When Palladium was founded in 1920, the company didn’t make boots; it made rubber tires for the fledgling aviation industry, tires of layered canvas, and vulcanized rubber.
By the late 1940s, the World Wars were over and the French company shifted from making tires to building boots with the same quality and craftsmanship. In 1947, it produced the boot that still forms the basis of its collection, the Pampa. The French Foreign Legion, impressed with its outstanding comfort and durability, procured the Pampa for its staff based in the harsh North African desert and in the Atlas Mountains.
Palladium has kept the original design, classic lines, and real utility of its first Pampa boot and carried it into all of its styles.
The Pampa Thermal uses an Aniline Waterproof Leather upper over 400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra, and an insulated footbed for exceptional cold weather protection in a boot that can transition from urban to backcountry instantly. The company runs its footwear through a battery of rigorous tests for waterproofness and heat loss. In the lab, the Thermal maintains the wearer's foot temperature for at least three hours in ambient air temperatures of -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
We’ve been testing the Pampa Thermal in the woods of Vermont, and we can confirm those findings. The sole grips well on snow and ice, but is durable, formulated with a proprietary airplane tire-inspired rubber compound. The calf of the boot is padded but not bulky; it wraps your leg with memory foam-like comfort.
Laces pull through the guides with a single tug so you can tie them and get out the door fast. The eye-catching one-piece molded rubber outsole uses a cold weather compound to withstand extremely cold conditions without cracking, and a suede-like lining feels good against your feet while it wicks away moisture.
And the boots have tone-on-tone webbing overlays that give ankle support and provide visual interest. So we love them not only because they do everything a winter boot should, but because they do it with style. Available now, $180; palladiumboots.com.