Table of Contents
- What will you be doing?
- Waterproof or Water Resistant?
- How warm are they rated for?
- How much do they weigh?
- What kind of insulation do they have?
- How tall is the boot?
- What does it look like?
- What Are The Top 10 Women’s Snow Boots For This Winter?
While a lot of body heat is lost through the head (wear a hat!), there are very few things in life that are more miserable then having cold feet. Feet, being so far away from your body’s core, often have a hard enough time staying warm; factor in cold temperatures, snow, and potential poor circulation you can have a real problem. This is why choosing a good snow boot is so important. They are your feet’s first line of defence when it comes to cold, slushy days, and if you want happy and dry feet, there are a lot of things to consider.
What will you be doing?
What are your plans in the great frozen outdoors? Will you simply be walking the short distance from your front door to your car to go to work, or will you be out trekking through the wild outdoors? This is a very important thing to think about, as it will probably dictate exactly what you chose to buy. If you’re a hardcore outdoor kind of person, you’ll probably want to invest a little bit more in the durability and hardiness of the boot.
Waterproof or Water Resistant?
Water resistant boots are just that, resistant. In the right conditions, in a pair of water resistant boots your feet can still get incredibly wet. These types of boots aren’t designed for the people wearing them to be leaping over mountains, trudging through endless miles of slush, or wading through half frozen streams. Water resistant boots are more designed for the person who only wears them to work, or to the store. These are places where if your feet get a little wet, which is unlikely in these situations, it won’t be overly detrimental as you’ll be taking them off right away.
If you’ll be out and about in the winter, waterproof boots are the way to go. However, you can’t always go by what the manufacturer is telling you. There are many key things to look for to ensure that your boot is actually waterproof.
First of all, what kind of material is it made of? A lot of manufacturers deem their boots to be waterproof if the bottom is made of a rubbery material, which is obviously waterproof. However, if the water, slush, etc. goes above the bottom of the boot, there is a huge potential for wet feet. Look for a high quality material, and make sure to check if there are reviews from other people who have used it. Chances are this can help you from making an erroneous purchase.
Next, if that boot has a tongue and lace system, check to see if there is some form of attachment between the tongue and the boot itself. This is a prime place for water to get into the boot and soak your feet. So, if you’re planning on wading in, make sure the boots you choose are all connected everywhere it counts, or don’t get a pair of boots with a tongue.
Where are you going to be walking? Again, if it’s just down the sidewalk in the city, this is probably not the most important thing in the world. Conversely, if you plan on hiking up a mountainside, traction can be a pretty big deal. The last thing you want is to be slipping when there is a long way to fall. There are products that can be attached to the bottom of boots for added traction, such as spikes, but these can be a hassle and should only be used in extreme situations. The best thing to do is to buy a boot that has good traction to begin with.
How warm are they rated for?
Certain boots are, obviously, meant for certain things. If you are going to be going on a multiple day hiking trip, you would want a much warmer boot than if you were walking down the street to the convenience store. Also, where you are planning on going. If you are planning on hiking around the tundra in Northern Alaska, a very well reviewed warm rated boot is a must, as opposed to if you are planning on hiking through the mountains in a more southern state. Ultimately, in the winter the warmer the better.
How much do they weigh?
While big and heavy boots may not be a big deal when shovelling the driveway, or sitting around a fire outside, when out hiking this simply wouldn’t work. Having boots that are too heavy when you are walking through deep snow for days on end is not only exhausting, but can lead to injuries. So, when choosing a pair of boots for outdoor excursions in the winter, ensure that you consider something warm, but also light.
What kind of insulation do they have?
There are many types of insulation for boots nowadays, and each have their own ups and downs. The first is also perhaps the oldest form of insulation, down-filled. The down in the boots creates air pockets which trap heat, and keep your feet warm. The major issue with down is that when it becomes wet, all of the little feathers get stuck together and those little air pockets all disappear. Without these air pockets the down loses most of its insulating capabilities.
This brings us to our next type of insulation. Felt and Sheepskin linings are another old fashioned way to insulate a boot. This type of insulation, while weighing the boot itself down more, is very effective. These are not the type of boots that you would want to be spending days on end in, but for every day wear or for shovelling the driveway they can work amazing. Unlike the down filled boots, felt and sheepskin lined boots can get damp and still be able to insulate quite well. In most of these boots the lining is also removable. This allows them to dry faster.
The final type of insulation is very new technology, and that is synthetic. Synthetic insulation has become very popular in the world of winter sports as it is not only lightweight, but also warm. It is used for jacket, mitten, snow pants, and almost everything else that should be insulated in the winter.
What type of insulation you chose for your boot depends on what you are planning to do. For most winter sports synthetic is usually the way to go, but again, it all comes down to personal preference. If you have cold feet all the time, the felt or sheepskin lining would probably be the best, even though they are heavier. If you will be walking a lot or going hiking, synthetic insulation is by far the best as it is not only warm, but also light.
How tall is the boot?
If you are planning to be plowing through deep snow, ankle boots are probably not too good of an idea as you will more than likely end up getting snow down your boot. Similarly, if you are planning on going hiking on a path with little or no snow a heavier knee high boot seems silly. The height of the boot you wear may seem trivial, but it can be just as important as having good traction. Particularly if your boot is too short.
What does it look like?
The design of a boot, while not the most important thing to consider when purchasing a pair of boots, is also something to consider. If you purchase a boot you think is incredibly ugly, you are less likely to want to wear it. A great example of this is faux fur. Some people absolutely love it, while others are acutely repulsed by it. It could be the most amazingly rated boot in the world, but if it has faux fur and you really hate it, would you really wear it?
What Are The Top 10 Women’s Snow Boots For This Winter?
#10 – Timberland Women’s MT Hope Mid WP Boot
Category: Hiking/Casual Boot
Insulation: 200g PrimaLoft insulation
These wonderful boots combine style, comfort, and functionality. They are made of water-proof leather, and can be laced up tight. Unlike some claims of water-proof boots, these actually deliver. As the MT Hope has light synthetic insulation, it is a great hiking boot. Environmentally conscious, the plush micro-fibre fur lining is made of 100% recycled material. Whether you plan on going on a long hike, or running over to the store to get some milk, you can look fabulous in these boots.
#9 – Baffin Women’s Iceland Snow Boot
Weight: 2lbs 11oz
Baffin, a well-known boot manufacturer, has outdone themselves this time. The Iceland snow boot is warm, comfortable, and stylish. Much like the land they are named after, the Baffin Iceland snow boots are not only beautiful, but also rugged. Rated for 40 below, they can keep anyone’s toes toasty warm in the coldest of conditions. The laces allow it to be tied tightly to your leg, ensuring no icy air can slip past. As these boots have removable felt liners, they are on the heavier side. However, the small amount of extra weight is well worth it. The outsole is made of recycled rubber, so walking through shallower slush and muck is no problem and can be done with dry feet. They also offer great traction. Snow and ice? Not a problem! Also, as it’s dark more often than not in the winter and being seen can be a problem, the Iceland snow boot features a reflective strip. The nylon part of the upper boot also offers some protection from the elements, and wipes clean easily to ensure that there is no staining.
#8 – Columbia Minx Mid II Omni-Heat
Category: Casual wear
Weight: approx. 13.2 oz
Coming in at number 8, the Columbia Minx Mid II Omni-Heat boot is a good all around boot for kicking around town. It’s lightweight and comfortable to wear, and has been reported to “feel like wearing a slipper.” The rubber soles, with their patented “Omni-grip technology”, offer amazing traction on all types of terrain. The upper part of the boot is non-rigid, so it can be difficult to get on in some circumstances, however the laces allow for a great fit around the calves. It’s outer shell, though rated to be water-proof, has been reviewed by consumers to be more of the water resistant variety, and toes are reported to start to get a little chilly around the 0oF. The Minx Mid II Omni-Heat is quilted much like a winter jacket, to trap as much heat as possible. So, while this boot may not be best suited to going trekking cross country, it’s fantastic for slumming around the city and running errands.
#7 – Northside Kathmandu
Insulation: EVA removable lining
This classic looking snow boot, coming in at #7, is great for a day in the snow. The faux fur collar is not only thick enough to keep out the cold, but it also keeps out the snow and slush. The Kathmandu, however, is another boot that is best suited for running errands and going out. The outsole, being made of rubber, is great for keeping out the average slush and snow and keeping your feet dry. As it is also reviewed to fit true to the outlines provided by Northface. However, if you plan on wearing thick socks, it’s best to get a half size up. The design of the sole of the boot was not rated overly well by consumers, as it is quite thin and lacks great traction. The stylish suede upper boot with its trendy laces allow for a nice snug fit to prevent the cold air from getting in. It’s removable insole lining allows for easy drying after a day of wear. Although Northface has rated them for -13oF, consumer reviews have claimed that when the temperature dips below 0oF toes start to get a little frosty. Again, this boot is amazing for running errand around the city, but not particularly ideal for long and cold winter treks.
#6 – UGG Adirondack II Review
Weight: 1lb 7oz
All the way from the land down under, the UGG Adirondack II is a very solid winter boot. Although it is on the costly side of things, the Adirondack II is well worth the money. These water resistant boots are not only great for a night out on the town, but also for light winter hiking. This cozy boot can be work with the fur cuff up or down (pictured with cuff down), but is still quite a short boot. This needs to be taken into account when you are deciding to buy a boot, because if you are planning on hiking through deep snow, or fording a creek or stream. They are rated for -4oF, which consumer reviews agree with… As long as you keep moving. In regular snow the traction wasn’t reviewed too badly, however on ice it left much to be desired. It was also found that water can find its way inside this boot around the base of the laces. However, the liner was also found to breathe really well, and be incredibly comfortable. So all in all, these boots are great for kicking it around town and going for a very light hike, however, for strenuous hiking and backcountry backpacking there are better options.
#5 – Sorell Tofino II
Weight: 21.3 oz
The Sorell Tofino II winter boot, with it’s 100g of plush insulation, is a great boot for wandering around town or running errands. However, it is definitely not a wise choice for hiking. With this particular style, some consumers report a minor design flaw in the leather stripe on the back of the boot that can lead to rubbing and discomfort, so thick socks are generally a good idea. However, the fluffy faux fur cuff has been reported to be amazing, keeping snow and rain out, all while creating a warm seal around the wearer’s leg and looking fabulous. The Tofino was found to be an incredibly comfortable and warm boot, that also breathes well, preventing sweaty wet feet. That being said, it is also a very water resistant boot, and unless you are actively walking through water, there is a very high chance that your feet will stay dry and toasty. Sorell boots on a whole are amazing for trekking through deep snow, however ice is another story. Due to the shallow treads on the boots (something Sorell is known for), they leave much to be desired when walking on ice. Overall, these boots are great for running errands around town and general everyday wear.
#4 – Kamik Momentum
Weight: 944g per pair
The Kamik Momentum not only gives it’s wearer great traction for those slippery days in the winter, it is also incredibly cheap. They are great for running errands and doing chores around the yard in the winter, allowing you to stay dry, warm, and comfortable. While it is not the most stylish boot in the world, if you are looking for a book for a cheap price that will get the job done, this may be the boot for you. Even though it is rated for -40oF, consumer reports say that, even though they stand up to the cold extremely well, they would not be great for continuous time spent out in frigid temperature. It’s adjustable faux fur cuff also helps a lot in this area, as it quite effectively seals in heat, and protects against snow and rain. The Momentum also has very reliable traction, so they handle great in icy conditions. However, if you have thin feet, consider wearing some very thick socks, as this boot is not very shaped or constrictive so feet move around a lot in them. So on a whole, while it does have some flaws, it is still a great boot for those who will only wear them for day to day purposes, and not for anything to strenuous.
#3 – Vasque Pow Pow UltraDry
Weight: 2lbs 11oz
The Vasque Pow Pow UltraDry boot is an amazing product for the avid winter hiker. This boot is not only warm and comfortable, it is also gaiter compatible, and has great traction. Even though it is not the most stylish boot in the world, it more than makes up for it when it comes to durability. The Pow Pow UltraDry truly lives up to its name, as it has been reviewed as very waterproof (protecting your feet from outside dampness) as well as very breathable (protecting your feet from inside dampness). With its flexible and comfortable shaft, the Pow Pow is amazing for hiking, and almost any other winter sport that the imagination can come up with. Its traction is amazing, allowing its wearer to go almost anywhere they want to on a cold winter day, and they are also sleek enough to fit easily under snow pants or any other layers that may need to be donned in the winter. Even though they are a little costly, their amazing performance is well worth it.
#2 – Sorel Joan of Arctic
Insulation: Felt Removable Liner
The Sorel Joan of Arctic is a great boot for keeping your feet warm and dry. The claims of waterproof aren’t just claims with this boot. Through slush, snow, and water consumers found that this boot kept their feet both warm and dry. However, like most Sorel boots, the traction leaves a little to be desired. This is not helped by how heavy the Joan of Arctic is. Its weight and “clunky” design don’t make it a great boot for hiking, but it’s stylish looks and warm design make it great for outside chores, like snow shovelling, or for standing around in the cold outside. Its faux fur cuff keeps both water and snow out all while trapping the heat inside. So, despite their setbacks, the Joan of Arctic boot is rivaled by none when it comes to enduring a cold winter day.
#1 – The North Face Shellista II
Category: Casual/Light Hiker
As the top reviewed boot of the year, the North Face Shellista II combines comfort, warmth, great traction,and style. A truly versatile boot, it can be worn with tights and a skirt, and under heavy duty snow pants on a cold day. It’s thick sole not also gives it great traction, but also helps to keep feet off the ground and nice and toasty. The laces allow it to be highly conformable to your calf, as well as roomy enough to be able to wiggle your toes to warm up if standing for too long. Although it doesn’t perform overly well in any one category, it does, however, perform the best all around.
So, when the temperature drops and you must venture outdoors, please take what boots you will wear into consideration. Any of the ten boots that have been reviewed here are sure to keep your toes toasty all winter long.