What makes a men's winter snow boot the best of the best? If you've ever stared in confusion at the hundreds of options before you, then you know it takes a little something special to set it apart from the other shoes on the shelf. Finding the right pair can be tricky if you aren't sure where to begin.
Winter may be synonymous with all manner of cozy extras–think hot chocolate, men's flannel shirts, warm blankets, and snuggling on the couch. However, there's also inclement weather to consider. Aside from the brutal cold, you'll likely have to deal with snow at some point.
The white stuff is tricky because it can be unpredictable at times. It can also make for a rather treacherous journey if you have any reason to walk in it, whether you're escorting your kids to the bus stop, taking your dog for a walk, or heading to the office. Having the right pair of boots on your feet can ultimately make all the difference for your safety.
What's more, winter also brings other inclement conditions, including the potential for heavy gusts of wind and torrential rain. The inevitable drop in temperature is also something that you'll need to contend with throughout the season. Bundling up in your warmest sweater and pants alone won't do the job, no matter how thick those pieces might be. The right boots act as a shield against not only snow but also anything else that the season brings.
There are four specific features that set snow boots apart from the rest: insulation, traction, water resistance, and closing mechanisms. Without them, they really aren't snow boots at all. These elements help your feet stay dry, warm, and safe, whether you're maneuvering down the driveway or around town.
Insulation is one feature you shouldn't overlook. Yes, layering up on the socks might help you stay a little drier than you would otherwise, but an extra pair is no match for tough insulation. The beauty of this material is that it does the job without adding substantial weight to your boots, which is essential for your comfort, particularly if you already feel like the average winter boot is a little heavier than necessary. You won't walk around feeling like Bigfoot with insulated boots; you'll just feel warmer and less like you're stepping on a wet carpet with every step you take.
Among the most commonly employed materials is Thinsulate™, which is made with light, airy fibers that trap air inside the boots so that you stay cozy, even when venturing into an unbearably cold territory. All insulation is measured in grams, so the larger the number, the warmer your feet will feel. Remember, the goal of insulation is to lock your body heat inside, so always keep this feature at the forefront of your mind when shopping for your cold-weather boots.
If you've ever skidded on ice as you attempted to deftly make your way from your front door to the car, then you know exactly how crucial traction is to your footwear. Smooth soles just don't perform well when they come into contact with treacherous ground conditions. It all comes down to one thing: grip. If your snow boots don't grab the ground like a vise, you simply won't get very far.
The type of traction you select depends largely on your unique outdoor needs. Are you an outdoorsy sort who loves the feel of brisk air whipping at your face as you navigate a frozen tundra, or are your winter excursions limited to grocery and coffee runs? The right type of traction will hold on to the ground and keep you steady, whether your pursuits are aggressively athletic or considerably more casual. The good news is that there are snow-appropriate boots for all occasions and environments, which means you can find something with a sufficient sole no matter where the day takes you.
Snowfall may look beautiful, but it can make life pretty challenging if you aren't equipped from head to toe with garments that prevent you from getting soaked and chilled to the bone. Among the essentials you absolutely need when the snow comes down: a thick men's winter coat, a pair of comfortable pants, and–you guessed it–boots that resist moisture.
Water is your greatest foe when temperatures fall, and not just because it turns to ice in a hurry. It's also responsible for making your feet wet if your boots don't repel it. Not only will you suffer from cold, wet socks, but also you're more vulnerable to issues like blisters and even foot infections. Walking around in damp socks enclosed within snug boots is a recipe for disaster, which is precisely why wearing a water-resistant boot that is easy to fasten is imperative.
Why spend 20 minutes messing around with laces and snaps when you could be out there having fun? You don't purchase men's sweaters that are complicated, and you should expect the same of your boots.
Consider how your boot closes. Laces are most common; they should make the boot feel snug and tight, but not so much so that you feel suffocated. Metal speed hooks and zippers are helpful additions that make even complex styles easier to fasten.
Until you've walked around in uncomfortable boots that leave your feet wet and your body cold and miserable, you can't truly appreciate the beauty and sensibility of a great pair of snow-friendly footwear. Treat them just as you would any other piece of men's outerwear, and you can be sure that you'll spend the entire season in complete comfort.