foot's arch all the way to the top of the boot shaft.
The Standard Snow has a sole that is not designed well enough to grip slippery surfaces. The small lugs allow for plenty of negative space, but the lugs are small and round, which isn't great for traction. Also, the lugs aren't deep, meaning these boots will simply pack down the snow beneath them and create more slips. However, the Vans rubber bites well on hard surfaces and provides good traction.
These boots have reasonable durability, thanks to heavy-duty materials. The sole rubber is relatively soft, which provides good friction for walking on dry pavement, but soft rubber also wears down quickly, making the tread less effective. Also, our experience with felt liners has shown that they tend to wear thin and pack out quickly. There is a lot of exposed stitching. We can't find a structural reason for the horizontal stitching on the leather uppers, and we assume it is for style. Still, these stitches aren't redundant, making them susceptible to quick wear and subsequent unraveling.
Should You Buy the Vans Standard Snow MTE?
The Vans Standard Snow MTE is a decent Pac boot with modest warmth and weather resistance. It has plenty of performance for most temperate winter climates and great traction on dry surfaces, making these boots a good choice for mild winter climates that experience the occasional snowstorm if you like the style. But if you need a Pac boot for the warmth and weather resistance they are known for, this isn't the boot for you. These boots come at an average price for Pac boots, but cheaper options perform better. They are certainly less expensive than the most protective boots on the market, and they may provide you with an adequate level of weather protection if you don't live in the coldest and wettest winter climates. If you like the style and don't need maximum protection, these could be a good value, though users who need better performance can find it for less money.
What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?
We really love the The North Face Chilkat 400 II for outdoor time in the winter. It has impressive performance in our tests for warmth and weather protection. It also offers better traction and durability for a similar price point. It is a great all-around boot that is good for almost any outdoor fun or chore.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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