How to choose your snow boots

How to choose your snow boots

On our website we have a range of different snow boots. Usually boots with warm and cosy linings to keep feet extra warm. Ideally we look for boots that have a specific thermal temperature rating and we would always recommend choosing boots with this rating for prolonged use in snow and really cold environments.

What does the temperature rating mean?

The temperature rating is defined as the lowest temperature at which the boots will feel comfortable to use without feet becoming too cold. These temperature ratings are a guideline to understand how the boots will perform and help you decide which boots to choose for your circumstances. However it is important to note that each person is unique and has a different circulation that impacts warmth. You should adjust the temperature rating required to suit individual needs and preferences.

How is the temperature rating measured

There are a number of methods used to assign the temperature rating for a boot, almost all involve monitoring the temperature inside the boots as the external temperature is gradually reduced.

We asked Bogs, one of our most popular ranges of snow boots, how they assess their ratings and they were happy to share their methods with us. They use a process called the Cold Box test method. This test puts stainless steel balls with wire temperature probes down inside the boots. The boots are then put in a freezer and the temperature is reduced every 30 minutes. When the boots show more than a ten degree variance from the ambient temperature, then the boots have reached their warmth limit.

What are the options?

In our snow boot range we have boots with a temperature rating from -10oC down to -37oC with most of the popular thermal boots around -20oC. It is important to choose carefully and treat the rating as the lowest possible comfort temperature. Ideally you want some margin within that so if you know you are going to be using boots at -10oC you want to give yourself some leeway and choose boots rated down to -20oC.

It is also important to note that the lower the temperature rating the thicker the sole of the boot can be as extra insulation is required. A true barefoot snow boot is a challenge and we have done a lot of research into the options and have tried to put together a range of boots that are soft, lightweight and as flexible as possible.

The closest option to a true barefoot snow boot is the Stonz West boot which is rated down to -20oC and is super soft, thin and flexible but is not as wide as we would ideally like. For wider feet the Bundgaard Sailor is a great option but can feel quite heavy. The Mikk-Line Thermal boots are also nice and wide and really lightweight but are a bit thicker in the sole. The Sole Runner Transition Vario is ideal from a barefoot point of view with a wide toe box and nice barefoot sole but isn’t totally waterproof and doesn’t have a temperature rating. Our highest rated snow boots, the Bogs Neo Classic, are designated down to -37 deg C for the coldest climates. They are however the least barefoot of the options available and do have a much thicker sole unit.

One day we will find the perfect Snow boot but until then it is a case of making a compromise according to foot width and how the boots will be used. If you need any help in choosing the best boots for you then please contact our helpful and knowledgeable customer service team who will be happy to advise you on the best options.