How To Choose Winter Boots
BY RACHEL CAVANAUGH
To help you get started, we’ve put together an easy guide for how to pick out winter boots, focusing on four key factors: warmth, comfort, traction, and style. Check out the details below.
- Insulation: This is the inside part of the boot that traps warmth next to your body and keeps your feet feeling toasty. It’s typically made from materials such as fleece, wool, or synthetic down. Some boots also feature reflective liners such as Omni-Heat Infinity that add extra warmth by reflecting heat back toward your feet.
- Waterproofing: In addition to having high-quality insulation, winter boots need to be water-resistant, if not fully waterproof, so they can protect you from wet-weather elements such as rain, snow, sleet, and hail. If you’re in a particularly wet climate, look for boots with technologies such as OutDry™ that are 100% waterproof yet breathable.
- Material: The last major piece of the warmth equation is the exterior of the boot. Aside from being waterproof or water-resistant (check out our waterproofing guide if you don’t know the difference), it’s best for it to be made of something durable such as leather or CORDURA®. This adds a second layer of protection from the cold, while also making the boot more durable.
- Cushioning This is a layer of foam or other similar materials that provide rebound as you walk. In addition to being more comfortable to wear, high-quality cushioning can help prevent foot fatigue
- Shock Absorption: This is typically a layer in the middle (called the midsole) that dampens the impact of your foot as it strikes the ground. Look for selections with advanced cushioning technologies such as Techlite or Techlite+
- Weight: On top of special features like cushioning and shock absorption, weight also plays a role in how comfortable your boot is. Walking around all day in boots that are heavy or clunky is not comfortable, so generally speaking, the more lightweight the better.