Are Hiking Boots Good For Snow?

hiking boots and the snow

Hiking boots are an essential piece of equipment for outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who enjoy hiking and trekking in challenging terrain. Hiking boots are designed primarily for use in dry and warm conditions. They are not really made for use in snow. However, some hiking boots were built with snow in mind. These boots will have to have features such as waterproofing and good insulation. Read on to find out the answer to the question of whether hiking boots are good for snow. Be prepared for a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best hiking boots for snowy conditions.

Types of Hiking Boots

There are several types of hiking boots available on the market, and choosing the right type is essential for snow use. Here are the main types of hiking boots:

  • Lightweight hiking shoes: These shoes are designed for day hikes on well-maintained trails and are not suitable for snow use.
  • Mid-cut hiking boots: These boots offer ankle support and are suitable for light snow use.
  • High-cut hiking boots: These boots provide the most ankle support and are best for deep snow use.


Insulation is an essential factor to consider when choosing hiking boots for snow use. Insulation helps keep your feet warm in cold weather conditions. Here are the types of insulation used in hiking boots:

Insulation Type Description Suitable Snow Use
Synthetic insulation Lightweight and quick-drying insulation Light snow use
Down insulation Provides excellent warmth, but not suitable for wet conditions Not recommended for snow
Thinsulate insulation Provides warmth without adding bulk, suitable for deep snow use Deep snow use


Waterproofing is another important factor to consider when choosing hiking boots for snow use. Here are the types of waterproofing used in hiking boots:

Waterproofing Material Breathability Waterproofing Suitable Snow Use Description
Gore-Tex Yes Yes Light to deep snow use Breathable and waterproof material suitable for hiking in various snow conditions
eVent Yes Yes Deep snow use Breathable and waterproof material suitable for extreme snow conditions
Waterproof Coatings Varies Yes Light snow use Boots with waterproof coatings applied to exterior suitable for light snow use


Traction is essential when hiking in snowy conditions. Here are the types of traction systems used in hiking boots:

Traction System Description
Vibram The most popular and durable traction system used in hiking boots
Michelin Provides excellent grip on icy surfaces
Contagrip Provides a good balance between grip and durability for various terrain


The fit of your hiking boots is crucial, especially when hiking in snowy conditions. Your boots should fit snugly but not be too tight. You should also be able to wear thick socks comfortably. It is best to try on hiking boots with the socks you intend to wear while hiking.


Flexibility is another essential factor to consider when choosing hiking boots for snow use. The flexibility of the boots will determine how well you can move in snowy conditions. Boots that are too stiff can be challenging to move in, while boots that are too flexible may not provide enough support.


The weight of your hiking boots is also important, especially when hiking in snowy conditions. Heavy boots can be tiring to wear, especially if you are hiking for an extended period. Lightweight boots are more comfortable to wear and can reduce fatigue.


Durability is essential when choosing hiking boots for snow use. Your boots should be able to withstand the harsh conditions of snow and ice. Look for boots made from high-quality materials that can withstand wear and tear.


The cost of hiking boots can vary greatly depending on the features they offer. It is essential to choose hiking boots that fit your budget while still providing the necessary features for snow use.

Here are some prices for some average hiking boots

Name Cost
ROCKMARK Men's Winter Snow Boots Outdoor Warm Mid Calf Waterproof Durable Boot Non-Slip Warm Climbing Shoes (2 colors/patterns) $79.99
Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Shoe (6 colors/patterns) $59.99
Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Suede Waterproof Boot, Breathable with High-Traction Grip (19 colors/patterns) $75.00
Columbia Men's Bugaboot III Snow Boot $90.92
ROCKMARK Women's Waterproof Snow Boots Mid Calf Warm Winter Outdoor Footwear (3 colors/patterns) $69.99
SDONY Womens Boots Fashion Waterproof Hiking Boots Anti-Slip Cute Boots Lace-up Casual Boots (5 colors/patterns) $48.99
FREE SOLDIER Mens Snow Boots Insulated Waterproof Winter Shoes Nonslip Outdoor Footwear with Removable Lining (3 colors/patterns) $44.99
Polar Womens Faux Fur Warm Thermal Waterproof Outdoor Walking Snow Winter Rubber Sole Calf Boots (17 colors/patterns) $29.99
HI-TEC Yosemite WP Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots for Men, Lightweight Breathable Outdoor Trekking Shoes $59.98
Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Lightweight Waterproof Shoe Hiking Boot (15 colors/patterns) $60.11


Proper maintenance of your hiking boots is essential to ensure they last for a long time. Always clean your boots after use and store them in a dry and cool place.

Here are some tips for maintaining your hiking boots:

  • Clean your boots after each use: Use a soft brush or damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris from your boots.
  • Allow your boots to dry completely: Never store wet boots as this can cause them to mold or deteriorate.
  • Apply waterproofing spray: To maintain the waterproofing of your boots, apply a waterproofing spray every few months or as needed.
  • Check for damage: Regularly inspect your boots for any signs of damage, such as tears or holes, and repair them as needed.

Here are some oftions for snow hiking shoes

Brand Product name Rating Average Price Color/patterns
SHULOOK Men's Snow Boots Waterproof Warm Fur Lined Winter Hiking Boot Non-slip Outdoor Ankle High-top Shoes Work Hiker Trekking Trail 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,077) $59.99 3 patterns
UPSOLO Mens Winter Trekking Backpacking Snow Boots Water Resistant Shoes Anti-Slip Fully Fur Lined Casual Lightweight Hiking Boot 4.2 out of 5 stars (9,301) $24.99 12 colors/patterns
Cozhloyn Men's Snow Boots Waterproof Winter Boots Fur Lining Anti Slip Lace up MidCalf Warm Outdoor Hiking Shoes 4.4 out of 5 stars (18) $59.99 1
JSWEI Women's Waterproof Winter Snow Boots Warm Insulation Outdoor Cold Weather Boot for Women Lightweight Fur Lined Non Slip 4.5 out of 5 stars (224) $41.99 5 colors/patterns
Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Shoe 4.7 out of 5 stars (13,057) $59.99 +6 colors
UGG Women's Adirondack Boot III Boot 4.6 out of 5 stars (3,382) $174.99 6
Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Suede Waterproof Boot, Breathable with High-Traction Grip 4.6 out of 5 stars (22,839) $75.00 +19 colors
ROCKMARK Women's Waterproof Snow Boots Mid Calf Warm Winter Outdoor Footwear 4.4 out of 5 stars (339) $69.99 +3 colors/patterns
Eagsouni Womens Mens Snow Boots Winter Shoes Slip On Ankle Booties Anti-Slip Water Resistant Fully Fur Lined Outdoor Sneakers 4.2 out of 5 stars (2,416) $25.99 +14 colors/patterns
ALBETRIOUS Women's Waterproof Long Snow Boots Winter Thinsulate Insulation Warm Fur Lined Anti-Slip Cold Weather Outdoor Footwear 4.2 out of 5 stars (56) $86.99 +1 colors/patterns
Impdoo Mens Womens Winter Snow Boots Warm Waterproof Fur Lined Non Slip Leather Ankle Hiking Climbing Boots US 4-14.5 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,282) $22.09 +15 colors/patterns

Can hiking boots be used in snow?

Yes, hiking boots can be used in snow, but not all hiking boots are suitable for snowy conditions. It's important to choose hiking boots that are specifically designed for winter conditions, such as those with waterproof and insulated features, as well as non-slip soles to provide traction on snow and ice.

Tips for Keeping Feet Dry and Warm in Hiking Boots in the Snow
Choose the right boots: Look for boots that are waterproof and insulated, ideally with a Gore-Tex or similar waterproof membrane. Make sure they fit well with enough room for thick socks.
Wear appropriate socks: Avoid cotton socks, as they can absorb moisture and make your feet feel cold. Instead, choose moisture-wicking wool or synthetic socks that will keep your feet dry and warm. Consider wearing a liner sock underneath your thicker sock for added warmth and moisture management.
Use gaiters: Gaiters are designed to fit over your boots and pants to keep snow from getting inside. This is especially important if you're hiking in deep snow or crossing streams.
Keep moving: Keep your blood circulating by moving frequently, even if it's just wiggling your toes inside your boots. Take breaks as needed to warm up your feet and dry out any sweat or moisture.
Use foot warmers: Consider using disposable foot warmers, which can be inserted into your boots for extra warmth. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions, as some foot warmers require air to activate.
Bring spare socks: If your feet get wet, it's essential to change into dry socks as soon as possible. Bring extra socks in a waterproof bag to keep them dry.
Be prepared for emergencies: If you're hiking in remote areas or in extreme conditions, it's important to carry emergency supplies such as a space blanket, hand warmers, and extra socks. Be sure to check the weather forecast before your hike and adjust your plans accordingly.


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Wide feet and beginner hiking boots

When it comes to choosing the right hiking shoes for a beginner, there are several factors to consider, including foot width and experience level. For those with wider feet, it's essential to find shoes with enough room in the toe box and ample support in the midfoot and heel. Look for hiking shoes with a wider fit or models that come in multiple widths. Some popular options for hikers with wider feet include the Merrell Moab 2, Salomon X Ultra 3 Wide, and Keen Targhee III.

For beginners, it's important to prioritize comfort and support. Look for hiking shoes with a mid-height or high-top design to provide extra ankle support, and opt for shoes with a sturdy sole to help with stability and traction. Some popular options for beginners include the Columbia Redmond Waterproof, the North Face Hedgehog Fastpack, and the Salomon X Ultra.

Features of hiking shoes for wide feet and beginners

Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet Best Hiking Shoes for Beginners
Toe Box Roomy Roomy
Midfoot and Heel Ample support Ample support
Width Options Wide fit or multiple widths Standard fit
Ankle Support Optional Mid-height or high-top design
Sole Sturdy Sturdy
Popular Options Merrell Moab 2 Columbia Redmond Waterproof
Salomon X Ultra 3 Wide North Face Hedgehog Fastpack
Keen Targhee III Salomon X Ultra 3

You can read some of our other articles on how to choose the right hiking boots.

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Hiking boots can be good for snow use if you choose the right type of boots with appropriate insulation, waterproofing, traction, fit, flexibility, weight, durability, and cost. Taking care of your hiking boots by properly maintaining them is also essential to ensure they last for a long time. With the right pair of hiking boots, you can enjoy hiking in snowy conditions and stay comfortable and safe.

About Author:

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Hi, I'm Kevin Pommells, a lover of camping and the great outdoors as everyone says nowadays. I'm also a passionate soccer fan and the proud owner of, a website dedicated to helping campers and outdoor enthusiasts make the most of their adventures. With years of experience exploring the wilderness and a deep love for the sport of soccer, I'm always looking for new ways to combine my two passions and share my knowledge with others. Follow me for tips, tricks, and insights on all things camping and outdoor recreation.

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