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The Truth about Temperature Ratings

The Truth about Temperature Ratings

What do temperature ratings on winter boots really mean? Great question!
Interpreting the difference between a boot rated -40˚F and another rated -4˚F can be confusing even if you're a trained Shoe Fitter! 
winter boot temperature ratings
The truth is, there is no hard and fast rule to measure a winter boot's warmth.
The outside temperature, your activity level and your personal tolerance for cold all affect how long you can stay outside without feeling frosty feet. Temperature ratings are most useful to compare winter boots. 

While it's helpful to know whether a boot has 200 or 400 or 600 grams of insulation, that alone doesn't tell the whole story.  Other features like the thickness of the sole, whether it's waterproof and even how tall the boot is will impact performance.  In fact, many manufacturers are no longer including temperature ratings because the science is so inexact.
ugg adirondack winter boots are rated to -32
The Ugg Adirondack, pictured above, is a favorite of hockey moms and playground parents is super warm AND super stylish!

Most people find that -40˚F boots will keep them warm to about -10˚F assuming that they are active, like walking a dog or sledding.

Boots that are rated to -4˚F typically keep you warm when the temps hit in the 10˚F to 20˚ F range assuming you are moving about and are not someone who gets chilled faster than most.
activity level affects how long a winter boot will keep your feet warm
If you are shoveling after a winter storm, your body heat will help to hold off cold feet!

Staying warm is all about choosing the best footwear to match the Outside Temperature + Activity Level + Personal Tolerance for cold.  For more tips like these, stop in to see a friendly Fit Expert at any of our 4 locations!
For a deeper dive, check out our blog post, How to Buy the Best Winter Boots for You!
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