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 -30oC with lots of 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.

However just because a boot doesn't have a temperature rating doesn't mean it won't keep feet warm below zero. It just means it hasn't been officially tested using something like the test above. You can also always add warm wool socks and thermal insoles to help increase the thermal properties of any boot.

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.

Thermal Boots with No Specific Temperature Rating

The Vivobarefoot Lumi is the warmest ever winter boot from Vivo and is completely waterproof with sealed seams and an inner breathable membrane. The sole is grippy and flexible and the thermal insole ensures feet stay warm despite the thin and flexible outsole. The Lumi is sadly not temperature rated though.

The Sole Runner Transition Vario and Amari boots are also ideal from a barefoot point of view, they both have an extra-wide toe box with a thin and flexible barefoot sole only 6mm thick. They are water repellent and have a gusseted tongue for extra water resistance. There is a cosy fleece lining for warmth and a single pull lace up closure for a great fit..

Thermal Boots Rated to -10oC

For wider feet and a nice barefoot friendly sole the Cirro Warm is a great option. It is on the lovely wide fitting and zero drop flexible sole unit from Bundgaard and temperature rated down to -10oC as well.

Our ever popular Baby Bogs are also temperature rated down to -10oC and are a really good lightweight and comfy option.

Thermal Boots Rated to -20oC

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.

The Mikk-Line Thermal boots are also nice and wide and really lightweight and have been one of our most popular thermal boots for many years. They are too thick in the sole to be a truly barefoot but are nice and flexible and do have the rare -20oC rating.

Thermal Boots Rated to -30oC

The only boot rated to the coldest temperatures we have found is the Bogs B-Moc Snow is designed especially for use in snow and are 100% waterproof. Comfort rated to -30oC with snow cuffs, snow-proof handles and fleece lining. They are a serious option for serious weather and on the same wide fitting sole unit as the standard B-Mocs. This sole however, whilst wide fitting and with a minimal heel rise is very thick and the boots can feel heavy. An ideal option for the coldest weather though.

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.