No matter whether you say “Ugh!” Or “Yay!” when it’s snowing, you’ll need to wear snow boots when you walk in it. Many women have three basic criteria for this essential footwear. For them, snow boots must:
1. Keep their feet warm and dry.
2. Allow them to navigate through ice and snow without falling.
3. Not look too much like something Nanook of the North would wear while plunging a spear through a hole in the ice.
Thankfully, many snow boots today meet these mandatory minimums, but that means countless different types available, with various pros and cons. The best one to choose depend on when and where you’ll be wearing a pair. Here are three types of snow boots and the scenarios they’re best suited for.
Everyday Snow Boots
The versatile Ice Maiden II women’s snow boot by Columbia has a rubber sole, good cushioning, and pairs well with different types of outfits. Columbia
If you’ll be wearing your snow boots often—say, to get to and from work and shopping, which typically means navigating ice- and snow-covered sidewalks and parking lots—you need a snow boot that’s comfortable and will fit well. Look for boots that lace up, which allow you to customize the fit to both your foot and to the thickness of the sock you’re wearing (Tight boots reduce circulation, which results in cold toes every time). You’ll be wearing these boots under boot-cut jeans, over leggings, and anything in between, so be sure the boots pass the many-outfits test.
Slip-on Snow Boots
The UGG Women’s Classic Mini II Winter Boots are super comfortable and come pre-treated to repel moisture. UGG
If you only need snow boots for short trips, such as running outside to check the mail or making a quick run to the store, slip-on snow boots are your best choice. While you certainly want to choose boots that fits well, slip-ons are more about ease than function. You won’t be trekking across the Arctic Circle in snow boots, but if you want to take the dog for a quick walk around the block without spending five minutes lacing up tall boots, slip-ons are for you.
Felt-lined Snow Boots
Sorel’s Winter Carnival snow boots for women have a faux shearling snow cuff and removable felt liners. SOREL
If you’ll be dealing with prolonged, truly cold and snowy weather—blizzards, deep snow, extreme cold—or if you often find yourself faced with rivers of slush that you have to cross, rubber-bottomed snow boots are your best choice. These are designed to be worn with thick socks and will keep your feet dry no matter what you’re walking in. Removable felt liners absorb any perspiration, and you simply take the liners out of the boot when you come home, let them dry overnight, and put them back in the next morning. While these boots are designed for function and warmth, several manufacturers offer very stylish models.