page contents

Winter boot guide

Here's a winter boot guide to help you complete your winter wardrobe. You'll need a full range of comfortable winter boots and footwear for both indoors and outdoors. This way, you'll be able to anticipate the most common winter conditions you'll most likely encounter. Winter regions can vary greatly throughout North America and Canada so you need to be prepared for just about any kind of winter weather wherever you live.

Basic boot requirements

The first and most important item at the top of your winter boot guide has to be, well, your outdoor winter boots.

The "must haves" are:

  • Waterproof
  • Well-insulated
  • Non-slip (anti-slip) ridged or waffle-patterned soles.

Indoor footwear

You'll need a whole other set of winter slippers and indoor footwear. The choices are man-made synthetic slippers, wool slippers (with or without a heel), Shearling wool boots or Ugg boots and other comfortable slip-on shoes.

You can also get socks that have rubber non-slip soles that you can wear as a kind of indoor slipper as well. You can wash these like regular socks but has no foot support in them as do normal slippers. Have warm, cosy and comfortable indoor footwear is an essential part of your winter bedroom comfort as well.

Winter boot recommendations

Your very own winter footwear guide may vary or change over a few winter seasons but what I've listed below gives you a good place to start. I've included both comfortable indoor footwear and winter boots in the list below for what you'll need for you and your family.


  • Everyday flat-heeled winter boots
  • Winter dress boots with small or no heel
  • Winter dress shoes with small or no heel for indoor use
  • Snow boots
  • Indoor slippers or Ugg boots
  • Indoor warm slip-on shoes.


  • Everyday winter boots
  • Winter dress boots
  • Winter dress shoes
  • Outdoor rubber overshoes (over dress shoes)
  • Snow boots or heavily insulated winter work boots
  • Indoor slippers or slip-ons.

Optional winter footwear might include:

  • Colder temperature winter boots for more severe winter weather living
  • Knee-high lined rubber boots with sole inserts for slushy watery snow weather.


  • Snow boots
  • Indoors winter shoes or runners
  • Indoor fuzzy fun animal slippers
  • Indoor slippers or
  • Indoor slip-ons socks with a non-slip ridged pattern on the underside of the socks.

For any of your family, a spare pair of outdoor boots is good to have if one pair gets wet, lost, heat-damaged by sitting too close to the heater, chewed by the dog or mysteriously disappears.

Breaking in new winter boots

Because winter boots are made with much stiffer liners and outer waterproofing materials, you'll definitely need to spend some time breaking them in around the house before venturing outside for extended periods of time.

The inside liners need to mold to your feet during this time so do more breaking in than less during this phase. It's important and will make all the difference between comfort and discomfort. The thicker the lining, the warmer the boot will be too. If you stand around outside for any length of time, this will be important to you.

Over the course of the winter, you'll also need to look after them too so boot care and cleaning maintenance is important to make your boots last for several winter seasons.

To further protect your winter boots, there are overshoe and boot protectors you can also buy. There are a few more things you need to know about buying winter boots.

Return to Winter Living Advisor

Back to Winter Boots from Winter Boot Guide