October 20, 2023
A good pair of winter boots is essential for staying warm and comfortable in the wintertime. Nothing can ruin a day faster than having cold, wet feet- or even worse, frostbite! However, shopping for winter boots can be somewhat intimidating if you don’t know what you are looking for. In this article we will through what you should be looking out for when choosing a pair of boots, and why these things are important.
You can already start to narrow down your choices before you even start shopping by answering a couple of questions for yourself.
What will you be doing with your boots?
What you are planning to do with your boots will go a long way to determining what features are more and less important for you. For example, a pair of boots that will mostly be used for shoveling the driveway and playing with the kids in the snow will be very different from a pair of boots that you would want to wear to work downtown every day!
What are the weather conditions you will be encountering?
Your local climate (or the climate where you will need your boots) will also dictate what is important for you and what is not. If you get very cold, mostly dry winters your ideal pair of boots will be different than someone who lives where the temperature hovers around freezing with lots of precipitation.
Below we have prepared a list of features that you should consider when shopping for your new boots. Remember that you should judge these features with the answers to the questions above in mind.
A good pair of winter boots should have insulation to keep your feet warm. Insulation traps in heat and prevents cold air from entering the boots. There are many trademarked types of insulation on the market, in general these are all similar and work well. If you live somewhere where a pair of sneakers isn’t warm enough for the winter, you will need insulated boots.
Some boots have removable liners we well as insulation. This functionality is optional but can be very useful if you expect to face a wide range of temperatures. Thicker or thinner liners can be interchanged depending on your needs.
Wet feet are cold feet. In general, some level of waterproofing is needed to keep your feet dry and warm. The level of waterproofing will be more or less important depending on the conditions you expect to face. If you will regularly be walking in the snow (or winter rain) you will need fully waterproof boots. However, if you will be mostly walking on cleared sidewalks basic water resistance is probably sufficient.
Check that the seams of the boots are sealed to prevent moisture and cold air from entering the boots through the seams.
Winter can be slippery! Look for boots that have non-slip soles, with deep lugs, and are made of a durable material. On icy days throw a pair of ICETRAX on your boots for extra security and confidence.
The shaft of the boot is the part that comes up your leg. If you expect a lot of snow, you will want a boot with a shaft that goes well above the ankle and covers part of your calf. If you aren’t going to be walking in the snow a lower shaft should be sufficient but still, look for something that is above the ankle.
The temperature rating is the manufacturer’s suggested minimum temperature that the boots will perform at. This information should be readily displayed in store or online. Make sure that the temperature in your area is covered by the temperature rating of the boots.
Consider the weight of the boot. If you are planning on doing winter activities, you will need a boot that is light enough to be able to move comfortably. If, however, you will mostly be standing around waiting for the bus weight will not be as big of a consideration.
The most important thing when shopping for a pair of boots is to try them on. Check that they are neither too loose nor too tight. If they are too lose, they will not be comfortable to wear, and if they are too tight the insulating properties of the boots will not work as expected. When trying on a pair of boots it is very important that you wear the thickness of socks you will be wearing when going outdoors in the winter.
Can you adjust the fit of the boots with straps, or laces? Having a pair of boots that you can adjust allows you to wear socks of different thicknesses and still get the boots fitted perfectly to keep the warmth in.
In conclusion, shopping for winter boots is essential for comfort and warmth in the cold season. Consider insulation, waterproofing, traction, and fit when making your selection. By matching the features to your activities and local climate, you can ensure that your winter boots will keep you cozy and secure throughout the winter. So, choose wisely and stay warm all season long.
On icy days, throw a pair of ICETRAX on your new boots for extra confidence and security in slippery conditions!
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