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How Should I Choose Winter Boots?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2016
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Winter boots are designed to be worn when there is snow or ice on the ground, or when the temperature is below freezing. These boots have thicker, rubberized soles and insulated lining. They come in a wide arrays of styles, ranging from simple leather boots to insulated, guaranteed waterproof boots. If you live anywhere that gets at least 5 inches (12.7 cm) of snow and the temperature is below freezing for more than one week, you should invest in a good pair of boots. Look for ones that are easy to get on and off, have warm padding, and that don't have too high a heel.

When selecting winter boots for children, there are three factors that affect your decision: ease of use, waterproof level, and quality of insulation. Children should be able to put on and take off their own boots quickly and without assistance. Select one-piece boots that go up to mid-calf level to meet their needs. Purchase boots one half size larger than the current shoe size to ensure they fit properly all winter.

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Write your child's name in permanent marker on the inside label of the boots to ensure that they bring the correct boots home from school. Do not purchase boots with laces for any child younger than 12 years of age. Select boots with hook-and-loop closures or buckles. They should should have thick insulation material to keep the feet warm. Check the label to ensure they are 100% waterproof, not just water resistant.

Insulation materials in adult boots range from thick padding to Thinsulate™ insulation in the more stylish boots. Check the padding along the sole of the boot and the ankles, as these are the parts of the foot that are the most sensitive to the cold. If you are thinking about purchasing leather boots, it is important to remember that road salt destroys leather. Select these type of winter boots only if you plan to clean the boots of all salt residue after each use.

The heel on a winter boot should be no more than 1 inch (2.54 cm) high. Any higher, and you risk falling down in slippery conditions. Check the tread on the bottom of the boots to make sure that it is varied, with at least a 0.25 inch (0.635 cm) depth of rubber. Without a tread, it will be much harder to keep your balance, and you may slip and fall on the snowy and icy surfaces.

If you are planning on participating in winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating or snow tubing, select boots that are easy to pull on and off. One-piece ski boots are easy to handle and are designed to be used with winter sport equipment. Invest money in quality footwear, and it can be used for many years.

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SZapper
Post 7

I think it's definitely important to make sure the sole of your winter boots is thick and rubberized. And definitely don't buy a winter boot with a heel! Buying a boot with an inappropriate sole or heel is a fast way to make sure you fall and injure yourself as soon as winter starts!

In fact, I learned this the hard way one year. I bought a pair of cheap winter boots, because I didn't have much money at that time. I neglected to realize that the sole of the boot wasn't very sturdy and was kind of slippery. I ended up taking a pretty hard fall the first time we had inclement weather that year.

JessicaLynn
Post 6

@starrynight - I know exactly what you mean. I was scandalized a few years ago when I learned that those Ugg boots that were so popular aren't even waterproof winter boots. I had just assumed they were warm and waterproof because they are so ugly. Why would someone wear a boot so ugly if it wasn't even functional?

Either way, I like to purchase winter boots at the end of the season. You can get some really good deals, and then you'll have a pair all ready to go when the next winter starts. And you don't really have to worry too much about how they look, because the overall look of winter boots doesn't seem to change much from year to year.

starrynight
Post 5

One trend I have noticed over the last few years are women's winter boots that are actually fashion boots. What I mean by this is that the boots look like they would be warm, but are just meant to be fashionable. They may have faux fur poking out at the top or look rugged in a "cute" way.

The thing is, these boots aren't actually all that warm (ask me how I know.) So I think that as far as winter boots go, you should skip the ones that look nice and go for boots that are actually insulated and warm. You will be much happier on those cold winter days!

bear78
Post 4

I want to buy my niece and nephew winter boots as Christmas gifts. I've checked out various online stores and they're so expensive!

Comfort and safety are my top most priority. I don't want them to have wet feet while playing in the snow. I think they will be okay with most waterproof children's boots. My niece is a little picky though and she loves girly, pink things. I think she would be upset if I got her a pair of regular black boots. I could ask their mom about the boots, but I want it to be a surprise so I'm keeping it to myself.

Does anyone have any recommendations for affordable, but good quality and possibly fashionable children's winter boots? If any parents are here who have experience in this area, I would appreciate any suggestions!

serenesurface
Post 3

@burcidi-- I actually wear leather winter boots. They're not completely waterproof, but I take really good care of them and they've been working well for me so far. I think leather boots become problematic when they are not regularly dyed and greased. Because the leather cracks from the cold, water and salt and if it doesn't have thick lining underneath, your feet will get wet. Wearing a couple of socks and regularly greasing the leather can solve that problem for the most part.

The biggest concern I have in winter with my boots is warmth. I have diabetes and bad circulation in my legs and feet, so I'm at higher risk than most people. Recently, I discovered sheepskin winter

boots. These keep my feet warmer than any other type of boots I've tried. If you ever need a new pair of boots and warmth is a concern, I'd recommend these to you.

Aside from this, I just pay attention to how the boots fit me. If they go up above the ankles, I make sure the boots fit my calves comfortably. I have big calves and some boots are too tight in that area.

burcidi
Post 2

This is a great article and has basically covered all the important points. I live in Iowa where it gets extremely cold in winter with lots of snowfall. There have been years where we got between seventeen and thirty inches of snow on the ground! So having good quality winter boots is important.

Since moving to Iowa, I've tried various kinds of winter boots over the years and have found snow boots and hiking boots to be the best type of winter boots. When you're dealing with negative temperatures and inches and inches of snow, fashion is the last thing on your mind. All I want in a winter boot is for it to keep me warm, stay dry

and not slip.

In the beginning, I wore leather winter boots. They definitely kept me warm while they were dry, but unfortunately, when the snow water seeps into the leather, it stays wet and cold for a long time. The article already mentioned how bad salt is for leather. So then, I started wearing winter boots made of synthetic but flexible material that is waterproof. These boots work a lot better in the snow.

I also make sure that the boots I buy have some sort of insulation material on the inside and non-slip soles for when I need to shovel snow. I usually switch between a pair of snow boots and hiking boots throughout the winter.

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