Best shoes for cold weather: How to choose the right boots for winter?
Winter will be approaching so quickly. Now is a good time for us to prepare for the frightful cold weather ahead. Of course, having a quality pair of winter boots should be one of your top priorities. But to be honest, it’s not easy at all to choose the right winter boots even though there are a lot of footwear choices available on the market right now, varying from style to style, brand to brand, price to price, …
How to choose the right boots for winter?
In order to choose the best shoes for cold weather, you need to consider several important things, not just style, design, or size. Right below here, we are going to introduce to you some important tips on how to choose the right winter boots. So if you are going to pick up a new pair of winter boots, these tips are for you!
Consider your intended uses
The very first thing you need to do is to think about your intended uses. Are you looking for a pair of casual winter boots for your everyday wear and light outdoor use or a more backcountry-focused model for winter hiking and snowshoeing or for outdoor work?
Of course, each type of these winter boots comes with different features. For example, the latter one tends to be thicker, warmer, and added with insulation and winter-specific traction.
Obviously, your best shoes for cold weather must meet your needs fittingly. That’s why you need to consider your intended uses carefully, in that way, you will choose the right winter boots yourself.
Your best shoes for cold weather must meet your needs fittingly
Best shoes for cold weather: Warmth - How much do you need?
When it comes to winter boots, its capability of keeping our feet warm is one of the most important things for sure. Do you know that we lose a lot of our body heat through our feet, hands, and head?
There are different temperature ratings for winter boots that can come in 5 types as of following: (1) 5°C to -10°C, (2) 0°C to -20°C, (3) -10°C to -25°C, (4) -20°C to -40°C, and (5) -25°C and beyond. While shopping for a new pair of winter boots, the temperature rating is a guideline that helps you pick the right footwear items, especially when you’re struggling to choose between different models.
However, together with shoes’ temperature ratings, you still need to consider many factors like your activity level, your health condition, sock type and thickness, shoes materials, its insulation, the temperature outside, and more. That means you also need to look for other specs, not just the temperature rating.
In terms of insulation, boots for winter have a wide range of different types. The most common one is synthetic fill that comes in names like Thinsulate and PrimaLoft along with a gram rating which shows the thickness.
For reference, a lot of light and mid-weight boots have from 200 to 400-gram insulation, while there are true cold-weather boots having up to more than 1000 gram insulation with a thicker liner. Of course, these true cold-weather boots are often used for those who are outside a lot.
When it comes to winter boots, their capability of keeping our feet warm is one of the most important factors
Boot height is another factor that you need to consider when choosing your best shoes for cold weather. Not only do your boots help keep your feet warm, but it’s also designed to keep ice and snow out. And if you are not using gaiters or pulling snow pants overtop, the height of the boot does matter.
There are two types of boot height measurement, one is shaft height (the measurement is taken from the footbed to the top of the boot) and one is the total height (the measurement taken from the bottom of the outsole to the top of the boot).
Of course, there are many different boot heights available on the market these days, from models with 6 - 7 inches in height to ones with up to 15 inches in height, … You need to consider your intended uses and other factors as well to choose a good pair of winter boots with ideal height.
Not only do your boots help keep your feet warm, but it’s also designed to keep ice and snow warm
Comfort, fit, and sizing
Fit always is one of the most important considerations with footwear, including winter boots as well. A properly sized boot will make you comfortable and pleasant when wearing. It needs to be large enough to accommodate the winter socks that you’ll be wearing the most often. On the other hand, a too snug winter boot may inhibit circulation and might end up compromising the warmth the shoes provide.
In addition, the best shoes for cold weather should also offer some arch and foot support as well as promote a proper walking posture. They also have a proper weight that makes you comfortable with every step.
Since some winter boot models may feel heavier and a little bit sluggish when wearing, it’s better to check and try on several models to find which one works best for you. There are many winter boots made from more lightweight materials which might be better choices for you, especially if you aren’t used to heavy footwear items.
Well, to make sure that your winter boots well fit your feet, it’s best to try them on and buy them in person. If you buy them online, then do your research carefully and be prepared to size up.
Fit always is one of the most important considerations with footwear
- See also: Tips on choosing best shoes for summer
Winter boots are also made to keep your feet dry too. Wet feet will likely become cold feet, do you know that?
Not all winter boots out there are waterproof, but there are a lot of models available on the market these days are made up of waterproof materials such as Gore-tex or waterproof leather.
Leather material, especially when it’s treated with a specialist spray, can offer durable protection together with great classic looks that last from season to season. Besides, there are also a large number of synthetic alternatives that come with better prices.
Best shoes for cold weather: Winter boots are also made to keep your feet dry too
Another factor to consider to ensure your feet stay dry when wearing winter boots relates to the tongue and the height of the boot. It is a good idea to check and make sure that the tongue of your boot stays connected with its upper as high as possible. This is because an opening in the boot tongue means water can seep through in case your feet submerge in ankle-height or even deeper water.
Also, regardless of your boot design, it’s necessary to take measures to prevent the snow from entering your feet over the top of the collar. That’s a good cold-weather tip to know. You can wear pants that go over your boot if it’s possible. If not, you need to closely tighten your boot at the top. And with snowshoeing or winter hiking, then wearing gaiters is one of the most sure-fire ways to stay dry.
Best shoes for cold weather: Traction
Winter boots are made with traction on ice and snow in mind, so we will find a wide range of grippy outsoles and tread patterns as well to choose from.
Snow boots have quite a different lug pattern and rubber compound as compared to their hiking boot cousins. Interestingly, the compound is softer and doesn’t get hardened when the temperatures drop, helping them continue to grip well on slick surfaces. Besides, the lug patterns of the boots are aimed to prevent snow buildup.
Generally speaking, hiking-ready boots have the best traction, while casual models can be more slippage. Well, if you look for a winter boot model that does an admirable job preventing sliding, you should always keep a close eye on the traction.
Don’t forget the styling factor when you choose your best shoes for cold winter
Along with the above factors, styling is also an important thing that you need to consider when picking up your best shoes for cold weather. While some people wear winter boots for activities like snowshoeing or hiking, many more use them for day-to-day wear.
Like your cold-weather outfits and many other outdoor gears, the styling also matters when it comes to winter boots. The good news is that footwear manufacturers have provided us with a lot of stylish options. So, don’t forget the styling factor when you choose your winter boots, in which the color, design, materials, the overall look, … are all needed considering.
Important tips to know when trying the boots on
Recently, we have introduced to you some factors to consider when choosing and purchasing a quality pair of winter boots. Now, we are about to share with you a few simple but important tips on picking up your best shoes for cold weather. Let’s check them out now:
• Try them on with the socks (thin or thick) that you want to wear often with your new boots since socks can affect the fit of the boots. If you try the boots on with thicker winter socks, but usually wear the thinner ones, you will likely find your boots a little too loose. In contrast, If you try the boots on with thinner socks, but usually wear the thicker ones, you might find them feel a little too tight.
• If you are trying on the winter boots before buying them, you should arrange this for the afternoon (if it’s possible). This is because our feet are likely to be at their largest in the afternoon. Doing this will help you be able to get the size more properly.
You should try the boots on before buying
• Make sure that you try on both boots. It seems normal for our feet to be a bit different in size and that’s the reason why you need to try on both boots to make sure they are comfortable on both feet.
• Don’t forget to take a walk around the shop (or around your living room if you try on at home) to ensure that your boots are easy and comfortable to move around in.
Here are things and factors that you should take into consideration when picking up your next winter boots. Besides, we also shared with you some important tips to know when trying your winter boots on, and hope that they are useful to you. And that’s all for today’s article. In the end, we wish that you found our article with the topic of “Best shoes for cold weather: How to choose the right boots for winter?” interesting and helpful.
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