Cushe Cabin Fever ReviewMarch 5, 2012
- Stylish but with enough technical features for light-duty outings
- High shaft for plunging into deep snow
- Waterproof liner and suede treated with DWR (durable water repellant)
- Comfortable faux fur lining throughout the interior
- Fairly grippy sole for packed snow
- The sole is too thin and flexible for extended outings
- Not insulated enough for long, idle periods in cold weather
- Slip-on style provides minimal support
A pleasant surprise: This boot has all the trappings of a traditional winter lifestyle boot—stylish high shaft, soft suede upper with faux fur and minimally technical sole—but it's capable of a little more adventure than just the walk between the taxi and lodge. While it's not designed as a hiker, it didn't feel out of place on moderate snowy walks (with fair traction on packed powder but not hard snow), and felt as much at home sloshing around in deep wet snow and icy puddles as hanging around the fireplace.
The Cabin Fever WP is has traditional winter lifestyle boot written all over it, so I was pleasantly surprised how well suited it felt on a cold night hike up our local ski hill. Although it does fall on the light-use end of the women’s winter boot spectrum, it is the very top of its class in that category.
These are clearly very stylish boots—and most buyers will snap them up for that reason alone. Since style is a matter of opinion, I’m focusing only on performance.
I was admittedly unfair to these boots—subjecting them to tests alongside technical winter hiking boots on an soft, packed powder in windy, frigid 20-25 degree weather—so I got to know their limits quickly. What made these boots stand out—where most boots that look like these would crater as soon as it came to any kind of real activity, the Cabin Fever’s kept pace admirably.
The comfort level is high, and they were sufficiently warm for a non-insulated boot, so this could actually suffice as a perfectly adequate snowshoeing boot in a pinch. No, there’s almost no ankle support for steep terrain or sidehilling, and on the harder-packed, icier snow they were a bit slippery. On the whole, though, I was impressed by how comfortable and well-built these boots felt, even when pushed to their limits.
These boots are waterproof to at least above the ankle (no leakage after 30 seconds of being submerged in water). The suede held up nicely as well, as it is treated with DWR (durable water repellant) and water beads right off.
The third test was a “cold” test to see how they would hold up standing around in very cold weather. I stuck my feet in a chest of ice for about 25 minutes with no additional insulation (i.e. no
socks). The result: my feet got very cold. I can’t hold it against the boots, however, since there is no insulation beyond the faux fur lining.
Overall, I was impressed with how well these non-performance boots performed in various conditions—they’re not exactly ready for summit-to-apres adventures, but they’ll be more than appropriate for all town uses, and won’t feel overwhelmed on short winter outings where similar lifestyle boots would be woefully underequipped.
I felt like these boots deserved a few extra points for the overall quality of construction (double-stitched seams, waterproof liner that extends above the ankle, quality materials, etc). (4 points)