The cold and wet of winter can be challenging for any outdoor enthusiast. Keeping your feet dry, warm, and comfortable is key to staying outside all year. However, this is easier said than done. If you’re a lover of snow and ice, investing in the right pair of winter footwear will help you get the most out of your hikes this season.
To tackle the challenge that nature throws our way again, it’s time to get acquainted with your new best friend – your boots. You see, no matter what type of outdoor activities you enjoy most, winter footwear has a lot to offer in terms of functionality and protection from the elements.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some things you should know about winter footwear before hitting the trails again this year.
What to look for in the right pair of winter footwear?
When it comes to winter footwear, there are three key things you should be looking for:
- Keep your feet dry– Keeping your feet dry will allow you to stay outside longer when the weather is less than ideal. A dry foot gives better insulation against the cold, which is vital during the winter when your feet are at risk of getting wet from melted snow and ice or from stepping into a puddle.
- Warmth– Keeping your feet warm is a must during the colder months. Cold feet can quickly lead to frostbite, especially if you’re hiking in cold, dry conditions where you don’t have much natural insulation from the ground. For this reason, you should look for a winter boot that offers good insulation, keeping your foot warm.
- Comfort– Footwear that’s too tight, loose, or doesn’t provide the proper support can quickly become a source of discomfort that takes away from your outdoor experience. Ideally, you want a winter boot that’s not only functional but also one that feels good on your foot, keeping your toes in a comfortable, relaxed position.
Importance of keeping your feet dry, comfortable and warm
Keeping your feet dry, warm and comfortable is key to enjoying the winter season. Getting your feet wet can be easy and dangerous with all the snow and ice outdoors. Wet feet are especially at risk during the winter, as the cold temperatures will cause your foot sweat to freeze, making it harder to remove your boot. As a result, your foot can become susceptible to blisters and even frostbite in extreme cases.
Your shoes should provide waterproof protection from the elements and a breathable membrane that allows moisture to escape. This, in turn, keeps your feet dry and warm, making them more comfortable. You’ll be able to stay outside for longer, experiencing less foot pain and fatigue when wearing the proper footwear for winter.
Combination of proper winter footwear (socks and boots)
When it comes to the correct type of footwear for winter, it’s essential to pair your boots with the right socks. Your socks will be a barrier between your feet and the boots, keeping your feet dry, warm, and comfortable. On the other hand, the wrong socks might cause your boots to fit more loosely while also allowing moisture to build up inside the shoe.
At the same time, your boots must be the right fit for your feet. If they are too tight, you risk cutting off blood circulation. If they are too loose, you risk accidents and discomfort due to the lack of support they provide.
Waterproofing and breathability
Some of the best winter boots are fully waterproof, allowing water to bead off of the material and not seep into the shoe. However, most quality winter boots will be waterproof but not entirely, so expect some water to get in. When water does get into your shoes, they must have a breathability feature, allowing the moisture to escape.
Otherwise, moisture will build up inside the shoe, making your feet wet and causing your socks to smell. If you want to avoid this, look for waterproof winter boots with a breathability feature to allow moisture to escape. What you don’t want is a waterproof boot that isn’t breathable. A fully waterproof boot is an excellent choice for snow or hiking when the ground is wet or muddy. A waterproof boot that is not breathable will get your feet wet sooner or later.
Materials That Make A Great Boot For Winter
We’ve covered some of the essential features that make a great boot for winter, but let’s now take a closer look at the various materials that make up a good pair of winter boots:
Nubuck Leather- Nubuck leather is a type of leather that has been sanded to give it a soft, suede-like texture. It is often used to make footwear, particularly boots, due to its durability and water resistance. Nubuck leather often features a wax coating to enhance its water-resistant properties, making it an excellent option for winter footwear.
Full-grain Leather- Full-grain leather is considered to be the best quality of leather available. It is created from the entire hide of an animal and is free from any blemishes or imperfections, making it a sturdy, long-lasting material. Full-grain leather is often used to make footwear, particularly hiking boots, as it is highly durable, not to mention water-resistant. Nubuck and full-grain leather are excellent materials for winter boots, providing you with the protection and durability needed to get the most out of your footwear this season.
Winter footwear for hiking and trails
When hiking in winter, choosing a fully waterproof boot with good insulation is best to help keep your foot warm. Additionally, a sturdy outsole with good traction will help you traction on slippery surfaces while providing more stability. If you’re hiking on a well-prepared trail, you might not need much traction, but there will be times when you’re hiking across a slippery patch of ice or in a snowdrift where you’ll be glad you have it.
Anodyne – No. 89 Trail Hiker is an excellent boot for hiking in winter. It has a waterproof upper that has a decent level of insulation. It has a sturdy outsole with good traction, making it great for hiking on trails and sidewalks.
Anodyne – No. 56 Trail Boot is another good choice for hiking in winter. It has a waterproof upper with a decent level of insulation. It has a sturdy outsole with good traction, making it suitable for walking on both trails and sidewalks.
Winter boots for running and fitness activities
When running or engaging in other fitness activities during the winter, you want a lightweight boot with plenty of breathabilities. You’ll also want a boot that has a good amount of traction and a decent level of stability. With a lightweight boot and plenty of breathabilities, you can keep your feet dry and comfortable and be more energy efficient due to less pressure on your foot.
Winter can be challenging for outdoor enthusiasts, but it doesn’t have to be. Proper footwear makes it possible to stay active all year round. While the cold and wet can be challenging for outdoor enthusiasts, they also allow you to test your limits. You can tackle the elements with the right gear and come out on top.
When it comes to winter, your feet will be the first to feel the cold. This is why you must ensure that you are adequately prepared with the proper footwear. When choosing the right winter boots, select a pair that keeps your feet warm and dry while providing the support they need.