Healthcare Tips

Need Some New Winter Boots? We’ve Got Your (Feet) Covered

December 5, 2022
Someone walking through snow with boots on their feet.

Winter brings all the weather that we have come to love (or hate, depending on your take). Staying active during the colder, snowier months of the year plays a big role in our overall health. Getting outdoors, however, can be more difficult. Often, it can be hard to find a pair of boots that can keep your feet warm and dry while still allowing plenty of movement during your seasonal adventures.

Finding that perfect pair of winter boots can be a challenge. But knowing what to look for is half the battle. Before you start your shopping, we have a few tips that can make your hunt a bit easier.

Shop with purpose

Consider how you’ll be using your new pair of winter boots. Are you looking for something functional that can get you up that sledding hill with the kids? Or do you want fashionable footwear for a casual night out? Answering these questions will help you narrow your choices—but no matter what activities you’re planning, you’ll need to make sure your boots can protect you against cold temperatures, snow, and the risk of slipping on ice.

What are you made of?

Forsaking your warm, cozy home for the wintry outdoors requires strong protection. The materials your boots are constructed from will play an important part in your comfort. Make sure that their “upper” material (the one that covers the top part of your foot) is strong—and preferably waterproof. Have you ever ventured out in slushy snow wearing a pair of Ugg-style boots? If so, you may have ended up with soggy, cold toes due to their uppers being made of softer, less water-resistant material.

Insulation is another thing to keep in mind, as this will help to keep your toes toasty warm. Synthetic fillings like PrimaLoft® and Thinsulate™ can resist water and even continue to insulate after they get wet. Down, although a more natural option, runs the risk of getting wet from the elements (or even the sweat from your feet).

Bottoms up

Before you purchase your new boots, make sure to inspect their soles. Most winter boots are designed for traction on snow and ice, but some offer more protection than others.

Overall, the soles of winter boots are softer, to prevent them from freezing or hardening when exposed to ice. If you’re planning to hike in your new boots, look for a pair with significant traction control. More casual boots can have less traction and may leave you more vulnerable to slipping when walking on icy sidewalks (even if you’re practicing these tips for safe walking).

Get the right fit

Even the best-made boots won’t keep you comfortable if they don’t fit well, which makes proper sizing more important than ever. When you try on your potential boots, make sure you’re allowing room for thick winter socks. You may even need to try on boots that are a half-size larger, just to make sure you’re getting the right wiggle room.

Speaking of wiggle room: you don’t want too much of that, either. If your feet are slipping and sliding around inside your boots, that’s going to give you less traction on ice and snow.

We suggest asking a sales associate to help you with the proper sizing of your new footwear—especially if you’re planning to wear them on outdoor winter adventures,

The right pair of boots will help keep you cozy as you brave the elements this season. Whether you’re enjoying a day of fun with your family or heading to the back country for some serious hiking, stay safe and comfortable this winter!

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Hancock Orthopedics treats conditions of the hand, wrist, shoulder, elbow, feet, and ankles.