Since I’ve been “wintering” in a pair of Helly Hansen Tundra CWB Boots, my feet have stayed warm and dry all winter when biking to work, digging out my neighbors’ cars,  and sledding with my kids.

Helly Hansen has constructed boots that steps up to the most rigorous tests I’ve thrown in their path. The thermal rating on the boot is officially -4º F.  I’ve tested them at -2º F with a wind chill of -18º F, and even wearing only thin wool socks, my feet stayed toasty thanks to the felt-like WarmCore Primaloft insulation.

Minneapolis offers a paradox of road conditions that arise from extremely low temperatures combined with a judicious application of road salt. While the air is bone chilling, the slush on the streets can soak my feet in a matter of minutes. On those days when salt and sun turn our winter wonderland into a slushy Venice, the seam-sealed uppers keep out every drop of water.

While I had hoped for the weather protection that these light weight, high-ankle snow boots offer, there are several other features that surprised me.  First, the outsoles are made of cold-weather rubber compounds that grip both ice and wet tile floors with what I would describe as stickiness. It’s not that I never slip, but, like the first time I put on a pair of cleats, I have a new sense of control every time my foot hits the ground.

Second, I love how easy it is to cinch up these boots. This may seem like a small point, but after years of wearing slip-ons, even someone as impatient as I am doesn’t get slowed down lacing and unlacing through the smoothly coated eyelets.

And finally, aesthetics don’t always top my list of priorities when looking for outdoor gear.  But more than once, my wife, who has any annoyingly good eye for style, has complimented me on my “sexy” boots this winter. So thank you, Helly Hansen, for the warm feelings outside and in.

Available in men’s and women’s styles. Women’s styles come in graphite with red highlights and jet black with grey highlights, sizes 6 1/2 – 9 1/2. Men’s styles come in blue night with red highlights and jet black with grey highlights, sizes 7 1/2 – 10.

In my experience, the sizes run a little large, which allow space for thick socks without being too tight.

Bottom Line:  I’m looking forward to having these lightweight, warm, dry, and sturdy boots as part of my winter wardrobe for years.

Manufacturer’s Site:

  $175 (,,