The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Pair of Winter Boots

It’s going to take you more than just a pair of insulated gloves and a warm jacket to brave the winter. Even your footwear has to be on point enough to kick the cold in arctic condition.

From what I know, winter boots are the best kind of shoes to wear in freezing weather. But how exactly do you go about buying the right pair before the blissful days of walking barefoot  pass?

In this guide, I’ll tell you what to look for so that you can choose the right winter boots fast. Specifically, I’ll highlight 6 of the most important features that make up the right boots for the season.

Whether you expect to brave the dead of the winter after summer or you’ll be outside in the cold every once in a while, you’ll find the tips outlined in this article useful.

Let’s get to it. 

Buying Winter Boots: Here’s How to Choose the Right Pair

Here’s how you go about buying winter boots the right way:

1. Make Sure the Design Is up to the Standard

boots design

When we talk about design, many of us like to think about styles and trends. And that’s completely fine, if you ask me.

But while fashion is a common feature in the footwear arena, you shouldn’t pay as much attention to it when choosing winter boots.

In other words, when it comes to walking in the very heart of the winter, you should prefer construction and performance to fashion and the latest trends.

Make sure the stitching of the boots is clean and up to the standard.

The inserts should fit right. The outsole should feature a rubber construction. And the grooves should be uniform and thick enough to give you an excellent grip and traction. 

2. The Boots Should Be Warm Enough to Brave the Winter Season

boots insulation

Here’s the deal:

If you want to pace to your destination without worrying about frostbite and its effects in the dead of the winter, then go for warm boots.

Remember, the right amount of insulation to consider depends on the condition outdoors and your level of activities.

Insulation ranges between 100 and 1000 grams, with the latter being the warmest you can find in the footwear market.

Anything between 100 and 200 grams is suitable for the early days of the winter seasons. Boots in this range of insulation can protect your feet from the frosty weather without adding weight to your feet.

An insulation that falls between 200 and 800 grams is perfect for extreme winter. Many insulated shoes for winter fall in this range. Built to stand up to temperatures as low as -55 degrees Fahrenheit, winter boots with this amount of insulation are perfect to consider if you plan to spend day outside – or if you’ll be doing intense work that requires a lot of standing and walking.

Boots that have 1000 grams of insulation are suitable for frigid regions and demanding activities. But they’ll more than likely add more weight to your feet than necessary.

Theoretically, many people would consider the highest level of insulation as the most ideal option to consider. After all, more insulation means warmth for your feet.

However, this kind of approach is obviously misleading.

How warm your winter boots should be depends on your activity levels as well as the condition outside. Therefore, the tricky part is to figure out the right amount of insulation. But it gets easier once you find a comfortable spot. 

3. Choose Winter Boots with Excellent Traction 

good traction for winter boots

Winter season isn’t the time to wear any boots on your shoe rack. After all, you don’t want to go sliding and falling with a thud.

In fact, one of the safest ways to walk on ice is to make sure you wear boots that offer maximum traction possible, so that you can pace through thin and thick snow with ease.

Choose winter boots that have thicker and uniform lugs. Go for the ones whose tread patterns are at least 3mm thick. But if you can find 4mm, that would be great.

Thick lugs not only hug the ground really well. The grooves also prevent slips and falls while expelling mud and removing mucks.

If you can find winter boots that feature Thermo Plastic Rubbers, don’t hesitate to try them out. Such soles are softer than many rubber materials and tend to offer more traction even on the most slippery surfaces.

4. Make Sure the Boots are Waterproof 

waterproof boots

You shouldn’t walk in your boots in the dead of the winter if they aren’t waterproof.

Water will get in, damp up the interior, soak your woolen socks, and make your feet wet. 

And that doesn’t sound good, or does it?

You need waterproof winter boots to prevent cold feet and keep warm. Whether you expect to be out only for a few minutes or you’re more likely to water through thick snow all day, wear waterproof boots.

Water-resistant boots are fine, but they aren’t often the best to wear during this season. So you want to choose only the ones that have a waterproofing treatment. These will keep your feet cool and dry no matter how wet it gets outside.

Now, it’s not just the boots’ upper that should be waterproof. Even the sole should have the ability to resist water just fine.

Choose winter boots with rubber outsole, as they not only prevent slips and falls but they also provide a barrier so water doesn’t get in. 

I do understand that some people may want to wear water-resistant boots instead, mostly because they’re cheap. And that’s totally fine. However, make sure you buy insulated liners so you can walk more comfortably – no matter how long you have to be outside. 

5. Make Sure the Boots Have an Appropriate Height 

Height is a design aspect that you might want to consider, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

At the end of the day, how high your boots are depends more on your personal preference. But you also have to consider just how deep the snow is so you can choose boots with the right height for the season.

You should go for winter boots with high shafts if you expect to walk in deep snow. These will keep you warm by ensuring that your feet reap the maximum benefits of insulation technology. Tall boots may be somewhat heavy, but they serve their purpose really well.

If you don’t expect to walk on a lot of ice in the season, go with shorter boots. They aren’t heavy, and they’re often easy to walk in.

My ultimate advice on boots’ height is this:

Get both tall and short boots if you can. This way, you’ll be able to wear the right pair depending on the level of snow outdoors.

6. Choose Comfortable Winter Boots 

make sure boots are comfortable

So you’ve chosen winter boots with a good level of insulation. The stitching is up to the standard. And they even sport a waterproof design.

That’s great.

But the pair won’t do you any good if they aren’t comfortable enough.

And let me be clear about one thing:

Comfort isn’t only about excellent cushioning.

 It’s also about making sure the boots fit well when worn with your socks, not to mention there must be enough room in the toe box to provide a little extra space for airflow.

Go for boots that are easy to put on and take off. Make sure the lacing system is easy to use. And if they have zippers on the side, the better – this will make it easy for you to wear and take them off.

Also, consider your feet type. This way, it will be easy for you to pick the most comfortable winter boots to wear.

You’ll more than likely need arch support, and boots with rigid but low heels seem just perfect for that. You should ignore winter boots that don’t offer arch support, unless you intend buy separate inserts for this purpose.

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