Review: Northwave Celsius Arctic 2 GTX Winter Boot
December 20th, 2016
December 20th, 2016
Anna is a jack-of-all-bikes, and has been riding and racing in a myriad of genres for over seven years; from World Cup level cross-country, to grass roots coaching kids on the road.
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It goes without saying that, regardless of the extra Koala membrane, it's the Gore-Tex® that's the real selling point in the Celsius Arctic boots. All of Northwave's 'Arctic' shoes have this technology, which is arguably the cream of protection from the elements like snow, wind and rain, while still being breathable. The result; dry and warm feet! It all seems too good to be true right? I mean, can you keep water out and still let enough air in to allow the foot to breath? Well, let's put it to the test.
The Science Bit
Gore-Tex® is easily washable, even after extremely muddy conditions. Good to know here in the UK. The 'Jaws Carbon Reinforced' sole uses a natural rubber tread for enhanced grip when walking or fumbling for the pedal. Of course, the Gore-Tex® Koala membrane is waterproof and windproof, but the 'Thermowelded Layer Construction' not only works with the Gore-Tex to ensure maximum thermal insulation, it also minimizes stitching, which means zero pressure points on the upper layer, as well as a reduction in weight too. The boots are recommended for temperatures between -25°and 5°C, but bare in mind this is just a guide. Your foot will be the real tester. And while your feet are nice and toasty, the fastening system is a combination of velcro and power straps, which means that even the coldest and numbest of hands should be able to tighten and/or loosen the shoes on the go, as well as generally creating a perfectly snug fit without stopping the blood from flowing.
Of course I expected these bad-boys to be waterproof, but with all the stitching a panelling on the boots, I did expect them to let up just a little over time. They didn't. The water literally beads off these boots, to the point where I struggled to get water droplets to stick around on the boots long enough for me to photograph them. When they say water-repellant, they really mean it; like two magnets the wrong way round. On a four hour hard ride through the woods, they breathed extremely well, beating my usual combination of mtb shoes and over-shoes. Combining them with some X-Socks (or some merino socks) was the ultimate in winter comfort. I never once felt clammy or sweaty inside them. Somehow the icy winds were kept at bay as well as sweaty air being allowed to escape. This keept my feet dry from the elements outside the boot as well as inside. The sole is pretty rigid, obviously thanks to the Jaws Carbon Reinforced sole (a big stiff pole thingy that runs along the centre), which gives good power transfer, but for really long rides it might be a tiny be exhausting for some who prefer a little give (or 'foot suspension', as I like to put it). If you're doing as much walking as riding, and want something more like a water-proof shoe that can ride, then these might be a bit stiff for you. Finally, having the boot cuffs up over the ankles stops water creeping in through the top. Boots are usually a bit rigid for my liking, but the velcro straps separate into two, so I was able to adjust the top strap into a position that gave me a lot more flex in the ankle. I appreciated this forethought.
As we've reviewed the Northwave Hammer CX before, I was really keen to see the difference, and they are worlds apart. Though they are both stiff, performance focused shoes, the addition of the Gore-Tex upper, the ankle cuffs, more sole reinforcement and grip means that this boot is a touch heavier than it's racing counterpart, but the weatherproofing is second to none. These are all-day, dry-feet, forget-the-weather-and-ride boots that are well worth the investment. Especially if you value pedalling efficiency performance over walking around off your bike. Forget over-shoe covers, it's time to upgrade.
Northwave Celsius Arctic 2 GTX Winter Boot have a RRP of £203.99, but we've seen a number of UK stores selling the 2017 edition (pictured) from £152-£189. Even less for the 2016 models.