A Guide to the Best Snow Boots
You’re probably familiar with the amount of snowfall you can expect where you live. If your region gets a lot of snow for a good part of the year, you’ll need a pair of snow boots that can negotiate harsh weather, snow, mud, and ice over a prolonged period. Or if you don’t have to dig yourself out of a foot of snow, maybe you can get by with ankle-high snow boots. Choosing the right pair of snow boots for yourself (and your children) is an essential part of getting through the winter.
We’ll see that some models are only water-resistant, while others are completely waterproof. There are rugged designs, which are made from the best-quality raw materials. And there are other models that put more emphasis on comfort or style. Let’s examine the options in the Best Reviews Guide list of the best snow boots. You’re sure to find the right combination between sturdy design, comfort, and style!
Aren’t all winter boots essentially snow boots?
There are essentially four types of winter boots, snow boots being one of the options:
Pac boots: This is defined as “a soft, flexible, heelless shoe worn as a liner inside a boot”. Pac boots will consist of a soft shoe placed inside a thick waterproof rubber shell. The inner shoe may be removable in some designs. It’s recommended for chores such as shoveling your driveway, or ice fishing, where you don’t have to go very far, but you need serious protection against deep snow and cold temperatures. An example is the Carhartt Men’s 10” Waterproof Insulated PAC Composite Toe Boot.
Carhartt Men’s 10” Waterproof Insulated PAC Composite Toe Boot
Snow boots: These won’t have a full rubber lower shell as in Pac Boots. This will make them less bulky and durable and don’t offer the same amount of protection from the cold. An example is the WLCSDNFA Men’s Snow Boots. They have a waterproof lining, as well as faux fur inside for warmth.
WLCSDNFA Men’s Snow Boots
Winter hunting boots: These are going to require mobility in the snow, to get to a location where you’d like to hunt, as well as long-term protection against the cold, if you’ll be stationed in a tree stand. They tend to be lighter than snow boots or Pac boots. An example is the Irish Setter Men’s 860 Elk Tracker Waterproof 1000 Gram 12” Big Game Hunting Boot.
Irish Setter Men’s 860 Elk Tracker Waterproof 1000 Gram 12” Big Game Hunting Boot
Winter work boots: These employ a thick layer of leather, as well as extra insulation. They’ll also have a safety toe, to protect you in the event that you drop a heavy object on your foot. An example is the Mishansha Men’s and Women’s Hiking Boots. It has a Thermoplastic Rubber (=TPR) toe cap to protect your feet.
Mishansha Men’s and Women’s Hiking Boots
Types of Snow Boots
Among the snow boots in the Best Reviews Guide list, you’ll see essentially three styles: those that reach up to the calf, those that are mid-calf height, and those that are only ankle-high:
Ankle-high snow boots: These reach to ¼ of the distance between your feet and your knees. They manage just to cover your ankles and thus allow for more mobility when hiking or working. An example is the Mishansha Men’s/Women’s Hiking Boots. They’re also recommended for skiing, camping, or even mountaineering. But, as you can see, they’re not recommended for deep snow.
Mishansha Men’s/Women’s Hiking Boots
Calf-high snow boots: These extend from ¼ to ½ the distance between your feet and knees. An example is the totes Women’s Dalia Insulated Waterproof Mid-Snow Winter Boots.
totes Women’s Dalia Insulated Waterproof Mid-Snow Winter Boots
Mid-calf-high snow boots: These are the tallest boots, reaching from ½ to ¾ of the height between your feet and knees. They thus provide the most protection from snow entering from the top. But, they also reduce your leg’s mobility, since they maintain your calf and ankle in a straight line. An example is the Kamik Unisex-Child Waterbug Snow Boot. They’re ideal for kids since they’ll prevent snow from getting into their boots, even when trudging through deep snow.
Kamik Unisex-Child Waterbug Snow Boot
You’ll also notice that boots can either have laces, a zipper, or be slip-on models:
Lace-up boots: These require you to tie the laces, but they provide a more snug fit. That will prevent any snow from entering your boots, as well as retain heat. An example is the Dream Pairs Women’s Waterproof Winter Snow Boots.
Dream Pairs Women’s Waterproof Winter Snow Boots
Zipper: There are also boots that require you to zip them on. An example is the totes Women’s Dalia Insulated Waterproof Winter Boots that we saw above.
Slip-on boots: These are probably more convenient for children since they can be tightened by just pulling a drawstring. They don’t require tying shoelaces. And there’s no risk of the laces becoming untied either. An example is the Columbia Unisex Child Powderbug Plus Snow Boot.
Columbia Unisex Child Powderbug Plus Snow Boot
What reviewers say
Here are some impressions of customers who purchased snow boots in the Best Reviews Guide list:
Comfortable indoors as well: One customer who bought the Dream Pairs Women’s Winter Snow Boots was pleased with the fact that she could wear them in snow even in blustery weather. But, when she had to take a flight for over 12 hours, she didn’t feel that the boot was too hot or overly heavy.
Snow gaiters: Buy a snow boot with a snow gaiter that prevents snow from entering the boots by sealing the gap between the legs and the boot. Snow gaiters could either take the form of thick insulated flaps, or a drawstring design.
Here are some features worth looking for when purchasing a pair of snow boots:
Waterproof vs. water-resistant boots: You’ll notice that some boots are waterproof, while others are only water-resistant. “Water-resistance” is connected to the boots’ Ingress Protection rating, which indicates whether the boot is impervious to jets or water, or whether it can be immersed in water for a long time. Water-resistant boots may be able to keep your feet dry when there is torrential rain, or when you’re treading through slush. But if you know that you’ll be standing in puddles of water for a while, vie for snow boots that are 100% water-proof, which keeps your feet warm and comfortable. Ensure that the seams and edges of the snow boot are double-taped or sealed for extra protection against water seeping in.
Advantages of rubber soles: Opt for rubber soles, as they are a must on snow boots to provide traction. Soles made of rubber are also easier to clean.
Durable material: Select a snow boot that is made of durable material. Nylon or leather exteriors are reliable and long-lasting. Also, take note if there is a rand on your boots. It is a layer of rubber that goes over your boots. It’s intended to protect your foot from sharp objects.
Good insulation: You’ll see that boots will be rated for the minimum temperature for which they can still keep you warm. Some are capable of getting you through temperatures as low as -40 Celsius! For better insulation, select a snow boot with wool or synthetic lining. Thinsulate, an insulating material manufactured by 3M, is another popular choice. The manufacturer claims that Thinsulate can retain 1.5x the amount of heat of down feathers!
Removable liners: There are boots with removable liners. This is preferable since you can take out the liner for it to dry if water manages to seep into your boots. Also, you can take them out and wash them from time to time!
We studied some of the features of the best snow boots. Some focus on providing you with a cozy, faux-fur lining to keep your feet warm. Others put their emphasis on keeping out water so that your feet won’t be wet in freezing temperatures for hours and hours. Yet others are principally for making sure that you have good traction on ice and snow. Look over the options, and select a sturdy pair of snow boots!