Last updated on November 30th, 2023 at 04:26 pm
In this guide:
- What to look for in winter boots
- What type of shoe is good for snow?
- Which winter boots have the best grip?
- Which winter boots are the warmest?
- Which boots should I wear in winter?
- Which winter boots can I wear to work?
- Best times to wear winter boots and shoes
Preventing slips and trips when it’s snowy or icy is more important than staying stylish. That’s why knowing what shoes to wear in winter is key to helping you stay on your feet in the chilly weather. Our feet face a lot of winter challenges – and your shoes are there to help you through them.
What to look for in winter boots
As well as your winter coat, scarf, gloves and dozens of cosy knits, it’s time to get the winter footwear out. But what exactly should you be wearing this winter to keep your feet extra warm, dry and well-protected from the elements? Take a look below, and we’ll run you through the key things you should keep in mind when shopping for winter shoes.
First and foremost, pay close attention to the grip they offer. The outsole’s traction is crucial for securing a foothold on icy and slippery surfaces, providing stability and preventing slips and falls. Look for outsoles designed with deep treads and advanced traction technology, such as specialised rubber compounds. The tread pattern is vital, as multidirectional patterns offer superior stability on snow and ice.
Water resistance is another crucial factor when choosing winter boots. Opt for materials like Gore-Tex or treated leather that repel water and snow, keeping your feet dry and warm in wet conditions. Sealed seams and waterproof membranes also contribute to overall water resistance. Additionally, look for boots with gusseted tongues or built-in gaiters to prevent water from seeping in through the top. Insulation materials like Thinsulate will further enhance water resistance while providing warmth.
Of course, when it comes to winter boots, you should go for options that offer quality insulation to ensure your feet stay warm and comfortable during the winter weather, making your outdoor experiences more enjoyable. Select boots with effective insulation materials like Thinsulate, PrimaLoft or shearling.
The insulation’s thickness, measured in grams, determines its warmth level, with higher grams suitable for extremely cold climates. Always consider your local climate and intended activities to find the right balance between warmth and breathability. That said, some boots may feature removable liners for customisable insulation. You can also add some insulated insoles for heat retention.
Comfort is paramount when selecting winter boots for enduring colder climates. Look for boots with adequate cushioning and arch support to minimise fatigue during extended wear. You should also ensure that your boots offer a proper fit, allowing for thicker socks without constriction. You can often find features like padded collars and tongues that will also enhance overall comfort.
Consider boots with insulation for warmth without sacrificing comfort, and those with breathable linings to prevent overheating. Additionally, a lightweight design and flexible sole should add to a more comfortable walking experience.
What type of shoe is good for snow?
- For men: Reliable lace-up shoes
- For women: Cotswold Women’s Oxerton Low Hiker in Grey
Non-slip rubber typically makes the best soles for snow and ice. Soles with larger treads offer plenty of grip. They’ll help you avoid slipping when you’re walking in wintry conditions, as well as keeping your feet waterproof.
Specialised snow boots or hiking boots are a good option. Not only does this footwear have non-slip soles, they offer ankle support too – helping to keep you steady on slippery pavements. Check out our best boots for walking.
Which winter boots have the best grip?
Snow boots or hiking boots are generally the best footwear for icy pavements.
However, if you’re looking for everyday shoes to wear to work, there are a few ways to add extra grip to a regular pair.
- These are essentially a rubber band that wraps around your shoe, with little metal coils that sit on your sole – giving you stronger grip in icy conditions.
- Traction spray. Spraying your soles with traction spray can improve their grip. Most traction sprays are self-adhesive resins and work by adding a thin winter-proof coat to your shoes.
- Elastic bands. If you can’t find any crampons, you could attach regular elastic bands to your shoes. Simply wrap one or two around the base of your boot and off you go. The rubber will help add a little more traction to your tread.
Find out how to winter proof your boots and shoes with a few simple hacks.
Which winter boots are the warmest?
- For men: Earth Works Men’s Black Safety Boots
- For women: Comfortable womens lace up boots
Snow boots are usually the warmest winter boots you’ll find. Their rubber soles are waterproof and many pairs come lined with insulating fabric or faux fur. Together these two elements go a long way to keeping your feet toasty in wet winter conditions.
Either leather or nylon is used on the upper part of most snow boots. The insoles usually have layers of faux sheepskin or other soft, warm fabrics.
Which boots should I wear in winter?
If you need a pair of boots that keep your feet toasty in winter, snow boots aren’t the only option. You’ll want your footwear to be stylish as well as functional.
After all, heading into the office in a pair of huge snow boots may keep you safe and warm, but they might not be the best option for matching with your winter coat or slack. You could always change into something when you arrive – or select from these styles:
- Knee-length boots. These can be an excellent option for tackling winter weather conditions. They will cover most of your lower leg and combine well with a good pair of tights or high socks. Attach a crampon to each sole and you’ll be all set to combat even the snowiest of weather. Check out our style guide for knee-high and over-the-knee boots.
- Leather Chelsea boots. For men, a pair of leather or faux leather Chelsea boots are a good option for keeping your feet warm and dry. Chelsea boots are naturally sturdy, and because you can use waterproofing sprays to ramp up their winter protection, they make a great winter option. Chelsea boots often come in suede, so make sure you take extra effort to protect and maintain the material.
- Cowboy boots. One of the better types of footwear for snow and ice are cowboy boots. They look great and are often lined with insulating fabrics such as wool or faux fur – perfect for keeping your toes warm in icy conditions.
- Booties. A sturdy pair of booties can get you to the office and back in style – especially with an added crampon for improved tread.
- Wellington boots. Usually reserved for heavy rain and festival season, you could break out your trusty wellingtons to combat snow and ice. These rubber boots provide plenty of grip with their thick, treaded soles. You may need to buy an insulated pair lined with faux fur or wool. These will keep you warmer than a standard rubber-only pair.
For a more in-depth guide, check out our tips for buying winter boots.
Which winter boots can I wear to work?
There are many pairs of winter boots that you’ll want to wear throughout winter and will go perfectly with your work outfit. Look around and you’re sure to find a pair you love. You’ll have to check their practicality as some may not be water-resistant – but many are. If it’s snowing, or so cold that there’s ice, heels are out of the equation.
Flat ankle boots can be a smart addition to your work wardrobe if you choose carefully. Look for leather or leather-look boots with smart detailing like buckles or laces.
If you can’t find any boots that you like, you can always swap into a smart pair of shoes when you get to work. Or you can consider waterproofing your work boots. There are lots of different sprays for different materials that help you do this.
Look around before you buy your winter boots and find the pair that suits your lifestyle. That might be heavy-duty snow boots for a snowy day or something to get you to work and back. You can wear a lot of different shoes during the winter months. It’s just down how you style them. Have fun and stay dry!
Best times to wear winter boots and shoes
Winter boots are ideal in various conditions, including wet, icy or snowy weather. They offer optimal traction on slippery surfaces, keeping you stable during rain or snowfall. When travelling to cold countries, winter boots provide insulation against freezing temperatures, ensuring exceptional warmth and comfort.
For outdoor work, their durability and water-resistant features shield you from the elements. And partaking in winter sports like snowshoeing or hiking in cold terrains demands the support and protection that winter boots offer.
Essentially, anytime you face cold, wet or icy conditions or when participating in outdoor activities during the winter season, wearing winter boots ensures safety, comfort and weather-appropriate footwear.