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What to look for in snow boots

There are few things as miserable as spending all winter with cold, wet feet whenever you leave the house, but you shouldn’t let adverse weather mess with your capacity to have fun. Snow boots keep feet warm and dry, so you can still enjoy many of the outdoor pursuits you do in warmer weather. The right pair of snow boots can transform the coldest months and leave your feet happy. 

How to choose snow boots

Check the warmth rating

Most manufacturers give their boots a warmth rating, so you can tell what kind of conditions they’ll keep your feet warm in. Snow boot warmth ratings start at around -10 degrees and can go all the way down to around -50 degrees. However, these are just estimates, so various factors can affect them. Still, it’s a good place to start when finding boots of an appropriate warmness for the conditions you’ll be experiencing. 

Get the right fit

Some people like to size up with snow boots to accommodate a pair or two of thick socks, but this isn’t always essential. Some are sized generously to give room for thermal socks, while others aren’t. It’s a good idea to check reviews from other buyers to see whether boots run large, small or true-to-size. 

Like most apparel, snow boots are divided into “men’s” and “women’s” versions. The only real real difference between women’s snow boots and men’s snow boots is the sizing. There’s roughly a size and a half between men’s and women’s shoe sizes, so a men’s size 7 is about the same size as a women’s 8.5. However, people of any gender can wear whichever boots they prefer, as long as they get the sizing right. 

Consider comfort

Some boots are simply more comfortable than others. Those with thick lining or removable inner boots are likely to be comfortable and shouldn’t rub, because they have built-in padding. If you have wide feet, consider finding boots with wide-fit options so they don’t pinch or rub around the ball of the foot. 

Think about waterproofing

Most snow boots are fully waterproof, while others are simply water-resistant. Some are waterproof up to around the ankle and then are water-resistant higher up. If you’re mostly buying boots for icy conditions or minimal snowfall, water-resistant options are fine. However, if you have deep snow to contend with or want your boots to keep your feet dry in the rain, opt for fully waterproof ones. 

Other snow boot features to consider

There’s more to consider when picking out the best snow boots. Thinking about these features will help you discover your ideal boots :

  • Removable lining: It’s nice to have a removable lining so you can still wear your boots in wet-but-warm conditions. This lets you get more use out of your boots year-round. You may also be able to wash the interior lining to keep your boots fresh.
  • Traction: You don’t want to be sliding around on snow or patches of ice, so check what kind of grip your chosen boots have on the underside of the sole. Look for boots that offer good traction.
  • Height: If you get deep snow, consider buying boots that reach mid-calf or just below the knee. However, if you rarely get more than a few inches, shorter ankle-length boots are all you need. 
  • Drawstring closure: Some snow boots have a drawstring closure at the top. Tuck your pants into your boots, tighten the drawstring and you won’t have any issues with snow getting down your boots. 

Best snow boots

Best Sorel Women's Winter Carnival Waterproof Snow Boots

Sorel Women’s Winter Carnival Waterproof Snow Boots

Thanks to their seam-sealed waterproof construction and warmth rating of -25 degrees, these boots will keep your feet toasty in seriously snowy conditions. They have a comfortable lining and the soles provide plenty of traction, even in slippery, icy conditions. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Polar Women's Waterproof Thermal Snow Boots

Polar Women’s Waterproof Thermal Snow Boots

Available in more than 15 color combinations, including tan and gray Nordic print, these boots prove you can look stylish while keeping your feet warm. They’re lined with cozy faux fur and are cuffed at the top to help keep snow out. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Sorel Men's 1964 Pac Nylon Snow Boot

Sorel Men’s 1964 Pac Nylon Snow Boot 

These hugely sturdy boots are rugged enough for regular wear and are rated for use at down to -40 degrees, so there are few conditions they can’t face. The insulation is removable and they have sealed seams to make them fully waterproof. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Arctic Shield Men's Waterproof Insulated Snow Boots

Arctic Shield Men’s Waterproof Insulated Snow Boots

Lightweight yet warm, these boots are perfect for snowy conditions, keeping your feet warm and comfortable. They have a waterproof shell to keep your feet dry and a bungee lace system so they’re quick and easy to put on and take off. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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