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Reviews > Footwear > Winter Boots > Feathered Friends Down Booties > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

Feathered Friends Down Booties
Owner Review by Andrea Murland
October 16, 2016


Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 31
Location: Elkford, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent two months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, and prefer to be hut-based for overnight trips. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

Product Information

Manufacturer: Feathered Friends
Manufacturer's URL: www.featheredfriends.com
Model: Down Booties
Year of Manufacture: 2013
MSRP: $99.00 US
Listed Weight: 9.3 oz (264 g) size medium
Measured Weight: 7.4 oz (210 g) size XS
Size: XS
Sizes Available: XXS – XXL
Colours Available: Ash Grey, Black, Cool Blue, Grass, Purple (mine), Red

Description

The Feathered Friends Down Booties are insulated booties for camp or hut use. The booties have two separate components: an inner down sock, and an outer shell.

The shell is made from Pertex Endurance fabric, and has a sole. The soles are a harder, abrasion-resistant material with a slightly rough texture. There is a removable 1 cm (0.4 in) thick foam insole in the booties, which is held in place with pieces of the Pertex exterior fabric. For about 4.5 cm (1.8 in) above the sole (more at the toe and heel), there is a section of heavier-feeling black fabric which is coated on the back. Above that is the lightweight, slippery Pertex fabric. My size XS booties measure 25.6 cm (10.1 in) from toe to heel and the shell is 27 cm (10.6 in) high, coming to mid-calf. At the ankles and the top of the booties are drawstrings with cord-locks to cinch them down. The booties seem to have a left and right foot. I have certainly worn them in random configurations, but I have noted a few times that they didn’t feel quite right, and the sole is not quite symmetrical.

The down socks are filled with 800+ fill power goose down, and Feathered Friends specifies a fill weight of 4 oz (113 g) in a size medium. The foot of the socks has insulation on both the top and bottom, and on the bottom of the foot is a heavier fabric. The cuff of the socks is baffled to keep the down from migrating downward. The cuff is split to make it easier to get on, and then wraps around the front of the leg, fastening with snaps on the top. There are multiple snaps, which allows me several options for how tight I want the sock to be around my calf.
The Booties

Field Conditions

I have used the booties on two week-long ski touring hut trips as well as one night of tent-based winter camping. Additionally, I have used the inner sock layer for sleeping while backpacking six times, and carry the socks full-time in my Search & Rescue ready pack.

On the hut trips, I used the booties around the hut and for trips outside to the bathroom or sauna. Use was with both layers combined, indoors or on packed snow. Temperatures ranged from 20 C (68 F) indoors to about -10 C (14 F) outside.

On the winter tenting trip, I used the combined booties while around camp in the evening and slept in the sock layer. The temperature was about -12 C (10 F) early in the evening and dropped to -18 C (0 F) overnight.

In spring and fall I have slept in the sock layer while backpacking, down to temperatures of about -10 C (14 F). On these trips I have not carried the outer layer of the booties or used the socks for anything other than sleeping.
Field Use

Review

Comfort & Fit:
The booties are very comfortable. The Feathered Friends website specifies that the size XS fits women’s size 5-7 and I wear size 6. I find the length to be good, so no complaints there.

One issue that I have had with the booties is slipperiness, in two ways. The first is that the outer soles of the booties are quite slippery. On packed snow I have to be quite careful to get one foot placed and stable before moving the other. On my last hut trip I developed a shuffling technique to get to and from the wood-fired sauna. The other issue is that the down sock layer slides inside the outer shell. This compounds the whole problem, as I have to worry about the outer layer sliding on snow and the inner layer sliding inside. It’s particularly bad on stairs cut from snow or on a slight slope. On the first hut trip with these booties I actually sprained an ankle from falling down some snow stairs when one foot just kept on going.

Warmth & Water Resistance:
I usually wear the booties with wool socks and find them to be sufficiently warm. Most of my hut trip use has been short trips outside and mostly indoor use, where I actually found them too warm most of the time! On my tenting trip, was which pretty chilly, I managed to stay warm through the evening while cooking dinner and washing up. I find that the down socks add a nice layer of warmth to my feet for sleeping, though I have to be careful to have dry feet and socks or I end up with cold feet anyway. I also have to start with feet that aren’t too cold, or my feet stay chilly for most of the night. I have used chemical toe warmers to warm up my feet before bed, but have to remember to take them out or I somehow end up with cold feet in the middle of the night again. Long story short, I do find the booties to add a nice amount of warmth for my feet.

The outer layer of the booties seems to be pretty water resistant. I haven’t had wet feet, but I also haven’t used them in rain (only snow).

Durability:
I have no complaints about the durability of these booties so far. The soles don’t show any signs of wear. I have been pretty careful to keep them either on snow or indoors, though.

I have not washed the booties at all, and haven’t felt the need to. After each trip I give the soles a quick wipe to make sure they’re not too dirty and just let them air dry.

The down socks spend their time being stored inside a compression sack in my Search & Rescue pack. Despite constant compression, they always loft quickly once taken out and don’t show any noticeable deterioration due to being stored compressed.

Summary

I really like my Feathered Friends Down Booties. My favourite feature is that the down socks are separate from the outer shell, so I can use the socks as a sleeping layer as well. The socks have been used more than the shells. What I don’t love is that both the sole of the shell is slippery and the socks are slippery inside of the shells. It’s a multi-layer slippery problem. Overall, I hope that these booties remain in good condition for years to come so that I can continue to use them!

Thumbs Up:
Removable down sock
Warm
Water resistant

Thumbs Down:
Down sock layer slides inside the exterior layer
Slippery sole on outer layer


Read more reviews of Feathered Friends gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Footwear > Winter Boots > Feathered Friends Down Booties > Owner Review by Andrea Murland



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