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How to Choose Snow Boots

How to Choose Snow Boots

22.11.2013 | Ski Buying Guides

Snowboots are designed to keep feet warm in cold conditions and for this reason are a popular choice of winter footwear in ski resorts and here in the UK. We’ve put together this snowboot guide to explain the different features and help you find the right snowboots for you.


Snowboot Construction

Uppers– The uppers of snowboots can be made from many different materials. Some of the most common include padded or quilted nylon, textile, suede and leather.

Midsoles and Insoles (footbed)– It is common for midsoles (the layer between the outsole and insole) and insoles to be padded for shock absorption and extra cushioning. Some of our snowboots also have a moulded footbed for better arch support. Typically the midsoles and insoles are made from EVA (a compression foam) that is lightweight.

The footbed of snowboots may also be lined with faux sheepskin or other soft fabrics.

Snow boots tend to have a softer more flexible sole than walking or hiking boots to aid traction on the ice. Deep tread on the soles provide grip and stability on slippery surfaces. Our ISOGrip outsoles (a feature of our Women’s Alto snowboots) offer up to 50% more grip on ice than regular soles for extra traction in extreme conditions.

Temperature Ratings

Snow Boot Temperature RatingsMany manufacturers will use temperature ratings to help you choose the right snow or winter boots for your activity/destination. Temperature rated snowboots are laboratory tested for their performance.

The temperature rating refers to the minimum temperature your feet will be warm and comfortable. For example a rating of -20 degrees means they are capable of keeping your feet warm to temperatures as low as -20 degrees. The ratings should always be taken as guidance as there are many factors that can affect this. Health, physical activity, exposure time, correct socks, weather conditions and perspiration will all affect performance and comfort.

Snow Boots Vs Winter Boots

Snow boots and winter boots might seem like they are very similar, but there are many features that make a snow boot different from your regular winter boots.

The purpose of your footwear is one of the main points to consider when deciding whether you need snow boots or winter boots. Both snow boots and winter boots are designed to keep your feet warm, as all good winter footwear should.


Pros & Cons of Snow Boots

Pros Cons

Provide ankle support

Often heavier 

Extremely warm

Good grip

Snow boots have grooved treads which prevent you slipping on icy surfaces and in the snow. For this reason they are also well suited to wet conditions, ideal when that lovely snow turns into mush! Snow boots often also have better ankle support, due to extra padding and lacing all the way up, when compared to regular winter boots.


Pros & Cons of Winter Boots

Pros Cons

May be lighter weight

Not as much ankle support 


Versatile – great for day to day activities

Winter boots tend to be lighter weight than many snow boots making them great for daily activities such as walking to work or shopping. Popular sheepskin boots, for example, might be warm and fashionable but wear them out on a rainy day and you will end up with soaking wet feet!

Shop The Mountain Warehouse Winter Range