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Warm, Waterproof, Wacky, and (Almost) Weightless: Fubuki Boots Review

Don't let the funky color options fool you. Fubuki boots are surprisingly stout and cozy in nasty conditions.

fubuki boots crossing water in winter(Photo/Kendra Smith)
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Rarely do I get scooped on the gear front. Ninety-nine times out of 100, the river of beta on the latest, coolest gear flows from me and empties into the ocean of friends, family, and the best damn readers on the internet.

But when a friend in Colorado sent me a picture of her latest ski tour-hut trip, I stared in shock at her goofy, bright blue boots. They were unmistakable — no boots looked like those boots. I knew because I’d had a pair sent to me months prior. Fubuki boots are big, colorful, and deceptively well-designed because they have basically zero bells or whistles.

And that’s probably why I got scooped. When the boots first arrived, I didn’t get it. The calf-high Niseko sported an almost featureless, rubbery-looking EVA outer and some light poly insulation. No laces, buckles, or straps, almost no branding — they looked like a children’s boots drawing. And the splashy Hulk-green color only made them seem more silly!

But in 2 years of testing, I’ll admit I was wrong (and right). Fubuki boots are indeed simple and silly. But they’re also delightfully warm, easy to wear, dependably everything-proof, and shockingly lightweight. Read on to learn how these s**t-kickers became my go-to foul-weather footwear.

fubuki boots in mud
(Photo/Adam Ruggiero)

In short: The Fubuki Niseko is not a revolutionary design. But it marries simplicity and comfort very well. A sprinkle of marketing magic dust in the form of many splashy, bright colors makes this a standout for winter sports enthusiasts. They’re not meant for longer hikes, technical terrain, or industrial use, but if you prioritize ease, performance, and a little fun, you’ll be happy with a pair of your own. At $149, they’re not budget boots, but they’re well below more technical options on the market.

Fubuki Niseko 2.0


  • Weight 3 lbs. (pair, men's size 10)
  • Waterproof Yes
  • Upper material EVA
  • Width Standard


  • Impressively warm polyester lining
  • Rugged EVA outsole and shaft can take a beating
  • Incorporates an ABS toecap to protect against dropped skis
  • 10 different fun color schemes


  • Difficult to get hands-on in the States
  • Forget about driving in these boots

Fubuki Niseko 2.0 Boot Review

Fubuki boots comprise four main parts: shell/outsole, toecap, collar, and lining. The boots are completely waterproof and windproof, and they look it. When I first unboxed the boots, I thought they looked more like rain galoshes than winter boots.

However, the Fubuki brand is very much focused on snowy winter activities. Swedish co-founder Kalle Norman first conceived of the boots while on a ski trip in Japan, and the word “fubuki” translates to “snowstorm” in Japanese. So while the calf-high, uniform EVA shell might harken to a fishing or rain boot, the polyester felt lining reinforces the Niseko’s winter roots.

fubuki boots in river winter
(Photo/Kendra Smith)

The composite toecap adds rigidity and protection around the forefoot of the otherwise pliant upper. Rounding out the construction, a smooth polyester cuff crowns the top of the boot with two thick, cinchable laces. This can help keep out deep snow, especially, and add a slightly tighter fit.

2-Year, 3-State Test

I received the Niseko 2.0 boots, in highlighter green, in 2022. Since then, they’ve traipsed through wet Kansas City sleet, sloppy Arkansas mud, and tenacious Minnesota blizzards.

When I do not require speed or agility, I grab these boots for serious snow or rain. Not only are they idiotproof weather protection (it’s just a big EVA boot), but they’re also convenient, have no laces to fumble with, and are cozy so I can throw them on with or without socks.

As with any mid-calf boot, the range of motion is somewhat limited, although the Niseko was never cumbersome. I also did not trek more than a couple of miles, and often far less than that. Though they’re quite cozy, these boots work better as a serious defense during casual use.

The outsole has a moderate tread pattern — not very aggressive, but plenty of lugs to grip loose and wet snow and mud. On wet and dry surfaces, traction was never a problem during testing. The boots performed OK on ice but did not contain any special rubber compound tailored to icy environments. Exercise normal caution.

What I Liked About These Silly Boots

If you ask what I like most about these boots, I’ll say, “Simple …” The long and the short of Fubuki boots are that they’re not overengineered or packed full of the latest, patented tech. They’re simple, warm, waterproof boots.

fubuki river in snowbank
(Photo/Adam Ruggiero)

The sneakiest highlight is the weight. My size EU 46 (~U.S. 13 in Fubuki sizing) weighed 1 pound, 10 ounces per boot. That’s incredibly light for a mid-calf, insulated, waterproof boot. Many big waders and rain boots can weigh 2.5 pounds per boot.

Inside, the cozy fleece liner was ideal for wearing over bare feet for snowy, wet strolls to the mailbox. Or if you live in an apartment and own a dog, these boots are perfect for rainy-morning dog walks to handle the daily business.

These boots are also great to have by the back door in winter, waiting for the call of duty — shoveling, scraping windshields, or a Saturday stroll to the sledding hill.

Though I love the simplicity, Fubuki added a couple of clever design features I appreciate. First, the composite toecap. These boots aren’t made for the worksite, but you’re going to need to kick off slush and muck if you’re using them right.

The toecap adds durability and protection so you can knock off the messy stuff. Second, a little molded heel bumper helps you actually slide these boots off. My pair was never so tight that they were tough to remove, but that little lip helps you inch out your heel so they slide off more easily.

One Drawback

The biggest issue I experienced was a minor but annoying failure in the collar. The cinch laces attach to the collar with metal grommets. On both boots, the backing on the grommets poked through the collar. I noticed after I cinched the boots tight and felt it poking into both shins.

The intrusion is shallow, so I just stopped cinching the boots. The good news is that I contacted co-founder Christofer Ljunggren, and he quickly responded that Fubuki was aware of the issue and had remedied it (I received my test pair in spring 2022). He also noted that generation 3 boots are slated to launch this fall with the same look but updates and improvements overall.

Fubuki Niseko Boots: Catch the Fever

I’ve been avoiding this the whole review, but it needs to be said. If I had to compare the Fubuki phenomenon to something, it’d be UGG boots. Before you throw your device in the nearest flaming dumpster, hear me out. The Fubuki boots are functional and cozy, and they carry a bold look that, from what I can see, is just starting to catch on.

Unlike UGG, however, you can throw these on in your robe, stroll across the bog, splash ’em clean in the river, and grab a coffee. And you’ll probably get some compliments along the way.

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