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Winter Warmers: Insulated Footwear and Apparel

January 03, 2017

  • by
  • Peter Reese

It doesn’t take a record blizzard to discourage the unprepared from going forth into winter activities. Active Junky has a “no excuses” approach to gearing up for getting out. And this selection of favorite products fits the adventurous spirit, big dump or not.

Seirus Brink Solar Sphere Gloves: Sun-seeking heat machine

Shocking, but this is among the few products testers have experienced that convert solar energy into greater heat. To the tune of 10 degrees in bright sunlight with a total of 170g of insulation built into an elegant triple-laminate shell. Oh, the leather palm means comfort and conformation to poles as the gusseted sport cuffs (with Velcro adjustment) fight off rain, sleet and snow intrusion. Even apart from the cosmic tech embedded in this under-$50 choice, Active Junky favors the glove as it fits well, avoids sponge-like behavior and adds touchscreen-compatible finger tips. What’s missing? Only your hands in a pair.

Best For: Both active and passive winter pursuits where temps and weather conditions fluctuate

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Dale of Norway Men’s Viking Basic Sweater: Own your destiny

Dale of Norway Men’s Viking Basic Sweater

This brand has become a reliable part of the Active Junky line-up, combining traditional styling with premium materials and an eye on today’s active lifestyle. Viking Basic is a prime example as this one begs to get worn inside and out. Tester’s pulled it on and felt more like intrepid adventurers than product testers as the 16.5 micron, 100% Merino lamb’s wool brought instant warmth in an unexpectedly athletic cut. And the rune design on the upper arms? Oh not-so-ancient one, you’ve got the symbols for “protection” and “victory” encircling your mountain-tuned pecs. Say goodbye to the hoody-obsessed culture around you and stand for something. As in, becoming unstoppable in storms or delayed-plagued travel. This is your time, traveler.

Best For: Cool to cold temperatures, as a serious baselayer or finely-dialed midlayer

Kamik Griffon C Zippered Boot: Walk like you’ve been there

Kamik Griffon C Zippered Boot

Some winter wearers prefer traditional pac boots to make the rounds. At Active Junky, we favor a boot that dishes out traction and warmth while accelerating toward thoughtful styling. This is the model and, at under $100, one that’s more wardrobe-worthy than simply Winnipeg-compatible. Easy-on with a short side zip and quick step-in design, Griffon C goes 8” high and down to -25 degrees by deploying 3M Thinsulate and a premium insole. Wrap the boot in a buffalo leather upper and you’re headed toward the frosty finish line of your choosing. Few boots are so adaptable to weather and 24/7 scenarios. Even fewer carry the Kamik tradition of winter-worthiness into the world.

Best For: Colder environs, wear through the week and into the mountains 

Giesswein Vent Lodge Shoes: When you’re ready

Giesswein Vent Lodge Shoes Starting at: $129.84

When you’re tired of trading ski boots for sloppy athletic shoes that get soggy and ruined. When it’s time to stride into the night with friends for the world’s most amazing buffalo quesadilla. When relaxing means a chance to restore tired feet and turn-pumping legs. From Austrian wool-meisters (our tester’s term) comes footwear that defies at least three categories. And dominates in the process with a removable cork-latex footbed tucked into odor-resistant boiled wool of superior density and durability vis a vis competitive models. Yes, the outsole carries enough tread and waterproof performance to handle most conditions in an arch-loving shoe. Testers turned to this one for quick trips to the market, prolonged writing sessions and travel over the holidays. Even before owning resort stays from the first step into the wooden-beamed Great Room. Note: the Ocean Blue colorway is a favorite.

Best For: Fall to spring wear in cooler climates, all-day indoor wear and outside apres sojourns

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