If you live in a Southern state, your primary concern when it comes to winter-weather footwear is that it be of the closed-toe variety. Or maybe not, depending on how temperate the climes are. In sunny southern California, for example, residents can often wear sandals year-round. But most of the United States is not so lucky, and the winter months bring with them a variety of inclement weather conditions like rain, sleet, snow, and hail, just to name a few, not to mention sub-zero temperatures. And since this kind of weather can all too easily lead to frostbite, having the right footwear is a necessity. So here are just a few things you’ll want to consider when you shop for winter-weather boots.
- Materials. There are two main concerns when it comes to winter boots: temperature and moisture, which translates to products that are both waterproof and insulated against the cold. In order to get both in one, you need to make sure that appropriate materials have been used and that the construction is sound. For example, you want winter boots that have at least the bottom and the toe area covered in something impermeable, such as rubber. This will stop water from snow and puddles from seeping into your soles. But you should pay attention to the upper portion of the boot, as well. If nylon uppers are what you’re looking at, be aware that they’re neither particularly warm nor particularly waterproof (although there is an assumption that you’ll wear pants and socks underneath). Leather uppers are far more durable and insulative. And when paired with wool liners, they’ll make for the warmest and most weather-proof boots.
- Comfort. Chances are good that you’ll be wearing your winter boots for months, so it’s a good idea to try on several pairs (with thick socks) and find the ones that feel the most comfortable. You might also want to look for traction since a slip and fall on the ice is bound to prove uncomfortable, to say the least.
- Cost. This is an important aspect of any purchase, and winter-weather boots are an item you should plan to splurge on. You can definitely get some pairs for cheap, but you really get what you pay for here and the money you save on quality could end up costing you a lot more down the line if you end up in the hospital for frostbite.
- Climate. The climate in your region will certainly play a role in the boots you buy. If, for example, you live on the Washington or Oregon coast, where rain is more prevalent than snow, a lined pair of Wellington boots might be preferable to snow boots. And if you’re in a particularly blizzard-prone region, you might want some furry knee-boots (like mukluks or Uggs) that are going to get you through three feet of snow without freezing your tootsies.
- Usage. Before you buy your boots it’s smart to consider what you’ll use them for. If you’re going to be tromping through fields of snow and slush to feed your livestock, you might want to hit up the Muck Boots Outlet. If you’re hunting you may want some wool-lined duck boots. Or maybe you’re interested in winter sports like skiing or snowboarding that require specialized footwear. When it comes to making use of snow boot shopping tips, knowing what you need them for can ensure that you get the right winter-weather boots for the job.