You might laugh, but every winter I pull out those ice grippers that fit onto winter boots and keep them by my front door.
I live in the suburbs and without all of the foot traffic you get on city sidewalks, we’re often left with big patches of ice. Not exactly ideal when all a gal is trying to do is pick up the mail but instead slips and slides all the way there — and back.
So I slide on those unsightly ice cleats, pulling them over my lovely UGG Adirondack boots until I look like I’m about to go winter hunting or ice climbing, and walk to the mailbox. Or bus stop. Or neighbour’s. You get the idea.
Then, because we live in Ontario where it can be four seasons in a single day, I inevitably have to take off the ice grips off. Then put them on. And take them off again. You get the idea.
So when a European brand came along and solved a problem I didn’t even know could be fixed, I jumped at the chance to tell the world about it.
I’ve already raved plenty on my personal Facebook page and shown off my beloved Olang boots in real life. But I wanted to get through some of winter’s icier times before writing a full review for you. I can barely contain my excitement, so here we go…
No more ice grippers required! Because Olang has built steel studs that grip ice and snow right into the soles of its boots. The flip in and out when you need them to, so it’s easy and convenient to get the support you need to walk along an icy sidewalk one day vs a sunny or slushy one the next.
But in addition to functioning well and keeping you upright in slippery conditions, Olang boots look and feel good too. I’m IN LOVE with my Zaide design and wear them all the time. The Monica design that Olang also sent me are nice but not as edgy. You’ll see when you shop that there are lots of different styles — some of which are more fashion-forward and some that remain a bit conservative.
Every boot, however, is made with Olantex — a breathable membrane that makes them water-resistant. And I’ll add highly water-resistant as I’ve worn both pairs in some of the season’s wettest snow and haven’t had them leak once.
They work. Period. I’ve worn them on lots of different ice between Ontario and Quebec, and they really do work as described.
They’re easy to convert when you want the studs in or out.
Even though the faux fur that lines each boot isn’t wool, like what’s inside a pair of UGGs, I have tried to wear them without socks and found that my feet were still quite warm. (I tried this because I hate socks and that’s always why I’ve worn UGGs.)
My Zaide boots are nice and wide, which this girl with bunions appreciates. The Monicas are still doable for me, but they are a narrower fit.
Every pair of Olang boots is rated to -30, so while you may not survive in the Arctic (or Winnipeg on the coldest days) they’re suitable for most of our winters.
These are really good-quality boots. I can tell that both the uppers and soles are constructed well enough to last many winters. And with prices ranging from $188 to $285 per pair, if you get a few seasons out of them, the cost will be well worth it.
Olang boots come with extra liners that are designed to increase insulation.
But I can’t use the extra liners with either pair of boots without making them too narrow to wear comfortably. So I can’t tell you if they add heat or not. I don’t typically venture out in anything beyond -30 weather, though, either.
You just know that the little pully that helps flip the studs out of the soles was lost inside of a week. Because it’s small and I’m terribly disorganized.