Best Ice Boots
There is a town called Barrow, and it's at the northernmost tip of Alaska. The interesting thing about Barrow is that this town won't see the sun for almost seventy days in winter months. Residents of such an intense region most likely need to invest in a pair of solid ice boots to not only keep them warm but to remain steady footed on the icy, dark terrain.
While most cases of winter are not this extreme, the rest of us still experience cold weather that can bring unexpected sleet and ice on our sidewalks and roads. Regardless of what your experience in the winter months, having a solid pair of ice boots kicking around is always a good idea.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Good lacing system
Good weather protection
Top 10 Picks
1. Salomon X Ultra Winter CS 2
Good lacing system
Good weather protection
Pricier than some other options on our list
If you’re looking for a lightweight, comfortable boot that feels like an athletic shoe when you wear it but still offers a lot of weather protection and warmth, then the Salomon X Ultra Winter CS Boots just might be the product for you. They are some of the lightest boots on our list and have enough comfort and warmth to keep your feet happy all day long.Read more
Designed with Thinsulate synthetic insulation on the interior of the boot, the liner on these boots breaths well and provides you with a warm boot that also ventilates well. You’ll get the warmth you need anytime the temperature drops.
Since they are designed to fit like a running shoe, these boots do hug your feet well, giving you the support you’ll want.
The exterior of the Salomon X Ultra Winter CS Boots is made with a ClimaShield waterproof membrane that also ventilates well, and makes these boots fully waterproof. You won’t have any leak problems with these boots, and your feet will stay dry.
These boots provide ample amounts of traction and an excellent insulation system plus enough internal padding to keep your feet comfortable all day long.
These boots run in the average price range and do give you a lot of bang for your buck. Plus, they are also durable and long-lasting, so you’ll be able to count on them to do the job for several months.
2. UGG Adirondack III Snow
-32-degree weather rating
UGGpure wool lining is soft and warm
Run a 1/2 size too small
Even in Florida, UGG is a well-known brand for winter boots. It comes as no surprise that this is UGG's best selling temperature rated boot. The Adirondacks are an impressive pair of boots that have a -32 temperature rating and are fully waterproof. They are comfortable and flexible without compromising traction or warmth.Read more
If you are looking for ultimate warmth, you’ve found it. 200g of insulation brings a weather rating of -32 degrees. The leather upper and insoles are lined with 17mm of wool lining. Many reviewers are amazed by the warmth of these boots. You also have the option of fully lacing the boots, or cuffing the top.
The flexibility of these boots makes them a comfortable choice for many different snow activities. The 17mm UGGpure sheep wool lined insole is easily removed for slightly less heat and cushioning. The midsole of the boot is made from dual-density EVA foam which provides great cushioning, stability, and comfort. Despite all of these comforts, if you don’t get the right size, you’ll be suffering. Without a doubt, you will need to size up a half size in these shoes. Don’t second guess it, just do it.
As you would expect from a boot of this caliber, the Adirondack is fully waterproof. They have a bootie construction with DryTech technology. The shaft height is seven inches, making it easy to pass through most puddles and slosh without worry.
The Spider rubber outsole provides impressive traction. They will give you a sense of stability on snow, ice, and even climbing uphill. As an added bonus, the rubber outsole maintains its flexibility in freezing temperatures.
Okay, now that you have seen all of the amazing features of the Ugg Adirondack boots, we have something to tell you. These boots are quite an investment. However, many reviewers have confidently stated that they are “worth every penny” and that they imagine that these will be the last pair of ice boots they ever buy.
3. Kamik NationPlus
Can be difficult to get on and take off
Kamik’s NationPlus Boots are made to handle icy, snowy conditions with ease, providing ample amounts of traction and good warmth and weather protecting features. These boots are a great all-around choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking for ice boots that can handle versatile terrain.Read more
These boots come designed with 200g of Thinsulate insulation on the interior area of the boots, which seems lower than some of the warmer boots on this list, but amazingly, these boots are still very thermal and can create a lot more warmth than what the numbers suggest. The insulation on these boots actually keeps its loft quite well, which helps to make it warm and toasty.
The insulation on the interior area of these boots is comfortable and helps to add extra padding underneath your feet each time you move.
The design of Kamik’s NationPlus Boots is made to keep water out, with a thick rubber and suede leather exterior that repels water so it stays away from the boot’s interior. Also, the boots feature a thick rubber sole that's designed to boost insulation while also preventing water from seeping through.
Also, they come with a flexible range and a thick rubber sole that helps to grip onto the ice and snow well without restricting your movement.
If you’re shopping on a budget, then these boots are priced very affordably for the amount of protection and warmth you’ll get. They are one of the least expensive models you’ll find in a pair of high-quality boots.
4. Bogs Classic Ultra Mid
Easy to get on and off
Could be warmer
Bogs designed their Classic Ultra Mid Boots with slippery surfaces in mind, so these boots give you great traction in both icy and snowy conditions and on a wide variety of trains. Bringing you great traction and comfort, you’ll get a lot of use out of these durable, high-quality boots.Read more
Bogs’ Classic Ultra Mid Boots offer a decent amount of warmth, although they aren’t quite as warm as some of the other boots on our list. Still, they are designed with 7mm Neo-Tech neoprene insulation, so they do offer decent warmth performance, and can keep your feet warm even when the temperature drops.
These boots are designed with a four-way stretch interior bootie, so you get a lot of flexibility and range of motion whenever you boot them on. Also, the interior bootie area adds an extra warmth boost but provides a nice padded area to keep your feet comfortable and happy.
Bogs’ Classic Ultra Mid Boots are designed to be fully waterproof, and also feature antimicrobial protection so you don’t have to worry about odor build-up or bacteria creating health problems for your feet. These boots do effectively keep your feet warm and dry, and offer decent weather protection overall.
The rubber sole of these boots is non-slip and non-marking. However, the traction system could be improved. They will help to keep you upright in the snow, but in packed snow, they are less reliable.
Bogs’ Classic Ultra Mid Boots are a good deal for the price, since these boots are a bit cheaper and more affordable, making them a good choice for people shopping on a budget. Plus, they are durable and long-lasting, so you’ll have them for many seasons to come.
5. Sorel Caribou
Easy to get on and off
Sorel’s Caribou Boots are designed to handle icy, snowy terrains very well, and include a lot of warmth and waterproof protection. These boots will protect you from all types of harsh environments, and also keep your feet both comfortable and warm while you are on-the-go.Read more
Sorel’s Caribou Boots are made with a removable felt liner on the interior you can use as needed to help create extra warmth. The Thermo-plus inner boot area adds a lot to the boot when you need to keep your feet toasty as you trek through the cold weather.
The removable inner boot liner adds an extra comfort boost to these boots as well, since they give you extra padding and help keep your feet warm and happy. Also, these boots are very flexible and designed to move as you move, meaning they won’t restrict your activities when you are on the go.
Sorel’s duck-style Caribou Boots are fully waterproof and come with a seam-sealed waterproof upper as well as a waterproof vulcanized rubber shell. These boots will effectively keep water out of the interior area very well, allowing your feet to stay dry.
The rubber soles of the Caribou have small circular traction pegs. These circles make it easier for you to grip the snow and feel stable. On pure, slick, ice, you may still slide a bit, but could always attach a set of crampons.
Sorel’s Caribou Boots come priced in an average range, which makes them a great value for all of the protection and warmth you’ll get with them. Plus, they are durable and long-lasting, so you’ll be able to use them for many seasons.
6. Merrell Polarand Rove
Fashionable and stylish
Easy to get on and off
The zipper is not water-resistant
Designed to make it easy for you to get your ice boots on and off, the Merrell Polarand Rove Waterproof Boots feature a full side zipper for simple access, so you never have to deal with a lacing system. Also, these boots are fashionable and stylish, so you’ll both look good and feel great every time you wear them.Read more
Merrell Polarand’s Rove Zip Boots are designed with 200g of Thinsulate insulation on the interior area of the boot, which does offer some warmth and insulation, but these boots are not as warm as some of the competitor’s models that list 400g of insulating materials. However, depending on how warm you want your feet to be and where you are going, this could be enough insulation as long as you aren’t out in freezing temperatures.
One nice comfort feature about these boots is how easy they are to get on and take off, making them easy-to-use. However, since the insulating materials on the inside of the boot aren’t as thick as some other options, you won’t experience the padded feel you might ordinarily want.
The exterior of this boot is made with waterproof protection in it, and as long as water makes contact with the water-resistant leather materials, the boots work for keeping water out. However, the zipper on the boots is not water-resistant and can leak and allow water in.
The Ice Grip outsole has a 4mm lug height and performs well on both snow and ice. The intricate design of the outsole has plenty of grooves and divots to grip the ground underneath.
Merrell’s Polarand Rove Boots are priced in the average range and cost about the same as some other boots that outperform them in the areas of warmth and water protection. So, while the boots are still durable and long-lasting, you need to weigh your decision on whether or not you feel the zipper on this boot will help you.
7. Keen Durand Polar
Excellent weather protection
Keen’s Durand Polar Boots are designed to be lightweight and easy for hiking while still providing plenty of traction and comfort on the ice. These boots are made to fit extremely well and provide the type of warmth and cozy feeling you’ll want to have when you’re out in the cold winter weather.Read more
Designed with 400g of Keen’s insulation on the interior of the boot, you get double the warmth with these booths, so your feet will generate plenty of thermal regulation. You’ll never have to worry about feeling cold each time you wear these boots outside.
Made to provide the perfect fit each time you put them on, you get a lot of flexibility plus a quick lacing system designed into these boots.
Designed with an outer shell that features a waterproof coating and leather materials, you won’t have leakage problems with these boots. Plus, the sole of these boots is made out of water-resistant rubber.
Speaking of that water-resistant rubber sole, these boots are designed to handle all types of terrain when the weather is icy and snowy and provide an excellent traction system.
Keen’s Durand Polar Boots run on the more expensive side of things, possibly because all of the manufacturing is American-made. However, for the price, you do get a boot that’s durable enough to last you many seasons.
8. Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat
Great weather protection
Can feel stiff
Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat Boots are made to offer you an excellent choice in insulated hiking boots manufactured to be lightweight, waterproof, and very affordable. If you are shopping on a budget, you might enjoy everything these boots have to offer, considering they’ll save you from burning a hole in your pocketbook.Read more
Columbia designed these boots with an Omni-Heat reflective liner, which helps to use your body heat to regulate the temperature inside of the boot, keeping warmth inside. These boots also come with 200g of synthetic insulation as well, so you get a good heating system with these boots.
The insulation designed into these boots gives you some extra padding and adds extra support and shock absorption. Also, these boots are very lightweight, making them easy to wear as they bring you extra traction and support on the ice.
Manufactured to be highly waterproof, Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat Boots come with a Techlite waterproof shell placed over the outer leather and nylon fabrics on the exterior of the boot. With this combination design, these boots are very waterproof, don’t leak, and will help keep your feet dry.
The Omni-Grip non-marking rubber outsole has a winter-specific tread pattern that grips easily to almost all terrains. The design also makes them a good candidate for snow climbing as well.
For the features and benefits you get with these boots, they are very affordable, and probably the best selection in ice boots for those shopping on a budget. Made to be durable, you’ll get a lot of use out of these ice boots.
9. Vasque Snowburban UltraDry
Great weather protection
Can be difficult to get these boots off
If you’re looking for a high-quality boot that brings you a lot of warmth and weather protection when you hit the ice, then the Vasque Snowburban UltraDry Boots just might be right for you. These boots bring you superior insulation compared to many other ice boot designs on the market, and they will both look great and feel good each time you wear them.Read more
Designed with 400g of synthetic insulation, you get a superior boost in warmth with these ice boots. 400g is almost twice the insulation packed into most other competitor’s boots, so if you are one of those people that like to keep your feet toasty, these boots bring you superior benefits.
Vasque’s Snowburban UltraDry Boots use so much comfy material in the interior that helps to not only boost insulation and warmth but also offers a good deal of comfort. Made to be flexible, these boots will keep your feet comfortable so that you can go all day long.
Vasque’s Snowburban UltraDry Boots have a polyurethane coating over the exterior leather part of the boots that also has a waterproof nylon textile material combined into the design of the boot. The use of these materials makes the boot not only durable but highly water-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about your feet getting wet.
The rubber sole of the Snowburban features winter-specific lugs with razor siping. They have the feel of an alpine shoe with the durability and grip of an ice boot.
For the amount of weather protection and insulation you get with these boots, they are a great value since they are priced in the average range. So, most people can still afford them, even with the superior protection they bring.
10. The North Face Chilkat 2
Fit can run small
The North Face Chilkat Boots bring you an excellent all-around ice-boot that offers ample amounts of warmth and weather protection. The extra insulation in these boots makes them very comfortable, and they do a fantastic job of handling terrain.Read more
The North Face Chilkat Boots feature 400g of Primaloft Eco insulation, which is more than twice the insulation used by most other manufacturers. That means these ice boots are extremely warm and do a fantastic job of using thermal insulation to keep your feet toasty all day long.
Not only is the insulated interior of these boots made to keep your feet warm, but they also keep your feet comfortable throughout the day. The North Face’s Chilkat Boots are designed to be very flexible, so they will move as you move and never restrict your activities.
Made with excellent water-resistant protection, these boots are made with a ballistic nylon material and leather upper and are designed with superior waterproof construction. These boots are designed with rustproof hardware, and also include a Dri-Lex fleece lining, meaning they’ll keep your feet warm and dry all day long.
The icepick snow traction sole has great traction. The aggressive lugs that are carved into the rubber sole provide great stability.
For the number of features and the quality of the design you’ll get out of this boot, The North Face’s ChillKat Boots are priced at about an average range. You’ll get a lot of long-lasting benefits from this very durable boot, too.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Winter ice boots are designed to provide insulation and warmth during the cold winter months. All of the boots we’ve provided on our list offer you some type of insulation to help keep you warm when you are outside in the low temperatures. Also, another thing to remember that ice boots that provide good insulation properties and waterproofing will help you do what you need to do even when the weather is cold and icy outside.
Most of the ice boots we’ve provided on our list give you two choices in insulation: either synthetic insulation or neoprene insulation. Neoprene insulation is the same material usually found in wetsuits that help protect people from the cold water while still allowing for effective thermal regulation in temperature. Designed to create warmth and also made to be durable, neoprene insulation lasts quite a long time, and it’s insulated capabilities don’t degrade with continuous use. So, neoprene is long-lasting, and its ability to insulate well will never wear off. However, there is one downside to neoprene, and that’s the fact it doesn’t offer a lot of ventilation, so your feet can sweat. However, how effective the ventilation system is can also depend much on the boot’s overall design. Neoprene is also an effective insulator, but the material itself is not extremely warm.
The second type of insulation you’ll find in many of the boots on our list, and probably the more popular material, is synthetic insulation. Synthetic insulation uses spun plasticized fibers combined into the interior area of the boot. Plus, synthetic insulation is not only used in boots to create warmth, but it is also used in a wide variety of other products, including winter jackets and sleeping bags. Synthetic insulation does a great job at keeping heat inside the interior area of the boot, and also comes with a decent loft system to help cushion your feet for extra comfort. However, how effective the synthetic insulation is designed into the boot can affect much about the warmth that you’ll experience.
Depending on the amount of synthetic insulation used and how it’s manufacture red into the boots, you will experience different levels of warmth. Synthetic insulation also dries out quickly when it does get wet, and it won’t lose its ability to insulate if it gets wet. Synthetic insulation, however, is not as durable as some other insulation types, and its loft system can break down and lose its effectiveness over time.
How comfortable your boots are, and how effective they are when you use them, will depend a lot on the lacing system designed into the boots. First, lace type and design can dictate how well a boot will fit your feet, and also will tell you a lot about how easy the boots will be to get on and off your feet. Some lacing systems are easier to use than others, and how good the lacing systems are can affect how comfortable the boots feel, and their overall performance.
Boots that come design with several lace eyelets can offer a great adjustment system when it comes to getting the boots to fit right but can create problems when you lace them up over the top area of your feet. While you can lace them to feel right, the feel of the fit overall is often not snug, but loose. So, depending on how snug you want your boots to fit, that can be an issue. However, if you don’t mind a looser fitting boot than it isn’t much of an issue.
Other boot lacing systems feature a speed lacing system which gives you more ankle support and more adjustability. While you’ll get the ability to customize the fit of the boots well with this lacing system, speed lacing systems can be the hardest lacing systems to use when you want to get your boots on or take them off. Also, quick lacing systems aren’t quite as durable as boots made with more traditional lacing systems.
Since ice boots are designed to handle snow and ice well in cold weather conditions, and also are manufactured to create warmth, weather protection becomes a very important feature because if your feet get wet, you’ll get cold and miserable quickly. So, most brands that make ice boots focus on utilizing waterproof materials including rubber or waterproof leather, while others use a waterproof coating on the exterior of the boot to boost weather protection.
Not all ice boots are made to be fully waterproof, even if they are advertised as such since some still have leakage problems. However, if you’re looking for a pair of fully waterproof boots, then you’ll want to make sure your ice boots have materials like neoprene and rubber, or boots with a treated exterior shell. Just remember that with neoprene boots, the ventilation systems aren’t always excellent because of the way the materials react to regulate your warmth inside your boot.
The ice boots we’ve provided you with on our list above all have some kind of waterproofing protection on them. However, other features designed into the boots can also affect how much water might seep into the boot, like zippers and tongue areas. So, make sure you check these out to make sure they provide the water protection you’ll need to have in your ice boots.
If you’ve ever walked outside of your house when the ground is covered in ice and snow, and you’ve taken a hard slip and fall that leaves bruises, then you know the importance of having good traction in your ice boots. If you want to make sure you don’t slip, make sure the traction system on the ice boots you purchase is effective enough to prevent injury, while still providing adequate amounts of support.
All of the ice boots on our list feature some kind of traction and grip features on them, but not all are created equally. So, make sure you consider how icy it will be whenever you walk outside in your ice boots.
The ice boots we’ve provided on our list all feature value points and most of these boots all fit average to the more affordable price range. We’ve noted which boots are durable and long-lasting so that you could possibly save more money in the long run by purchasing one of those products. We’ve listed many boots that should fit into anybody’s budget, and if you want a more affordable pair of high-quality boots, we’ve provided you with some brands and styles that meet that expectation.
When searching for a pair of ice boots that best suits your needs, you need to consider a few criteria points to evaluate before making that purchase, including warmth, comfort and usability, weather protection and value. We’ll cover each of these criteria points in a bit more detail below so you know what to look for when you evaluate your ice boot choices.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When trying on your ice boots, you should always take into account the socks that you will be using with the boots. Most likely, your winter socks are thick. If you try the boots on without your winter socks you won't be able to determine their true fit. You can also keep in mind that, unlike in the winter months, your feet won't be swelling. So, even if the boots fit tightly at first, you can count on them to stretch out a bit.
To keep your boots in top shape for seasons to come, you must take care of them. After each use or at least every week, you should dig out the dirt and grime that finds its way into the lugs and leather of the shoes. Typically, warm water, dish soap, and a brush will take care of it. You may also want to consider a leather conditioner to not only protect but to soften the leather and shorten the break-in period as well.
Other Factors to Consider
If you are considering a good pair of ice boots, you want to consider some key factors such as warmth, durability, comfort, and traction. It might seem like a tall order to fill to find a pair of ice boots that fits all of the requirements to keep you steady and comfortable on the ice, but it’s certainly possible and worth it. Ice boots tend to run a bit heavier than your standard pair of tennis shoes, but depending on the brand and style of the ice boots you buy, there is some room to pick and choose here. Some ice boots are designed with more lightweight features than others, and a lighter boot can feel much more flexible and comfortable on your feet as you move.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are the most important features I should consider when I select my ice boots?
The most important features you’ll want to analyze are traction, weather resistance, and warmth. High-quality ice boots all feature these three things and should keep your feet warm and dry while also creating warmth and preventing any slips and falls. For traction, most ice boots feature slip-resistant features, like rubber soles, that help provide you with good grip as you walk. Warmth is also important, and you’ll want to look at the types of insulating materials used in the boot to determine that. Also, you want to make sure your boots come with some kind of water resistance so that you don’t have to experience the misery of cold water seeping into the interior of the boot.
q: How much breathability do I need with my ice boots?
Shoes for ice with a decent ventilation system can help you feel more comfortable and dry as you stay active outside. Since you don’t want to experience odor build-up or feel your feet wet with sweat inside your show, some type of breathability will help keep your feet happy. There are two rules to remember when it comes to breathability. First, ice boots that have nylon uppers are usually very breathable, but unless they are coated with waterproof protection, they can seep. Second, all-leather boots tend to offer ample amounts of water protection, but don’t ventilate as well.
q: How do ice boot manufacturers rate insulation amounts?
Most manufacturers that use synthetic insulation in their ice boots mention in their product descriptions how much synthetic insulation is packed into the boots. Many brands use 200g of synthetic insulation, but some other boots use twice that, at 400g, like The North Face Chillkat 400.
Depending on how cold the weather gets where you plan to adventure, you can consider getting more insulation in your boots. Still, most 200g synthetic insulation boots bring you enough warmth if you are likely to experience more moderate winter weather temperatures. Plus, most boots offering 400g of synthetic insulation cost a bit more than their 200g counterparts, so only purchase the level of insulation you need if you are buying on a budget.
q: Do winter ice boots feature other methods of insulation besides synthetic and neoprene?
Some ice boot manufacturers use other types of insulation methods when they create their boots. For instance, Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat Boots use an Omni-Heat fabric which helps use your body heat to generate heat and warmth inside the boot. Although Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus III only come with 200g of synthetic insulation, the combination of the synthetic insulation and the Omni-Heat fabric makes the boots very warm.
q: Is it better to buy more expensive ice boots, and does price make a difference?
While price can sometimes make a difference with the level of quality and durability you’ll get with your ice boots, there are still great, affordable pairs of ice boots available for purchase on the market today. Some of the affordable boots on our list performed better than other boots that are priced higher, so the price isn’t always an accurate measure of performance with ice boots.
- How To Choose Good Winter Boots, Informational Outdoor Website ,
- What to Think About When Buying a Pair of Winter Boots, Informational Outdoor Website ,
- The 7 Best Boots for Winter Weather, Informational Men's Website ,
- 10 Best Winter Boots for Women, Informational Women's Website ,