How to choose the best winter boots for this winter? We are here to help.
A pair of good winter boots is not just about safety. It will enhance your comfort and reduce discomfort. Hiking in winter can be rather stressful when you don’t carry suitable equipment. This includes boots.
Shocking it may be, it is not a bad time to start thinking about your winter boots. It is good to get the best of them (well, budget plays a role too). Here is our post on what to know in order to get the best winter boots for this winter.
Types of Boots and Type of Usage
You see… it is not just about hiking through snow. You do wear winter boots to shovel the snow outside your house. So, there are different types and differences between different models.
The Extreme Type of Winter Snow Boots
Some times they look rather big and bulky, as for such heavy duty boots need to function well and then to look “pretty”. You will meet such made with rubber, leather, nylon or all together.
They are great to keep your feed warm while walking or standing in deep snow, with really low temperatures.
Such boots are heavier than all other types, which means they are not ideal for long distances. Forget about driving to your destination while wearing a pair of these. It is impossible to drive.
Boots for Winter Hiking
Also big boots or rather stuffed. Their insulation is usually less then the above mentioned ones and not that tall. As weight is less and type of materials change you can use them to hike for longer distances. They are more flexible too, so walking is not of the “robot” style.
Everyday Winter Boots
These are the ones you will wear most of the time. You can easily walk with such boots without adding lots of stress on your feet. Everyday boots do not have the “warmth” level of the above mentioned types and they are usually made by leather and suede.
Ratings and Indicators
Some people seek for brands and their boots when these carry a rating regarding temperature tolerance (some say that boots perform well in -30oC or lower). There is no clear and approved set of “tests” to follow.
So, yes some have that indicator but that is not a guarantee that your boots will keep your feet warm. There are many factors that influence warmth and comfort. Even your health/physical condition matters, how tired you are or not, time of day, moisture or not, standing still or not, etc.
So better not to rely 100% on such numbers.
The Variety of Insulation Types
There are three main types: Down Fill, Felt/Sheepskin Linings & Synthetic ones.
Down Fill Winter Boots
Not the best (and safe) option when you walk through snow. Insulation will be compromised by moisture. Better to use such boots to sit outside your cabin and stay with that.
Felt and Sheepskin Linings for Winter Boots
This extra -and removable in many cases- insulation is a very good solution. It can continue to insulate ever after being exposed to moist weather elements. The fact that the linings are also removable enhances the speed with which they can dry up.
Synthetic Insulation for Winter Boots
That is the most common insulator. They are not removable. Such insulation has less mass than the above so the total weight of the boot is reduced.
What about Waterproofing?
If you want them to be as such then make sure they are. Most are, but some good boots are not always waterproof.
How tall must they be?
With such we refer to the boot height. You need to think and examine the conditions to the areas you prefer to use your boots.
Height of boots affects:
- Easiness of walking
- How much of your foot stays warmer
- How easy it is to get them on and off
The rule is easy? The shorter it is, if you try to walk in deep snow, you’ll get cold.
When it comes to women’s specific boots, tall ones are usually made to look pretty nice too.
Materials used in Winter Boots
Rubber is the most common one. Rubber protects from moisture, cold, wind and last longer on heavy usage against rocks. Cold also alters your boot’s materials, so rubber (and leather) perform well there.
Keep in mind that when things get warmer, then rubber will not allow to have a good level of breathability.
Leather and nylon are usually used on the top portions of a boot and low your boot to breath better. Leather will make your boots look better but leather also absorbs more moisture.
Sole materials have evolved for winter boots. They prevent your under soles to harden up to the level to make walking difficult. When sole is hard it can let you slip too.
In extreme winter it is better to use traction systems. That is because rubber won’t grip well in extreme conditions.
Good winter boots allow to expand them with add-on traction systems that come in form of chains, spikes, “bolt-like” ones and more.
We hope you get a pretty good base idea on how to select and get the best winter boots.
For more ideas have a look here.