Outdoors Gear The 9 Best Boots for Snowshoeing of 2023 By Suzie Dundas Suzie Dundas Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter Suzie Dundas is a writer and editor based in Lake Tahoe. She writes primarily about travel, the outdoors, and millennial culture. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 10/03/22 Share Pin Email We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. TripSavvy / Chloe Jeong TripSavvy's Pick With removable footbeds, medium insulation, and a waterproof yet breathable finish, the Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip is an ideal snowshoeing boot. If you're sticking to a budget, reach for the WHITIN Men's Waterproof Cold-Weather Boots. Snowshoeing is peaceful, beautiful, and a great way to explore the woods with no one else around. Oh, and it's a great workout: It can burn up to 630 calories per hour, depending on how hard you work. Snowshoeing is relatively simple to master, but getting dressed for the sport isn't always easy; that goes for your shoes, too. You sweat while snowshoeing far more than you do while downhill skiing or snowboarding, so you can't just bundle yourself up to the max. That's why it's important to select footwear that's both breathable and at least partially waterproof. You want to keep snow out, but you need enough airflow to keep your feet dry even when sweating. While there aren't too many boots explicitly made for snowshoeing, plenty of breathable winter hiking and outdoor boots work well for snowshoeing. These are the best ones. Table of contents Expand Our Picks What to Look For FAQ Best Overall Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip 5 Courtesy of Danner View On Zappos View On Opticsplanet.com What We Like Waterproof and insulated Side zipper Removable cushioning footbed What We Don't Like None I tried my first pair of Danner winter boots about three years ago and they've become a staple of my winter wardrobe. While I've snowshoed in several pairs, my favorite is the Arctic 600 Side-Zip. It seems like the Artic was custom-made for snowshoeing, with mid-to-heavy insulation, a waterproof but breathable finish, and even a removable footbed to make the shoes dry quicker. Pro tip: Take out the footbeds and put them under the heater as you drive to the trailhead. I also love the side-zip feature that makes them easy to pull on and off while still having laces to get the fit just right. Price at time of publish: $240 Upper Material: Suede | Waterproofing: Yes, Danner Dry | Weight: +/- 2 pounds, 13 ounces (pair) | Insulation: 200g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Runner-Up, Best Overall Vasque Breeze WT GTX Courtesy of Vasque View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com View On REI What We Like Insulated and waterproof Comfortable Tall shaft Comes in regular and wide What We Don't Like A little bulky Vasque may not be as well-known as brands like Sorel or The North Face that have crossed over into non-athletic wear. But the brand makes simply fantastic hiking boots, including winter hiking boots. Several Vasque options would serve you well for snowshoeing, but pop the Breeze GTX on your feet and you'll feel like you're wearing cozy slippers, not trekking through feet of snow in the wilderness. They're waterproof. They're lightweight. They're breathable. And the Breeze GTX even has a grippy outsole, which isn't super necessary for snowshoeing itself but will come in handy if you're walking through icy parking lots or sidewalks. Upper Material: Nubuck leather (suede) | Waterproofing: Yes, Gore-Tex | Weight: +/- 2 pounds, 14 ounces (pair) | Insulation: 200g 3M Thinsulate Best Budget WHITIN Men's Waterproof Cold-Weather Boots Amazon View On Amazon What We Like Great price Highly rated Insulated and warm What We Don't Like Shaft could be a bit higher Not totally waterproof Runs small No women’s version It's fair if you're a bit suspicious of these boots—they're a fraction of the price of other snowshoe boots. But for casual snowshoers, they'll get the job done. The key difference between the Whitin boots and more expensive options is that these are water-resistant, not waterproof. That's usually fine for snowshoeing unless you're pushing the season and may be moving through puddles of melting snow. For a budget option, they're a worthy pick. Price at time of publish: $70 Upper Material: Nubuck leather (suede) | Waterproofing: Water resistant | Weight: +/- 1 pound, 6 ounces (pair) | Insulation: Faux shearling upper liner The 11 Best Women's Winter Boots of 2023 Best for Extreme Cold Baffin Impact Courtesy of Backcountry View On Backcountry.com What We Don't Like Rated for -148 degrees F Very comfortable Cinches to keep snow and cold air out What We Don't Like Heavy No half sizes Sometimes, you're snowshoeing on a sunny day, with views of the mountains for miles. And other times, it's below freezing and the wind is nearly knocking you backward. While your body may get chilly during the latter, your feet won't if you wrap 'em in the Baffin Impact. They're heavily insulated for extreme cold, but that's not the only thoughtful feature for frigid days: The shaft has a drawstring pull to keep snow and cold air out, and the buckle-and-strap tightening system means you make adjustments even while wearing thick gloves. Technically they come in men's and women's versions, but they're basically unisex style-wise, so buy whatever pair fits your foot best. Price at time of publish: $250 Upper Material: Nylon | Waterproofing: Yes | Weight: +/- 5 pounds, 11 ounces | Insulation: Double B-Tek (synthetic) The 10 Best Men’s Winter Boots of 2022 Best Eco-Friendly Chaco Borealis Quilt Waterproof Boot Courtesy of Chaco View On Amazon View On Moosejaw.com What We Like Vegan Tall shaft Ankle strap adjustable while wearing thick gloves Repairable What We Don't Like Runs small No immediate men’s equivalent (closest is the Frontier) I'd put these vegan insulated winter boots on this list even if they weren't super-sustainable, so it's just icing on the proverbial cake that they are. The insulation is derived from coffee bean residue (a byproduct of the $100 million US coffee industry) and the other non-animal sourced materials are partially recycled. They’re also partially waterproof and very lightweight. As a brand, Chaco has a rock-solid repair program and donates to several non-profit organizations focused on everything from women in sports to environmental protection and connecting kids with outdoor summer camps. Price at time of publish: $130 Upper Material: nylon (upper is only water-resistant) | Waterproofing: Footbed and toe box, yes | Weight: +/- 1 pound, 4 ounces (pair) | Insulation: coffee-based charcoal fleece lining Best Versatile Forsake Thatcher Courtesy of Backcountry View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com View On Zappos What We Like Everyday look Tall shaft Waterproof Brand very dedicated to sustainability What We Don't Like Not specifically a snow/winter boot I've become a big fan of Forsake in the last few years as they make several category-straddling footwear options—there's even a category on their website for "sneaker boots." The Thatcher Mid (women) and Davos high (men) are their tallest waterproof boots, which means your feet will stay warm when snowshoeing in them. But since they're made for hiking, you can use them as your summer trail shoes, too. Opt for one of the more generic colors, and you can also wear them as an everyday winter shoe. Price at time of publish: $160 Upper Material: Leather | Waterproofing: Yes | Weight: +/- 2 pounds, 14 ounces (pair) | Insulation: No additional insulation The 11 Best Cold-Weather Boots of 2023 Best for Wide Feet Columbia Women's Ice Maiden II Snow Boot 4.7 Courtesy of Amazon View On Amazon View On Zappos View On Columbia.com What We Like Insulated Tall shaft Great price Dozens of size options What We Don't Like No zipper/side entry Average style/look If you have wide feet, you're probably used to having limited shoe options. But even with more options, you'd probably still ultimately gravitate toward the Bugaboo (men) or Ice Maiden II (women). Both are all-purpose winter boots that'll keep your feet toasty while snowshoeing, après-skiing, or just walking the dog on chilly mornings. These boots are insulated, tall enough to keep you dry if an unexpected snow dump falls overnight, and the reinforced toe and heel provide extra durability in places that may see heavy friction from snowshoe straps. Price at time of publish: $110 Upper Material: Leather | Waterproofing: Yes | Weight: Bugaboo: +/- 3 pounds, 8 ounces (pair) / Ice Maiden: +/- 2 pounds, 4 ounces | Insulation: 200g Best Pull-On KEEN Women's Greta Waterproof Chelsea Courtesy of KEEN View On Zappos View On Keenfootwear.com View On Moosejaw.com What We Like Rated to -25 degrees F Easy to pull on Secure fit (despite being a pull-on) What We Don't Like Minimal colorways May not fit very high arches I don't usually recommend pull-on boots for snowshoeing unless they're a perfect fit. Your foot weighs more when you have a snowshoe strapped to your foot, and the last thing you want is your foot to slide out of a shoe when you lift your leg. But there are some exceptions, and the Keen waterproof pull-on Chelsea boots are proof of that. Both the men's (Anchorage III) and the women's (Greta Chelsea) are insulated, extremely durable, and have an exceptionally grippy bottom so you can wear them on icy surfaces or on non-snowshoe days, too. Price at time of publish: $165 Upper Material: Leather | Waterproofing: Yes | Weight: 1 pound| Insulation: 200g of KEEN.WARM insulation Best Lightweight Hoka One One Speedgoat Mid Gore-Tex 2 4.2 Courtesy of REI View On Hoka.com View On REI What We Like Exceptionally light Good for non-snow sports Comfortable ankle/collar What We Don't Like Vivid colors may not appeal to all Upper isn’t waterproof No additional insulation It's no surprise that a brand known for making lightweight trail runners and hikers would also make a lightweight shoe perfect for snowshoeing. In fact, if you're only snowshoeing once or twice a year, you can probably opt for a Hoka waterproof low sneaker and be good to go. But if you plan on snowshoeing in all types of conditions, opt for the Speedgoat Mid GTX. Both the men's and women's versions use Gore-Tex to keep snow out and have a plush foam collar to prevent rubbing or sore spots during extended snowshoe sessions. Oh, and they weigh next to nothing, helping to ease the strain on your feet in heavy snow. Price at time of publish: $170 Upper Material: Water-resistant mesh/foam (synthetic) | Waterproofing: Yes, Gore-Tex | Weight: 11.3 ounces per shoe | Insulation: Light foam What to Look for in Snowshoe Boots Good news, snowshoers: There's no one perfect snowshoe boot, which means you have a lot of variety when deciding what to wear. Some people—myself included—prefer a shorter boot to help keep their feet cooler and reduce bulkiness around the legs. However, if you snowshoe in tights or regular (non-ski) pants, you may find that the protection of a taller boot helps keep your ankles and feet dryer. Regardless of what type of snowshoe boot you choose, you'll want to be certain it's waterproof, which is the most crucial consideration. If you snowshoe in very cold conditions you may want a boot with heavy insulation, though remember that snowshoeing is an aerobic activity, and your feet will probably sweat more than they do while skiing or snowboarding. If you have a heavily insulated boot, wear a thinner sock to ensure your sweat can permeate the boot to keep your feet dry. Finally, before buying any pair, take a look at your snowshoe straps and footbed. You'll want to ensure the straps will fit around the arch and ankle of any shoe you buy—the straps may not be long enough to go around an extra-wide boot. It's more of a concern for buyers with extra-wide or large feet. Frequently Asked Questions What makes a boot snowshoe-specific? Most of the same properties that work in a solid winter boot will work with snowshoeing: protection against moisture, insulation to keep you warm, moisture-wicking and breathable liners to prevent overheating, and solid lacing to assure a snug fit. The only thing you don’t necessarily need is a super-aggressive outsole since the snowshoe itself will be the piece of footwear making contact with the snow and ice. That said, getting a boot that does have solid grip on snow is a great option for when you’re not in the snowshoes and therefore expands the product’s applications throughout the season. Do snowshoe boots need to be insulated? That partly depends on the temperatures in which you’re snowshoeing, But in most cases, even a bit of insulation is a good idea, typically around 100 to 200 grams. Thicker socks can also help improve the insulating properties inside the boot, but be sure you get a boot that has a breathable and waterproof membrane. This lets air escape when you start to heat up, which keeps your socks from getting soaked with sweat. How should I clean my boots? First, know that prolonged exposure to moisture is the bane of pretty much all shoe materials. So after you’re safe and warm, be sure to wipe off any lingering snow or water with a microfiber cloth. For deeper cleans, you can use after-market cleaning solutions specific to your boot material, including leather or synthetic fabrics. Leather boots should also be periodically treated with wax to lengthen the life of the product. Why Trust TripSavvy In selecting the best snowshoeing shoes and boots for winter, outdoor writer and gear tester Suzie Dundas looked at dozens of pairs of shoes and boots from well-known and small retailers, prioritizing features like waterproofing, materials, and price. She’s tested many of the shoes on this list and worn footwear from all of the brands. She also talked to other testers of various genders, weights, ages, and skill levels to get a well-rounded perspective of how well the shoes above perform in a variety of conditions. The 8 Best Snowshoes of 2023 Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! 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