Sorel is a big name in hiking shoes and boots, and they’ve earned it. They’re known industry-wide for their high quality products. The Sorel Tofino II is one of their most popular insulated winter hiking boots. I’ve owned the Tofino II for over a year and worn it through 1.5 Midwest winters and counting, so I finally feel qualified (and excited!) to write a full Sorel Tofino II review for you all.
So, I am a devotee to a few select shoe brands, and this boot singlehandedly secured Sorel’s place on that list. I’ve known about Sorel’s awesome reputation for years; I only wish I’d bought the Tofino II sooner. As of writing this, I can’t imagine ever straying from these winter boots for my winter hiking and outdoor activity needs.
In this Sorel Tofino II review, I’ll talk about what the boots are intended for—and what they’re not!
The bottom line: yes, you should probably buy these boots.
But before you do, read on to learn more about why I find them so useful, the type of trips and hikes I’ve worn them on, and more!
What are the main features of the Sorel Tofino II boot?
Let’s start with the basics. I’ve mentioned these boots are great for walking in snow and winter hiking, but what makes them so great for those things?
- Shaft height: 10 1/4 inch, so slightly taller than your average mid-calf length boot. The boots have a nice height for walking through most snow depths. The shaft is also narrow enough that, in situations where I might pass through even deeper snow, I can easily pull my snow pants snugly down over the entire boot.
- Waterproof outer canvas protects you from the elements. Honestly, if you’re somewhere it snows at all, you gotta go waterproof.
- Fleece lining keeps your feet all snuggly and cozy!
- Rubber grips on the soles help keep you from slipping in snow and ice.
- They’re stylish, honestly, which while it isn’t my first priority in buying a winter boot, it surely doesn’t hurt!
What kind of winter weather/activities is the Sorel Tofino II best for?
In my experience the Tofino II is an excitingly versatile boot. If I had to pick just a few highlights I’ll elaborate on later, they’d be:
- Short-to-medium winter hikes
- Casual outdoor winter activities (such as going to the dog park, your run-of-the-mill snowball fight, that kind of thing)
- Literally everyday wear if you live somewhere with Midwest-esque winter weather, AKA a lot of snow and hella cold
My boyfriend and I live with our two dogs in North Dakota, in a National Park bordered on all sides by National Grassland. We’ve gone hiking by ourselves in the winter on trail, as well as with the dogs on and off trail. I’ve worn the Sorel Tofino II boots with great success on all of the above.
The boots were probably put to their biggest test on those off-trail hikes with the dogs. I often find myself chasing the dogs around in the snow, and have never noticed any dampness with these boots. I also can’t think of an instance where I was slipping and slipping, which is great. There are frozen puddles all over the place which the doggos definitely skid on, but not me!
I’ve also worn them on most of my winter cross-country road trips since 2017. That is, I’ve comfortably driven 7-to-10-hour days wearing these babies. I have gone across the Midwest several times, as well as from North Dakota all the way to Arizona. Besides swapping them out for regular hiking boots in the far Southwest, the Sorel Tofino IIs were great everywhere.
Temperature-wise, like I said, when it gets above 50 degrees F my feet get effing toasty… but those hikes with the dogs? Yeah, it’s regularly in the negatives with wind chill. On those days I absolutely wear several layers of socks underneath, as I would with any footwear, but those socks stay totally dry!
(Pssst, if you’re wondering what socks I’m literally referring to, I have a master post of my favorite Midwest winter gear here)
What are the Sorel Tofino II boots not made for?
Despite my gushing, these boots aren’t perfect for every situation.
I don’t think these are your best choice for winter sports, for example, snowboarding or skiing. Nor are they an appropriate choice for extreme long distance winter hiking. I’ve never noticed snow sneaking into my Sorels, but I wouldn’t effectively bet my life (or just, you know, my toes) on them by risking frostbite on a 12-mile snow hike.
On that note, I wouldn’t recommend them in a freezing downpour (though, really, what does one wear in a freezing downpour? Ugh). I think the fleece lining, while again its never given me an issue, would be pushed to its limit.
Finally, while these boots have been excellent on icy surfaces, they aren’t magical ice-proof miracle boots. Snow can pack onto the bottom of the boots and decrease the effectiveness of the rubber tread, and then you hit some black ice… well, I don’t know what to tell ya, you might still slip.
You know how some people in giant trucks drive like idiots in the winter because they have 4WD? I guess I just mean, don’t be that guy, and try to go jogging on an iced over road because you’re wearing your baller Tofinos.
What about the price point?
The Sorel Tofino IIs retail for $170. Depending on your budget, that can seem like a lot. It is on par with similar boots from competing brands, and from my own experience+research the quality of these surpasses their peers.
I am a firmly budget-minded backpacker, still paying off thousands in student loans, and I don’t think that’s a lot of money to spend on a reliable, high quality, long-lasting pair of winter boots. I cut corners wherever I can, but never, ever mess around with my footwear. A crappy shoe or boot will ruin your adventure faster than any other article of clothing.
Ultimately, if the Sorel Tofino IIs are at all within your budget, I do recommend them. These boots are so versatile, they will serve almost all your winter footwear needs (outside of super extreme winter sports) (and footwear for those will certainly run you more than a couple hundred dollars)!
Where can you buy the Sorel Tofino II winter boots?
You can buy these boots from, well, a lot of places.
You can simply purchase them from Sorel’s website, which often offers free shipping. Sorel is, as far as I’ve read, a great company which treats its employees well and is worth supporting. They also practice sustainability by using responsibly sourced materials, such as down.
They are for sale on Backcountry, which as of time of writing still offers 15% your first order! I also like Backcountry a lot, and have heard great things about their customer service. In the same vein, you can buy them from Moosejaw, the excellent mountaineering store which gave my brother 6 months off to hike the PCT!
Finally, you can purchase the Sorel Tofino IIs on Zappos and on Amazon (it appears there are older models of the boot available in certain sizes at a discounted price). If I have a choice, I like to support other, more responsible businesses. I get that Amazon is familiar and convenient for lots of folks, though!
Do you have the Sorel Tofino IIs?? What do you think?
As always, please sound off in the comments! I love hearing what you think about these posts. Especially if you decide to buy the boots because of my recommendation! It’s a lot of pressure (which is why I rarely recommend products) but I really think you’ll love ’em!
*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you end up buying these boots from any of these links my blog is supported by a small commission at no cost to you! No pressure, though.*