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Are Snow Boots Good for Hiking? (All You Need to Know)

In winter, no matter how much snow builds up on your way, a pair of snow boots will keep your feet warm and dry. If you are thinking about taking a long walk or hiking in the snow and thinking let’s give those snow boots a try then this article is for you. Let’s see if snow boots are any good and answer all the popular hiking-related inquiries.

Are snow boots good for hiking?

Snow boots are effective on snow, even on mud but when it comes to hiking or long-distance walking, it’s better to avoid using one. Snow boots have a heavy build & are pretty well insulated for keeping the feet warm. These qualities may work great on snow but for hiking, it would be troublesome. 

Do snow boots work for hiking?

The qualities of snow boots that make it so effective on snow, the same qualities of the snow boots kinda backfire when it comes to hiking. First, the insulation provided on the snow boots keeps the feet warm so that you can avoid frostbite but for hiking or long walk wearing such boots will make your feet sweaty and vulnerable to fungal and other infection.

Now about the heavy build of snow boots, wearing and walking a heavy snow boot will drain all your stamina in no time, you won’t be able to continue your hiking due to fatigue and all credit goes to the heavyweight snow boots. so choose the right pair of shoes for hiking, snow boots are made for walking on snow only.

Can I wear snow boots for hiking?

For hiking, you would need a pair of boots that has the ability to provide proper ankle support, comfortable and lightweight. Snow boots possess a heavy-duty build and are mainly manufactured for walking on ice. The insulation, water, and air-tight built of the snow boots prevent the snow, mud, or even water from infiltrating inside.

You might think that wearing snow boots will prevent your feet from getting wet and other sorts of things, and the heavy-duty build is sure to prevent any sharp object from penetrating and harming you, this might be true but for hiking it’s gonna be quite troublesome to deal with.

You won’t be able to walk too much of a distance with a heavy pair of boots, and if the boots are insulated then you will surely have sweaty feet. It’s impractical to use a snow boot for hiking, you can choose a decent quality hiking boot for your journey

Are hiking boots and snow boots the same?

In terms of building material, design quality, and purpose, both hiking boots, and snow boots have a significant difference. Snow boots have a heavy-duty build and the manufacturing process is mainly focused on making them as insulated as possible.

Snow boots are used in winter and the sole purpose of these boots is to keep your feet warm and protect them from frostbite. The hiking boots are mainly used for long-distance walks. Hiking boots are comfortable, lightweight, and breathable.

Hiking boots are also equipped with ankle support features. So there is a significant amount of difference between snow boots and hiking boots, they are not the same.

Hiking boots VS Snow boots

 Build quality:

snow boots are built with heavy-duty material, rubber sole, seal cuff so that they can protect your feet from the shivering cold and prevent any chance of frostbite. 

Hiking boots are more focused on comfort and breathability. They are lightweight, equipped with ankle support, and designed to give you a pleasant walking experience for long periods.


snow boots are well insulated. A pair of snow boots can give you warm and dry feet even in a shivering cold. You can easily walk on a large build-up of ice or even on mud without getting your feet dirty. The main fear of walking on ice is getting frostbite, a normal pair of boots might not be that much effective against fighting off the risk but a snow boot surely can save you from that and many more. 

Hiking boots are less insulated and more breathable compared to snow boots. While hiking, you would be wearing a hiking boot for a long time, so comfortability, giving your feet, toes enough room to stretch, and don’t get too sweaty is the primary goal.

Weight difference:

heavy-duty build and compact insulation make the snow boots heavier.

Hiking boots are designed to be as lightweight as possible. It will be easy to wear and carry.  

What kind of boots should I wear for winter hiking?

When it comes to hiking you should always choose a comfortable pair of boots, it should also give you proper ankle support and be waterproof.

However, when you are thinking about hiking in winter you can’t always rely on traditional hiking boots. You would need boots with satisfactory insulation and winter protection. You can check out the list below, these boots will cost you from $150 to $200. If you want something more robust you can set your budget from $400 to $500.

  • The North Face Chilkat 
  • Vasque Snowburban 
  • Columbia Powderhouse Titanium
  • Merrell Thermo Glacier
  • KEEN Revel IV Polar
  • La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX Mountaineering Boots

What can I wear if I don’t have snow boots?

If you don’t have a snow boot at your disposal you can always rely on leather boots, rain boots, and high-quality hiking boots. Snow boots provide waterproof, airtight, and warm conditions for your feet, making them less vulnerable to any kind of frostbite.

When you are looking for an alternative for a snow boot make sure they keep your feet dry and warm. If you are wearing leather boots or high-quality hiking boots you can always put on some decent quality woolen socks for comfort.

Are Sorel boots good for hiking?

Compared to general hiking boots, a pair of Sorel boots design will be more focused on insulation and waterproofing. Sorel boots might be durable, made with heavy-duty and long-lasting material but when it comes to hiking it won’t be that much of an effective choice.

For hiking, you need boots that can provide proper ankle support, lightweight, comfortable, keep your deers dry and give enough room for your toes to stretch.

A regular hiking boot may include all the necessary qualities to make your hiking effortless and comfortable but Sorel boots may lack a huge chunk of those specific design qualities required to be an ideal hiking boot.

Which Sorel boots are best for hiking? 

Sorel boots don’t hold that much merit for being hiking boots. However, modern designs and manufacturers are trying their best to improve the overall design quality and adaptability of the Sorel boots.

New designs are focused on adding ankle support and using durable and lightweight material for making these boots. The waterproof, and insulation are also being improved to give you dry and less sweaty feet. If you are interested you can check the list below. 

You can get one of these for $50 to $400. Most of these boys are unisex, can be used by both males and females. 

  • Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry Snow Boot
  • L.L.Bean Alpine Hiking Boots
  • La Sportiva Makalu Boots
  • The North Face Chilkat III
  • Manfen Lightweight Waterproof Hiking Boots
  • Salomon Toundra Pro CS WP Boot

Are winter boots good for hiking?

Winter boots are more of a designer fancy boots. These boots are made for walking on normal ground and giving a satisfying warmth. you can’t just go and walk on snow with your winter boots, these are made for light and casual use only. 

Hiking boots are designed with ankle support and durability, they are also lightweight, comfortable, and breathable for your feet. Winter boots lack ankle support, durability and also have minimal insulation.

Snow boots are a far better choice to walk on snowy or muddy terrain than winter boots. Similarly, hiking boots are far better and properly equipped for hiking and you should avoid wearing winter boots if you are going for a long hike. 

Hope you got the overall gist and can thoughtfully decide the right pair of boots for your journey. Keep in mind that Snow boots are for keeping your feet warm and prevent the snow or ice-cold water from getting inside of your boots.

The biggest threat in the snow is frostbite and snow boots are the best choices for a walk in snow. However, for long walks, always pick hiking boots with proper ankle support and comfortability. Wishing you the best of luck on your journey.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are Snow Boots Good for Rain?

Are Snow Boots Necessary?

Are Snow Boots Slip Resistant?

Are Snow Boots Waterproof?