Baffin Boot Technology
Posted on Jun 23, 2014 by WinterBoots
In this day and age, you probably don't think of your boots having anything to do with technology. While there might not be any touch screens involved, Baffin boots are packed with technology, from the base to the liners, and it is all there for one very specific reason: to keep you as warm and comfortable as possible. If you've ever wondered how Baffin can make a boot that is warm enough to wear in the Arctic Circle, and then how they can turn around and make a boot that is perfect for snowball fights and shoveling, we have the answers for you!
One of the most basic ideas in terms of winter footwear technology is the need to create a barrier between your foot and the cold, snowy, icy ground. This is not just to keep your feet dry, or to keep you from slipping--it is both those things, as well as a very necessary aspect of insulation. Baffin uses special rubber compounds that can withstand serious cold without freezing or cracking.
- IcePaw Technology (used for some series) is based on the bottom of a Polar Bear's foot to ensure that you have the best traction possible on slippery snow pack and ice.
- A Gelflex midsole (used in some of Baffin's warmest boots) is a combination of thermoplastic rubbers that are both durable and flexible. Some models feature a molded rubber sole combined with a polyurethane base that is flexible and more lightweight than the Gelflex option.
- Other boots feature a material called BXT--ultra lightweight, and filled with microscopic, gas-filled cells for support and comfort. Now, if that doesn't sound technological, I don't know what does.
The bottom line? Baffin doesn't just slap rubber onto the bottom of their boots. They chose the base of each series specifically to help that boot perform at its highest level.
Baffin is known for its removable, foam, inner boot liners, and for a good reason--they're what really does the work to keep your feet warm. While some companies measure warmth in grams of insulation, or have felt liners that break down and become lumpy and smelly after a season or two, Baffin liners are long-lasting, comfortable, wicking machines of winter insulation.
Each layer of the liner has its own unique purpose. The warmer the boot needs to be, the more layers the liner will have. However, all Baffin boots have 5 layers in their liners that are essential to providing warmth.
- Polymech foam acts as insulation and provides custom comfort for your foot.
- A vaporized aluminum membrane reflects heat back to your foot. Extreme and Advanced Cold Baffin boots have two of these layers to maximize your own body heat to keep you warm.
- A Hydromax II layer wicks moisture away from the skin--no sweaty feet! This material is much like that that used in a baby's diaper.
- The B-Tek 4-Channel hollow fiber layers acts to funnel moisture and water vapor away from the Hydromax layer and the polymech foam to keep the liner (and your feet) dry.
- A cushy Thermaplush lining is a chamois leather-like materials that is soft, smooth, and provides comfort.
The bottom line is whether you are wearing a Baffin boot rated to -148° on an arctic trek, or a pair of their -40° boots on your way to the grocery store, your feet will stay warm and dry. No cold toes, no sweaty feet!
Baffin uses a variety of materials for the uppers for their boots. From full grain, Timberwolf leather, to water resistant nylon, to fabrics specifically engineered to meet the needs of snowmobile and ATV riders, Baffin chooses the correct upper for the intended use of the boot.
Boas, buckles, laces--why so many options, you may ask. What is the difference? Which option is best? Ultimately, closure system comes down to personal preference.
- Boa lacing is a system used in Baffin's Powersport series, and allows quick and easy access so that snowmobiles and ATV riders can make adjustments on the go.
- Lacing is preferred by people who wish to be able to maximize ankle support, and who don't mind adjusting laces. Even Baffin's lacing system accommodates a gloved hand--no tying knots here! Just pull the laces and cinch the toggle for a custom fit.
- Buckles are ideal for people who don't want to have to stop and take their gloves off to adjust their boots. Once the buckle is as tight or loose as you like it, you're ready to go!
All of the plastic parts of Baffin closure systems are made of special, crack resistant plastic so they can withstand extreme cold.
Still curious about Baffin? Check out this awesome video from a tour of their factory in Ontario!