How to choose the best winter boots for this winter? We are here to help.
A pair of functional winter boots are 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 the wrong time to start thinking about your winter boots.
It is good to get the best of them (well, the budget plays a role too). Here is our post on what to know to get the best winter boots for this winter.
Types of Winter 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 feet warm while walking or standing in deep snow, with really low temperatures.
Such boots are more substantial 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.
Winter Boots for Hiking
Also big boots or instead stuffed. Their insulation is usually less than the ones mentioned above and not that tall.
As weight is less and the type of materials change, you can use them for hiking for long 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 types mentioned above, and they are usually made by leather and suede.
Ratings and Indicators of Winter Boots
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.
Many factors 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.
Insulation Types of Winter Boots
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 the snow.
Insulation will be compromised by moisture.
Better to use such boots for sitting outside your cabin and staying with that.
Felt and Sheepskin Linings for Winter Boots
This extra -and removable, in many cases- insulation is a perfect 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 functional boots are not always waterproof.
How tall must Winter Boots be?
With such, we refer to the boot height.
You need to think and examine the conditions of 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
Is the rule 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 lasts 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 the rubber will not allow having the right level of breathability.
Leather and nylon are usually used on the top portions of a boot and low your boot to breathe 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 the 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 you to expand them with add-on traction systems that come in the 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.