The GO Outdoors Guide To Snow Boots
Built for use in a ski resort, for après ski and general wear in snowy conditions, snow boots should be comfortable enough to wear after a day of skiing, yet protective enough to keep your feet warm and free from moisture.
Usually designed in a tough leather or nylon, snow boot uppers are designed to be protective from harsh external elements such as snow and ice.
Snow boots often incorporate sealed seams to provide a barrier against moisture, whilst the warm soft lining of the inner, usually made from fleece or synthetic fur, often provides a high fitting ‘cuff’ at the top of the boot for extra warmth and protection.
Thick and rugged soles are the most important part of your snow boots in order to give you excellent traction on uneven surfaces and to provide a controlled grip on snow.
Typically, Snow Boot soles are made from 100% waterproofed rubber, either sticky rubber, or carbon rubber. Rubber is also highly durable, making sure your snow boots have plenty of longevity.
Soles in snow boots should feel more flexible than a hiking boot, and should offer enough flexibility in the fit so your feet can circulate warmth without restriction.
The more expensive the snow boot, the more technical and supportive the midsole tends to be.
Compression molded EVA is typically used to provide excellent support for all day wearing, absorbing shocks. EVA is also a lightweight fabric.
Inner linings of snow boots are usually insulated with fleece or specific insulation, such as :
- Synthetic fur
Synthetics are typically used as linings in a higher percentage of boots than fur, because synthetic insulators are also capable of being breathable, allowing moisture to move away from your foot, which if left unmoved can cause chaffing and overheating.
The insulation in a pair of snow boots is measured in grams, with 200-400g generally being a high level of insulation suitable for wear during après ski use in cold climates. Multiple layers of insulation are offered in some snow boots, or some use a single thicker fleece.
Snow boots usually use a faux fur or wool trimmings to add the final layer to an inner lining to provide comfort, as opposed to technical insulation.
Inner linings usually incorporate an anti-microbial lining so bacteria is prevented from settling on the lining, and removable linings that can be washed by hand are common.
To read more, see our Guide To Insulation
Some snow boots are water repellent and some are waterproofed.
Waterproofing can be created if the seams of the boot have been sealed during construction, as this locks all moisture out. Water repellency can be created with membranes added, such as TPU or DWR layer, and with the general fabric construction (Leather has natural waterproofing capabilities.)
To read more, see our Guide To Waterproofing
Outers can be made of a variety of fabrics, many of which aim to be water repellent. Typically these include:
- Nubuck/Brushed Leather
- Full grain leather
Snow boots can fit to the ankle or come with a higher fit to the calf or higher, but should fit higher than your trouser hem for full protection. Snow boots can use laces or Velcro, Velcro being easier to fit with speed, laces being more supportive.
Some boots are designed to be pulled on, with no external fastenings, which are convenient, but offer less support. Inbuilt cuffs or toggles at the mouth to the snow boot allow you to secure in body heat, and also to provide a barrier to moisture and snow.
Snow boots with an easy fastening lace system allow you to lace up your boot quickly and with ease, an ideal solution for children’s snow boots. Protective toe bumpers in your snow boots can provide extra protection from hidden obstacles and debris in the snow.