The BEST Boots For An Icy Canadian Winter

winter boots canada

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One of the things I dread most about winter is navigating the icy sidewalks and parking lots without falling flat on my face. I’m usually shuffling along in a pair of casual moccasins – but I had to give these up when I came back to Toronto because they were not waterproof, warm or equipped with any sort of grip on the bottom.

So when Mark’s asked me if I wanted to come test out a pair of winter boots that could grip ice – the timing could not have been better as I was in the market for a new pair.

mark's ice walk

Mark’s set up a super cool ‘ice walk’ pop-up at The Toronto Eaton Centre earlier this month where people could test out these ice gripping boots. I was able to walk down an icy ramp in boots equipped with this special Vibram Arctic Grip without slipping, sliding or falling.

More grip, means less slip.

ice grip boots vibram review

So how do you know which boots can grip the ice and which ones won’t?

The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute has teamed up with Mark’s to create a snowflake rating system that rates whether you can walk on a 7 degree slope without slipping. 7 degrees is the general slope of a curb on a sidewalk.

best winter boots mark's

One snowflake means the boots meet a minimum standard. The more snowflakes you see, the better the grip, which is great to know – as 90% of the boots tested last year by the institute failed to meet even the minimum standards for grip.

ice grip boots vibram

I was actually impressed that the boots I tested did exactly what they said they would do. Which means when you come across an unshoveled sidewalk that’s melted into a big puddle of ice, these boots will actually grip the ice to prevent any slips or falls.

mark's vibram boots

The nice thing is that this special grip is available in various style boots that Mark’s carries. So you can be safe AND stylish this winter. I’m always on the lookout for warmth, comfort and some sort of technical aspect for an all-around great fit.

I ended picking up a pair of these cozy Sperry Powder Valley Arctic Grip Winter Boots to get me through the icy season. They are super comfy and keep my feet really warm. They also have the Vibram Arctic Grip to prevent slips along icy sidewalks or parking lots.

vibram arctic grip boots

If you’re looking for a great pair of city boots to navigate through the winter with, look for the snowflake system and if they are made with the Vibram technology that grips the ice. See the little blue specks on the sole of the boot? That’s the Vibram ice grip.

mark's well worn boots

Mark’s has been around since 1977 and is a Canadian staple. They have a fantastic selection of winter boots to choose from and lots of warm and cozy basics like leggings, base layers, flannel, socks, hats, scarves and mittens.

If you haven’t dropped in awhile, do check out their excellent selection of boots and winter clothing, along with their style evolution. To learn more, visit Mark’s online.

Stay warm!