As the weather turns chilly and parts of the country see the first snow flurries of the year, it's time to make sure you're ready for extreme weather. With the potential for sledging and making snowmen, snow is incredibly exciting, but it can also be treacherous. Icy and slippery pavements can cause accidents, so having hard-wearing waterproof footwear is essential.
Snow boots come in useful whether you're hiking through mountains or just trying to get to work on a frosty winter's morning, and conveniently they come in a range of different sizes to suit men and women. We've searched Amazon, eBay, John Lewis, and Decathlon to find the best pairs that money can buy, including boots from specialist outdoor brands like Sorel, Colombia, and Crocs. Read on to see our top picks!
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Snow boots need to keep your feet warm and dry whilst also making sure you stay upright and comfortable when walking long distances. In this section, we'll explain which features snow boots require to help them achieve these goals!
You might end up walking quite long distances in your snow boots, so you'll need them to be the perfect size. As this type of shoe tends to be quite roomy, they can fit a nice thick pair of socks that'll keep your toes toasty in the snow. However, if they're too big then they might rub or move around too much on your feet.
Generally, the size range of snow boots is the same as regular shoes, so we'd recommend ordering your usual size unless the brand says otherwise.
In order to make snow boots the warm, robust footwear we all know and love, both the inner and outer layers need to be made from good quality materials. Let's run through the main ones that are used.
Snow melts and can very quickly turn to slush, making the ground below incredibly wet to walk on. To stop your feet from being soaked through, you'll need boots that are 100% waterproof.
The first line of defence is the outer layer of your boots. This is normally made from a synthetic plastic fabric that's hard-wearing and water-resistant such as polyester or nylon. Alternatively, leather is a great waterproof material that will last for years and will prevent cold, wet feet.
Whilst the outer layer of your boots needs to be tough and resilient, you want the inner layer to be cosy and inviting. This lining is typically another synthetic fabric but it comes in a very different form to the outer layer.
The classic snow boot features a furry or fleecy lining - this extra-thick layer traps air to add insulation, keeping your feet lovely and warm as you trudge through the white stuff.
We should also mention that while some boots will have a lovely-looking fur collar at the top of the boot, this is often just for decoration and it doesn't always continue down into the boot lining.
The sole is not something that gets seen very much, but it's one of the most important parts of any shoe - particularly when it comes to snow boots! Snow and ice are slippery, so you're going to want a deep tread to stop yourself from sliding around or falling over.
As far as sole materials go, rubber is overwhelmingly the most popular choice. Most shoes use real rubber, but some use an artificial alternative like EVA - and some even use both! Rubber is sturdy and provides plenty of grip, making it the perfect base for any snow boot.
Big, heavy footwear like snow boots need something tough to keep them in place around your foot. Most brands favour laces as the method of closing and securing your boots, because you can adjust them to fit your feet and ankles perfectly.
If you just want something casual that you can put on quickly without any difficulty, some brands also offer slip-on snow boots. These often come with a drawstring too, enabling you to tighten the shoe around your ankle and achieve a more secure fit.
Deep snow can be as thick as a foot (or more!), so the last thing you want is a pair of boots that don't come very far up your leg.
Most snow boots are described as "ankle boots", but this is a bit misleading. Even snow boots categorised as "low ankle" come in at the top of the ankle, so they're still higher than normal ankle-length shoes. High ankle boots, of course, go even further up your leg so they'll definitely keep you warm.
The next level up from ankle boots is a mid-calf boot, although these aren't widely available. While these come up high and keep your lower legs warm, they're harder to walk in and can end up getting a bit too hot - even in sub-freezing temperatures!
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Women's Explorer Carnival Snow Boot
Versatile Boots to Get You Through Winter
Men's Warm Waterproof Snow Walking Shoes
A Reasonably-Priced Pair for Freezing Conditions
Ohio Women's Snow Boots
Comfortable and Sturdy in Equal Measure
1964 LTR Snow Boots
A Snow Boot With a Classic Feel
Men's Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boots - Grey
Flexible Boots For Staying Active Outdoors
Esmae Women's Fleece Lined Snow Boots
A Waterproof Option With a Cosy Fleece Lining
Men's Thermo Chill Mid Shell Waterproof
Ideal for Hiking Across Snowy Landscapes
Women's Snow Boot - Tan Cardy
A Stylish Statement for Hitting the Slopes
Women's Winter Puff Boot
Lightweight and Great at Retaining Heat
Winter Warm Snow Boots - Navy
Puffy Boots That Will Slide on Quickly
Looking for boots that can be worn throughout the colder months but will also work in other seasons? While this snazzy pair by Sorel is fully prepared for protecting your feet in the snow, they wouldn't look out of place when it's a little warmer too.
Nylon and leather outers, combined with a faux fur inner, form a boot that looks super chic. Best of all, they come in a massive range of sizes - although they're designed for women, they go all the way up to a size 10. Whatever your gender, you'll stand out from the crowd in these brilliant boots!
This walking boot-style pair is ideal for hiking in snowy conditions. The laces run all the way up to the furry cuff, allowing you to make them as tight as you want. Plus, the heels have extra cushioning and flexibility, enabling you to move with ease.
Although these are labelled as men's boots, they're available in smaller sizes too so would be totally suitable for women. As an added bonus, they're extremely affordable - it's a win-win situation in our eyes!
This classic pair by Mountain Warehouse is exactly what most people imagine when they think of snow boots. The fur-lined edges not only look beautiful, they also help to stop draughts and keep your feet warm. Fur of a different style makes up the rest of the lining, insulating your feet to the max. Even if temperatures outside drop to as low as -20°C, these boots have got you covered!
Most importantly, these boots have thick soles with a good tread that'll ensure you stay upright, no matter how slippery the ground is. Not bad at all for under £50!
When it comes to snow boots, Sorel know what exactly what they're doing. With a vintage-style leather outer layer and a modern synthetic lining, these boots combine practicality with fashion in the best way!
Without any furry lining or padding, these snow boots might not feel quite as cosy as other options, but they're very versatile and will keep your feet feeling fresh. They're the perfect smart pair for commuting to the office or a spot of Christmas shopping.
Snow can slow us down but with these sporty, lightweight boots, you can stay on top of things! This pair is made from a synthetic material that's much less rigid than those typically used for snow boots, so you can walk with ease - they're almost like trainers for the snow!
The softer material doesn't make them any less waterproof though, and the thick rubber sole will keep your feet away from the cold. Flexible and breathable, they're worth the high price!
These snow boots don't just look good - they're functional too! Although they have a soft, textured outer layer, there's no need to worry about soggy feet as these boots are completely waterproof. Plus, the insulating layers are breathable, so they'll keep your toes warm without becoming sweaty.
This isn't going to be an issue for everyone, but some might find the vast amount of laces difficult to undo or adjust, particularly if you're using these boots for a winter activity where you want to be able to put them on quickly. They're also narrow so could be too snug for people with wider feet.
This pair of boots is just what you need if you're a keen hiker who's planning their next adventure along some snow-covered trails. Coming in somewhere between a traditional walking boot and a snow boot, these shoes aren't too bulky so they'll prevent your feet from getting too warm.
The range of sizes available is great, but these boots are sadly rather expensive. They also don't come very high up on the leg, which could be an issue if you find yourself trekking through deep snow.
The furry collar and Fairisle pattern on this pair by Polar are the epitome of winter fashion, meaning you'll look cute whether you're walking to work or strolling around a ski resort. The laces give you complete control of the fit, so you can tighten or loosen them as needed.
It could be said that these boots are a bit of a case of style over substance. They look like they're ready for winter, but they lack practical features like a high level of waterproofing, hence why they're lower down our ranking.
Snow boots have a tendency to be heavy, but Crocs have worked on that and come up with this option that's lightweight but still effective at keeping warmth in and ice out! The puffy outer layer is held in place with three bands which stop the material from falling down, while the base is made from sturdy EVA.
We should mention that these shoes run small, so you might need to order the next size up. In addition, these aren't as rigid as other designs on our list, which could become a problem when you're trying to wade through piles of densely-packed snow.
These highly cushioned boots are like slippers you can wear outside! The puffy material and synthetic fur lining are fab insulators and they'll make you feel like you're walking on clouds rather than crunchy snow.
Considering these boots are unisex, the range of sizes is surprisingly small. They also don't have the sturdiest of soles and the slip-on style means you'll have to get the exact size for your feet otherwise they're likely to fall off!
We all know it's important to spend time outside, but this prospect might seem less appealing during the winter. There are, however, a few products we can suggest that'll make your adventures in the colder months much more comfortable!
Whether you're an adventurous type who loves exploring in all kinds of weather or you just want to be prepared for the unexpected, a shiny new pair of snow boots will have you looking forward to the next flurry of flakes. Come rain or shine (or snow, of course!), we reckon you'll love wearing your cosy new footwear!
Author: Emma Cramp
No. 1: Sorel ｜Women's Explorer Carnival Snow Boot
No. 2: Quechua｜Men's Warm Waterproof Snow Walking Shoes
No. 3: Mountain Warehouse｜Ohio Women's Snow Boots
No. 4: Sorel｜1964 LTR Snow Boots
No. 5: Colombia｜Men's Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boots - Grey
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