If you live or work in cold weather conditions it is important to keep your feet warm and dry, and many people find that snow boots are the perfect choice. They can be expensive and not every pair is created the same, which is why we’ve included the following tips that will help you spend your money wisely when you are shopping for snow boots.
What to look for in a pair of snow boots
Snow boots have several unique characteristics that need to be carefully considered to ensure your feet will stay warm and dry, and that you are not wasting your money on an inferior pair.
Snow boots should be waterproof, which is important for your comfort, health and safety. Mud, snow and water should never be able to soak into the boots, no matter how long you are tramping through wet conditions.
This important feature will effectively prevent snow from getting inside the boot, and there are two types common used. Some boots have a drawstring at the top that can be pulled tight around the pant leg, while other snow gaiters are part of the insulation. This prevents any gaps from forming between the top of the boot and the pant leg.
The height of the boot should be above the ankles, especially if you are walking through deep snow. The taller height also works with the snow gaiter to prevent any cold, wet snow from getting inside the boots.
Most experts recommend choosing a pair of snow boots that come with a rubber sole, but this might not be necessary if you aren’t planning on trudging through water or mud. Rubber soles can provide you with plenty of traction on slick surfaces, along with keeping the bottoms of your feet dry. Rubber soles are also easier to clean than other materials, which might be an important consideration if you plan on walking through mud.
The “upper” refers to the body of the boot, and you want it to be constructed from a durable and waterproof material. Leather and nylon are common materials used, and are able to keep your feet warm and dry. For added protection and durability, you also want to choose a pair of snow boots with sealed or taped seams.
No matter how well the boot is constructed if it does not have adequate insulation your feet will not stay warm in cold temperatures, and there are a few types to choose from. Wool or synthetic insulation will keep your feet exceptionally warm, but this can also make the fit of the boots slightly loose. Thinsulate insulation is lightweight and thin, making it an ideal choice for recreational activities. Insulation that weighs 400 grams to 800 grams will keep your feet warm without slowing you down, and heavier types are recommended for below freezing temperatures or when you are standing outside for long periods of time.
Choosing the right size
It is important to remember that you will probably be wearing thicker socks with the snow boots, and possibly liners which will help determine the size. The size is important not only for comfort, but also for the health of your feet. Snow boots that are too tight can cut off circulation, while footwear that is too loose often results in painful chaffing. Most experts recommend trying on snow boots with the socks and liners you are planning to wear to ensure a secure and comfortable fit. If you plan on ordering the footwear online it is important to measure your foot with the socks on so you can avoid uncomfortable and potentially expensive purchasing mistakes.
The boots should feel “snug” without pinching, and you should be able to comfortably move your toes. The heels of your feet should not slide around, and if possible see how the boots “feel” when you walk and bend down.
Socks for snow boots
The most important aspect to consider when you are choosing socks is the material used. While cotton is extremely comfortable to wear, its ability to absorb perspiration often results in cold, wet feet. Socks constructed from fleece, wool, shearling or synthetic materials are thicker, and designed to hold heat in without moisture. For added protection from the cold and snow, you might want to consider adding a liner to the sock, though it is important to note this might mean you should consider purchasing snow boots in a larger size.