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A Guide to Selecting Your Winter Boots

WinterBoots.com's extensive selection of cold weather footwear and snow boots ensures that we have the winter boots to match your needs. Let us walk you through the decision process so that you're sure to find the perfect pair.

Once you've read up on the factors to consider when selecting a snow boot, narrow your options by using our filters to search by brand, activity, style, or temperature rating to find the best boot for you! 


Temperature Ratings

Baffin Winter Boot Temperature Rating  Icons The first consideration when you choose a winter boot is the temperature range you'll experience when you wear the boots.

Manufacturers use temperature ratings based on scientific testing that results in cold weather extremes not relevant to the average snow boot shopper's life. We find most boots rated at -40°F are actually the perfect snow boot for cold, snowy northern U.S. winters even though the typical temperature is closer to 10°F or 20°F. 
It's best to buy for a lower temperature range than the actual outside temperatures you'll encounter.  

We divide all of our boots into four temperature rating categories. Each product listing notes the comfort range most customers find is the lowest temperature in which your feet remain warm and the highest temperature in which your feet do not overheat.

 

Temperature Rating CategoryManufacturer Rating Ideal Low TemperatureIdeal High Temperature
Extreme Cold  -148°F/-100°C   -50F°/-45°C 20°F/-6°C
Advanced Cold -94°F/-70°C   -20F°/-28°C 30°F/-1°C
All Around Cold -40°F/-40°C      0F°/-8°C 40°F/4°C
Everyday Cold 10°F/-12°C     20F°/-6°C 50°F/10°C


The ideal low and high temperatures represent the spectrum that most customers prefer. They are recommendations but not hard and fast performance guarantees.

That said, start with the numbers on the thermometer and then consider your unique needs. A smart shopper takes these four factors into account when deciding which pair of winter boots to call their own:

• What is the temperature outside?
Remember that you are buying for a temperature range which includes winter's fickle highs and lows. The typical northern winter has temperatures between 0°F and 30°F. For most customers, the ideal walking/shoveling/sledding/strolling boot will be found in the Everyday Cold or All Around Cold collection.

• What is my personal tolerance for cold?
Some of us find ourselves with frosty feet well before the rest of the crowd while others could happily wear our Converse high tops year round. You need to decide where you fall on the spectrum. If you always have cold feet, you may need to consider the All Around Cold or Advanced Cold weather snow boots for your everyday wear even if the temperature ratings seem lower than you expect to find.

How long will I be outside?
Nothing freezes up the feet faster than standing around on cold snow. Think ski lift attendant. You'd be surprised to learn that most lift attendants wear the warmest snow boot they can find from December right through March, just because of the length of time they stand still on the cold snow.

If you love to be outside for the duration, consider the Advanced Cold or Extreme Cold collections. These boots will be a bit heavier than other models, but on those long, cold days, you'll feel the warmth, not the weight!


How active will I be?
Winter snow boots are your armor from the cold. The longer you stay outside (sleigh ride in the winter followed by a walk through the woods), the warmer the boot you need. The more you stand still (snowmobiling across the lake), the warmer the boot you need.


Activities like snowshoeing will heat your body up faster and will not require as warm a boot.

Snow boots enable you to withstand a range of winter conditions. They are designed to keep the cold out while at the same time keeping the moisture away from your foot. This keeps your feet happy through a range of activities. Warm feet? Yes. Sweaty feet? No. If you're an outdoor enthusiast who needs a supportive, stable winter boot, check out our collection of boots for winter hiking or snowshoeing.

The main lessons learned here? If you are prone to cold feet and are going to be outside for a lengthy time, make sure you have a warm enough boot. If you are going to be active, take that into account too!


Sizing

One last note: at the beginning of each season, we invite testers to our warehouse to fit-test every model. We update our product descriptions and note in the Fit section whether the boots run true to size or if an adjustment should be made when placing your order. For a thorough discussion of sizing considerations, please see our blog entry about Fit and Sizing.

Need some help? Remember, if you need any advice, we're easy to talk to.

It warms our hearts to warm your feet!

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