Living in a cold climate is fantastic if you have the right gear to get you through the winter season. One of the most critical parts of your wardrobe, when you enjoy snowshoeing, is a quality weather-resistant pair of boots.
Owning a pair can make you comfortable when you would otherwise be miserable. Also, you are facing a potentially dangerous situation in the snow if you are not wearing proper Footwear. Many people have ended up with significant nerve damage or even missing toes due to freezing temperatures.
Even if you already have a pair of snow boots, it might be time to buy another pair. Today’s shoes are lighter and offer features not found in older pairs. One of these great options will help you have a better time during outdoor activities.
We searched far and wide for the perfect snowshoe boots to make you and your feet happy. If you want to get straight to the point, here are our top picks:
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall:SOREL Glacier XT
- Best Premium Product:Merrell Murren Mid Waterproof-W Women’s Snow Boots
- Best value:Men’s Kamik Greenbay 4 Cold Weather Boot
However, if you’d like more information, we’ve put together a great guide to help you familiarize yourself with the many options available in snowshoe boots so you know what you want and need. Below, we run through ten of the best pairs, so you know what features each offers. Read on to find the best pair for you or someone close to you.
What are snowshoes?
Snowshoes are a platform that distributes your weight so you can walk through areas of thick snow without sinking into it. The base usually has a frame around the outside and a center that is made of a smooth material.
Traditionally, they weremade with wood and rawhide. Today, most are made of synthetic fabric, plastic, and lightweight metal. However, some popular brands still use mostly wood construction as it is lightweight and practical.
A snowshoe is not a real shoe. It is simply a base that is attached to a snow boot. The upper part has a support with a non-slip material that you use to connect the platform to your boot by means of adjustable straps.
An average snowshoe is between 22″ and 36″ long and between 7″ and 9″ wide. They generally weigh between 4 pounds and 7 pounds. These average sized shoes can keep people up to around 300 pounds on snow efficiently.
Wearing a pair gives you the ability to walk without getting too tired from having to tread on the snow. Snowshoes also help prevent accidents and allow for much more outdoor activity in areas where people experience a lot of snow on the ground.
Snowshoeing is a great way to get exercise, and almost anyone can enjoy it with just a few pieces of equipment.
Choosing boots for your snowshoes
Many people enjoy snowshoeing. However,Finding a pair of snowshoes that fit your needs isn’t the only thing you have to think about if you want to try this winter activity. You also need a great pair ofboots to wear with them. The boot you wear is essential because it will have a direct impact on the comfort of your feet.
It can also affect your health. Therefore, you need to pay special attention when selecting a pair of boots. The best options are comfortable, well-fitting, and stay Dry even in wet conditions.
You may also want to consider the weight of the boot and snowshoe. If you wear heavier shoes, you are likely to tire out sooner. So the goal is to find something that isn’t too heavy, but still has all the features you need.
Some great optional features are soft insoles, removable and washable inner boot liners, and a pull tab that allows you to wear the boots with or without your snowshoes.
One of the most important things to consider when selecting a pair of snowshoe hiking boots is the temperatures it will be exposed to for extended periods of time. You absolutely have to choose shoes that will protect you from the elements.
In most conditions, a general snow boot that is rated for temperatures down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit will suffice. However, if you plan to venture into temperatures colder than that, you should wear suitable shoes. All snow boots must give a temperature rating to help you choose the right pair.
However, temperature ratings are not always a good indicator of what your comfort level will be while wearing the boot in icy conditions. In addition to a weatherproof boot, you should wear socks to keep your feet Warm and dry. Keeping your feet dry is essential to keeping them Warm.
Also Read: Best Snowmobile Boots
Snowshoe Boot Construction
Snow boots are made with all different materials. It is important to know some of the most popular materials and qualities to make a good decision. So, below is a list to familiarize you with some you might see.
All winter boots will be reasonably similar in construction. Knowing the parts will help you find features in each component that suit your needs and personal style.
The upper part is part of the boot that goes around your ankle. It’s what the zipper attaches to and covers the top of your foot. Uppers are usually made of leather or synthetic materials that are resistant to water and wind. You want the top to come up a bit on your calf to give your ankles excellent support when snowshoeing.
An upper that offers good ankle support will make your adventure more enjoyable and help prevent ankle injuries.
The bottom is directly under the top and covers the foot to the sole.This part of the show is usually a molded material that provides additional protection for the toes. It’s also made from a tough material that’s puncture-resistant to keep sticks, branches, and other debris from getting into the side of your spectacle when you’re hiking.
The cuff is at the top of the boot top. It is usually made of leather, wool, Fleece, or synthetic materials, and is attached to the lining on the inside.
The insole is the surface on which the foot sits in the shoe.
An insole is a removable part of the shoe that the foot sits on. The insole of snow boots is usually thick to offer protection against the cold. These parts of the shoe offer support above that offered by the shoe itself. If you find that the boots you wear don’t offer enough support, you can add an additional insole to fit your foot better.
The sole is the bottom part of the shoe, and usually has a lug.
The lug on the outsole is a pattern that gives the boot grip to make it suitable for various terrains. You want to choose a lug that provides traction but is easy to clean. Many thick lugs easily get caught in them and are difficult to clean.
To properly attach them to a snowshoe, you want the boot to be free of debris. Therefore, you may find it better to choose an option with a thinner tongue when snowshoeing.
Most boots use laces to secure them to your foot, but there are some that you can put on as well. For boots that lace up, you typically find several different systems, including:
- D-Rings –D-shaped hinged metal rings.
- Buttonholes –Holes at the top reinforced with metal.
- Webbing Loops –Nylon pieces sewn on top that you use to lace up the boots.
- Hooks –Hooks attached to the upper that wrap around the laces.
- Combinations –Many boots use a combination of two or more of the above methods.
Many of these options use elastic drawstring laces to make it easier to put them on and take them off. However, some also use traditional laces.
Another standard method of securing boots to the foot is with straps that are fastened with Velcro or buckles. All of these varieties work well for the most part. However, when you’re hiking in snowshoes, you want to make sure the straps don’t interfere with the closures on your boots. If they do, you may not get a proper fit. Or it could make your boots uncomfortable.
A gaiter is usually pulled over the outside of a winter boot and keeps out debris, including snow. However, some shoes have a gaiter attached, which is a great feature if you can find it.
Snowboats have some form of insulation on the inside. The type of insulation you select is a matter of personal preference. However,It is important to remember that you will also wear thick socks, usually people wear wool socks to absorb moisture and keep their feet Warm.
Materials found in snowshoe boots
Outdoor equipment companies use a variety of quality materials to build boots that keep feet Warm, dry, and protected from the elements. The materials Used to make these shoes are more useful than ever to get the job done.
Ethylene-vinyl acetate or EVA is an elastic, rubber-like polymer. EVA is soft and has some spring, which is durable for some time. However, EVA is softer than many other materials, and with extensive use, it tends to compress and lose shape.
Nubuck is leatherthat is sanded on the outside. This type of leather is suitable for making boots because it tends to be more durable than traditional leather that is sanded from the inside out softer. However, nubuck takes longer to work than regular leather, which generally makes it more expensive.
Polyurethane, commonly abbreviated as PU, is a plastic-like material that is extremely versatile. Shoemakers use it to coat the outside of shoes, giving them a waterproof exterior, or use it in sheets to create durable soles.
Omni-Heat TechnologyCreated by Columbia, it is a breathable material that helps insulate your body heat without retaining sweat. Many shoes now use this technology as it is incredibly effective and lightweight.
Many companies use PrimaLoft because it is a light, Warm and extremely waterproof insulation.
Another insulator Used by many boot manufacturers is Thinsulate. It offers thinner insulation that’s still reasonably warm and does a good job of keeping your feet relatively dry.
M Select HOT
Merrell created M Select WARM, which is the insulation they use in the shoes they produce. It is effective because it distributes body heat around the feet and retains it to keep you warm.
Also Read: Best Toddler Snow Boots
Best Snowshoe Boots Reviews
Here are our reviews of the best boots for snowshoeing.
1. SOREL Glacier XT
These boots are tough and offer everything you need when snowshoeing. Plus, they’re a great look option that you can wear on their own, too.
The upper is waterproof and windproof, so you stay warm and dry, which is essential when hiking in cold weather. The bottom is made from high quality vulcanized rubber to make it extremely durable for many seasons.
We love these boots because they are easy to get on and off. They are tied at the ankle using D-rings. AlsoThey feature a built-in bellows that keeps snow or debris out.
Arch support is moderate and they are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. You won’t realize how long you’ve been wearing this option because your feet will feel great all day long.
Sizing runs true to your typical shoe size, so if you plan on wearing multiple pairs of socks, you may want to get a half size larger. However, with all the protection these boots offer, you won’t need to layer as many, but that depends on your personal preference.
Plus, you can choose from different widths, making the fit more customizable to your specific foot size.
- Waterproof design keeps feet dry
- Omni-Heat keeps you warm without causing excessive sweating
- They feature a built-in gaiter that eliminates the need for additional equipment
- The outsole is chunky and the lug complements it nicely for just the right traction
- These boots can get heavy after long walks
- They are more expensive than some options
- You may need a boot dryer as they take a long time to dry
Shop at Zappos
2. Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold Weather Boots
These Columbia boots have a ton of features that make them perfect for snowshoeing. The interior features Omni-Heat technology, giving them excellent heat retention, and the exterior uses a lightweight material that protects you from the outdoor elements.
They hit just above the ankle, which is perfect for men who don’t want to wear mid-calf or taller boots. However, you will need leggings with these boots.
They are held around the ankle by a combined lacing system that has two hooks at the top. The top hooks make it easy to loosen or tighten around the leg without re-loosening. Wearing these boots is comfortable with a variety of pants because they are so easy to adjust.
One of the best things about these boots is that they are comfortable to walk in and are less stiff than other options. They allow your foot to bend a bit more in the toe box. So these are great for people who need to load and unload gear. They are also nice with and without snowshoes, and are suitable for walking on different terrains.
You will need to order them slightly larger than your normal shoe size to wear them with socks. You may also want to add an insole that offers additional arch support if you have a high arch.
- Suitable for use in temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit
- Chunky sole and cleats for use with and without snowshoes
- These shoes don’t take long to break in
- Available in half sizes, making it easy to get a good fit
- They are not the easiest to put on and take off
- The lining falls apart on the inside after wearing them for a while
- You will need to wear gaiters over them in case of heavy snow
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3.Men’s Kamik Nationplus Boot
The Kamik Nationplus men’s boot offers many things that other shoes don’t. For their price, they are some of the best you can buy.
Kamik boots keep your feet warm in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. A removable Thinsulate lining wicks away moisture to keep feet warm and dry for hours.
They’re harder to put on than some boots, but we appreciate the high-quality construction. The lacing system uses a combination of stainless D-rings, hooks and eyelets.
Kamik makes the upper with real leather and rubber, which holds up well when put to the Test. You can use them indoors and outdoors and while doing many activities. We like this because you can put these on when you leave the house and start snowshoeing without having to change your boots first.
These boots run more true to size than many boots, but you may still want to get a half size larger than you normally wear to fit over the socks. Plus, these do an excellent job of keeping your feet warm in near-zero temperatures, but when it’s cold out, you need to protect your feet with thick, wool socks.
- Ideal for cooler temperatures and longer periods outdoors
- Made with high quality materials such as genuine leather
- Great for snowshoeing and other winter outdoor activities
- The lining is removable
- No built-in bellows
- More difficult to put on and take off than other boots
- You still need layers of socks in freezing weather
- Soles are thin but ok for snowshoeing
Buy on Amazon
4. Men’s Kamik Greenbay 4 Cold Weather Boot
The Kamik Men’s Greenbay Cold-Weather Boots offer you a host of features in an attractive boot made from all man-made materials. They are easy to put on and take off because they use a simple ankle strap and lacing around the top of the gaiter.
We like that they are an all-in-one style boot without the need for an additional gaiter over them. The nylon upper part is waterproof, and the lower part is waterproof rubber. In addition to the high-quality exterior construction, you’ll appreciate the removable interior liner.
One of the great features this boot has is a long velcro strip on the boot and strap. Some shoes only have a small area for Velcro, making them too wide at the ankle for some people. These boots do a great job of remedying that problem.
One nice thing about these shoes is the kick at the back of the boot that makes it easy to kick them off after a long day of adventures. This feature is also great for snowshoeing, as it helps keep the boot securely attached to the snowshoe.
The chunky outsole is perfect for hikes when hiking is combined with snowshoeing. They provide adequate protection against the cold, as well as appropriate grip for a variety of terrains.
Drying them doesn’t take an unreasonable amount of time either, especially when you remove the liner. This feature makes these shoes ideal for more frequent use.
- Removable liner and integrated gaiters
- Thick soles protect your feet from ice and snow
- They are easy to put on and take off
- Wider Velcro area to adjust to different ankle sizes
- They don’t come in half sizes so finding the right fit can be difficult
- These boots can get wet inside if you step on the water
- They may fit snug if you wear them over pants
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5. Northside Kids Frosty Winter Snow Boots
Northside kids’ snow boots are some of the best available for snowshoeing. We love these shoes because they give parents peace of mind when it comes to their child’s safety in icy conditions. Winter snow boots are rated for temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plus, these come in sizes to fit little kids to big kids. They are also available in over two dozen styles and colors for boys and girls.
However, they go beyond appealing to the little ones. They have an elastic velcro strap around the ankle, making them secure for walking. Additionally, these boots have an attached gaiter that fits snugly around the mid-calf with an elastic cord.
The boot features a molded bottom and a waterproof synthetic upper that is also wind resistant. The interior has a berber lining that is soft and warm. The shoes also have a berber insole that is removable and washable.
At the back, there’s an easy-to-remove lip, but this little lip also helps keep snowshoes firmly secured to little feet. So the dual purpose is especially nifty.
- These shoes are rated for low temperatures
- Light enough for young children to be active without tiring too easily
- Attaches firmly to feet
- Available for children of all ages and genders
- The lug is relatively thick and can pick up debris
- Fabric composite sole sheds after prolonged wear in the snow
- Snow can get trapped in the bottom creating an icy and slippery surface
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6. Nova Mountain Waterproof Winter Snow Boots for Boys and Girls
The Nova Mountain Kids Winter Snow Boots are a good choice for snowshoeing. They are versatile and have a robust construction. You can choose between two styles that have beneficial features.
The first uses D-rings and a pull-on bungee to fit securely around the ankle. However, the laced version has a hairy cuff. Therefore, if you choose this style, you will also need to buy leggings for your child.
The second option has a built-in gaiter and fits securely around the ankle with a Velcro strap.For ease of use, the second option is a better option because it eliminates the need for additional equipment. It’s also easier for little feet to slip on and off.
Both are an excellent option, however, and it all comes down to what you or your child prefer. Like many snow boots, either style provides protection in temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
We suggest wearing extra socks with them if you are going to be outdoors for extended periods. While the 200g insulation is quite warm, wearing extra socks provides extra protection and helps wick water away from your feet to keep them dry.
- Lightweight for comfort on longer hikes
- Easy on and off
- Suitable for toddlers and older children
- Kids with fuller feet may be comfortable
- Bungee closures tend to break after prolonged use
- The sizes are large, making it difficult to select the correct one
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7. Baffin Women’s Insulated Ice Field Boot
For extreme temperatures, these women’s Insulated boots from Baffin are a great option. They are waterproof and keep your feet warm. The rating given by the manufacturer says that they are approved for use in temperatures as low as -148 degrees Fahrenheit.
So these are good for snowshoeing adventures that are longer and in places where the temperature gets well below freezing. However, they are bulky and that makes longer trips more tiring.
Also, although they are for lower temperatures, you will need extra pairs of socks. The sizes run smaller than your average boot size so you need to keep that in mind when shopping. Order one shoe size larger at least if you plan to wear them in very cold weather with multiple pairs of socks or with heated insoles.
They are easy to put on with a wide opening that is secured with two laces. The first is around the ankle. The other is on top of the built-in gaiter part of the shoe.
These shoes do a great job of keeping dirt and moisture out, but they also trap some moisture.
So if you wear these boots frequently, you may want to invest in a boot dryer.
You also don’t want to use these boots for activities like driving because they have a rigid construction that makes it difficult to do some things. However, these are a great option for snowshoeing.
- Great for freezing weather
- Easy to put on and take off in a relatively short time
- Works well with snowshoes
- Not intended for use during daily activities such as driving
- Sizes are smaller than most people expect
- Larger sizes cost more than smaller sizes
- You need to wear several layers of socks in extreme temperatures
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8. Columbia Women’s Minx Mid II Omni-Heat Winter Boots
The Columbia Minx Mid II winter boots are perfect for walking with snowshoes. Plus, they’re comfortable on and off the snow, and they look great too. The upper features a synthetic quilted nylon material that’s water resistant.
The boots lace up in the front with a combination lacing system, but are reasonably easy to get on. They’re also sleek and lighter than most boots at just over 13 ounces. However, the soles are not very thick. However, OMNI-HEAT keeps your feet warm without a lot of bulky material or extra weight.
These boots are comfortable to wear and great for any winter adventure. When hiking in snowshoes, you’ll find them comfortable for covering longer distances. Plus, you can go hiking, snowshoeing, running errands around town without changing shoes between activities.
The insoles are thick and offer a lot of support, which is great for preventing foot fatigue. Also, the thicker insole makes up for the thinner sole in terms of foot protection while out in icy conditions.
Overall this is a phenomenal shoe for snowshoeing. The only thing this boot is missing is a gaiter, but laced up tight, the faux fur cuff on top does a decent job of keeping snow off these boots.
- Extremely flexible, making them comfortable for extended periods
- A high-quality insole that supports your foot
- Material that retains heat without retaining moisture
- The outsole offers excellent traction and uses non-marking rubber
- Tying them is a bit difficult
- They are narrow and not suitable for people with wide feet
- They are not ideal for extremely humid conditions
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9. Women’s Merrell Murren Mid Waterproof-W Snow Boot
The Merrell Women’s Murren Snow Boot is nice. It hits mid-calf and has a sleek profile that’s perfect for snowshoeing. These shoes don’t use a lacing system at the top, so you don’t have to worry about the laces interfering with the cleats on your snowshoes.
The upper features leather and handmade materials that are waterproof. In addition, this boot has an excellent thick outer sole that protects the feet, as well as an insole and fleece lining to keep your feet warm.
People with wider feet may find these shoes a bit too tight, and it’s a good idea to order them at least a half or one size larger to accommodate thick winter socks.
These boots are tall, so they stay in place while you’re active, even with the full-zip closure. We like the fact that they are easy to put on and take off, yet secure while snowshoeing.
Another cool thing about these boots is the M-Select FRESH technology that keeps these boots smelling better for longer. Of course, you have to make sure they dry properly like any other boot, but this is reasonably easycil if you leave them open because they dry faster.
The outsole of these boots is stiff, so they’re great for snowshoeing, but other activities where your toes bend a lot can be more difficult.
- M-Select FRESH technology prevents them from smelling bad
- These boots use a zipper closure that allows for quick on and off
- The lack of laces and straps makes them perfect for use with snowshoes
- The fleece interior is warm and soft
- They offer excellent protection against cold, wind and water
- May be too narrow for people with wide feet
- The outsole is stiff so it takes a while to break them in
- Not good for daily activities
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10. SOREL Snowlion XT
The SOREL Snowlion XT boots are a high-end option for women, and they make excellent snowshoe boots. These offer you protection in extreme cold with wind and water resistant uppers.
The laces are simple and allow you to secure them using just a few D-rings that are strategically placed at the ankle. So no matter what foot or ankle size you have, you’ll get a good fit in these shoes.
Plus, this pair features gaiters built right into the boot, so there’s no need to purchase them separately. The opening is wide enough that you can wear the boots over your pants, and they’re slim enough to wear under some pants that have a wider ankle. The interior is made of felt, which in turn is made from recycled materials.
Drying these boots is not difficult if you remove the linings and let them dry separately. Trying to dry them without removing them is time consuming and can make them smell funny. However, with this level of insulation, you should expect that from most shoes.
Attaching them to your snowshoes should be straightforward because the location of the laces doesn’t interfere with the cleats. They are also a good option for people who plan to hike and snowshoe during the same excursion.
- Excellent total weather protection
- The construction is durable and these boots should last a long time
- Truly waterproof with integrated gaiters to keep out snow and debris
- Removable lining for easy drying
- These boots are difficult to wear while driving
- The shoe is short and the width is wider than an average shoe
- Laces untie easily
Shop at Zappos
There are so many great options available, and not every style or shoe will appeal to every shopper. So, we picked three of the best boots for snowshoeing. Here are our picks:
When it comes to the best overall snowshoe boot, theSOREL Glacier XTis our best choice. It offers everything you need without a bunch of unnecessary extra features. We appreciate the protectionn that this pair of shoes provides and the fact that they are easy to secure to snowshoes without much adjustment. So, you can enjoy what we love faster.
In addition, they are boots that you can enjoy for years. You won’t have to worry about faulty stitching or poor quality, which cause problems as soon as you tame them.
Best Premium Product
Our favorite premium product isMerrell Murren Mid Waterproof-W Women’s Snow Boots. These boots are full of bells and whistles to keep you comfortable for longer. We also like the unique zip-closure design they offer, which makes putting them on and taking them off a breeze.
Another thing we love about these boots is the high-quality construction that is sure to last for many years to come. That makes these boots worth every penny.
TheMen’s Kamik Greenbay 4 Cold Weather Bootwins for best overall value, in our opinion. You can buy a pair for less than $100, and they give you everything you need and more to enjoy snowshoeing in almost any weather.
Plus, they have integrated gaiters to keep the inside of your boots free of snow and debris. They offer excellent warmth without being too bulky or heavy.