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Thread: Cold weather boots with felt liner (PAC boots)

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    Default Cold weather boots with felt liner (PAC boots)

    Dear Alaskans,

    I am not quite from Alaska, I am actually from Latvia, but I dream of living in some northern territory some day, such as Alaska or Lapland. I adore winter and one of my favourite hobbies is to hike on a cold day.

    We have a rather mild maritime climate in Latvia, but sometimes temperature drops to -30 - -35 degrees Celsius.

    Preparing for the next harsh winters forecast by Joe *******i, I have bought cold weather boots with felt liners, rated to -74 Celsius (if it is allowed, I will post the model and the manufacturer info here later). I have several questions in regard to these boots.

    Firstly, do felt liners suffer from moth? Do I have to put laurel leaves near the boots while they are in storage?

    Secondly, there are no spare liners for sale for my model, sadly . Why would the manufacturer do that? The liners I have seem to be the thickest and warmest made by this company, while liners rated to -60 C are available. The real question is how long it takes to dry a 20 mm thick felt liner after a day's hike. Can I expect to wear my boots on a daily basis during cold spells? Will the liners air-dry in 8-10 hours? I have read that I should not heat the liners in any way. Is there a possibility to find 20-mm thick liners of some other manufacturer that would do the trick?

    What is more, what socks is it best to wear with such boots? I have found thermal socks for cold and very cold weather, medium to high activity levels, consisting mainly of merino wool and some synthetic fibers. Or is it best to wear thermolite socks in felt-lined PAC boots? For temperatures about -20 Celsius or higher, is it wise to wear socks made for hot (summer) temperatures of Coolmax material?

    Any other relevant experience of using PAC boots in the town or outdoors would be much appreciated.

    Thank you in advance!

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    I have noticed that the forum engine does not like the surname of a famous american meteorologist, since it partially resembles a curse-word. I did not mean any harm

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Without knowing the manufacturer of your boots, I can't tell you anything specifically about them.

    Generally I've never heard of issues with moths and wool liners.

    When I lived further north than I currently do now (stuck in Aleutian Hell maritime climate), I liked the Sorel boots made by Kauffman in Canada. Sadly they went out of business and are being manufactured in China for Columbia now and aren't as good as they used to be in my opinion nor do they offer as many models. The best pack boots now are LaCross, Kamik and Baffin. I prefer the LaCrosse Iceman's for long exposure to extreme cold and sno-go trips.

    I always pulled my liners everynight to dry by the stove and they dried just fine overnight. A nylon or polypro undersock with a wool sock over top will work very well for keeping your feet warm and dry. It won't hurt anything to wear them everyday. I found very early that they aren't necessary for wear in town.

    In most cases you can adapt another manufacturer's liners to your boots. Back in the day when I was marching in Uncle Sam's Arctic Legions, we were issued aviator mukluks to wear in the extreme cold. Problem was they had a thin wool liner that wasn't much thicker than a blanket and failed to keep my feet warm down past -20* F.

    I bought a pair of 15" Sorel liners a size bigger than my foot size, added two wool felt insoles and placed my issue liners inside the Sorel liner. With the liners and added insoles there was more than an inch of wool felt between my feet and the ground and it never did get cold enough to make my feet cold in those things afterward even during the winter of 1989 during a training exercise where the temps dropped down to -60* for about three weeks.

    Wished I'd have conveniently "lost" them when I got out.

    BTW, we'd be happy to have you here.
    Now what ?

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    Thank you for welcoming me here. Alaska is by all means an attractive place. I wish I could come there someday as a tourist. By the way, I have seen all the episodes of Northern Exposure for two times now . I don't know if real alaskans admire the show, but I am quite into it.

    I read forum rules and haven't found any restrictions towards posting the model of my boots. What I have bought are Kamik Everest boots with a 20 mm Zylex 4F liner.

    Your idea about using two layers of socks is interesting. Since the boots I have bought are quite tight on my foot, can I use thin synthetic sock and a somewhat thin woolblend sock over it? Could you hint me on the thin synthetic sock displayed somewhere in the Internet, since I haven't seen any of them yet?

    Why do you state that PAC boots are not necessary in town? As I have heard, for instance, in Fairbanks temperatures in winter are usually around -30 C and sometimes even lower. I am planning to use these boots when it is -20 C or lower outside, in warmer times wearing my fall shoes with woolblend socks, which are really warm.

    What is the approximate air temperature in which you are usually drying your liners by the stove? Is it much higher than the room temperature?

    Thanks again for your informative answer.

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Could you hint me on the thin synthetic sock displayed somewhere in the Internet, since I haven't seen any of them yet?
    Nylon mens dress sock work great as a liner sock or you can find polypropylene liner sock at outfitters such as http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___01095

    You can probably find replacement boot liners there too.

    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/...ds=boot+liners

    Why do you state that PAC boots are not necessary in town? As I have heard, for instance, in Fairbanks temperatures in winter are usually around -30 C and sometimes even lower. I am planning to use these boots when it is -20 C or lower outside, in warmer times wearing my fall shoes with woolblend socks, which are really warm.
    They're too hot if you are going to be going in and out of buildings and vehicles. I lived in Fairbanks and the interior villages along the Yukon River for many years and for a trip from home to shop in town, the extreme cold weather boots weren't really necessary for the short exposure time that I'd have outside.

    What is the approximate air temperature in which you are usually drying your liners by the stove? Is it much higher than the room temperature?

    Depends on how much wood I throw on the fire.

    Just the heat that radiated down onto the liners. Gloves, boots and liners always get dumped near the stove. The air is pretty dry in interior Alaska and arctic slope. When the temperatures drop it gets even drier. As a result depending on the boot, if it isn't laced up tight, your feet will stay relatively dry during normal activity anyway. The liners tend to dry out in a couple hours when pulled from the boot.

    Your idea about using two layers of socks is interesting. Since the boots I have bought are quite tight on my foot, can I use thin synthetic sock and a somewhat thin woolblend sock over it?


    Yup. That's the general idea. The liner sock is there as a moisture transport to pull perspiration away from your foot and transport it to the outside where it can't conduct cold back to your foot as easily. The outer sock is your insulative layer and to a lesser degree transports foot perspiration to the boot liner. Plus the tiny space between sock layers is an insulative dead air space too. It all adds up.

    You also want to make sure there's plenty of room inside your boot with the thickest socks you'll be wearing. Maintaining good blood circulation is another part of keeping your feet warm. Buy your boots a size larger if you need to.
    Now what ?

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    Thanks for your replies. One more question that's bothering me - are my Kamik Everest boots rated to -74 degrees Celsius on the assumption that I'll be wearing thick wool socks with them? If I wear approximately 3mm woolblend sock, or, say, a double-layer Thermolite sock (rated to -30 C), what will be the adjusted temperature rating of the boots?

    P.S. I understand that this rating is subject to many factors and states comfortable tempeature while moving. Will I feel OK in these boots and a thermolite sock, say, at -40 degrees Celsius while not moving?

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    My converter says -74* C is -101.2* F. I think you'll be just fine and that you'd have to be outside inactive in extreme cold for a long period of time before your feet started feeling the cold.
    Now what ?

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    I suggest getting some heated shoesfor the cold weather.
    If you do feel the need to order online, take a look at these:
    http://www.heatedshoe.com

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    Recently I have found out that my size 11 (EUR 45) Kamik Everest PAC boots were too big for me (heel lift problem). Luckily, the winter hasn't come and I haven't worn them yet (except at home). So I went to the shop and exchanged them for the same model, but size 10 (EUR 43). Now it feels that they might be a tad narrow for my foot (somehow I haven't noticed that while trying them on in the shop, must have been too excited ). They have a 2 cm thick felt liner.

    What I would like to know is how much and over how long will the felt liner pack with wear? Can I expect it to become some 3-5 mm wider after some wear? What is more, I have read about russian felt boots that they tend to shrink in length, while becoming bigger in width. How to PAC boot liners behave? Do they shrink in length?

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    The felt liners will conform to the shape of your foot eventually, get compressed and lose a little insulating loft in the material. Just replace them every couple or three years depending on how well they wear and you'll be fine.
    Now what ?

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    There is a problem - Kamik doesn't sell replacement liners for my boots, at least for now. My boots feature a Zylex 4F liner. How do you think, is it possible to insert Zylex 2F liner after 4F wears out? 2F is thinner and has a worse temperature rating (only -50 C, while 4F has -74 C), but it's available separately. 2F is 13 mm thick, while 4F is 20 mm thick. Should I order the same size for the new 2F liner, or one size bigger? Maybe I should wear thick wool socks with 2F liner? Or do you know any other manufacturer that sells 20mm thick replacement liners? The problem is that I will have to order online, so I need to be pretty sure the liner will fit.

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    4F is multilayer liner? (http://www.kamik.com/product/liners/...x-2f-liner/901)

    Style # XK0888 (0 ratings)



    Features



    • Comfort Rated -58ºF/-50ºC
    • Reinforced seams provide superior durability
    • Layer 1: 2mm Minktex wicks perspiration away from the foot and eliminates odor-causing bacteria
    • Layer 2: 7mm Foam insulation traps warm air and conforms to the foot
    • Layer 3: 4 mm Black polyester felt blend traps body heat while wicking moisture away from the foot
    • Layer 4: 2mm Thermal Foil provides a deflective barrier against the cold. This layer allows dampness to escape while trapping body heat and keeping it close to the foot.
    • EXTRA 11mm Zylex™ Insole - 60% Polypropylene + 40% Polyester

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    Yes, 4F is a multi-layer liner similar in construction to 2F. I could find its description in the previous version of their website, but now I can't.

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    Default Boot research question...

    Though the previous posts have been helpful, I'm looking to streamline my search for a good cold winter boot. I'm female (if that's relevant), and I've been looking at the following models so far: a Baffin boot rated to -40 degrees F and one rated -148 F, A Khombu boot rated to -20 F and a Columbia boot rated to -25 F. I would like to use these boots for everyday winter use as well as for an upcoming winter camping trip. I should note that I live in Illinois, and while I don't think here or anywhere we'd go would even get as cold as -40F or lower, I would like to be prepared, in the event of fluke weather, crazy climate change, etc. There's only a 10 dollar price difference between the two Baffin models I've looked at, the Khombu is slightly cheaper and the Columbia boot is least expensive, though I'd rather pay the extra if it's going to make a big enough difference. So, what advice does anyone here have for me? I certainly appreciate your input!
    Last edited by VeranoVerde; 10-27-2011 at 20:03. Reason: misquoted item

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    Quote Originally Posted by VeranoVerde View Post
    Though the previous posts have been helpful, I'm looking to streamline my search for a good cold winter boot. I'm female (if that's relevant), and I've been looking at the following models so far: a Baffin boot rated to -40 degrees F and one rated -148 F, A Khombu boot rated to -20 F and a Columbia boot rated to -25 F. I would like to use these boots for everyday winter use as well as for an upcoming winter camping trip. I should note that I live in Illinois, and while I don't think here or anywhere we'd go would even get as cold as -40F or lower, I would like to be prepared, in the event of fluke weather, crazy climate change, etc. There's only a 10 dollar price difference between the two Baffin models I've looked at, the Khombu is slightly cheaper and the Columbia boot is least expensive, though I'd rather pay the extra if it's going to make a big enough difference. So, what advice does anyone here have for me? I certainly appreciate your input!
    I have no experience with the specific boots you list, so can't help you there, sorry. Plenty of others will likely chime in eventually, and you'll get as many opinions as there are boots.

    I can say I have used a pair of these: http://northernoutfitters.com/~northe53/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68&products _id=187 for about 15 years now, in the most extreme conditions you can imagine. I have recently purchased a new set of liners for them and after lots and lots of use they are still going strong. These are designed to be worn without socks, or with a very thin liner sock at most. I can say without exaggeration that if your feet get cold in these boots, it will only be because you are deceased.

    For hunting, snowshoeing, winter logging, and other such activities, I also use a pair if traditional insulated rubber bottom leather top pac boots by Schnees: http://www.schnees.com/product/2613/schnees-footwear If you're at all active, these boots are realistically warm to at least -40F. I think Schnees builds the best boot of this type. They are very durable, and will last for decades of serious use.

    Good luck with your search and choice.
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Thank you I.O.T.T. for your quick reply...I will be checking out the ones you've mentioned promptly!

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    Will you be hiking in them? Not many boots are going to be warm and not bulky or heavy. The Northern outfitters boot is awesome, but huge too. One thing I like is a winter boot with a removable liner. This is key for getting them dried out easier. If I'm not using my bunny boots then I am wearing my predator extremes from cabelas. Was recommended these a while back and have put them to the test. The liners can be replaced and they even have a pouch under the toe that holds a foot warmer. I haven't used this feature but my sister has and seems to help.

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    @ M.E. I may or may not be hiking in them; again I'd like the most versatility possible for both warmth and outdoor activity. I really need to know if I really need a temperature rating as high as the -148 for terrain that doesn't usually even dip that low into sub-zero air temps (I don't ever remember any forecasts of anything lower than - 20/25 with wind chill - very very rare ) or if I'd be fine with a -40 rating...so maybe some clarification on what the ratings mean and how they factor into windchill, or whether I should just err on the side of warmth and go with the highest warmth rating possible. Yeah, I checked out those boots by Northern Outfitters, and would totally purchase them if I were going into that kind of terrain. But, as I will not be exposing myself to air temps as low as -100 degrees or under (not even -60 degrees - again, unless there is some very oddball climate change it doesn't get that cold in this region), then I'd simply like a good happy medium between not warm enough for possibly consistent very cold temps in the city and prepared for an expedition to Antarctica. I was told that one can be too warm as well and wouldn't want that to be the case, though I don't know it it applies to feet as well.

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    i've been using the baffin borneo rated to -148f (which is a little unrealistic) but have had my feet stay warm down to around -40f. its a great boot and i highly reccomend baffins. my wife has some with the same temp rating and generally says her feet stay warm. i usually just wear thick smart wool socks and have no probs with cold feet. they aren't too bad to walk in however the liners start to wear out quicker. i used to use sorrels but wouldn't use them again after having my baffins. then there's always the ever popular bunny boot. i dont put much stock into the temp ratings because there's no way any boots are going to keep warm at 150 below zero. basically the lower the rating the bigger and heavier your boots going to be. if its going to be -20 i'd say go with -80 or -100 degree boot and you'll be comfortable. if you go with a -40f boot i bet your feet will be cold at -20f. i think the rating scale is way off if you ask me.

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    @Cjustinm - Thanks for the reply! I went ahead and bought the boots with the -40 rating (there was quite a window between replies) around 3 o'clock cst since I was getting antsy and because I didn't want to miss out on getting one of three left in my size (at the price they were). If you're saying that my feet would be cold at -20, is that wind chill or actual temp? That is the distinction that seems to be most difficult to make and most important. In the Mid west the wind chills get that low sometimes, but usually not for extended periods. I am planning on using these to do some camping and limited hiking, but not much else in the way of rigorous activity, so I'm guessing I'll be okay. I am also a fan of smart wool, so on that end I think I'm covered too...

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