When the winter comes, throwing on a pair of shoes doesn’t mean the same thing as any other time of year. Rain, ice and snow all have an impact on what we wear on our feet. And if you live somewhere that is likely to see snow, you’ll appreciate how important a good pair of snow sure shoes are.
After all, you can’t just go running out to catch your train to work when you’ve got a foot of fresh snow to trudge through. So if you’re in need of a new set of perfect winter shoes, our checklist will help you pick the best pair.
How To Choose A Perfect Pair Of Shoes This Winter
The tread, or the grip, is the sole of the shoe and the part that stops you from slipping over. Shoes that tend to have a chunky non slip tread are normally the hiking or safety work shoe variety. Wellington boots such as Hunters also normally have a non slip sole, which are great for simply popping outdoors to shovel snow off your driveway, but aren’t ideal for extended wear due to their lack of support and insulation.
Most hardy walking boots such as Timberland or Merrell will also feature a chunky non slip sole. Try to avoid smooth or minimal grip soles such as those found on fashion trainers or office style shoes.
Lace up/Slip on
If you want your footwear to stay secure all day then good lace up shoes will be important. Slip ons are ideally suited to an environment where you might need to go in and outdoors on a regular basis. If you need to go get firewood, or clear the snow from your property you’ll be glad of the convenience of slip ons.
Lace up shoes are better suited for those who find themselves outdoors in harsh conditions. With a tighter, more secure fit, you’ll be more assured that you won’t have liquid coming over the top of your boot or that your shoe might get pulled off in mud or deep snow.
Effective insulation is of course one of the most important aspects of winter shoes. Many hiking boots offer all kinds of technologies to keep the moisture out and the warmth in.
Brands such as Sorel make shoes built specifically for snow with insulated inner linings and leather or suede outers.
If you’re looking for a modern take on a classic, check out these award winning wool boots based on the Russian valenki boot. These wool boots are naturally insulated, water repellent and can withstand temperatures to -40 celsius.
Away from natural fabrics, you’ll see all manner of brand name insulation materials, such as Thinsulate, Opti-Warm and HeatSeeker. Most of these are patented by particular brands and so you’ll only find them on, for example North Face products for Heat Seeker.
One thing with wool boots is, this natural material has been used for centuries in the harshest environments, so you know you’ll be able to count on it when you need to.
Of course, any winter shoe needs to be waterproof. Leather and suede are great options as they are durable and naturally water repellent, although a bit of treatment is a good idea. The wool boots mentioned previously also offer a high degree of natural waterproofing thanks to wools natural moisture wicking properties.
Natural materials tend to be water repellent (although of course cotton is an exception to the rule here). They’re also more durable and will normally last you a good few years of winter wear.
Depending how long you’re wearing your shoes for in a day, weight will be an important deciding factor for your winter shoes. Some of the popular hiking style shoes can be quite heavy, with their chunky soles and extra elements such as metal eyelets.
Take into consideration what your intended use is for your winter shoes and check the weight. As a point of reference, a pair of classic mens Timberland boots will weigh around 4.5lbs/2kgs and a pair of mens Sorel Madson boots weight approx 3.3lbs/1.5kgs.
With so many options, choosing the right pair of winter shoes will also come down to your personal choice. But so long as the shoe you choose is insulated, has non slip soles and is waterproof you should be set for a comfortable winter.