The North Face Chilkat 400 Boot

9.5 score
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Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
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The North Face Chilkat 400 Boot Review Facts

The North Face Chilkat 400 boot continues to garner respect and a long-standing top slot on most outdoors adventurist’s list of reliable winter footwear. This waterproof, 8-inch tall leather utility boot has been engineered to keep out snow and navigate harsh terrain in up to -40 F winter conditions. Crafted with 400g of PrimaLoft® Silver recycled Eco insulation to protect from the extreme cold and finished at the bottom with IcePick lugs that are temperature-sensitive, offering superior grip and traction on ice or snow. Tested in cold and snowy environments the Chilkat excels in holding in warmth from your body snugly and its durable rubber sole rising 3-inches up the boot keeps water and cold out. Available in 3 colors this shoe tends to run small and is suggested for users to purchase in a size up especially if they are to be worn with thick warm socks. The NorthFace tends to only release special high-quality products and that is not lost on this well-ranked snow boot with glowing customer reviews and a seemingly die-hard following. We now look more in-depth at each of the features and qualities of the Chilkat 400 for a comprehensive review of this footwear.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Comfortable
  • Completely Waterproof
  • Insulated with PrimaLoft ® Silver for extreme warmth
  • Versatile use for all cold weather activities
  • Easily broken in
  • Rustproof Hardware
  • Tall shaft to keep out snow
  • Rubber on sole can crack if not maintained after use
  • Fit is snug, runs a half size small


The North Face brand has been around for over 50 years and as a household staple, it continues to largely dominate the market of high-quality outdoor gear. Products from this company range from fleece jackets to extreme hiking equipment with innovative designs and advanced technology that's suited for the coldest, most unforgiving terrains. Researched and tested in their labs The North Face relies on their team of sponsored athletes providing feedback on what they need not only to survive but succeed in the unforgiving wilderness. They take that information and provide exceptional clothing and equipment for the masses to enjoy and cherish through the years. They are active in the effort to recycle used products with a sub-brand known as TNF Renewed that is aimed at combatting the worlds wasted textiles and even cover these products with a Warranty. These boots are stylish, dependable and hold true to this well-known brand. The North Face offers a Limited Warranty on footwear for 1 year with only standard exclusions that they list on their website.


With built-in superior padding, the Chilkat 400 offers exceptional comfort with a Compression-molded EVA midsole. A Northotic™ 2.0 dual-density footbed with softer heel and forefoot cushioning pads makes a noticeable difference when walking for long distances. Some users have credited this boot's comfort to its flexible shaft and their ability to break the shoe in quickly for everyday use. Each boot in this pair weighs around 1 ½ pound providing a surprising lightness for the strength of the insulation. Explorers embarking on a winter weather crusade or inhabitants of bitter, cold climates where temperatures can drop below freezing will find this winter boot has a rating of -40° meaning more than adequate surroundings for your feet. It’s good to keep in mind that since these boots are well insulated (400 grams) they will be a little heavier.


This boot offers exceptional stability due to the superior lace system and length of the shaft hitting above the ankle about 6 inches helping keep snow out. Snow staying out of the shoes and stronger support on the ankles and calves the wearer will succeed at keeping upright on any path. The full grain leather upper offers good support throughout the shoe and stability when trekking through tough snow or hiking on a path. Some have shied away from taller boots fearing stiffness and chafing but users of this product have been pleasantly surprised in noting the soft to medium flexibility of the shaft.


Putting the Chilkat 400 to the test against freezing temperatures and precipitation this boot seems to prove it’s high rating among customers. This boot holds in warmth with PrimaLoft insulation that will actually stay warm even when wet and water resistant lower layers that keep your feet dry and core temperature intact. The thick molded rubber sole is an expert level on these winter boots due to the material’s water resistant feature making them ideal for any wet weather that you may come across. Lacing up the front with ease reassures tight protection from the outside elements with secure D-rings and hooks at the top for a loop. Above the toe sits a larger rustproof D-ring compatible with any type of gaiter attachment to keep the user guarded against whatever extreme weather comes their way.


The comment that comes up most frequently in user feedback for the Chilkat 400 is the snug fit. Ordering true to size can require an exchange of the product for a half or whole size up which can be inconvenient for last-minute shopper gearing up for the winter season. So it is good to keep in mind what activities you plan on using this particular shoe for and whether it would require a thin casual sock or a thicker wool sock when choosing a size. Users describe the boot as short, leaving little to no wiggle room and perception of cold toes. Ordering a size up can have its drawbacks for people with a narrower foot, too much movement inside the shoe can cause poor footing while walking. The sizes available for the Men’s shoe are 7-14, Women’s sizes are 5-11 and neither style offers a Wide or Narrow size option for this specific boot but luckily customers have noted the boot is easy to break in with multiple wears so ordering a size up is a simple solution.


The Style features of this boot differ slightly between the Men and Women’s shoe. The Men’s Chilkat 400 is offered in one Black/Dark Grey color option, the full-grain leather upper and top of the sole are in Black and the accents on the tongue, laces and bottom layer of the sole are a Dark Grey color. This fine quality shoe bolsters 400g of recycled insulation with no removable liner, it has a slightly heavier weight over the women's shoe depending on the size, it is waterproof and extremely warm with a rubber WinterGrip Sole. The laces are thin weaving thru 5 D-rings and 2 hooks at the top to loop and secure the tie. A finger loop is located on the back of the neck for easy slip-on use. Users comment on the trendy style and high-end nature when purchasing this winter boot and the easy transition from one activity to another. The Women’s Chilkat 400 style offers up to 4 color options (depending on the website) and features the 400g of PrimaLoft Silver insulation with no removable liner. It has a slightly shorter shaft than the men with 4 D-rings and 2 hooks at the top to loop the laces. A faux-fur trim borders around the collar with a finger loop located on the back. It is noted by some users that this shoe is a little bulky for a Women’s shoe despite the slim leather design.


The Chilkat 400 will provide long-lasting support with its seam-sealed sturdy rubber outer layer, and a WinterGrip traction lining the bottom layer and keeping you secure on whatever terrain the path provides. The upper part of this boot is a noteworthy full-grain quality of leather and is waterproof to give the customer a product they can trust to remain incredibly warm and dry even in the harshest of winter conditions. Any wearer of this boot is sure to feel confident while they move firmly on foot in sub-zero conditions or on uneven ng terrain. Advanced traction and superior cushioning pads of this boot make it unparalleled in support and safety. A noted featured on this TNF product is its compression molding that will keep you on your feet longer in the rain, ice, and snow.


Considered a pro on multiple terrains, the outer sole of the Chilkat 400 can adapt to specific environments with grooved treads and compound of supportive materials that are built into its construction. Designed for challenging snow conditions, the special winter dual-zone deep rubber soles provide a soft impact and solid footing even when snow turns to slush. Wearers of this boot have agreed it is great for handling any and all unexpected terrain they encountered and did so with ease. Testing shows the Chilkat 400 performs best in cold, icy environments, and even wet conditions with a prime grip for almost any solid surface. You will step carefree onto roads, dirt paths, ice or mud patches knowing these boots are on your feet.


The Chilkat 400 includes an impressive rubber sole with IcePick temperature-sensitive lugs that when tested respond very well in most cold weather scenarios. Even on adverse wet and icy surfaces, the sturdy WinterGrip bottom sole will help the wearer cross otherwise problematic areas with ease. The outer edges of the sole are comprised of a soft rubber compound with broad lugs on the bottom that produce a bite around the perimeter and increased traction. A firmer rubber compound in the form of numerous small triangular lugs sits in the middle of the sole. The lug patterns are aimed to prevent snow build up and act as little triangular teeth that will momentarily hug onto all surface types in any environment to keep you on your way. One user complimented these boots on its strong tread and ability to keep them safely upright even on the trickiest of ice patches.


A favorite for outdoor winter activities these boots are versatile in use. Easy to slip on even with a taller 8” neck height because of its flexible shaft and simple lace-up design, all you need is to simply tug and loop the laces and you’ll be out the door. Users have remarked on their ability to wear them from simply shoveling snow to intense winter hiking. The 400g of insulation in this shoe is best suited for moderate activity such as sledding, hiking, snowshoeing, hunting, or anything that requires the wearer to be outside for an extended amount of time with proper protection. Everyday tasks are easily accomplished as one user reported the Chilkat excelling while walking the city in double-digit negative temperatures. It is good to keep in mind with considerable insulation the shoe can get a little warmer during idle use. It is not recommended being indoors for too long while wearing these boots as it traps heat and can get overly warm.

Key Features

-400g of PrimaLoft insulation for extreme warmth
-Full grain leather upper/rubber lower
-Northotic footbed with extra forefoot cushioning pads
-TNF Winter Grip sole with temperature-sensitive IcePick lug zones for traction
-Rustproof hardware
-Faux-fur trim on collar

The Bottom Line

A lot of excellent features are built into this boot and it is easy for any experienced outdoor enthusiast to see why it continues to dominate the winter footwear game. The North Face does very well carefully curating their products and the Chilkat 400 is no exception. Bringing you the best of both worlds this durable boot maintains its lightness while providing you with the appropriate protection and strength needed to traverse the harshest of terrains no matter the climate. 400g of PrimaLoft insulation, an extra cushioned footbed and Winter Grip say it all in regard to what you’d need in a reliable winter boot.

However, even with all of the right components, there are bound to be some complaints and missteps along the way with purchasing. The sizing issue is the most frequent complaint from users, therefore, it should be expressed plainly so you can make the right decision. Insulation and a good outer shell are both what it is required for keeping water out and warmth, in but insulation can become compressed if there is not enough space inside the boot. Dead space or toe wiggle room is achieved with correct sizing. If you are considering this superior quality shoe just keep in mind that ordering a size up and maintaining a clean outer shell will help your regular enjoyment of the season and provide a long-lasting product. With this purchase, your feet will stay very warm, dry and comfortable all winter long and we think you will be very satisfied!