Last updated on November 16th, 2023 at 09:17 am
The Best Winter Boots and Shoes: Grip Tips to Avoid Winter Slips
We all know that sudden panic when you step out onto a snowy or icy street, and you think you might slip and hit the deck. Snow might look soft, but the ground beneath it certainly isn’t.
Most regular shoes aren’t built for slippery streets, which winter is often known for. That’s why we’ve gathered the best snow boots and shoes for tackling snowy and icy conditions. Safety and convenience don’t have to come at the cost of style, either. There are plenty of stylish snow boots and shoes out there that look, feel and perform great in wintery weather.
So, save yourself from ice anxiety next time you’re shuffling to the bus stop. Read on to explore our picks for the best winter boots and shoes and find out how to adapt for the snow and ice.
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The best shoes for snow and ice
There’s something magical about taking a walk on a crisp winter’s day – don’t let snow and ice hold you back.
Wearing the right shoes in adverse weather conditions can make a big difference for various reasons. Not only can they protect your feet from getting cold and wet, but a sturdy shoe design with durable materials can also help you avoid slipping.
Whether you’re looking for dedicated snow shoes or waterproof wellies, the best snow boots and shoes are designed to keep you on your feet and look great while doing so. That way, you can tread any frosty path with confidence.
Equip yourself with the ultimate tools for wading through snow – and, let’s face it, the occasional snowball fight. Snow boots are built for purpose with robust rubber soles, waterproof materials, and cosy inner linings.
Though snow boots may be the obvious choice, there’s a solid reason why. They’re arguably one of the best shoes for intense snow, as they often feature adjustable fastenings to keep snow from getting inside. No one likes the feeling of wet socks. Plus, their soles offer great traction for walking on ice.
It’s worth keeping a pair in your wardrobe for tackling snowy weather. Check out our favourite pair of functional snow boots that will keep you warm without sacrificing on style.
Our top pick
Cotswold Venture Snow Boot
The Cotswold Venture Snow Boot is available in men’s and women’s sizes. These thermal snow boots feature a smart design wrapped in faux suede, with a comfortable faux fur lining to keep your feet warm. If you’re not keen on black, they’re also available in grey, brown, and purple.
If there’s a little snow in your way on the commute to work, a good pair of wellies can offer a barrier between you and the cold stuff. Waterproof by design, they’re a great way to keep your feet from getting soaking wet.
Their chunky soles can also offer you extra grip and water resistance when the once fresh snow inevitably turns to sludge, or if you find the pavement is icy in the morning.
While some wellies are available with a warm inner lining, most won’t be as cosy as snow boots, so we recommend layering up with some thermal socks for extra insulation. Check out our choice for durable, high-leg wellies below.
Our top pick
Dunlop Adult’s Black Welly
Masters of outdoor footwear, Dunlop’s Adult Black Welly offers unisex sizing, making them a great choice for anyone tackling wet, icy and snowy weather. Also available in green, simply slip them on and you’re good to go.
Faux Fur Boots
When temperatures drop and conditions get icy, you’ll need a pair of warm, practical shoes to get through the winter season. Our women’s faux fur boots are perfect for everyday use when you need more grip.
You can also add attachable snow grips to regular shoes and boots for more stability. To keep them in great condition, we recommend treating material boots with protector spray to avoid staining in wet weather.
Our top pick
Softlites Jo Women’s Brown faux Fur Calf Boot
Wrap up warm with these brown faux fur calf boots for women by Softlites. Enjoy extra support with a thick, grippy sole and a soft faux fur trim to stay comfortable through chilly winter months.
Leather boots are famously durable but wearing them in heavy snow can actually damage your favourite leather footwear.
That being said, some leather boots are designed with thick, gripped soles with plenty of traction, which make them some of the best everyday shoes for walking on ice and frosty pavements. The extra foot support can also go a long way towards keeping you stable.
With various leather boot styles for men and women available, there’s plenty of choice out there. In winter months, we recommend topping up leather boots with shoe care products such as protector spray, shoe polish and leather balms to prevent water damage and cracking.
Our top pick
EarthWorks Safety Men’s Lace Safety Ankle Boot in Honey
These supportive leather safety boots from EarthWorks come with a coated leather upper and a durable, cleated sole to offer extra protection from the elements. Ideal for practical environments, these boots are great for commuting in icy conditions. Honey yellow not your style? You can also find them in black.
Best spikes, sprays, and ice grips for shoes
Typically, the best shoes for snow and icy conditions will have strong grip and traction. Sometimes though, even shoes that look winter-proof could benefit from a little extra help – especially if you’ve had them a long time and worn the soles down.
Adding spikes, sprays, and attachable grips to the bottom of your shoes are all useful hacks to help you stay on your feet when the weather turns icy. Here’s our summary of the best products to help improve your grip in snow and ice.
Adding detachable snow chains with metallic spikes to the bottom to your shoes is a great way to instantly improve their grip. The spikes will dig into thicker snow and ice, preventing your feet from slipping underneath you. Instead, you’ll have a steady footing to see you through even the snowiest of walks.
Adhesive sprays are another way to add traction and grip to your favourite shoes. These ‘grip sprays’ are designed to add a degree of tackiness to the soles of your shoe.
Unlike spikes or grips, the effects of a spray will wear off over time – so you’ll need to maintain treatment. Sprays can be a useful short-term fix if you find yourself caught out by a change in the weather.
Attachable snow grips can also add traction to your shoes and keep you on your feet. They’ll help improve the tread of your boots without compromising on their structure – essential for keeping your feet warm, secure, and protected.
Because you can take the grips on and off, you’re not limited to wearing just the one pair of shoes and boots – so you can keep your feet looking great whatever the weather.
Shoezone Top Tips: How to walk on ice without slipping
Even with your sturdy footwear in place, there are a few extra things you can try in order to stay on your feet. Here are some of our top tips for how to walk on ice without slipping.
Walk like a penguin
When the ground turns slippery, take inspiration from those that deal with ice and snow every day – penguins. Try to take small, flat-footed steps to waddle like a penguin. This will help to spread your body weight as much as possible and centre your balance.
Choose rubber sole shoes
It’s no surprise that shoes with textured rubber soles with lots of tread cope better in icy conditions than smooth leather soles and high heeled shoes, which have less traction. It’s always wise to take a moment to consider which of your shoes are best for ice and snow before you leave the house.
Don’t get over-confident
When snowfall starts to melt, it’s easy to get a little over-confident and think you can start walking normally or wearing your regular shoes. However, remember that once the snow starts to thaw, it’s likely to freeze up again overnight, leaving black ice in its place. Make sure to take it steady – better to be safe than sorry!
Use walking sticks
Carrying your belongings in a backpack and freeing up your hands to use walking sticks or hiking poles can be a real bonus in heavy snow. Placing your sticks firmly into the snow will help to give you a sturdy support when walking and to spread your bodyweight over a larger surface.
Discover more style tips and tricks for getting the best out of your footwear on our shoezone blog. Heading somewhere adventurous? Check out our Hiking 101 guide and read everything you need to know about walking boots, shoes and trainers.