If you live in a climate prone to extreme winter weather conditions, then you may already know first-hand the importance of the protection that only winter boots can provide. But, ultimately, the type and style of boot you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including the following.
Weather type: Not all winter boots are created equally, as many are designed to tackle specific types of storms and that’s it — which is fine if you live in an area that really only experiences one type of weather. But you still need to find boots made with that weather’s particular conditions in mind. For example, if you're looking for boots that keep your feet warm and dry when it's raining, you’ll want to determine whether the boots in question are waterproof, as opposed to water-resistant. While water-resistant boots won't get ruined in the occasional unexpected downpour, they won't keep your feet as warm and comfortable as seam-sealed boots made with waterproof materials.
Temperature ratings: If you're looking for extreme winter boots to ward off freezing snow and bone-chilling temperatures, then temperature ratings are a feature to take into consideration. This value tells you just how low the temperature can drop — and how long it can stay there — before your feet start to feel its effects.
Traction: Similarly to the tires on your vehicle, the shape and tread patterns of the soles of a pair of winter boots are important things to take into account for stability — an important consideration when you’re dealing with slick ice. Hiking boots tend to rank highly when it comes to great traction support, as they’re designed for wear on slippery or off-road surfaces. Look for boots with treads that provide stronger grip for improved balance.
Interior: Last but not least, don't forget to find out what's inside the boots you’re eyeing. If freezing temperatures are a worry, then you'll definitely want to ensure you get a pair of boots with a warm interior lining that can keep your feet nice and toasty when you're out in the cold. Snow boots in particular often feature removable linings, which are ideal for foot warmth and for easier periodic cleanings.
Without further ado, check out our picks for some of the best winter boots in adult sizes.