Northwave make snowboarding boots as well, so they know about cold-weather footwear. They’re perhaps not so hot on spelling – we’ve read it a few times and these say ‘Artic’ on them rather than the ‘Arctic’ you might expect.
One thing they’re not is articulated – the carbon-reinforced sole gives race-shoe levels of stiffness. Still, the boot remains comfortable thanks to a soft, accommodating upper that surrounds your foot with fleecy cosiness. Lovely.
Soft and accommodating can mean insecure and floppy, but not here. A snowboard boot-style speed-lacing toggle pulls the laces tight over a padded tongue – gusseted into both sides of the shoe to leave no gaps. It’s easy to forget how effective shoe laces can be, and in combination with the well-shaped plastic heel cup the Northwave delivers a positive, secure yet comfy fit. It’s quite narrow at the midfoot, but there’s plenty of room around the toes.
Northwave claim only that they’re ‘water repellent’ but with a Gore-Tex membrane, adjustable ankle cuff and double stretchy weather flaps they put up a good fight in the wet.