How To Buy Good Winter Boots
For those living in cold parts of the world, a quality pair of winter boots is essential. They help keep your feet warm, dry, and planted on the ground as you navigate months of snowy and icy conditions. Below we break down all of the important considerations in choosing the right winter boot for you, including warmth, height, waterproofing, weight, fit, and more. To check out our favorite designs, see our articles on the best winter boots and best women's winter boots.
how to buy good winter boots
The first step in choosing a winter boot involves thinking about your intended uses. There are two camps for the most part: casual winter boots that are great for everyday wear, commuting, and light outdoor use. Second are more backcountry-focused models that essentially look like hiking boots but with added insulation and winter-specific traction. Lightweight backcountry models excel for sports like winter hiking and snowshoeing, while thicker and warmer versions are great for outdoor work and more sedentary activities in the cold.
Once you've read through the steps above, it's time to select the perfect winter boots for you. We cover all of our top picks in our articles on the best winter boots and women's winter boots, but below are a few of our favorites:
There are so many things to cover when equipping yourself with a quality pair of winter boots. First of all, how well are they insulated? How comfortable are they? Do they give good maneuverability, or does all that insulation make them too rigid? Does the sole provide good traction to prevent slipping on frozen surfaces?
Insulation is something everyone will consider when buying a pair of winter boots, but not a lot of people know how much insulation they need. After all, winter temperatures can vary greatly, so there are different insulation types and thicknesses to cover all possible conditions and needs. Insulation thickness is measured in grams (G) and it represents the thickness of the insulating material.
Not quite for snow and winter, but more adequate for cold weather. With moderate physical activity, this level of insulation will likely keep your feet warm in normal autumn temperatures, but they still might be a bit too thin for you if you spend most of your day sitting outside.
Shearling insulation offers great comfort as it is very soft and fluffy, making the boots easy to wear for longer periods. It also does a great job of keeping your feet warm even in extremely cold temperatures. However, most shearling insulated boots are not made for rugged outdoor environments, but for day-to-day activities.
However, not everything is on the bright-side here. Given that the materials used for waterproof boots are not so flexible and actually tend to be a bit stiff, they will often give less comfort than those made of more flexible, non-waterproof materials. Of course, in these modern times, everything is being done to increase comfort and make up for it in different ways, be it padding, insoles, or other methods.
You could find alternative ways to deal with this, of course, such as socks that wick away your sweat drops or breathable lining. It depends on your needs and the amount of sweat you produce, so consider all matters when picking your pair of winter boots.
Water-resistant means that the material is keeping the water at bay for a certain period of time. If submerged, just like in the waterproof example, the water-resistant pair of boots would repel the water for a short period before starting to soak.
These materials are more breathable than those of waterproof boots and will allow the air to flow in and out. Aside from air, it also lets moisture escape from the inside, providing better conditions for your feet. For these reasons, they can not provide the same amount of protection from water and will eventually soak if left exposed to it for too long.
For extra hard-working individuals that are not spared of heavy-duty work even in freezing temperatures, safety is another concern that has to be covered. So aside from comfort, durability, good insulation, these boots will have to provide the workers with protection from falling objects, piercing damage, or any other potential form of harm.
As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider when buying a pair of winter boots for the season. Take all of the above into consideration, and then browse our collection of the highest-quality winter boots there are.
Overlook Boots is your one-stop shop for high-quality work boots and apparel at affordable prices. Our selection of work, western, hunt and dutry boots is unmatched. We are a family owned business with strong values. The entire Overlook Boots team takes pride serving the hard working men and women of this country.
Looking for the best winter boots? We've tested over 45 different pairs in the last eight years, and our updated review features the 12 best and most popular options available today. Regardless of where you live, what sort of winters you face, or what specific purposes you need boots, we've tested great options and have solid recommendations. Whether you're walking through the cold slushy streets of the big city, shoveling snow off the driveway before taking the kids to school, chopping wood at the cabin in the middle of a big storm, or commuting to and from the ski lodge, we'll give you the lowdown on which are the best options.
The North Face Chilkat V 400 took us by surprise with its excellent warmth and comfort, earning our top honor for winter boots. It has tons of synthetic insulation with a comfortable lining, which creates an environment of luxury. The boot is very light, making it comfortable to walk long distances, and the excellent tread pattern ensures good grip on both paved and rough surfaces, dry or slick. It also has plenty of weather resistance for stormy weather and enough durability to last a long time.
The tongue meets the boot at a lower height than other burly winter boots on the market, meaning that you won't be able to submerge these in the deepest waterways. But barring that flaw, these boots are excellent and relatively affordable compared to other similar options. In short, the Chilkat outperforms the rest, and for most winter users who have to deal with snowy and cold weather, these are the boots we recommend.
The Columbia Bugaboot III is a high-performance winter boot that excels in most applications and comes for an affordable price. It packs tons of warmth and comfort into a lightweight package and has enough traction and weather resistance for most winter users. These boots are among the most comfortable we have ever tested, with soft fleece-lined insulation that molds to your feet over time. Putting these boots on is a dream.
We have some doubts about the long-term durability of this product due to tailoring discrepancies. We had no issues, and the boots showed no signs of wear during our test period. We don't love the style of these boots either, but their great performance is enough for us to forgive their clunky looks. These are the best option if you need a solid boot for harsh winter weather and are shopping on a budget.
Slip-on work boots are the most convenient boots in our review, but this convenience also prevents them from achieving a perfect fit. Indeed, the Arctic Sport Mid feels a bit loose and sloppy, but it best fits this sub-category. Thick socks help take up some of this room. These also aren't as warm as Pac boots, so users might want to look elsewhere for seriously cold winter climates if they will be spending hours in below-freezing temperatures regularly. But if you want a convenient slip-on boot for odd jobs and chores that will also be adequate for the occasional long and cold outdoor workday, these are a great choice.
The Merrell Thermo Chill Mid is a winter hiking boot that performs well enough to be used in most winter climates as an all-around winter boot. It is affordable, earning our nod for the best winter hiking boot. It is supremely comfortable, thanks to a great footbed and cozy insulation, and also packs enough warmth and weather resistance for most days of the winter. Light and easy to wear, the low price tag is delightful considering the performance this boot delivers.
Still, the Thermo Chill isn't tall enough or warm enough for some winter snowstorms or submersion in deep water. They are made for hiking and do this well, but they won't be useful for those who need to trudge through deep snow to chop wood or shovel the driveway. And we have concerns about the fabric eyelets that seem likely to break over time from cinching the laces down tight. But for winter hikers and others in temperate climates who want a good boot on a tight budget, these are what we recommend.
The UGG Butte is a stylish leather winter boot with wool insulation that feels great against the feet. Comfort is a priority. The boot is light and doesn't feel as bulky and cumbersome as heavier Pac boots. The leather exterior looks great, and the cuff can be rolled down to show off the wool lining or kept up for an all-leather look. The lower section of the boot is completely waterproof, meaning the boot can stomp through puddles and shallow snowdrifts without getting wet.
The lightweight nature of the Butte means it isn't as warm as others, but it is still warm enough for winter days in most places. And although water begins to seep into the boot at a submersion depth of 6.5 inches, we rarely found puddles that deep in real life. Overall, these boots perform well and will be suitable for most users, and the style is some of the best on the market. Only users with specific extreme cold or water resistance needs will need to look elsewhere.
The Baffin Impact is a huge, heavy boot with extreme warmth. We cannot imagine ever having cold feet in these boots. They have a removable synthetic liner for insulation and a thin layer of fixed insulation on the inside of the shell. The sole is thick, and the footbed has a honeycomb pattern to add height and trap warm air beneath the foot. Every aspect of this boot provides warmth, and is the warmest winter boot we have tested. 041b061a72