Winter is coming and if you’re not prepared for it, you’re going to struggle to enjoy it, especially in these weird times where getting into nature is more important than ever. Snowshoeing is one of the best ways to be active outside in the colder months. They allow you to go hiking and explore the outdoors no matter how much snow has fallen. You can hike some amazing winter trails, walk the dog, and get to shops without slip-sliding your way around.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Boots For Snowshoeing
To enjoy snowshoeing, you’re going to need a good pair of winter boots to clip your snowshoes on to. Walking around in the snow can be a recipe for cold, wet, freezing feet if you’re not wearing the right snowshoe boots which will lead to uncomfortable hikes and in the worse case, some health issues. Boots for snowshoeing are designed to be comfy, supportive, grippy, and keep your feet warm and dry no matter how cold it is outside.
In this article, we have rounded up some of the best boots for snowshoeing on the market and we take a good look at their durability, warmth, comfort, grip, and more. Keep on reading to find the best boots for snowshoeing for you.
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The first boots for snowshoeing in the line-up are XPETI Thermator Insulated Outdoor Boots. They’re affordable, good-looking, and make sure your feet stay dry and warm.
These winter boots feature a waterproof mesh upper and a waterproof Hydroshield Membrane that does a great job of keeping your feet dry while you’re hiking through the snow.
On the inside, you’ll find 200 Grams of Thinsulate Insulation for keeping your feet warm and it is rated to make sure your feet are comfortable down to minus 25 ℃. That’s some awesome insulation right there and just what you need for snowshoeing.
At the end of the snowshoe boots is a rubber toe cap to protect your toes from any impact, this is also useful to stop your snowshoes from putting too much pressure directly on your feet. The sole is made from rubber and features an aggressive trail grip so you can get good traction while not wearing your snowshoes.
The boots feature an EVA midsole for impact absorption and once you have the right fit, they’re exceptionally comfortable. The mesh lining helps to wick moisture and keep your feet dry from sweat and the molded TPU ankle support provides some great support.
Some people have found it tricky to get the right size boot, while others find the perfect fit instantly. The same goes for durability, some find they last years, others don’t so it’s a little hit and miss.
The Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Boots are a great choice for anyone who wants some boots for both winter snowshoeing and summer hiking. They were developed off the back of trail running and feature a Sensifit system for snuggly comfort.
They are made with Salomon’s 4D Advanced Chassis that provides ultimate stability on harsh terrains, like icy snow. They also come with a Gore-Tex membrane that does a great job of keeping water from getting in and letting any heat or sweat out. This means your feet are going to stay warm and dry no matter the weather.
The sole of the winter boots uses a reverse chevron pattern that is specifically designed for wet, loose, dry, or hard surfaces, making these boots a true all-rounder for any kind of terrain.
There is a rubber toe cap at the end of the snowshoe boots in order to protect your feet and give them some relief when wearing heavy snowshoes. They feature suede leather and nylon mesh uppers that are durable, breathable, flexible, and durable with shock-absorbing ortholite soles that also deter odors to keep them smelling fresh.
The final, and best thing about this winter boot is the fact it weighs barely anything. You’ll feel comfy and light on your feet snowshoeing around in these.
Columbia is known to make affordable gear, and to be honest, it often lacks in the performance department but, the Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold-Weather Boot is a little different.
These Bugaboots are made for a life in the cold. They’re made with a waterproof seam-sealed construction in order to keep any icy snowmelt from getting inside. Plus, they come with Omni-Heat reflective lining that’ll keep your feet toasty down to -32 F, which is seriously cold.
As you can see from the picture above, they are ankle-high for good support in case of any slippery tumbles. On the base, you have an Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber outsole for excellent grip, and on the inside a cushiony mid-sold for comfort and shock absorption.
The only downside to the winter boots ate that the Omni-heat lining wears away after 12 months, which is just outside of the warranty period. This doesn’t happen to everyone but it does happen often enough to mention it.
Also, the upper mesh is not 100% waterproof and once the tongue is saturated you may find water starts to seep in slowly. Overall though, they are a solid pair of boots for snowshoeing that are warm and comfy.
READ OUR full review of the Columbia Bugaboot here.
The Merrell Moab Polar Waterproof Winter Boot is an awesome all-round boot for snowshoeing. They are excellently well made from quality materials that will last a few winters and are quite affordable too.
The Moab Polar Boots are made from a combination of leather, rubber, and synthetic fibers. They feature Merrell’s M-Select DRY treatment that provides you a waterproof seal to stop any snowmelt or slush from finding its way in and freezing your feet, and allows your feet to breathe so you don’t get any internal moisture build-up.
They also feature Merrells M-Select ICE GRIP outsole that provides you with traction in all terrains, icy or not. The midsole is made from a molded EVA footbed that provides excellent cushioning and shock absorption for your feet, which is key to staying comfy on long hikes. The heel is also raised by 1.25 inches to give you a little more grip when you need it.
When you first get this winter boot, they stay stiff for a while and take some time to break in. If you’re planning a hike, it’s worth ordering these in advance and wearing them around the house for a while so you avoid any discomfort on the trail.
Some people have also found the sizing to be a little tricky to get right the first time. Look hard at the charts and remember how thick your socks will be when ordering. Overall. they’re a great pair of all-around boots for snowshoeing that are very affordable.
The Vasque Coldspark Ultradry Snow Boots are some of the best around while still being pretty affordable. Everything about them is geared towards keeping your feet warm and dry while making sure you stay upright, what else could you need?
They’re made from synthetic fibers with an Eva midsole and rubber outsole. Putting them on is a breeze but they are quite tough, to begin with, and will need some dedicated breaking in time. They fit pretty well but the toe box is a little narrow for some, so if your feet are wider than most, you might want to consider ordering 1/2 a size up.
They come with 200g 3M Thinsulate insulation and a fleece collar to ensure your feet stay toasty and warm no matter how cold it gets outside. This is coupled with their Ultradry waterproofing system that stops any moisture from getting in while being breathable to make sure you don’t get any chilly sweat build-up.
On the sole, Vasque has added their ColdHold Dual Density winter sole compound to give you some of the best grip and traction for icy and snow conditions. You’ll be sure to stay on your feet/snowshoes, even in deep snow, with these snowshoe boots on.
The EVA midsoles are comfy and give great support, plus you also get yolk stabilizers inside for ultimate stability on slippery surfaces.
Overall, it’s hard to beat these winter boots for snowshoeing at such an affordable price.
The KEEN Revel III Cold Weather Hiking Boot does everything you need them to in regards to snowshoeing but they do fall down in the comfort department for people who have bought them.
They’re made from a leather upper, with a rubber sole and EVA midsole. The build is solid and should last you at least a couple of seasons of winter hiking. They feature KEEN.Dry™ which is their own proprietary membrane that provides both waterproofing and breathability to ensure your feet stay dry in the snow.
They also have KEEN.Warm™ lightweight anti-microbial insulation to keep you warm that sits in three layers on the Heat Trapolator providing underfoot insulation. You might worry that this could cause you to sweat too much but the moisture-wicking technology and breathability ensure your feet stay dry.
The boots come with a cushioned insole for comfort plus an EVA midsole and TPU stability shank to keep you stable and comfy on the trail. Most people love this system, but others have found that they don’t get enough heel support, or support in general and have had to search for insoles to make up for it.
Overall a solid pair of boots for snowshoeing but it’s worth checking the heel/support level to ensure they will match your feet’s needs.
The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boots are another solid contender for snowshoeing that is both durable and affordable.
One of the best things about these boots is how light they are. Weighing just 11 ounces, you’ll feel very light on your feet while bouncing around the trail.
They’re made with a waterproof membrane that also provides some solid breathability. This means that no matter how slushy the terrain or how hot your feet get, they’ll remain dry and warm while you’re snowshoeing around in winter.
The soles feature Columbia’s Omi-Grip for all terrains and come with a dual-zone winter tread pattern to help you stay on your feet when you don’t have your snowshoes on.
The midsoles are durable and are made for lasting comfort. They are cushiony, good at absorbing shock and the energy return is pretty solid to keep you bouncing along on your hikes.
The only thing to watch out for with these boots is their durability around the protective toe box. Some people have had them cave in where the toe box rips through the boot quite quickly.
Otherwise, they are a pretty good pair of boots for snowshoeing, and they’re quite affordable too.
You can use any kind of shoe or boot for snowshoeing as your snowshoes will attach to any footwear (maybe not flipflops). This means you can pick any kind you like but remember they will need to keep your feet warm and dry, hence we recommend winter snow boots that are insulated and waterproof. You can also use waterproof hiking boots as long as you layer your socks correctly for warmth.
The style might also be important and you should consider where else you might want to wear your snowshoe boots. Is it just for hiking or are you going to strut around town in them too? There is a range of styles in the review that are great for both, make sure to pick one that suits your needs.
The sole of your snowshoe boots is less important when you’re wearing your snowshoes as the snowshoes will give you the grip you need. But, the best boots for snowshoeing can also be used outside of winter hiking in the colder months or all year round. Make sure to pick some boots that have solid traction and grip so you can get full use out of them.
All the boots for snowshoeing in the review have great grip for all terrains, and some are tailored more towards icy, slippery, winter terrain, so keep an eye out for those if you think you’ll need them.
Going snowshoeing without waterproof boots is a recipe for disaster, which is why every pair of boots for snowshoeing in the review are waterproof. Having a pair of waterproof boots ensures your feet stay warm, comfortable, and healthy. once you’re feet get wet in the snow, there is no coming back from it, and if you’re a 3-hour hike from home, you’re going to end up with some really painful feet.
Make sure you pick a pair of boots for snowshoeing that are waterproof, not water-resistant. Water-resistant boots will eventually let water in after the outside becomes saturated and this simply won’t do if you’re planning on long winter hikes.
The durability of the boots for snowshoeing you choose will be the difference between them lasting one winter or more than three winters. The key things to look out for in terms of durability are quality materials like leather, Gore-tex, EVA midsoles, and rubber soles. More durable boots for snowshoeing also tend to be more expensive due to the better materials used.
All the boots for snowshoeing in the review are durable, but some are certainly more durable than others. Make sure to pay careful attention to the details in order to find a pair that will last you more than a season or two.
For you to enjoy snowshoeing, the boots you use have got to keep you warm, or else you’ll end up freezing within an hour or so of being outside. Warmth comes down to three things, waterproofing, breathability, and insulation. We have already touched on waterproofing above as keeping your feet dry is the first obvious step to warmth, but what about all the moisture that’ll build up inside the boots from your warm feet?
Make sure the boots for snowshoeing you choose not only stop water coming in but also let heat and moisture out so your feet don’t end up sitting in cold puddles of sweat. Keeping your feet dry is key to warmth and comfort and all the boots in the review feature some kind of breathability for this reason.
Some of the boots in the review come with insulation in some form and can keep your feet warm down to -25 C and below. Not everyone may need this kind of insulation, and it depends on where you’re planning on using your boots. If you know you’re going to be in the coldest areas, then having insulated boots is probably a must.
Insulation comes in the form of lining such as Thinsulate or a fleece collar around the ankle, or a combination of both. If the boots you choose have a lining, make sure it wicks moisture too in order to keep your feet dry from sweat and internal cold.
Weight is another important factor and you’ll want to go for the lightest boots possible that are still durable, waterproof, and warm, with thick soles. Snowshoes are heavy and adding a heavy pair of boots to them and your feet is going to make each step when snowshoeing that one bit harder.
It is sometimes quite hard to know the weight of the boots you’re looking at but you can do some guesswork based on the materials, thickness, and features such are protective toe caps.
Even though you’ll be wearing snowshoes, your boots are still going to be absorbing most of the impact while you’re walking around. You should think of the support you need from boots for snowshoeing as being the same you’d need from boots for summer hiking.
Heel and midsole support is critical to comfort and so is a padded insole/footbed. They should be able to absorb the shock, keep your feet from any pain, and return some energy to your stride. All the boots in the review are comfortable for most people and provide great support but they don’t necessarily work for everyone. Everyone’s feet are a little different and you might find one pair of boots suits you fine but causes your friend some pain.
Make sure to take your feet into account when buying boots. Are they wider than some? Do you need extra arch support? How do normal shoes fit your feet?
The best boots for snowshoeing, if you’re on a budget, are the XPETI Thermator Insulated Outdoor Boots. They’re waterproof, insulated, good looking, pretty durable and they are really affordable at under $75. They might not last as long as others but if you’re planning on needing a pair that you won’t use that often, they should last you a few winters.
The all-around best boots for snowshoeing are the Merrell Moab Polar Waterproof Winter Boot. Durable, long-lasting, waterproof, breathable, stylish, comfy, and grippy as hell. There isn’t much more you can ask for from a pair of snowshoeing boots. These are going to last a few winters and some while keeping your feet comfy, warm, and dry.
The best boots for snowshoeing we could find are the Vasque Coldspark Ultradry Snow Boots. These are made for a life in the snow with excellent insulation, waterproofing, breathability, and durability. You’re guaranteed to be comfy, warm, dry, and stay on your feet no matter what kind of trail you’re planning on conquering this winter. You might expect them to be a little too expensive but they come in at under $150 which is a bargain for what you’re getting.
Luckily, you can adjust your snowshoes to fit any kind of boot or shoe that you feel like using, so you don’t have to buy a specific pair of boots or shoes to go snowshoeing. That being said, you don’t want to lose your toes to frostbite either. The best boots for snowshoeing will be winter boots that are waterproof, insulated, and have thick soles.
You can also opt for some sturdy waterproof leather hiking boots if you already own some or want one pair of boots that does everything, but remember to layer up your socks properly so you stay warm.
Any kind of boot you plan on using in the snow should be waterproof or at a minimum water-repellent. While you’re walking around in your boots they heat up and will actively begin melting any snow that sticks to them. If your boots aren’t waterproof, you’ll end up with that icy cold making its way to your toes, freezing your feet, and also making walking around uncomfortable. So, any boots you choose for use in the snow must be waterproof if you want your feet to stay dry warm, and comfy.