Spending time in the winter snow, whether hiking, vacationing, or just through day to day life is a great thing. However, there is one simple and often underestimated factor that often ruins the experience. That is the shoes on your feet! This article will help you understand the differences and characteristics of Snow boots and winter boots.
If you have the right boots or shoes for the winter cold you will probably forget about your feet altogether, except for the occasional happiness when you realize how comfortable and warm they are.
If, however, you have the wrong boots or shoes and you are out in the cold for even a short length of time, you will surely not be able to stop thinking about your feet and how cold, wet, and miserable they feel.
The right winter boots are essential to not just surviving the cold, but enjoying it as well!
The Past Present & Future of Buying Boots
In the past there may not have always been very many choices readily available as far as snow boots and winter boots go. Most people bought them based mainly on practicality or availability. Nowadays, however, with the introduction of online shopping, the choices abound. Choosing a winter boot has become, as a result, a lot more focused on style.
This has resulted in an overwhelming amount of beautiful and stylish boots to choose from. This is great, however, one problem that has arisen is that many manufacturers concentrate more on the style than the practicality.
This article aims to educate you so that you can find the right winter boot online, the first time. A boot that will keep your feet warm and dry while at the same time being stylish and looking great!
Buying boots online is much easier than going to a physical store, however, it presents a few difficulties as well. For example, there is no sales person present to help with your questions. This is especially important with winter boots, since most vendors use quite a bit of jargon.
Below we will give the answers to the questions that are asked most frequently to the sales rep at a shoe store.
How accurate are the temperatures in the warmth ratings?
How accurate are the temperatures in the warmth ratings? Truth be told they aren’t really accurate. The ratings can, however, be very helpful. To understand why consider the reason that the temperature can’t be accurate:
The truth is that your foot’s temperature is be influenced by a lot more than only the weather forecast. So, let us briefly consider a few factors involved.
Your blood circulation is a major factor. This is influenced by things like your age and health, as well as what activities you are performing. If you are hiking up a steep incline your circulation will be more pumped than if you are sitting on a rock on the mountainside.
Your socks will also either greatly enhance or greatly interfere with the temperature, dryness, and overall comfort of your feet.
So the warmth temperature rating on boots is not accurate! It is worth mentioning, however, that the temperature ratings are a very positive thing. Why so? Because they help you get a general idea of the conditions that the boot will be good in. They are also a huge help in understanding the difference between several pairs of boots that you might be interested in. The warmth rating will accurately tell you which boot will be warmer, or better for what you need.
Whats the Best Boot liner?
The best boot liner depends on what your needs are and where you will be walking. Below are the three most used adjectives when considering boot liners, we hope to give you a brief but complete idea of what they are all about.
Thinsulate is by far the most common material out there for boot liners. It is a man made synthetic thermal material that is used in clothing as well as boots. It isn’t the most “chic” material out there, however, it does a pretty good job at keeping your feet warm and it is quite a bit cheaper than other options, such as shearling. What is shearling? keep reading to find out!
Shearling is sheared from sheep, hence the name. It is common in the more expensive higher end boots. The sheared wool is left on the sheepskin and the leather is cured and swayed on the exterior. Shearling lining is very, very comfortable. Most first time wearers can’t get over just how comfortable it is, not to mention the warmth factor!
Unlike synthetic lining sheared lining doesn’t make your feet sweat very easily and many actually like to wear their shearling lined boots without socks!
Removable liners: removable liners are actually liners that you can remove, if you didn’t already figure that one out 😉
The reason we mention them is because you will see “removable liner” written a lot in the description for snow boots. The plus is that your boots will dry out a lot faster when you can take out the liner. Pac boots almost always have removable liners, as do many snow boots.
Which is better: Leather, Nylon, or Gor-Tex?
This is another question that we can answer with the ever so clear: it depends! Similar to the temperature rating, these materials can not be pushed into categories of good, better, best. There are several things to consider in order to answer this question.
First ask yourself what your environment will be like and what you plan on doing. Will you be hiking in the snow, running a trail in the summer, working on a construction site, or going shopping?
Another factors what you like. I prefer leather, so whenever I can I lean towards a nice genuine leather boot, however, I recognize that synthetic materials like Gor-Tex and Nylon also have their advantages and at times I opt for them.
Below is a brief description of the pros and cons of wearing leather, nylon, or Gor-Tex:
As I previously mentioned, both in this article and others, I love leather! Leather is, durable, natural, and beautiful! Some argue that it is too durable, they say that they like to buy new shoes more often. I agree with the buying shoes more often part. However, my opinion is that I should decide how long to keep a shoe or boot and when to replace it with another. This in my opinion is much better than the shoe falling apart or looking ratty.
Leather usually lasts a lot longer while continuing to look a lot nicer than most synthetic materials.
The downside to leather boots is that are not as breathable and they can be quite a bit heavier than synthetic boots. Another problem is that you need to treat leather befoere it is waterproof, whereas some synthetic materials come already waterproof and stay that way.
This is a great material for winter and snow boots. Even though it doesn’t usually look as nice as leather, it has the main advantage that it is lightweight, waterproof. The downside to Gor-Tex is that while it keeps the water out from the outside of the boot it doesn’t do a great job at letting the sweat out for the inside of the boot, so your feet may get a little damp from sweating.
This is another great material, especially for snow boots. can be a great option for snow boots. It is light and if prepared in the right way it can also be waterproof. It doesn’t have the same prestigious look that leather does. However, if the boot is designed right nylon accents can add a really nice touch to the boot!
Are Snow Boots any Different from Winter Boots?
Most people consider the phrases: winter boots and snow boots synonyms. However, it is safe to say that technical differences usually apply.
Both snow boots and winter boots obviously have the main function of keeping your feet nice and toasty. They are, however, designed for different use and usually have different characteristics.
The tread is the most obvious difference, between the two. Snow boots in general are going to be heavier and bulkier with thicker and grooved tread. Winter boots in general will usually have more reasonable tread and be lighter, they are also a bit more versatile than snow boots.
Of course if you are looking for a fashionable boot, winter boots would usually be the right option. Whereas if you are looking for a boot that will give you good traction in the snow and keep your feet warm in subzero temperatures; you should look for a snow boot!
With snow boots you usually sacrifice a little bit of fashion for practicality. This, however, does not mean that they are necessarily ugly or unfashionable. Nowadays there are many stylish snow boots out there to choose from!
After reading this article the infinite selection of boots available online is still just as large. However, now that you are armed with the information herein you are better equipped to sort through the jargon and the descriptions. In other words, you are now capable of finding the perfect winter, or snow, boot!