Insulation and heat protection are two of the most important elements when considering your winter weather boot purchase. Boot manufacturers have different types of insulation for different kinds of boots so that you can choose the heat-trapper that’s right for your winter work. Most boots will include the weight of insulation within the description. Follow our guide to understanding winter weather boot insulation.
Winter Weather Boot Insulation
- 200 grams: insulation meant for high activity in cooler temperatures
- 400 grams: insulation for moderate activity in cold temperatures
- 600 grams: insulation for low activity in cold temperatures
- 800 grams: insulation for low activity in very cold temperatures
- 1000+ grams: insulation for very low activity in extremely cold temperatures
Danner and LaCrosse both use Thinsulate Insulation which is a lightweight material that’s designed to absorb very little water. These boots are great for cold, damp conditions. Thinsulate is an incredibly durable material, so your boots will provide you with lasting protection.
Merrell boots utilize their M-Select WARM technology that traps body heat by using reflective micro-spaces. Merrell’s technology delivers the warmth back to the user without adding extra weight.
Muck boots are insulated with CR flex-foam, which is a buoyant and lightweight self-insulating bootie. The bootie keeps your foot and lower leg warm and protected from the cold, wet conditions outside. Look for temperature ratings on the side of your Muck boot.
Columbia’s patented Omni-Heat is a form of insulation and lining that regulates the user’s body temperature by reflecting body heat and wicking moisture.
KEEN uses one of two insulation types unique to their company: KEEN.Warm or Heat Trapolator. KEEN.Warm provides 350 grams upper insulation and 400 grams toe insulation. This lightweight insulation is made from charcoal bamboo. Heat Trapolator provides 3 layers of innovative heat trapping materials -- thermal as the heat shield, wool as the insulator layer, and honeycomb as the loft layer -- to give users 360 degree insulation.
How do I pick the best winter work boot?
Decide on your winter boots by first considering what types of activities and tasks you’ll need your boots for, as well as what type of weather you’ll be working in.
Lightweight winter boots or insulated hiking boots are better for long walks or activity in shallow snow. Lightweight boots will provide users with moderate temperature protection. You can also use gaiters for added protection.
If you’re taking short walks in deep snow, or working in sub-freezing temperatures, look to investing in a heavy-duty pac boot with thick insulation.
You should test your boots to make sure they’re waterproof. See if your boots have a DWR (durable water repellant) by squeezing some water on the surface of the upper. If the water beads and rolls off, your boots have a DWR. If not, you should treat your winter boots with a DWR spray before wearing them out in the snow or wet conditions.