Gadling Gear Review: Adidas Choleah Laceup Boots for Women

I like traveling in cold weather but you’ve got to make the sacrifice of checking a bag and bulking up your gear. Good footwear is critical year round, but you’ll be downright miserable if you have cold feet while stomping around a twee alpine village or a dirty snow urban landscape.

Moon-boot styling is kind of back, isn’t it? But they’re a lot lighter than they were the first time around, and they’re made out of considerably better materials. Adidas Choleah Laceup is a surprisingly lightweight, warm and weatherproof boot.

I have one minor skepticism about the way the boot is pitched but that’s because I didn’t have icy conditions in which to give it a try. The sole on the shoe is supposed to offer great traction – I can’t confirm or deny that. The tread looks a little shallow – but I could be wrong. If you’re really going to be on the ice, you might want some ice cleats.

Unknown traction issues aside, these are darned cute boots and who doesn’t like a pair of cute winter boots that keep you warm and dry? They’re about mid-calf height and have a fluffy fake fur lining around the uppers. That makes them a little bulky up top; you’re not going to be able to pull your skinny jeans over the outside but you can tuck them in and lace them up.

They’re also very warm and dry. They have a light synthetic fill as insulation and the shoe is lined with fabric that holds heat. They’re made of all kinds of technically named stuff – PrimaLoft, ClimaProof, Adiprene – which may not mean much on a brand name basis, but it actually does make a boot that keeps your feet warm in cold, wet weather.My winter gear tests involve the slightly above freezing and raining conditions of the Pacific Northwest winter. When I put these boots on to go out into an unpleasant December day, I had cold feet. It took a while for me to warm up, but once I did, I was very happy with how toasty my feet were. And yeah, style is subjective, but I think they look swell. Yes, you could wear them with some tights and a skirt and you’d be quite the adorable urban snow bunny. They also offer exactly the kind of wear you’d expect from an athletic shoemaker; they’re very comfortable for a long day’s walk.

Adidas originally listed the Choleah for $150, but I’ve seen them listed for half that online. They come in two colors, a very dark gray (almost black) with black laces and a burgundy with white laces. They’re cute, comfortable, great for bad weather and surprisingly lightweight. I’d say they make the cut for winter travel.

[Image courtesy of Adidas]

After the Snow, “Recovery” Shoes

It used to be that you’d stomp off the slopes, shed your heavy boots, and get into a pair of apres-ski boots. I kind of loved these things, moon boots, big hairy lace up mukluks, more recently, Uggs (which I can not get behind, I’m sorry). Now there’s something called a “recovery” shoe that fits the same bill.

I’m not big on jargon and I’ll leave the sports theory to the physical therapists and sports “experts.” What I do like is warm feet. I pack slippers when I’m going on a road trip — there’s always room in the car for more shoes, am I right? And if I’m going to a cold weather destination, I make sure I’ve got something nice for my feet for indoors, not just for stomping around in the snow.

Sole makes these funny looking shoes, the Exhale, that they market as a “recovery” shoe. I got a pair a while back, and I’ll be honest, I did not like them. They weren’t super comfortable and come on, they’re funny looking, right?

Thing is, it was summer. I was wearing them around the house a little, and they were hard, and too much shoe for August. But when the temperatures started to drop, I dragged them out from under the bed and now I wear them All The Time.

Because they have a full hard sole, they’re fine for wearing outdoors — they’re great for running errands and stomping around while you load your gear into the car for that snowshoeing outing. They’re fine for the long walk to the hotel lobby to get coffee or to perch on the wifi near the fireplace, and they’re totally suitable for winter flights. Even with a wardrobe as questionable as mine, they don’t make a great substitute for winter footwear, but for those transit times, for hanging around the condo you’ve rented at the beach during the off season, they’re great.
Keen makes a similarly styled shoe/slipper/recovery model, the Howser (Wool). There’s a nylon one too, that has the more water resistant fabric. Either one fits the bill of a hybrid slipper/shoe that you can wear while scampering about the chalet in your post slopes lounge wear.

I got a pair of the Howser (Wool) for the husband and he loves them. They’re super toasty (I tried them) and they also have the hard sole that makes them suitable for wearing while you’re putting the skis on the roof of the car. (Note the fantasy winter life I am making up for us!) The wool version doesn’t have the collapsible heel cup the the nylon version (and the Sole Exhale) has, but they’re still plenty easy to get in and out of and they’re a nice to have extra for your winter wardrobe.

The Howser (Wool) goes for $65.00, the Exhale for $75.00. I didn’t want to like them and yet, I’m wearing mine right now.