Adventuring in the winter can be one of the most amazing experiences if you have the right gear. If you’re heading out into a snow-filled landscape, you’ll want to be sure that you’ve got the right boots for staying warm and dry while snowshoeing so you can spend more time enjoying the winter wonderland around you and less time worrying about your feet.
But how do you choose the best boots for snowshoeing when there are so many options available? Coming up, we’ve got our list of the seven best boots for snowshoeing, complete with the ultimate guide to choosing the right boots. Here we go!
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Best Boots for Snowshoeing Reviews
Here’s our picks of the best boot for snowshoeing to keep your feet warm and dry on your next walk in a winter wonderland.
Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Lightweight & Durable Leather
Sturdy and supportive, the Salomon Quest 4D GTX snowshoeing boots are designed to keep your feet warm and comfortable in any conditions. With a 100% textile and nubuck leather upper and a Gore-Tex liner, the Salomon Quest 4D keep your feet dry in deep snow, day in and day out. Plus, the high-top design of these boots helps support your ankle, especially on steep downhill trails.
Thanks to Salomon’s 4D chassis system, the Quests provide ample stability and protection as you walk. Plus, Salomon’s high-quality Contagrip outsole gives you exceptional traction abilities, even without snowshoes.
- High-top design for ankle stability
- Gore-tex liner for waterproofness
- High-traction outsole for use on any terrain
- Relatively expensive
- Textile fabric causes durability concerns
- No synthetic insulation
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Merrell Snowbound Women’s Mid Waterproof Winter Boot
Specially designed for the shape and volume of a woman’s foot, the Merrell Snowbound is a sturdy and durable winter boot for snowshoeing adventures. Built with thick polyurethane-coated leather uppers and thermoplastic urethane (TPU) half-shells that provide ample protection in extreme cold.
With 200 grams of Opti-Warm polyester fiber insulation, the Merrell Snowbound is designed for cold-weather adventures down to a frigid -40oF. With a waterproof/breathable membrane and a cozy polyester fleece lining, the Snowbound are both comfortable and warm. If that wasn’t good enough, cushioning in the heel as well as a nylon arch shank provide plenty of padding and stability in any terrain.
- Durable leather uppers with nylon panels and TPU shells
- 200g of Opti-Warm polyester insulation
- Cushioning heel pods for shock absorption on downhills
- Nylon arch shanks for stability
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Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold-Weather Boot
Made from sturdy leather and textile, the ultra high-top Columbia Bugaboot Plus III is an all-around winter boot perfect for snowshoeing adventures. Waterproof and breathable, the Bugaboot Plus III features a non-marking rubber outsole with superior traction and sturdiness for snowshoeing in any conditions.
Plus, with 200 grams of synthetic insulation and Columbia’s patented Omni-Heat reflective lining, the Bugaboot is designed to keep your feet warm, whatever the temperatures. Finally, the Bugaboot has a built-in support bar for extra torsional rigidity underfoot, making it ideal for long snowshoeing trips.
- 200g synthetic insulation and Omni-Heat reflective lining
- Integrated support bar for torsional rigidity
- Durable leather and synthetic upper materials
- Not very breathable
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Merrell Moab Polar Waterproof Winter Boot
Building off their fan-favorite Moab hiking boot design, the Merrell Moab Polar Waterproof Winter Boot is a cold-weather icon. Featuring the same classic base design as the Moab, the Moab Polar has a leather, fabric, and synthetic upper that’s all encased in a protective bootie for maximum waterproofness in wet conditions.
The Moab Polar even has a high ankle design to keep snow out of your boot while the patented M-Select Ice Grip outsole provides traction on slippery ground. If you need a pair of waterproof, breathable boots for snowshoeing that don’t break the bank, the Merrell Moab Polars just might be for you.
- Protective waterproof bootie around uppers
- M-Select DRY treatment waterproofing
- Leather, fabric, and synthetic upper is highly breathable
- Good outsole for traction
- Textile uppers pose a durability concern
- No insulation
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Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot, Breathable
The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is a classic hiking boot that’s built for wet conditions. The leather, mesh, and suede upper is durable, stylish, and waterproof and features a mid-high top for ankle support.
With a Techlite midsole for comfort on the trail, as well as the Omni-Grip high-traction rubber outsole for control on slippery paths, the Columbia Newton Ridge is a great all-around hiking boot. However, the boot’s lack of insulation, as well as its comparatively low-top design raises some concerns about the boot’s suitability for longer snowshoeing trips.
While the boots are good hiking companions for short walks in shallow snowpacks, in deep snow and cold conditions, we’d be concerned about these boots keeping our feet warm and dry throughout the day. Thus, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II are best used by four-season hikers that only occasionally find themselves snowshoeing on short day trips:
- Durable leather upper
- Waterproof construction
- High traction outsole
- No insulation
- Concerns about warmth and waterproofness on long walks in deep snowpacks
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KEEN Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Keen Targhee II Mid is a highly popular hiking boot that’s commonly seen on trails in the summer months but can moonlight as a snowshoeing boot in mild conditions. Made from waterproof nubuck leather, the Keen Targhee II is a durable and sturdy hiking boot whose square toe box is great for people with wide feet.
Waterproof and breathable with a rugged outsole, the Keen Targhee II is a solid hiking boot, though we do have some concerns about using them in cold, snowy conditions. The Targhee IIs lack any insulation, so they’re best used at temperatures at or above freezing. Additionally, the mid-top design means that they’re not ideal for deep snowpacks. But, that being said, they’re a comfortable, durable boot for infrequent snowshoe trips.
- Square toe box is great for wide feet
- Uppers are made from waterproof nubuck leather
- Sturdy, rugged outsole for excellent traction
- Mid-top design isn’t great for deep snow
- Lack of insulation is concerning for cold temperatures
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Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot
Timberland is known for making rugged work boots, and the Ledge boots are no exception. With a full-grain waterproof leather upper with a seam-sealed construction, the Ledge are designed to keep your feet dry, regardless of the conditions.
Their rubber outsole is specifically made to provide the utmost traction in slippery conditions, while a dual-density EVA footbed offers lasting comfort throughout the day. The Timberland Ledge boots are a fan favorite, thanks to their comfortable design, and make for an excellent year-round hiking boot, provided it isn’t too cold or snowy outside.
Since they don’t have any insulation, the Timberland Ledge boots are not the best option for dedicated snowshoers but can be a good pair of boots to have if you infrequently find yourself in snowy conditions.
- Durable, waterproof leather upper
- Seam-sealed construction for extra waterproofing
- Sturdy rubber outsole for high traction
- No insulation for cold temperatures
- More of a hiking boot that can handle infrequent snowshoeing trips
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How to Find the Best Snowshoeing Boots
Finding the right boots for snowshoeing can be difficult because there are so many different boots available on the market. The ideal snowshoeing boot is lightweight, warm, waterproof, durable, and comfortable, but it can be challenging to find a boot that can meet all these criteria.
To help you decide what’s most important to you in your snowshoeing boots, we made this list of the top features to look out for when shopping for new boots. Let’s take a look at them here:
There are no two ways about it: Winter is cold. Thus, any boots you wear for snowshoeing will, ideally, be warm to help protect you from a range of potential problems, like frostbite and trench foot.
When it comes to warmth, however, unless you plan on going out in -40oF weather, you probably don’t want your boots to be too warm. This is because you’ll be moving, sweating, and producing body heat while you snowshoe, so you don’t want boots that are too warm, because they’ll feel like miniature ovens on your feet.
Instead, you’ll want to look for boots with ample (but not too much insulation) and a proper fit. If your boots are too tight, they will actually bind your feet, reducing your circulation, and making it more difficult for your feet to stay warm as you move.
The last thing you want is to spend a lot of money on a pair of snowshoeing boots, only to have them fall apart on you after a few excursions. Thus, durability is a key concern when buying a pair of snowshoeing boots.
The most durable snowshoeing boots, unfortunately, tend to be some of the heaviest, as they are made with more robust materials that can withstand more wear and tear. If durability is your main concern, you may have to compromise on weight with your snowshoeing boots.
When looking for boots that are durable and robust, look for boots that use more nubuck and synthetic leathers, as opposed to mesh or textiles. Usually, mesh and textiles make a shoe more breathable but reduce its lifespan due to wear and tear. Additionally, take a look at the grommets (the holes in the shoe that the shoelaces go through) – textile and plastic grommets tend to be less durable (though lighter) than their metal counterparts.
If you’re going to spend all day walking around in a pair of boots on steep terrain, you’ll certainly want them to be comfortable. That being said, comfort is a very personal characteristic of a shoe and what might be comfortable to one person could be painful to another.
Thus, if you buy a pair of snowshoeing boots, be sure to wear them around the house for a few days before you ever wear them outside. This will allow you to test whether or not the boots are comfortable for you, while also making it possible for you to return them for a refund or exchange.
Unlike other kinds of outdoor footwear, traction isn’t the most crucial thing when looking for snowshoeing boots. The reason for this is that while snowshoeing, the vast majority of your traction will come from the snowshoes themselves.
However, some boots will perform better with snowshoes than with others. Generally speaking, boots with a thick, rigid outsole will make it easier to walk on variable snow with snowshoes than more flexible alternatives.
Additionally, getting a pair of snowshoeing boots that have deep lugs in the outsole, lots of surface area, and quality rubber will make your boots more versatile, should you choose to use them for winter hiking or shoulder season adventures. Thus, it’s a good idea to consider the traction capabilities of a particular shoe when shopping for the best snowshoeing boots.
As we’ve mentioned already, warmth is of the utmost importance for snowshoeing boots. These days, most snowshoeing boots with insulation will use synthetic fiber insulation to keep your feet warm.
Synthetic insulation is essentially a fabric made from spun fibers that get integrated into the lining of your boots. Many of these fibers are similar to what you would find in a synthetic sleeping bag or puffy jacket, which gives some of these boots a nice, comfortable feel. However, for this insulation to do its job, it can’t be too tightly packed as the insulation needs to be able to trap air to keep your feet warm.
For the most part, snowshoeing boots with synthetic insulation will give you some information about the amount of insulation used, generally in terms of grams of insulation per square meter, usually expressed as “X grams.” Most snowshoeing boots will have between 200 and 400 grams of synthetic insulation, with higher numbers equaling more warmth.
But, as we’ve said, if you like to move quickly in the mountains, you might not want to go for the most highly insulated boots on the market. Doing so might make your feet sweat more than you could’ve ever imagined, so keep your intensity levels in mind when buying boots.
Since snowshoeing is done, well, in the snow, it’s reasonable to expect that your snowshoeing boots will have some sort of built-in water resistance to help keep your feet warm. Usually, this comes from a waterproof/breathable membrane that’s embedded within the lining of the boot, so your feet can stay warm, dry, and breathable, all at the same time.
That being said, when walking through deep snow, you’re actually more likely to get your feet wet by having the snow fill in the top of your boot. Thus, if you genuinely want to keep your feet dry, you’ll probably want to invest in a pair of high-topped boots and gaiters to keep the snow out of your shoes.
No one likes walking around with bricks on their feet, so lightweight boots are always a plus, especially when you’re already wearing heavy, bulky snowshoes. However, while lightweight boots certainly have some clear advantages over heavy boots, they tend to be less durable, less warm, and overall less robust than their heavyweight counterparts. Keep this in mind when you’re tempted to purchase a super fancy pair of lightweight snowshoeing boots.
When you’re traveling over difficult terrain, you want a boot that provides plenty of support. Snowshoeing boots with sturdy uppers that don’t compress can help protect your feet from tight snowshoe bindings, so keep an eye out for these options when you’re shopping around.
Another consideration with snowshoeing boots is ankle support on rough terrain. Usually, snowshoeing boots have a reasonably high top to help keep snow out of the boot. These high tops also help provide ample ankle support, which is ideal when you’re spending long days on your feet.
At the end of the day, you can only wear one pair of snowshoeing boots at a time, so it’s crucial that you find boots that will keep your feet warm and dry throughout your adventures. If we had to choose just one pair of boots from this review, we’d go with the Columbia Bugaboot for their sturdy design, quality insulation, and waterproof construction. Happy trails!