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Get to Know: Kodiak Boots

I have been accused of many things. Like not knowing when to use A’post’raphe’s’ and focusing on mountain hikes when some of the readers don’t live in Colorado. A hike can be anywhere. Walking to the store or around the park make great “hikes”. The key is to stay active.

To stay active in the city takes some different equipment though. Footwear is the most important and today I am lucky enough to be joined by Karen McSorley.

Karen is the Brand Manager for Kodiak Boots and was nice enough to answer some of my questions about winter boots for daily life.

Disclaimer: I have an advertising relationship with Kodiak Boots and if you click on a link and make a purchase from their website, I may receive a small commission.

About Kodiak Boots

Kodiak Boots is a Canadian based company that got started making boots in 1910. Known at the time as the Greb Shoe Company, their waterproof and anti-slip boot was named the official boot of Canadian Army in 1957. In 1959 Greb purchased the Kodiak brand.

More recently Kodiak supplied the 2010 Canadian Winter Olympic team with their iconic Kodiak boot. In 2020 they celebrated 110 years of great Canadian craftsmanship.

So for over 100 years Kodiak has been a name to be trusted in winter boots. Click here for more about the history of Kodiak Boots.

Kodiak Boots Moncton Boot on a corner downtown.
Kodiak Boots and their Moncton boot are great for the city.

Winter Boot Basics

Fatman: With winter coming why is it important to have a good pair of boots to deal with the elements?

Karen McSorley, Kodiak Brand Manager: It’s important to have the proper footwear to face the unexpected and ever-changing elements, be it extremely cold temperatures, slush, ice, or snow.

Our winter boots were built to handle unpredictable weather, so that you can enjoy the outdoors to the fullest regardless of the conditions.

Waterproof Boots

FM: Are all boots waterproof? What is the difference between waterproof, water resistance and any other rating?

KM: We build boots for many different occasions, so not all boots are waterproof. We do carry fully waterproof boots built with waterproof leather, sealed seams, and breathable waterproof membranes.

We also carry Imper-X water resistant footwear, which is built with waterproof leather and sealed seams, but does not incorporate the waterproof membrane.

Stylish and Waterproof

FM: I think of the rubber “ducky” boots when I think waterproof. Are different styles now available in waterproof?

KM: Yes, waterproof footwear has come a long way. All of our waterproof boots are built with premium cowhide waterproof leathers and come in a variety of styles; from ankle boots, to chukka boots, to tall boots; and also feature a variety of options for laces, zippers, and colors.

Kodiak Boots Stave Hiking Boots walking though the snow.
Kodiak Boots waterproof Stave Hiking boot hiking through the snow .

Traction in Bad Weather

FM: The snow and ice can be hazardous. What should I look for in tread or traction to keep me upright in the winter?

KM: We have been building work boots for 110 years, and safety has always been top of mind for us. Traction is paramount to safety in any type of footwear.

It’s not just the outsole design, but also the outsole compound and the hardness of that compound that determine how an outsole will perform on snow and ice.

We have partnered with Vibram to build both a men’s and women’s outsole made from Vibram’s Arctic Grip outsole compound, which has been engineered and designed to perform on wet ice.


FM: My feet are always cold. I wear wool socks but it seems that anytime I go outside my toes want to fall off. What are the different types of insulation and are all boots insulated?

KM: Since we offer boots for all seasons, not all boots are insulated. However, to ensure our insulated boots are as warm and comfortable as possible, they’re built with 3M’s Thinsulate™ insulation.

When building cold weather/winter boots, we also work with a 3rd party laboratory to test our footwear for thermal ratings, which allows the consumer to make an educated decision when choosing the right boot.

The Kodiak Boots Skogan hiking boot on a mountain top trail.
The Kodiak Boots Skogan hiking boot on the top of a mountain.

Road Salt Protection

FM: I had a pair of nice stylish winter boots and the first time I wore them they stained from the snow and salt. Is there anything I can apply to them to prevent that? Anything built in?

KM: Road salt can wreak havoc on footwear if left untreated, which is why we carry boots made with premium leather that has been built to handle trekking on winter roads and city streets.

Our SaltShield™ leather is designed to repel salt stains; using a clean damp cloth, just lightly rub-off any salt residual and the finish is easily returned to its previous condition; no damage, no discoloration, no swelling.

If the Boot Fits…

FM: The boots of my youth were always really stiff. No matter how much I wore them I could never break them in. Is there a secret to breaking in a winter boot? Are the materials more flexible now?

KM: Generally speaking, you shouldn’t really have to “break-in” a boot if it fits you well; in most cases, it should be comfortable right out of the box. Leathers, linings, and outsoles have come a long way over the years, and have been engineered with maximum performance and comfort features.

Sizing a Boot

FM: How about sizing a boot? Usually boots are thicker so should I leave more room for my feet and buy a size bigger? How important is wearing my thicker socks when trying them on in the store?

KM: It’s important when buying a boot that you wear socks you would typically wear with that type of boot. So, if you are buying a winter boot and you would typically wear a heavier/thicker sock, then this is the type of sock you should wear when being fitted for your boots. Make sure the boots fit with the sock you intend to wear.

You don’t want to “up-size” too much either, as this can cause blisters if your foot moves around too much in the boot. We always recommend wearing your new boots around in your home for a few hours before venturing outside to ensure you have chosen the correct size.

a pair of Kodiak Skogan Hiking Boots with legs crossed in front of a blue lake with mountains in the background.
Kodiak Boots Skogan Hiking boot at the side of a lake at Rocky Mountain National Park

Why Kodiak Boots

FM: Anything else that I didn’t know to ask about boots that may help the readers?

KM: As I mentioned earlier, Kodiak has been building boots for the Canadian climate for 110 years, so I like to think we know a thing or two about footwear.

Whether we are building a city boot for urban adventures, or a safety boot for a rugged jobsite, we are purposeful and intentional about every component that goes into our footwear.

We work with some of the finest tanneries, choosing quality leathers and raw materials, and we want your boots to look, feel, and perform great.

Wrapping up getting to know Kodiak Boots

Thank you much for taking the time with me Karen. I spend so much time thinking about staying warm and safe on the trail but neglect my time back home. You really gave me some good info to be more prepared around town. I also learned it is really challenging to take pictures of a shoe while wearing it!

If you are interested in learning more about Kodiak Boots you can click on this link.

More from the Fatman

You can find more product reviews and “Getting Started Tips” on my Thoughts page you can find here. If you have any suggestions or any comments feel free to email me at Or you could follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!

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