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How to choose winter boots

Updated on June 15, 2009

With the winter approaching each and every year for us in the arctic regions of the world, it is very important that we have boots that can do the job even on the coldest of days. Some of us live in places that are really cold and actually quite unlivable if it hadn’t been for the equipment on the market today.

When shopping for winter boots we can run in to a lot of different problems. The problems can range from getting boots that are not fit for the situation that we find our self in to basically getting ripped off by stores that are not honest. This article will aim to make the reader a bit wiser for the next time he goes shopping for winter boots.

The most important part of buying winter boots is to get something that you can use. Of course this varies quite a bit, and therefore it can be hard to find the shoe that is right for you. There are a ton of models and brands out there on the market today, and just as many people who think they know what is best for you. Another problem a lot of people run in to is aggressive salesmen who just have one goal; to sell the most expensive boots whether the customer needs them or not.

What do you need?

Before you actually go out shopping for boots, you should take a quiet moment for yourself at home. Sit down and think through what it is you really need. Write it down if you have to. This is very important, because it is you, and only you, who know where and how you will be using your boots. The boots that is used for walking in deep snow in the mountains are very different for the ones who should be used for shuffling snow in your driveway. You should also be a bit careful about taking to much advise from other people. If you do, ignore the bragging of their own boots and focus on the facts. Remember that people have a tendency to brag about things they have bought and not wanting to admit that they have done a bad deal.

There are many factors you should consider when buying winter boots. I can almost guarantee you that just about everything you can imagine are out there on the market. You can get everything from shoes with electric heating to boots with automatic laces. You just have to find out what your needs are.

The most important factors to consider

When it comes to winter boots, there is one factor that is a lot more important than the rest of them, and that is the warmth of the boots. This is what winter boots is all about. That said it isn’t necessarily always the warmest boot that should be bought. If you are in a cold climate and will be doing a lot of static work outside, of course a really warm boot is nice. If you on the other hand are in a lot of activity when you are out, you might actually prefer a boot that is not as warm because it will keep you from sweating on your feet and in the end they will keep you warmer.

Another factor is if the boot should be waterproof or not. Especially in early and late winter this factor can be vital for keeping your feet warm. Remember that if you get wet, you will be cold a lot easier. If you on the other hand are mainly using your boots mid winter with dry snow, it might not be necessary to have a waterproof boot. It might even be better to have one that is not waterproof, because it breathes a lot better and it will help you get the sweat out of the boot.

If you are using the boots in an area that has a lot of icy surfaces, you have to choose boots that have a gripping sole. Usually it is easy to tell if the sole grips well by feeling it material. A soft material means that the sole grips well. However, as these soles are soft, they will not be as well suited for walking over long distances.

The last thing you should think of when it comes to the boot itself is its height. Basically this boils down to two factors; how deep snow you will be walking in and how much support you want for your ankles. I am sure I don’t have to tell you why you don’t want to walk with low shoes in deep snow, and the ankle support has a lot to do with personal preference.

Personal preference leads us to the most important thing about shoes in general; the shoes have to fit your foot. Unfortunately no one has exactly the same pair of feet. This means that everyone has to find a pair of shoes that feels comfortable for them. You can get the best shoes in the world, but if they don’t fit you, you will have a lousy experience with them anyway.

Some general tips

The first advice I would give you is to choose a well known brand. Even if they are a bit more expensive than the other brand who promises to do just the same, I would go for the brand that I know will do the job. The cheaper option might in many cases be just as good, but if you don’t know that it is quite a risk to take if you don’t know it for sure.

If you are shopping on the internet, as a lot of people are doing these days, you do run into a few problems that you will avoid in a brick and mortar store. Firstly you don’t get to see the boots before you buy them. Secondly you don’t get to try the shoes. Especially the second point is a problem. My solution to this is to find a brick and mortar store that has just that shoe and go there to try it on and find the right size. You should also only use trusted online stores, because there are a few bad apples in the basket there who you don’t want to do business with. Read through some customer reviews before buying anything.


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    • vkhialani profile image

      vkhialani 6 years ago from india

      sometimes it rains too in winter and the shoe does not provide sufficient protection.. What do you suggest for that .

    • Balinese profile image

      Balinese 8 years ago from Ireland

      great stuff about the boots article - because i never find great boot in ireland yet .