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How To Choose The Best Winter Boots For YOU!

How To Choose The Best Winter Boots For YOU!

After 45 years of selling footwear in Vermont, Danform Shoes has learned a thing or two about helping customers into the best seasonal boots, shoes, clogs and sandals for year-round comfort. And, as snow-stomping New Englanders ourselves, every Danform team member is an expert at recommending their favorite winter boots for any kind of snowy activity!

Remember that you likely need more than one pair of winter boots to happily survive until May when spring returns!  The boots that are perfect for walking downtown on a snowy day will disappoint if you are trekking in the icy woods.  Our fit experts find it helps to break winter footwear into categories based on activity, outdoor temperature and tolerance for cold.

Sledding, Shoveling and Outdoor Play

These classic snow boots are insulated and have a heavier tread to keep your feet warm when the temperatures are 20°F or less.  Your feet will stay happy during an extended snowball fight - and won't overheat when you trek up and down the sledding hill!  Our Fit Experts have styles on hand for big feet and little ones - when you stop in at our kids winter boot department, you'll find every pattern from daisies to dinosaurs!

danform shoes bogs kids winter boots

FIT TIP:  When it comes to happy kids playing outside in the snow, it's all in the layers. The magic combination of hats, mittens, long underwear and boots takes the day from traumatic to terrific.  M & Ms help too. 

Everyday Winter Boots

While not the warmest boots you can buy, boots in the everyday collection are "warm enough" for more extended time outside when the temperatures fall in the 30° to 40° F range.  Lighter than a sledding boot and more mobile, these boots also have moderate insulation that works if you're meeting a friend outside to walk and then stopping indoors for coffee.  

stylish winter boots danform shoes

 I'll take mine practical with a side of stylish, please.

There's no shame in looking good.  Because sometimes you need a little extra motivation to get outside.  Take a peek at some of our most popular stylish winter boots!

 Urban Winter Boots

Urban street boots are an up and coming category that ecompasses both crossover hikers and lug soled boots with dependable rubber traction.  Urban hikers from brands like Oboz and Keen are great to wear to work or for casual outings that will include indoor and outdoor settings.  Wear them to the office then happily stop at the local brewery when it's quitting time. 

Lug soled boots, like the classic Blundstone, are lightweight and water resistant for those winter days when you are outside for shorter stretches and moving around enough to keep the chill from creeping into your toes. A street-ready grippy rubber tread is ideal when you are moving from outdoors to inside running errands or heading out for dinner on a winter night.  Blundstones are a perennial favorite because their leather upper and lug sole stands up to slush and their chameleon style works for so many tastes.

Snowshoeing and Winter Hiking

Specially designed for winter sports, these snowshoeing boots and winter hiking boots are typically waterproof and have a more custom fit so that your feet are protected when you're deep in the woods making the most of your winter days!

Boots from Keen, Merrell and Oboz are top picks from our adventure seeking customers!

Winter Boots to Walk the Dog

Our four-legged bosses require us to have just the right combination of grip and maneuverability underfoot.  Most dedicated dog walkers need one pair of boots for everyday and another pair for the icier days.  When you walk your pooch on a daily basis, wearing boots with added winter traction is a worthy investment!  If you are an avid dog walker, be sure to check out our blog specifically geared for our dog loving friends.

snow boots for dog walking

Cold Weather Work Boots

 When you work hard outdoors, you need boots that work as hard as you do.  Our insulated work boot collection from Keen and Carolina will keep your feet warm and your workload productive!   Safety and steel toed work boots are always on hand, as well as plain toe models.  

Keen Davenport Winter Work Boots

Slip On By the Door Boots

That quick dash to the mailbox is one step quicker when you have an easy slip-on snow clog in your winter boot quiver. While not high enough to wear in a snow drift, you'll get more wear than you imagine from this handy little mud room staple.

danform shoes slip on snow clogs

High Traction Winter Boots

Our Winter Traction Center is your one stop shop for high grip winter footwear that will keep you safe all winter long.  We never know when a thaw will be followed by a deep freeze, leaving an icy trail of black ice in its wake.  Be prepared and be safe.  You don't want to miss our gripping blog post on Traction Footwear. 

The right set of winter boots might be the difference between a long, cold winter and a happy season exploring Vermont's scenery. Something that is sure to bring a little light to your sole - couldn't resist! -  just when you need it.

Winter Boots for Seniors

A daily dose of fresh air keeps our seniors on their toes in more ways than one, but winter streets can be difficult to navigate without proper footwear.   Some of our seniors shuffle, others skedaddle, but they all need safe grippy footwear to reduce the chance of an unexpected fall on slippery streets.  Our fit experts have a keen eye for matching our older customers to just the right shoe.  Stop in or give us a call to talk about the best non-slip boots for golden agers!

winter boots for seniors

Winter Boots for College Students

Yes, we know college students are notoriously impractical about their cold weather footwear, but we meet enough of them living in a university town that we understand the delicate balance between their fashion standards and functional footwear.  Check out our Ugg and Blundstone-centric collection of the best winter boots for college students!

winter boots for college students

Winter Boots for Plantar Fasciitis

Once you've felt the pain of Plantar Fasciitis, or any other foot related injury, we recommend preventative footwear to recover and stay healthy. We carry selected orthotic quality insulated shoes and boots to support your feet on those snowy days, but keep in mind that you can add an orthotic to any winter shoe or boot that has a removable footbed.  Because you need a full quiver of shoes to keep your arch supported winter, spring, summer and fall, make sure to read our blogs on Plantar Fasciitis footwear for cold weather and Arch Supporting shoes and sandals for spring!

Other Considerations When Buying Winter Boots and Snow Boots

What is the difference between Waterproof vs Water-Resistant Winter Boots?

While waterproof boots have the obvious advantage of keeping your feet dry, they can also be less breathable, which can ironically mean that your feet sweat and become...wet!   How does the winter boot buyer solve this conundrum?  We take a deep dive into all aspects of keeping your feet dry when the weather is soggy in our expert blog post on waterproof footwear!  

A Note About Manufacturer Temperature Ratings

Manufacturer temperature ratings are always a point of confusion for boot shoppers.  The best way to use temperature ratings is to compare boots to determine which is warmer. A -40°F boot will keep your feet warm longer than a -10°F, but because of the three factors we'll cover next, a temperature rating is a guide, not a guarantee. 

What is Your Personal Tolerance for Cold?

  • While some of us long to warm our frosty feet by the fire well before the rest of the crowd, others folks happily wear Converse high tops year round. You need to decide where you fall on the spectrum. If you always have cold feet, you may need to consider a warmer boot  for your everyday wear even if the temperature ratings seem lower than you expect to find. Our customers with diabetes, Raynauld’s syndrome and seniors often find they need one step warmer boot.

boots for snowshoeing

How Active Will You Be?

  • Winter snow boots are your armor from the cold. The longer you stay outside (sleigh ride in the winter followed by a walk through the woods), the warmer the boot you need. The more you stand still (snowmobiling across the lake), the warmer the boot you need.On the flip side, activities like snowshoeing will heat your body up faster and will not require as warm a boot. 
  •  If you are prone to cold feet and are going to be outside for a lengthy time, make sure your boot is substantial enough to keep you warm. If you are going to be active, take that into account too!  You don’t want to overheat.

What is the Outside Temperature?

  • Remember that you are buying for a temperature range which includes winter's fickle highs and lows. The typical northern winter has temperatures between 0°F and 30°F. 

As you can see, building a winter boot quiver requires some careful analysis.  Exactly what do you need underfoot to happily spending time under a sunny sky rather than settling onto the sofa all winter long? Don't get us wrong - we love our lounge time too, but we like to earn it!  


Being dedicated cold weather dwellers, we walk the talk when it comes to winter boots.  We have walked that cold mile in your shoes and we love to share what we've learned!  Browse our online collection of winter boots or come shop in person at any of our 4 Locations for an even larger selection.  Have questions about keeping your feet warm in the winter?  Get in touch - we're happy to help!

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