man in white shirt sitting at the top of red jeep wearing brown snow boots during winter

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Outdoor winter activities require a great pair of outdoor snow boots. But, you probably already know that. So, what exactly are you looking for when choosing a pair of outdoor boots? Any hiker and outdoor enthusiast alike realize they want to keep their feet warm. And, you want a great looking pair of boots. However, this isn’t all you should look for when choosing snow boots. Insulation, lightweight construction, durability, and ruggedness are a few additional features to consider. The right boot will vary for each person. The selection process, however, shouldn’t.

Comparison Of The Best Snow Boots Available


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There are several great pairs of snow boots available. In addition to insulation and temperature ratings, consumers must also consider other relevant variables. Prices, brand-name, and design are a few relevant factors. Below are a few of the best snow boots currently available, for outdoor hiking and winter activities.

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Selecting Snow Boots For Outdoor Activities


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When choosing a pair of snow boots, there are several technical features to consider. Sure, the aesthetic appeal matters to some, but this shouldn’t be the determining factor when buying new boots. Let’s review a few of the factors which will guide you in the process.

Warmth

Snow boots are for cold weather conditions; hence, they should be warm. Manufacturers utilize a temperature rating similar to that of sleeping bags when rating snow boots. Boots have scores of +/- temperatures. This system indicates what temperatures the shoes can withstand if hikers are wearing them in sub-zero temperatures.

It is essential to bear in mind how the owners will wear the boots. If being worn to run errands around town, consumers might not need a -40C (-40F) boot rating. These boots may be better suited for outdoor hiking.

Outsole

The boot’s traction should provide wearers stability in the iciest conditions and worst snowstorms. Especially for those who plan on wearing the snow boots for hiking and trekking. Consumers need a shoe which can withstand the problematic outdoor conditions they’ll encounter. Snow boots come with three main outsole varieties.

The rubber outsole is standard on many snow boots. This material is ideal for its waterproof properties. It won’t get dirty in sludgy or puddles after snow evaporates. Plus, wearers won’t feel uneasy walking on unsolid terrain wearing boots with rubber outsoles. A lug-design is another familiar outsole. This design is also a rubber material, only the bottom of the boot features deep indentations for better tractions. This boot model is great for areas where grounds are uneven, and hikers need additional stability.

Vibram outsoles are the third common variety. The outsole is well-known for excellent traction on various terrains, including wet and snowy conditions. Vibram also features the Arctic grip technology. The boots will have blue and yellow specs on the bottom. They’re ideal for extremely rough terrain and changing weather extremes.

Boot liner and breathability

Snow boots should be breathable and have a high-quality boot liner. There are many materials for the internal lining. For example, shearling and Thinsulate liners are available with many snow boots. For outdoor activities like hiking and snowshoeing, a removable liner is the best option. The reason being is that owners can remove the lining to dry it out at day’s end.

Boots should also be breathable. Materials like Gore-Tex are a favorite because it is highly waterproof and allows the feet to breathe. Nylon uppers are also highly breathable. However, the exterior isn’t as waterproof.

Comfort and sizing

Snow boots should be comfortable. The last thing wearers want is to have their feet get numb because the boot can’t withstand the cold. Nor do consumers want to wear extremely tight or loose-fitting boots causing chaffing or discomfort. When choosing boots, comfort and proper sizing are also important factors.

Sizing isn’t a “one-size” fits all order. In fact, throw out the rulebook as it relates to traditional sizing with everyday shoes. With snow boots, consumers should try on the snow boots with the socks they will wear. It is essential to try the snow boots on with the socks consumers will wear with them. Meaning if they choose to wear thicker wool socks, these are the socks they should wear to try on the boots. A little wiggle room should be present towards the front of the boot. This space provides padding if an additional pair of socks is worn.

Temperature rating

All snow boots fall into one of four temperature ratings. These are: -10C (14F), -20C (-4F), -30C (-22F), and -40C (-40F). Boots with a score between 0 to -25C (-13) usually have 400 grams of insulation or less. This level is perfect for winter activities where wearers will be highly mobile. For harsh temperatures boots with a -40C (-40F) rating or higher are a good choice. These boots also feature 400 to 700 grams of insulation.

Depending on the conditions and temperatures the snow boots chosen will differ for every outdoor activity.

Our Review Process


When reviewing snow boots, we consider various factors. The insulation and temperature rating are highly significant factors. The boot’s outsole and traction are also essential variables we consider. Of course, brand name, rating, and prices are also relevant factors in our review process.

Where To Buy Snow Boots And Average Prices


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Snow boots are available through many retailers. Customers can purchase directly through the manufacturer, including companies like Columbia and North Face. Additionally, sites like Amazon and Rugged Outdoors, also carry these boots. Pricing for snow boots can vary greatly. Consumers can expect the boots we review to average between $ to $$$.

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A brown leather exterior, with a -40C (-40F) rating, makes these the perfect snow boots for freezing temperatures. They feature a rubber sole and 10-inch shaft from the arch to the forefront. The platform measures 0.75 inches, giving hikers and climbers a little more stability on rugged terrain.

The boots feature a 200B Thinsulate interior liner which is removable. The rust-proof speed lacing system is also suitable in rain and snow. Damage doesn't occur in these conditions. The high-top design is a little uncomfortable with thicker pants and socks. Hikers and climbers also complain the exterior of the boot isn’t as durable as they would hope. The boots aren’t suitable for specific rocky trails.

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A waterproof leather exterior won’t damage when going from snowy to dry or rainy conditions. The rubber sole-boot features a 4.75-inch shaft, giving excellent support below the feet. The boots feature a rear-pull loop, making it easier to put them on/take the boots off.

The platform of these boots isn’t too high at 0.5 inches. This incline provides little additional clearance between the feet and ground, for added traction. The boots feature multidirectional traction lugs. These lugs help in slippery and snowy conditions, preventing wearers from slipping. Many reviewers note the boots are rough and require some time to break in. Some reviews also indicate through rough terrains and mountain peaks; they aren’t the best boots for hiking.

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Leather and synthetic upper finish make these boots highly breathable. Waterproof PU leather retracts rain and snow well so that the boots won’t remain wet in cold weather conditions. These boots feature 100 grams insulation.

The boots are ideal for moderate conditions, with a -20C (-4F) rating. The seam-sealed waterproof protection keeps feet dry and comfortable, in snowy, winter conditions. Some of the reviews indicate the boots aren’t as solid with a thin rubber sole as other hiking boots. They aren’t suitable for all cold weather winter conditions and activities.

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This boot features a high 6.5-inch shaft, giving great clearance between the feet and ground. The leather, synthetic, and fabric exterior also repels water and snow well. A 1.25-inch heel provides additional bounce and support for longer hiking treks.

The boots are winter-ready with the M-Select DRY treatment. A protective shell and bootie keep the wearer’s feet dry, regardless of the outdoor conditions. Some reviewers note that the lace system rusts and damage easily. Some reviews also indicate the boots begin to come apart at the seam, causing slight tears at the base.

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This boot features a high 6.5-inch shaft, giving great clearance between the feet and ground. The leather, synthetic, and fabric exterior also repels water and snow well. A 1.25-inch heel provides additional bounce and support for longer hiking treks.

The boots are winter-ready with the M-Select DRY treatment. A protective shell and bootie keep the wearer’s feet dry, regardless of the outdoor conditions. Some reviewers note that the lace system rusts and damage easily. Some reviews also indicate the boots begin to come apart at the seam, causing slight tears at the base.

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An excellent option for consumers looking for an affordable outdoor snow boot. The large 13-inch boot opening allows wearers with thicker legs to fit into the boot comfortably. The durable rubber outsole also features multidirectional lugs for added traction.

The Thermolite insulation provides added warmth and comfort. The boots are for mild winter and weather conditions with a -25C (-13F) rating. Many reviewers indicate the EVA footbed isn’t as comfortable as other interior lining materials. Additionally, reviewers note the low price is indicative of quality, as the boots aren’t as sturdy as other snow boots.

The boots price range is $ to $$, and the overall reviews on Amazon are 4.1 out of 5-stars.

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The boots feature a synthetic upper material with 200-gram insulation 3M Thinsulate insole. The boots feature a gaiter D-ring and fleece inner lining for additional warmth.

A molded rubber heel-kick design gives wearers additional traction on icy terrain. And, the ultradry waterproofing system keeps boots, and feet, dry, in snowy and rainy conditions. The primary complaint reviewers indicate the size is a little large. Some also suggest that when the fleece lining gets wet, the interior soaks. This flaw also causes wearers feet to feel colder in chilly conditions.

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The boots have a leather and synthetic fabric upper finish. This material finish provides high levels of warmth and waterproofing throughout the boot. A 4.5-inch shaft from the arch to the front of the boot offers a solid grounding for wearers.

The lacing system is rustproof, and the multidirectional sole provides excellent traction on unstable grounds. A compression resistant, comfort plus interior sock liner keeps feet comfortable during long hiking tracks. Some reviewers complain of poor waterproofing exterior. Many note that the waterproofing also wears off after a few uses in snowy or rainy conditions.

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The boots have insulation and also feature a waterproof suede exterior. Fleece lining dramatically improves internal warmth when temperatures dip. The 100 percent recyclable P.E.T cuff is Eco-friendly.

The boots feature a durable TNF rubber outsole. The boots perform well in the snow, and suede exterior dries easily. The removable liner also dries quickly after use. Reviewers complain of minimal support cushioning and also arch stability issues. Some reviewers also complain about the fur on the exterior comes apart after several uses.

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The leather and synthetic boots are waterproof throughout. A platform of 0.5-inches provides little-added arch support for wearers. This height ensures feet don't remain flat in cold, snowy conditions, and offers high mobility to wearers. The upper material is breathable, wicking sweat naturally from the interior of the boots.

The Omni-grip outsole digs into the snow and icy conditions easily. This outsole design improves traction and stability, minimizing the possibility wearers will fall in snowy conditions. Some reviewers complain the waterproof material doesn't last very long. Some also note that the width of these boots is narrow, limiting who can purchase them when seeking comfort/proper fitting boots.

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The boots feature a rubber outsole and leather and synthetic upper material finish. The waterproofing exterior helps wick water and snow, keeping wearers' feet warm and dry, regardless of the conditions. The 400-gram insulation ensures these boots are perfect for -40C (-40F) weather and below.

The high level of insulation is ideal for extraordinarily cold winter sports and activities. Wearers' feet won't get numb or cold, no matter how low the temperatures dip. The multidirectional sole ensures excellent traction on snowy terrain. Some reviewers indicate the boot's sizing is a little smaller than the size charts indicate. They don't run "true to size" so consumers might want to consider ordering one size larger than average.

Our Verdict: The Best Snow Boots for Outdoor Hiking, Trekking, and Winter Sport Activities


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For outdoor sport, hiking, snowshoeing, and extreme winter sports enthusiasts, the right snow boots go a long way. For the coldest temperatures, the Keen Durand is the boot to choose. With 400-grams insulation, they'll protect your feet in the most rigid conditions. The multi-directional outsole also increases traction on rugged and snowy terrains.

If temperatures aren't as cold, the North Face Purna II is a great option. Wearers will experience high levels of comfort. Plus, the outsole is one of the best, regardless of how slippery or difficult the external conditions get. The boots also have a -20 C rating, so they're warm enough for the mild outdoor weather.

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