Sorel has long been a household name in the category of winter boots that can withstand some of the coldest temperatures and harshest winter conditions. In the last few years, Sorel has had an increased focus on the fashion side of footwear, trying to get their foot in the door into the world of high priced footwear which is big business. The Sorel Madson Wingtip Boot is a high on the ankle boot that is a hybrid of a lace-up leather boot and a dress shoe that does a great on style side, but is not intended for outdoor performance.
Sorel Madson Wingtip Boot Style
From a stylistic standpoint, I think the Sorel Madson Wingtip Boot nails it for a winter footwear option. The boot is made with a waterproof full grain leather that will withstand the test of time. Sorel uses a mixture between polished and non-polished leather that provides good contrast and keeps the boot from looking too blah. The polished leather on the boot is on the tip of the boot and the rest is your standard un-polished leather. The photos shown on the Sorel website make it look like the boot is more polished than the boot actually is. Perhaps with using a shoe shining kit every other day it will look a little more polished, but otherwise the leather will look a little more dull. See pictures of the boot after a month of use.
Boot Fit – Needs Work
The fit of the Sorel Madson Wingtip Boot has a unique fit. I don’t wear a ton of full height leather dress boots that often and I’m more used to the fit of a fabric lined hiking boot. The first time I tried the boot on, it was fairly difficult to put on as the leather needed to be broken in a little. The boot is easier to put on and off after a few uses, but still not not easy. This is different from most hiking boots or Sorel winter boots that need very little breaking in.
While wearing this boot for shorter lengths of time without walking around a lot, the boot has a comfortable fit. When wearing this boot for extended periods of time and walking a lot, I found the boot to create hot spots around the ankles. The inside of the boot is lined with a synthetic material (not leather), but it has a leather feel to it. This means that instead of your foot sliding easily into and out of the boot, it has more of a sticky feel. This makes the boot hard to get in and out of.
The challenge with this fit is getting the lower part of the boot to mesh well with the upper part of the boot and that is where this boot needs help.
The performance of the Sorel Madson Wingtip Boot outdoors is average as long as you understand this is NOT to be used as a hiking boot. The full grain leather does a nice job at keeping snow and rain out. Since the boot doesn’t use a wicking fabric on the inside, any sweat that you produce stays inside the boot(typical of most leather shoes and boots). In my opinion, you should stick to Sorel’s winter boots or other hiking boots if you want a boot that performs in the outdoors.
Outsole and Insole
The Outsole of the Sorel Madson Wingtip Boot will keep you grounded on the pavement, but it’s a tad slippery on the snow. To date, the outsole has held up nicely while using it for casual wear.
The insole of the boot is your standard insole that comes in most boots. I found it a little odd that after pulling the insole out of the boot after a month or two of use that is had such a significant curve to it, see picture below.
When picking out this boot to review, I was super excited. The Madson Wingtip boot looks amazing and can fit with both casual and dress outfits. Unfortunately, I found the fit of the Sorel Madson Wingtip Boot to be the deal breaker and I would not recommend this boot. When paying good money for a boot, I expect to be able to wear it all day long with no issues and that is not the case here. I still have the utmost respect for Sorel winter boots as I have a few pairs that are 5+ years old they still perform like they are new, but they will need to go back to the drawing board for the Madson Wingtip Boot. For more info visit www.sorel.com