The Best Shoes for Walking on Ice and Snow in 2020
Here's a question to ask yourself before you go for the best shoes for walking on ice and snow:
"What's the worst thing that can happen if I use my regular shoes to walk on ice?"
You might slip and fall, twist one ankle or both, develop winter-related injuries, or maybe even worse.
I need you to understand one thing:
Regular footwear has smooth, flat soles with no special treads to dig and grip icy surfaces. So you should avoid them because they are never safe for icy and snowy environments.
Don’t buy shoes with plastic or leather soles because they don’t provide the traction you need to walk in slippery environments. Instead, go for shoes that feature durable, heavy-duty rubber treads with proper cushioning and insulation.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the right pair of shoes for walking on ice and snow. You’ll also learn how to choose a good pair that can give you the value for your money.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Our Top Recommendation
Featuring a combination of comfort, durability, warmth, and style, Columbia Bugaboot II are the shoes you can wear and walk in on ice throughout the day.
The inner layer features insulators and internal liners, which provide sufficient warmth to your feet, even when the temperature goes below 0F.
Made of 100% waterproof leather, the outer section is sturdy enough to allow you to make frequent kicks if you have to, especially in a 5-inch deep snow.
The rubber outsole has durable treads that do two things. They provide the traction you need to walk with ease on slippery surfaces. And they easily grip icy surfaces to protect you from falling.
Columbia Bugaboot II Boots take some time to break in. You may find them somewhat uncomfortable for a while. But, they should fit you well after breaking in.
What to Look for Before Buying Anti Ice Slip Shoes
You already know by now that style and fashion are important factors to consider when shopping for shoes for different occasions.
But, you can’t really focus on these two factors when it comes to choosing slip resistance footwear for icy environment.
With that said, here’s how to choose the most relevant non-slip pair for the environment:
1. Make Sure the Pair Provides Sufficient Traction
Regular footwear, like those we use to walk on rough paths, won’t hold up on icy paths. They may provide the traction you need to get from point A to point B on dry grounds. But manufacturers never designed them for colder climates.
The shoes you choose for icy pavements should feature rubber outsoles with durable treads. Because they easily grip slippery surfaces, you can walk in them without worrying about slipping and falling.
If possible, invest in boots with larger treads because they offer better grip and traction throughout your walk.
2. Go for Lightweight Shoes
You need to consider the weight of the shoes before buying a pair.
Even if you’ve spotted a pair with durable rubber outsole and large treads but the weight is wanting, it may not help you nearly as much. In other words, the footwear you pick should be as lightweight as possible.
A lightweight pair has two advantages:
First, you don’t have to worry about additional weight on your ankle and feet. In fact, lightweight shoes allow you to walk around for hours without getting tired.
Second, you get more flexibility and improved mobility when moving from point A to point B.
3. Choose Waterproof Footwear
Shoes that give you the stability you need on ice are good. They protect you from skipping, falling, and twisting your ankle(s) altogether.
But the pair you choose won’t be useful if they can’t keep your feet dry.
Remember, boots that aren’t water-resistant can soak up moisture and make your feet wet. The water can add up to the weight of the footwear and eventually hinder your movement.
Therefore, pick shoes that feature waterproof materials because they can keep your feet dry while allowing them to breathe out moisture at the same time.
4. Remember Comfort Matters
Safety is the number one factor to consider when searching for shoes to wear on slippery surfaces.
But that’s not all there is to it.
You also need to make sure the pair you choose is as comfortable as possible.
Remember, walking on ice is a stressful activity already, and you don’t want to add to the discomfort by wearing something that won’t give your feet maximum comfort.
Your choice of footwear should therefore have good cushioning, provide excellent support, and protect you from pain.
You may feel uncomfortable in some boots for a few days. That’s because the materials used to design them take a while to break in.
But once you break them in, they become comfortable to walk in – even for an extended period.
5. Durability is Key
In our guide on walking sneakers for heavy people, we stated that you should check on durability before buying a pair.
The same case applies when searching for anti ice slip footwear.
At the end of the day, you want value for your money. And you just can’t risk bringing home boots that won’t last.
Product Summary Table
Columbia Bugaboot II
Rubber & Synthetic
UGG Butte Snow Boot
Leather WP, Suede, Synthetic
Icebug Metro BUGrip-W
Merrell ColdPack Ice+ Moc
Fabric or Textile
Salomon X Ultra Winter Boot
SPERRY Powder Valley
Best Shoes for Walking on Ice and Snow: Reviews for 2020
1. Columbia Bugaboot II
Are you craving for a combination of comfort and style? Or, maybe you just need some cool, safe shoes for snow?
The Columbia Bugaboot II black boots may just be the ideal choice for you, because it gives you the traction you need even in the most slippery environment.
The 100% waterproof leather prevents moisture from soaking up in the boots. So you can wear and walk in them in chilly, icy regions without worrying about getting your feet wet.
Columbia uses a moisture wick lining for sufficient air circulation. This level of breathability helps to keep your feet dry and odor free throughout the day.
Bugaboot II’s inner layer features insulators and internal liners that give you the warmth you need, so you never have to worry about losing your feet.
The omni-grip, non-marking rubber sole gives you better traction on icy pavements. And the cushioned techlite midsoles provide the comfort that you need to walk well.
- They have a solid outer build.
- Bugaboot II is available in different colors and sizes.
- The overall solid build means the pair can last for a very long time – even with little maintenance.
- Bugaboot II boots are sturdy and provide extra warmth.
- The compartment may not be wide enough for some people.
- They are somewhat expensive.
2. UGG Men's Butte Snow Boots
You already know by now that icy pavements are slippery and extremely dangerous. So you can’t afford to waste money on the wrong footwear.
Thankfully, UGG makes some of the most comfortable and durable snow boots in the market. And their Butte for men is a good example that you can use to get by in an arctic environment.
The pair features a combination of cow suede, cow leather, and synthetic. And they are slip resistant enough to give you the confidence to walk with ease.
UGG Butte can protect you from slipping and falling, thanks to the synthetic outsole with lug treads that provide better traction, unmatched solidity, and better body balance and stability.
Engineered to protect you from losing your feet, Butte can hold up quite well in extreme cold. You should be fine in these even if the temperature in your region drops to -20 degree Celsius.
This shoe also features a waterproof construction. This prevents moisture from entering the boots, especially in extremely cold and chilly conditions. The faux fur, together with the pure wool lining, ensures that your feet stay dry and warm all the time.
- The lug treads provide the stability you need in slippery conditions.
- They’re good for extremely cold temperature.
- The boots offer unmatched comfort to the wearer.
- The ice proof construction is up to the standard.
- Butte is somewhat expensive.
3. Columbia Men's Bugaboot
It’s probably not your first time to read or hear someone talk about Columbia. It’s a brand with a big name in the market, mostly because it designs high quality shoes that can easily meet your footwear needs.
Their Bugaboot, a version that precedes the Bugaboot II, is a good pair that you can use if walks a lot on ice and snow. And because these boots are lightweight, they don’t add any extra weight to your feet.
The 200-gram thinsulate insulation provides the warmth you need to walk with confidence. You never have to worry about losing your feet, even if you live in a region where temperature often falls to -25F.
The seam-sealed waterproof upper prevents moisture from soaking up in the boots. This not only keeps your feet dry but also ensures you walk freely without worrying about foot odor.
The rubber outsole features solid studs that give your feet better traction on snow. The secure lace-up shaft is an added advantage that solidifies the support of these boots, further protecting you from slipping.
Since the pair is flexible, it gives you a higher level of mobility than many options out there.
- Bugaboot boots are available in different colors.
- It’s made of durable synthetic and rubber.
- They are lightweight and therefore easy and convenient to walk in.
- Bugaboot can give you a better body balance even when walking in deep snow.
- Some people may find the boots somewhat stiff.
- The loops for the laces are clot and they seem to wear out fast.
- Bugaboot is somewhat expensive.
4. Icebug Metro BUGrip-W
From 16 carbide tip studs and side zippers to an abrasion resistant baseline and an elastic top collar, Icebug Metro BUGrip-W has what it takes to give you the value for your money.
In fact, the brand uses a combination of the sophisticated shoe technologies to design these boots, making them comfortable and safe to walk in – even when the snow outside is a couple of inches deep.
Icebug rates these boots -4F/-20C. As you can imagine, they are perfect to use in environments where the weather condition is extremely unfriendly.
Metro BUGrip-W features a waterproof upper that keeps your feet dry by preventing moisture from soaking in.
The Comfort Zone insulation protects you from losing your feet by providing the warmth you need to walk in the arctic environment.
The carbide tip studs of these boots are dynamic. This means they can easily adapt to any surface, from pure ice to tough asphalt.
The studs are particularly useful on icy pavements, because they provide better traction to enable you to walk freely without the fear of slipping.
- The grip and traction is up to the standard.
- They are good for environment with a lot of snow and ice.
- They offer better insulation in extremely cold environment.
- Metro BUGrip-W are true to size.
- There are different color options.
- They make a lot of noise when worn indoors.
- They are not suitable for hardwood floors.
- They aren’t suitable for indoor use.
5. Merrell ColdPack Ice+ Moc
Merrell’s footwear line features some of the most durable shoes in the market. And the ColdPack ice+ Moc is an example of a pair that does quite well in wet conditions.
Weighing just 200 grams, these shoes are extremely lightweight, a feature that isn’t quite common with shoes designed for winter.
In an extremely cold environment, where you can easily expose yourself to winter-related injuries, properly insulated shoes can be the difference between losing your feet and getting back indoors safely.
This explains why Merrell uses a low bulk insulation to protect you from winter’s worst by keeping your feet warm and comfortable in snowy and cold conditions.
The brand also uses a moisture wicking lining to enhance air circulation and keep your feet dry and odor free.
The Vibram Arctic Grip provides better surface traction, which enables you to walk freely even when there is just too much ice outdoor.
The Merrell Air Cushion in the heel area helps to enhance the comfort of the shoe even further. Not only does it align your feet properly, it also helps to absorb shock when walking.
- ColdPack ice+ Moc is waterproof.
- The moisture wicking lining enhances air circulation.
- The fleece insulation provides sufficient warmth.
- The removable EVA footbed allows for easy customization.
- ColdPack ice+ Moc requires breaking in.
- These shoes don’t offer sufficient arch support for some wearers.
6. Salomon Men's X Ultra Winter CS Hiking Boot
Salomon doesn’t just play by the book when manufacturing mountaineering gears. They also pay close attention to details when designing the best shoes that you can wear to walk on ice.
The brand engineered the X Ultra boots by combining a number of advanced technologies to make the pair suitable for extremely cold environments.
To begin with, the strong and lightweight thinsulate provides the warmth you need to walk comfortably in the harsh environment. The insulation protects your feet from a condition called hypothermia, so you won’t have to worry about losing your feet in the process.
The waterproofing does add to the insulation, because it prevents moisture from soaking in. This is a good way to keep your feet warm and dry.
The contagrip traction system, which features an advanced stable chassis, provides a good a grip on slippery surfaces. So, you can get by quite well and as walk often as you’d like without worrying about the likelihood of slipping and falling.
Moreover, the standard insoles make Men’s X Ultra comfortable while maintaining the boot’s temperature at the same time.
- The ortholite insole adds extra cushioning to enhance the overall comfort of the boots.
- The thinsulate insulation provides enough warmth.
- Salomon’s contagrip traction system is an added advantage.
- Salomon X Ultra may take a while to break in.
7. SPERRY Powder Valley
Sperry Powder Valley may not be nearly as popular as your favorite footwear. But, they are among the ideal options for women that live in regions subject to arctic temperatures.
Since the level of insulation is up to standard, this pair provides the optimal warmth that keeps you going from the moment you start working to the time you take a break.
Apart from the waterproof upper, which provides maximum protection from moisture, the fax fur and thinsulate lining highly contribute to keeping your feet warm throughout your walking cycle.
Sperry Powder Valley comes with its standard insoles. But, if you feel like these don’t give you the most appropriate level of arch support, you can remove and replace them with your own.
The polar ice grips on the outsoles are by far the strongest selling point of these boots. They provide the stability you need to walk comfortably by gripping icy surfaces with ease. And they ensure superior traction in wet condition, so you don’t have to worry about slipping or falling.
- Sperry Powder Valley are waterproof.
- The insulation is up to standard.
- The polar grips provide maximum traction.
- They take time to break in
- These may be slightly large for some women
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can You Walk Barefoot in Snow?
Yes, you can walk barefoot, but only for a few minutes. It is such a great feeling, especially when the snow is still fresh.
Make sure you warm up before going barefoot. But get back indoors as soon as you feel like your feet are about to get numb.
It is not a good idea to walk for an extended period in such a cold environment. You risk losing the feeling of your feet and eventually suffer from frostbite.
It’s also risky to walk in cold climate barefoot because:
- You are highly likely to lose a layer of your skin.
- Your feet might develop painful blisters.
- You might experience permanent nerve damage and eventually lose your feet.
2. Which Kind of Shoes Should I Wear in Snow?
The last thing you want to worry about when walking in snow is the possibility of slipping and falling. You want to walk confidently knowing that you can get from point A to point B safely.
The most appropriate footwear for this kind of environment should be up to the standard to keep your feet secure.
Invest in a pair that can keep your feet warm. Make sure they are water-resistant to prevent water and moisture from socking up in your feet.
Nothing is as bad as buying ice proof shoes that won’t fit. At the end of the day, your goal is to have an exceptional walking experience out there. So, keep size and support in mind when choosing a pair.
3. Do Slip-resistant Shoes Work Well on Ice?
Our main goal in this guide is to help you choose suitable footwear that can prevent falls as much as possible.
And slip-resistant shoes are, by all means, ideal for icy pavements and cold climates.
Generally, a non-slip pair is a great option for the following reasons:
- They are not just durable. They also give your feet an upright stability and enhance your natural balance.
- They give your feet an excellent traction on all slippery surfaces. This means you don’t have to worry about slipping, falling, or possible foot injuries.
4. Can I Use Snow Boots to Walk on Ice?
You can use snow boots to walk on ice, which is exactly why we have recommended them in this post, in the first place.
The options on this list don’t feature heels. And, their soles aren’t flat.
The design of the inner outlay and outer body are also up to standard. So they are good enough to provide your feet with balance and protection as you traverse icy environments.
5. What’s the Recommended Height for Ice Proof Boots?
Boots aren’t made equal. The material used in their design varies from brand to brand.
The same case applies to height. They are available in low, mid, and high tops.
And the height you choose depends on the depth of the snow you look forward to to traverse.
Low and mid top are good options for getting through a few inches of snow. But, if you live in a region subject to heavy snowfall, then you should consider getting taller boot.