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Winter Boots and Footwear

Having warm, comfortable winter boots is essential to your winter well being. Getting cold toes and feet can be really miserable. The best defense against that is having a well-insulated pair of winter boots. That's just part of the package as you'll also need a range of different types of socks for different purposes. Then there are some boot accessories you may need to help you enjoy the winter season more.

Winter weather variations

The level of snow can vary each season from feet-deep one year to almost no snow the next or late season snow only. When there's a little snow season here in here in Ontario, I've just worn heavier cross-trainers or lightweight hiking-type boots for the entire winter. The thick waffle treads provide reasonable traction although it's a bit cold around the ankles. However, for a full-on snow season, it's definitely winter boots all the way.

Your winter climate

It all circles back to your purpose in buying them...and that's directly related to where you live and what kind of winter temperatures you normally experience over the winter months.

Here's a rough guide to keep in mind:

  • Snowy and cold conditions = well-insulated boots with a good rubber/synthetic tread and to mid-calf height level
  • Milder winter, less snow but still cold = as above but the possibility of lightweight hiking-type boots or heavy weight cross-trainers are reasonable alternatives.
  • Rainy winter with some snow and cold = lined waterproof boots, good treads and above ankle height.

Generally, everyday cold weather boots for men, women and children are not tied to a temperature rating for the usual snow-prone areas of the United States and Canada where it's most populated.

However, if you live in or going to visit a truly arctic climate you'll find buying boots is temperature-rated because of the freezing cold temperatures. Another exception is for specialized winter sports where temperature-rated boots play a significant part in winter clothing comfort e.g. snowmobiling.

Your budget for winter boots

Getting good quality boots can be expensive but it really is worth the price. Don't skimp on this or be swayed to pay less just because it's a great bargain as this will really determine the kind of winter you have. Great versus miserable, it's your choice. You can also take advantage of pre and post winter season sales to keep the cost down.

You'll also want your boots to last for as long as possible, longer in fact, the more you pay for them. Everyone wants to get their moneys' worth.

Do you have a high or low tolerance for cold? My tolerance level is low so I want good quality, warm, comfortable boots at a price I can afford.

So, my recommendation is to buy the best boots you can afford and "best" means a few different considerations to be aware of when buying your new boots.

Buying winter boots

Here are some questions to ask yourself first:

  • What is my winter climate like where I live? Mild and rainy, colder and snowy or really cold with lots of snow?
  • What purpose are my boots for? Are they for everyday use between home, work, school, university and shopping or for extreme cold weather conditions?
  • How many types of boots will I need? e.g. everyday boots, dress boots, waterproof rubber boots?
  • What's my budget per type of boots I need?
  • Will I need other specialized boots? e.g. knockabout lined rubber boots or high-leg snow boots for being outside in deep snow or slogging through rain or slushy snow too?
  • Do I need boots for an even more specific purpose like winter hiking?
  • How much insulation to I need? e.g. will you be standing around for hours outside?

Winter boots - part 1

Buying cold climate boots requires some serious thought. Beside how much you want to spend, then there's the style you want, the type of boot materials available plus some other things to consider like replacing boot insoles for more cushioning.

Winter boots - part 2

Here's some more information on what to know about buying winter footwear including what kind of tread is the best and other boot accessories.

Boot guide

You'll need a range of winter footwear for both indoors and outdoors. Here are my recommendations.

Boot accessories

There are other items you might consider such as getting a boot dryer to speed up the process of drying out your boots, gloves and mittens. Taking care of your winter footwear with regular maintenance will also help them last longer too.

Boot protectors

There are other winter boot accessories to further protect your shoes and boots like a pair of waterproof slip-on rubber shoe protectors and slip-on ice grips for better traction on icy ground.

Boot care

Taking care of your boots as well as your family's is important to get the most long-lasting wear and comfort out of them.

Cleaning winter boots and shoes

Cleaning your winter boots and shoes is a very necessary part of winter living so they last longer and look good.

Winter socks

Winter socks come in a wide range of sizes, textures, thickness, material blends, and with or without wicking quality. Then there are sock liners for extra warmth and specific-purpose socks such seamless "tube socks" that downhill and cross-country skiers use.

Go to Winter Clothing from Winter Boots and Footwear

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