Winter hiking boots have gone through many transformations over the past decade and are more comfortable and lighter than ever before. You will not find those heavy boots or military surplus boots or plastic mountaineering boots to stay warm.
In today’s market, winter hiking boots are insulated, breathable, and waterproof. These boots can make your feet warm even if the temperature is below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can walk over snow and ice. These winter boots are compatible with snowshoes and microspikes as traction aids.
For whatever extreme terrain, you will be sure to have warm and dry feet during hiking.
What is winter hiking boots?
It is a type of boot that is waterproof or water-resistant, specifically designed for protecting your ankles and feet during your outdoor walking activities.
Winter boots are insulated to keep your feet dry and warm. They commonly have laces and not be slip-on.
You will feel the comfort as you walk or snowshoe in them in winter. The amount of insulation you require will vary on the temperatures and distance you walk in.
Types of winter hiking boots
There are three kinds of winter hiking boots including Pac boots, mountaineering boots, and insulated winter hiking boots.
Pac boots are similar to winter boots with a thick rubber lower shell. The upper part is made of heavy-duty nylon or leather.
The lower shell is waterproof. The upper part is waterproof or water-resistant. Most Pac boots are crafted with a thick, insulating liner to keep feet comfortable in the coldest temperature.
Pac boots are an excellent option for ice fishing. If the Pac boot has removable liners, they can be dried out quickly.
Mountaineering boots are stiffer, insulated, and its upper parts are taller. The stiffness and height design can aid climbers to maneuver and climb steep terrain.
Carbon fiber and steel shanks are to achieve extra stiffness. In many ways, the stiffness can help climbers conquer challenging terrain helped the crampon by improving their precision. The insulation and warmth are essential because it is needed to keep your feet warm, comfortable, and avoid the frostbite.
Insulated hiking boots
Insulated hiking boots are waterproof. Many models have made with waterproof synthetics or rubber, or so the fabric will not absorb water.
If there is moisture inside these boots, insulated winter hiking boots will still keep your feet warm.
The insulating material of winter boots
Thinsulate is the most common material used to produce winter hiking boots. It is 15 micrometers in diameter insulating material made from fibers.
It provides one to two times the warmth and provides overall insulation from duck down. The Thinsulate material is easy to move and lighter.
Many commercial products use the material. It can even be used for home insulation due to its high insulation capabilities.
Thinsulate can also reduce noise levels within a vehicle by about 50%. It can be used in boots, winter accessories, skis, clothing, houses, and sporting apparel. It provides a lighter and warmer lifestyle.
Parts of winter hiking boots
How to choose the right winter hiking boots
The most crucial factor to an excellent pair of winter hiking boots is the protection they can provide to your feet. You need to feel comfortable during the hiking through the ice and deep snow.
If you find winter hiking boots with Gore-Tex inner lining, it means that the winter hiking boots maintain your feet dry. The rubber lowers, and leather uppers will block water and wet snow to penetrate.
There is also an option to waterproof your winter hiking boots with a spray waterproof coating. You have to wait 24 hours to allow the winter hiking boots to become fully waterproof.
If the inside of your winter hiking boots gets wet, you can remove the liners out to dry back at home. It is an easy thing to do.
Winter hiking boots are produced in many styles, such as high-cut and mid-cut to low-cut. It is recommended to choose the mid-cut or high-cut, which will support your feet in the extreme winter terrain.
These styles will help block the water and snow to penetrate.
Find winter hiking boots with 400 to 800 grams of insulation. Winter hiking boots with Double-layer insulation can withstand a very cold hike.
Double layer winter hiking boots have an inner and outer boot with insulation. For extreme winter and hiking camping, purchase a double layer winter hiking boots style.
How to maintain winter hiking boots?
Frequently asked questions
1. Can you use your hiking boots for winter?
Before you use your hiking boots for winter, you must find out about the waterproofing and insulation. Winter hiking boots are waterproof. They are made from rubber or waterproof synthetics, which will not absorb water. Insulated winter boots will keep your feet warm even if moisture gets caught inside. Regular leather or synthetic hiking boots are not always waterproof. If your hiking boots absorb water in the cold weather, your feet will freeze, and you will feel discomfort. Your feet might get frostbite in extreme weather on long winter hikes.
2. How much insulation does winter boots have?
You can find the amount of insulation in winter boots but may not find it. Some winter boots have 200 gram Thinsulate insulation or 400-gram thickness of the insulation. The more thickness insulation is much warmer. Winter boots with more thickness insulation are preferred for hiking in very cold (-60 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures on long hikes.
3. How to avoid blister with winter boots?
You have to be sure you fit in well before hiking in winter with your boots. Learn to lace your hiking boots to let go of pressure on the top of your foot. How you lace can eliminate heel lift or keep your laces from losing. Fit and test out your traction devices such as microspikes, snowshoes, and crampons. This practice will identify hot spots and take corrective actions in advance. To avoid blister, you can tap your feet with leukotape, or try to wear better socks, or re-adjust traction aids.
Top 15 winter boots for hiking comparison chart
5 best winter hiking boots reviews
The Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX is an insulated hiking boot with Gore-Tex Comfort (waterproof breathable liner layer) to keep your feet dry and warm during cold temperatures. It is a waterproof mountaineering boot or hiking boots that come with an integrated gaiter.
The insulated hiking boots have a PU midsole and nylon shank for stiffness and shock absorption. There are also rear and front lugs that support universal crampon compatibility.
The lacing is all-metal to lock-in in an excellent fit for front pointing. The fit has a large toe box and runs wide.
The La Sportiva Nepal Evo is mountaineering boots made from a single leather insulated with Gore-Tex Duratherm. Gore-Tex Duratherm is a waterproof and lightweight insulation layer that keeps your feet dry and warm during cold temperatures.
They have a stiff TPU last. Its lace locks are an innovative design to provide the lacing tight to the front point with crampons.
To keep debris out and seal the boot’s top, the insulated hiking boots are equipped with an integrated mini gaiter. The rear and front welts are compatible with all crampon types available.
Vasque’s Snowburban II UltraDry can withstand extreme winter conditions because it is insulated with 400 gram Thinsulate synthetic insulation. The insulation will keep your feet warm during low temperatures.
The uppers are made from leather with a waterproof lining. The waterproofing will ensure the water or snow does not penetrate.
The EVA midsole is lightweight and has a thermoplastic urethane shank, for cushion and protects the feet from extreme terrain while hiking. If you walk all day long, a wool collar can reduce odors and increases comfort.
Salomon’s Toundra Pro snow hiking boots are insulated by ultralight Aerogel insulation. The snow hiking boots are rated to -40F.
These snow hiking boots have a big and comfortable toe box, a reinforced toe kick for additional protection, and a heel cap compatible with snowshoe bindings and microspike. An arch in the midsole supports gaiter compatibility.
Upper boots and fleece-lined tongue provide a comfy fit. They are an excellent choice to get through cold-weather hiking.
KEEN’s Revel IV High Polar Boots are insulated hiking boots that are insulated with 400 gr KEEN.WARM recycled PET fibers insulation. The boots are rated to -40F.
It comes with 5 mm lugs for additional traction when you are walking deep snow. These boots have a big signature toe box and run wide.
You can conquer tough terrain with this pair of boots because of its side protection, heel ridge, and beefy toe kick. You can be sure to wear very warm boots in very cold weather because of the additional thermal heat shield insole.