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No matter what kind of fishing you’re into, adequate weather protection is the key to a comfortable, safe day out. For ice fishermen, that means investing in a pair of boots capable of keeping out the cold and wet for hours at a time — many of which are spent standing still. Traction is another important feature, as slippery conditions are inevitably part of the experience. In this article, we look at the best ice fishing boots on the market, ranging from styles designed especially for extreme temperatures to those that prioritize lightness and flexibility.
Best Overall: Baffin Men’s Control Max Insulated Boots
Baffin Men’s Control Max Insulated Boots are a tried-and-tested favorite with excellent reviews on Amazon. Many users specifically recommend them for ice fishing and attest to their ability to keep your feet warm even after hours of inactivity. Indeed, with a temperature rating of -94ºF/-70ºC, these boots are some of the warmest on the market. Made from full-grain insulated leather, they are exceptionally durable and fully waterproof (useful if you plan on trekking through slushy snow to reach your fishing spot). The seam-sealed upper connects to a rubber base with grooves and ridges for superb traction.
At 12 inches in height, the boots allow for great freedom of movement. The multi-layer liner is another perk. As well as being incredibly comfortable, it can be removed on warmer days. This also comes in handy if you suffer from sweaty feet and want to clean and/or dry the inside of your boots when you get home. Choose worn brown or black and use the multi D-ring lace fastening to achieve a secure fit.
Best Budget: Kamik Men’s NationPlus Boots
Kamik Men’s NationPlus Boots are one of the best-rated cold weather options for under $100. They are suitable for temperatures as low as -40ºF/-40ºC, although some Amazon reviewers report that their feet got cold after several hours of inactivity in temperatures towards the lower end of that spectrum. Insulation comes in the form of a removable 3M Thinsulate liner, which provides 1.5 times the warmth of down. A flexible synthetic rubber shell and suede upper provide 100 percent waterproofing backed by sealed seams that keep out water and snow.
Inside, the lining wicks moisture and the footbed is antimicrobial, keeping your feet sweat and odor-free throughout the day. These properties also help to make Kamik NationPlus boots suitable for more active winter pursuits (such as tobogganing and snow-shoveling), adding to the overall value of your investment. Other highlights include a SNOWTREAD sole and a rust-proof lacing system that makes it easy to get the boots on and off quickly. They are dark brown in color and stand 11.5 inches tall.
Best for Extreme Cold: SOREL Men’s Intrepid Explorer Extreme Snow Boots
Specially designed for the kind of weather conditions that take no prisoners, the SOREL Men’s Intrepid Explorer Extreme Snow Boot is rated to -100ºF/-73.3ºC. The shaft measures 15.5 inches in height, allowing you to walk through deep snow without it getting in over the top. As added insurance, the PU-backed synthetic textile upper features an in-built gaiter with a barrel lock closure system. Use the closure system like a drawstring to secure the boot snugly against your calf. The lace-up upper is also seam-sealed to be fully waterproof.
Inside, the boots feature removable molded EVA footbeds that can be easily cleaned and dried and offer exceptional comfort. The removable Omni-Heat reflective liner is the key to the boots’ amazing warmth, using clever technology to retain your own thermal energy. The base is made of durable rubber with a multi-directional lug sole that promises enhanced traction in icy weather. Amazon reviewers report that this stylish black/red quartz ice fishing boot typically fits large, so consider ordering down if you wear a half size.
Best for Deep Snow: Muck Boot Men’s Arctic Pro Hunting Boots
Muck Boot Men’s Arctic Pro Boots are made for hunters but their ability to keep your feet toasty even when standing still for hours at a time makes them ideal for ice fishing, too. With a total height of 17 inches, they’re the tallest boots on this list and the perfect fit for trekking through deep snow to reach your nearest lake. A stretch-fit top-line hugs your calf, keeping heat in and slush out. The bottom half of the boot is made from durable rubber and the top half from synthetic fabric. Both are 100 percent waterproof and incredibly lightweight.
Lined with 8mm four-way stretch thermal foam and a layer of cozy fleece, these boots have been tested in the Arctic and Antarctica. They will protect you from the cold in temperatures as low as -58ºF/-50ºC; while a cushioned EVA midsole ensures that you’re as comfortable as you are warm. The rubber outsole is molded for added grip and features reinforcements at natural wear points including the instep, heel and Achilles tendon. Choose bark, camo or brown.
Best Lightweight: Kamik Men’s Greenbay 4 Cold Weather Boots
Available in black, charcoal or triple black, the Kamik Men’s Greenbay 4 Cold Weather Boots are made in Canada for withstanding Arctic winters. The brand’s flexible Rubber(He) shell is 50 percent lighter than natural rubber, reducing fatigue and affording unparalleled freedom of movement. It’s also 100 percent waterproof, as is the 600-denier nylon upper. The latter is also naturally snow-shedding, which helps to prevent ice build-up from weighing you down.
Each boot weighs 31 ounces and stands 14 inches tall. A drawcord cuff on the top keeps the snow out, while an adjustable Velcro closure strap located at the ankle helps to ensure a snug fit that won’t slip even on long treks to and from your fishing spot. The boots are rated to -40ºF/-40ºC and include an 8mm Thermal Guard felt liner. The liner wicks moisture to prevent sweating, reduce odor and keep the boots dry on the inside. It’s also removable, so you can make the boots a little less toasty with the arrival of spring. The Rubber(He) outsole is molded for added traction.
Best Short Boot: LaCrosse Men’s Hunt Pac Extreme Boots
Standing at 10 inches, the LaCrosse Men’s Hunt Pac Extreme Boots are the shortest on this list. They are the ideal fit for those that don’t need the extra protection afforded by a longer shaft and prefer the unrestricted movement of a short boot. The exterior is crafted from full-grain leather with 1,000-denier nylon panels for excellent durability. The Dry-Core lining is a 100 percent waterproof barrier that prevents water from seeping in while also allowing moisture to escape - providing a dual solution for keeping your feet dry.
The secret to the boots’ incredible warmth (attested to by multiple Amazon reviewers) is their 2,000-gram Thinsulate Ultra lining. A removable EVA footbed adds extra insulation and comfort. On the bottom, an Ice Grip outsole features a special lug pattern that sheds snow and debris while also offering superior traction in slippery late season conditions. With their Mossy Oak Break-Up pattern, the boots are perfect for hunting as well as ice fishing and tip the scales at 43 ounces each. Reviewers report a narrow fit so consider sizing up.
Best for Ladies: Muck Boot Women’s Arctic Sport Tall Snow Boots
While most of the boots on this list are designed with men in mind, the Muck Boot Women’s Arctic Sport Tall Snow Boots recognize that ladies like to ice fish, too. Sized and shaped for women’s feet, the boots stand at a flattering 16 inches in height and feature a lightweight design that’s a lot more stylish than most clumpy winter boot styles. They don’t just look good, however. Rated to -40ºF/-40ºC, they offer a 100 percent waterproof rubber and synthetic fabric construction and a ridged outsole for perfect traction.
The cozy fleece lining works in conjunction with a 5mm neoprene inner boot to provide excellent insulation, while the stretch-fit top-line keeps cold air out and conserves your natural body heat. Revel in the support afforded by the EVA molded midsole, then use the pull tab to get the boots on and off quickly. Colors include black with feminine acai purple or pink accents; or a practical black/black for ladies that prefer a more gender-neutral look.
Best for Kids: SOREL Yoot Pac Nylon Cold Weather Boots
Keen to introduce your little one to the joys of winter fishing as soon as possible? Make sure they stay warm out on the ice with SOREL’s Yoot Pac Nylon Boots. Available in a range of sizes for toddlers, small children and kids up to the age of 12, the boots feature a removable 9mm inner made from recycled felt and topped with a Sherpa Pile snow cuff. The inner is fully washable and provides insulation for temperatures as low as -40ºF/-40ºC.
The exterior of the boot comprises a vulcanized rubber outsole with a herringbone pattern that helps kids to stay on their feet even when the ice is wet. The uppers are made from synthetic textile backed with waterproof PU leather overlays. Sealed seams ensure that your little one’s feet remain dry by keeping out slush, snow, and water, while the drawstring lace system allows for a snug fit. The boots are light enough to make walking easy for even the smallest children. Choose from a range of colors, including black, collegiate navy/sail red and gray.