It is probably because I was always self-conscious of having large feet at a teenager, but I can't bring myself to buy or wear the more functional sorels and I live in one of the coldest climates around.

I am intrigued by the Joan of Arctic and added them as a find months ago after seeing them on a blog.

Two years ago, I bought a pair of these columbia boots and I wear them when it is really cold. I wore them on a -10 day a few weeks ago and my feet were roasting when I was inside while running errands. My feet turn into blocks of ice in winter even indoors but haven't ever been cold in these boots.

ETA: My Columbia boots have been replaced by a second version so I added them as a find. I think I prefer the look of mine but it appears they have added more grip for the newer version.

Comfy feet are happy feet, cold feet or bleeding heel blisters can ruin your day. My favorite snowboots ever are my Merrell Isotherm Mids from 2012, but sadly they have been discontinued.

Here is what I look for:

-- Roomy toe box, anything tight will be cold.

-- Size up 1/2 to 1 size (forget the number, staying warm is paramount!) to allow for sock thickness, a different insole, or foot warmers.

-- Consider how high you need the boot to be. Most urban walking will be on shoveled sidewalks with the occasional snowbank where your leg sinks up to the knee scooping snow over the top of your boot (ugh!) or puddle at the curb that has a hidden 3" pothole, when you expected 1/2" water. OTOH, I find boots that come higher than 5 or 6" restrict my ankle movement, which is important for negotiating uneven and slippery surfaces, so I prefer gaiters with snow pants for deeper snow.

-- Soles must have good traction. Low wide heels when viewed from the back. (I don't find wedge heels to be very stable).

-- A waterproof base is essential, the higher a rubber bottom comes the better.

-- An insulating layer, and thick sole. Cold seems to mostly come up from through the sole.

-- Breathablity when you will be wearing the boots for more than 15-20 minutes.

-- Convenient on-off. Call me lazy, but bending over and getting my fingers in between tight laces gets harder as one ages (and you have to take off your mittens). I like either a slip on that seals with a snug top, or boots where the top attachment is a hook so you can unhook and rehook the laces without retying them.

-- Sport use is a separate topic, but I appreciate my Merrell Isotherms' D-ring at the front of the laces for attaching gaiters, and heel groove for my snowshoes.

Although LLBean's duck boots are in low supply, some sizes and colors of their Storm Chasers are still in stock. I've had a pair of the Slip on Storm Chaser Shoes for over a decade, and they are great for 2-3" of snow or shoveled sidewalks.

Also look at men's or boys' boots if you can find your size.

Boot add-ons to consider:
-- Good socks! or a thin liner sock and thicker insulating sock

-- Gaiters for deeper snow - a nice pair at REI

-- Yak Trax or other crampons for icy conditions

-- Toewarmers or Footwarmers

Angie, here's a link to a Globe and Mail feature on snow boots worn with party clothes. There's juxtaposition for you. The very opposite of what we usually see on the bloggers. Oh, and it's shot in beautiful Banff, Alberta.

They have some really nice looking options, too, including some Cougars. I wore those as a kid and teen. There were some fun colours in the spread.

^ Suz, what a great link! I find it so challenging to style bulky snow boots.

My husband says Sorels. He grew up with -40 winters and says they're reliable, warm, and well made. He still has the Sorels he wore in high school and they're in great shape.

I've loved reading these links! What a great topic!!

Thinking it over, I realize that your recommendations really will depend on where you live and what you do.

DUH! Smart cookie, that Suz.

But, to be more precise, the boots that work to perfection in an urban centre will not work at all in a suburban or rural environment.

I actually found that where I live, I needed 'in between" boots. Boots that would actually work to keep me warm and dry in the cold and snow where I do a lot of walking on UNPLOWED sidewalks or through parkland....but that also would minimum, acceptable with my tucked in skinnies should I want to pop indoors for a quick pub lunch or a visit to some downtown shops. Casual, yes, but not like true gear.

So another requirement was lightweight and slightly streamlined.

OTOH, I also have true gear boots for hiking in snow (or snowshoeing or shovelling) when I am wearing other gear (i.e. snow pants, etc.) These Garmonts are great for that purpose, by the way. But too short to work, in and out of snowbank with regular pants. I need waterproof or at least water-resistant pants with these.

I love the look of gryffin's Uggs and might investigate those. Also liked the taupe Eddie Bauer's.

Also, I completely agree with Laurinda on the necessity of easy on-easy off. When my fingers are cold (and they get cold even faster than my feet) and my nose is dripping from coming inside to the warm air after being in the cold, there is NO WAY I want to battle with complicated lacing or frozen zips. So the laces have to be stretchy/ easy to manipulate.

Great Globe & Mail link Suz, nice to see seasonally appropriate wear in a fashion feature.

I prefer hooks to eyelets, and wanted to share this speed lacing method of securing two hooks at a time for anyone with more than a few hooks on their boots (or skates).
[The photo shows the model of Bort Carleton boots I learned this technique for back in the late '70s, 15 or 16 hooks IIRC and not recommended for snow use! ETA better photo]

Ha, Laurinda, no kidding those are not for snow use. But what fun boots those are -- and what a great technique.

Suz, that's so true about needing different boots for urban vs rural settings. We hardly get snow here, or cold temps, but I can get away with rubber boots and wool socks when it does because everything is ploughed in the city. I also have a pair of waterproof hiking boots that work if the snow isn't too deep - I thnk they're North Face. They've lasted me for more than ten years now.

Little Burgundy has quite a selection online, across a number of brands. http://www.littleburgundyshoes.....ld-weather

i haven't bought snow boots in the last few years but i do think if you live in a snowy climate, you may need different types of snow boots. a pair for lighter snowy days where you are out and about need to keep your boots on the whole time and a pair for shoveling/playing in the snow on heavy snowy days.

This is a new boot for me, but I am really loving them. This is the TEVA Jordanelle 2. They are waterproof, they are warm because they have insulation, and they have an interior lining that comes out and serves as indoor slippers so if you go to a friends house, you can leave the wet, salty section at their front door, and you don't have to worry about your socks getting wet when you take off your boot. Excellent design. I have feet that freeze because I have Raynauds. These really work well. I am very happy with them. I have them in a greyish white not he purple. You can find them all over the place. They make a slightly shorter version called the Jordanelle.


Thank you ALL so much. You gals ROCK. I *really* appreciate your recommendations. I have further questions though, because I need the specific style you like of the brand:

So, Lisa, perhaps you can share the brand of Sorels you and DD love.

Debs, those L.L. Beans are suppose to be top notch. Lucky you got a pair for DD. They are in VERY high demand.

Yes, Suz. I believe the Kamiks are tops. Thanks so much for your detailed stories. You are a champion.

Umlilia, kimmyg50, frannieb, ruby girl, Joyce B, torontogirl, if you can provide a link to specific styles, I'd be grateful.

Keep the recommendations coming.

Thanks again, ladies. I will link to this thread next week, and you can continue the conversations on the blog post. I am sure you’ll be able to help those in need of the right snow boots who don’t know where to start (I would be one of those people). Your knowledge is invaluable. xo

I did paste pictures in my first reply. Here are some Pinterest pics that illustrate how we roll out here in the Prairies:) That's me in the first pic with the long hair and cool fur trim jacket .

Thanks for this thread topic. My old Stuart Weitzman boots--10 years old--died. I've been putting off replacing them. I only spend a few days each winter in Chicago and occasionally in Salt Lake, so I don't want to spend a lot of money on boots. Those Sorels look good.

As I get older I have a definite fear of falling--I'm no longer used to walking in snow or on slippery driveways, so my dressier boots just won't do it.

I also have a fear of frozen toes.

My bestever snow boots have been a pair of Morlands waterproof real sheepskin boots made in England that I thrifted years ago. They are warm with the fleece inside and hit mid calf on me, tall enough to get through those piles of snow pushed up by the plows. They have a thick grippy sole too. My pad is not copying the link but I will try to add it later from the computer.
When I Googled the Morlands name I see that they are still made in Glastonbury.

I have Sorels. They are very warm and I don't slip on the ice. Mine are not fashionable. They are black snowmobile type. I can't link. Sorry. My friend who was a nurse in the Artic (Baffin Island) has the same ones in white. They last forever. Serious boots.

I have been looking for something to wear for everyday that is warm but doesn't look so scary. Mark's Work Warehouse has some.

I tried on the Pajar in Montreal. No support for my poor feet. Nice styles.

I've had the same pair of black mid-height Sorels for years. They are warm and great in the snow. I don't wear them much around here but wear them up at Whistler in the winter. Can't find a link they are that old.... I like that I can fit bootcut jeans over the top. Strangely enough I wear my looser bootcuts a lot in the snow b/c I can fit my longjohns underneath.

Wow! I'm glad I bought my bean boots right after my move back in September then; at the time there wasn't a waiting list at all.

I don't have the years of living in a cold climate experience, but I just wanted to let you know that I tried on the Sorel Cate the Great, and while I actually loved the look (so rustic!), they were far too heavy to be arthritis-friendly (my hips were in noticeable pain within ten minutes of test-walking in them). So if you have any clients with rheumatoid arthritis or hip joint issues, you might want to pay attention to weight & opt for the lighter brands.

Sorrels. At least for my cold and snowy climate.

They don't sell the pair I have anymore, but I have had them for several years and they are still going strong. Go halfway up my calf doe snow protection and are lined all the way down through my toes.

I like my Sorrels so much, I got DD a pair for her to play in the snow with. They keep her feet nice and toasty warm.

I have Sorels, Uggs. Merrells and Kamiks. For truly functional snow boots, the Kamiks win on price, weight, waterproofness and warmth. They are not quite as fashionable as other boots, but they are the boots I wear to do anything truly cold like sled or stand around watching the Iditarod.

Angie, I cannot link from my phone but what I have are the Timberland Women's Waterproof Nellie Chukka Double Boots in black in my size and another model which is the same look but with five shoelace wholes instead of four and two back of the leg cushions instead of one in the Nellies.
I have the five shoelace wholed ones in brown, half a size up and in wide width. If the weather allows but I want traction and I want to look a bit nicer I wear the Nellies with thin socks. If it's snowing but not a blizard I wear the brown ones with my hand-knit socks or with my ski socks. If it's a blizard I wear my Sorels which are rough work boots with a wool liner and change into more comfortable shoes at work.
The Nellies come in pretty colors too, I added picts of them. They have some for 99 bucks in Macys, but not all the colors.
The last ones are my Sorels, they last forever but they give me a backache if I wear them for too long.
I see that the Kamik get Una's approval, I really need to check them out now although they don't seem to be for wide feet...

Another vote for Kamik's. I bought a pair last year based on Una's and Suz's recommendation. I bought the Viennas, but it looks like they've been replaced with the Vienna 2's.

I like them because they are warm, lightweight, and not terribly expensive. Note that I am a big "shoe/boot" swapper, because I often ride my bike to work, even in the snow and cold. My feet are always warm, even riding my bike in 0F weather.

Just wanted to add another couple of suggestions, over and above the famous Sorel's (which of course I also have).

Last year I got a pair of Cushe's, They are rated to -30C, and are extremely comfortable, and waterproof. A picture of mine is below (#1), however I don't see this style available anymore. But I'm sure it's a brand worth recommending.

And for dressier winter boots, I recommend Valdini. They are dress boots, but warm and waterproof. So really useful for when you need to look good, not so much for shoveling the driveway I got these ones this year:

I've also had good luck with Cougar's... Currently have the style "Storm".

I wear leather UGG shearling lined boots when it is really cold and showy and when I am outside in the snow a lot (like walking in the park). It does not look like they are available anywhere but this is a link to a blog featuring them:
In addition to shearling lining the also have foil thermal soles ander the shearling which makes wonder in keeping the feet warm - and my feet are very easy to get numb from the cold!
Otherwise it is my Blondo boots all the way! My flat boots are 2 years old and were tested in slushy weather - the worst for the footwear when you have a mix of snow and water you need to get through. They passed with flying colors and I am a firm Blondo fan now!
I also got dressy Blondo boots this year and hope they will be as good in winter as the flat ones but I did not have a chance to test them in the snow yet (which I am not complaining about AT ALL!)
Blondo Nalia
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My snow boots are Rieker Sybille from Zappos. This is the third winter for them. They are very warm and super comfortable. I tramped all over Buffalo in them last February lots of slush and snow and they did not leak. I live in PA and we have already had some snow. I find that I reach for them even when it isn't snowing or wet as they are my most comfortable and warm boots.
They are reasonably stylish, I have worn them with a wool skirt and a sweater but usually wear them with skinny's.

Many, many thanks, ladies. Watch for the post on Wed. xo

I feel like I live in snow boots. We already have so much snow here.
I have tried loads over the years.
In rotation at the moment:
1. Kamiks
I have the ones that Suz has linked to. I also bought them on Una's recommendation and they are wonderful. They replaced an expensive boot from Mountain equipment coop that were so heavy that it was difficult to drive in. They are so lightweight - that is a huge plus. I have them in the charcoal. I had to size up a full size in these boots.
2. Pajar short boots
I have a pair of combat style Pajar boots. They are leather with sheepwool inside - not faux lining. These boots are about 8 years old and are in fabulous condition. I admit to do nothing to help them along.
3. Pajar tall boots
These are tall with a wedge heel and also about 8 years old. They are leather with sheepwool lining.

I have recently got these Uggs ad love them. I haven't tested them in snow weather yet, only rain, but the leather is indeed waterproof. The foot part is lined in shearling which makes them very cozy. They do feel a bit heavy. I like that they are sleeker than most snow boots out there.

UGG Elsa
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