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How to Size and Fit Snow Boots?

Snow boots are a necessary addition to your footwear collection when it comes to braving the elements. Solid, robust and designed to keep your feet warm and dry with a super thick, cosy fleece lining, they’re an absolute life-saver during winter.

But how do you buy snow boots that you know are durable, going to fit well and look stylish? Sometimes buying snow boots can be confusing as they’re not your standard-style boot.

Here we take a look at how to choose the best snow boots for you, how they should be fitted and what to look out for when buying – among other frequently asked questions.

What size snow boots should I buy?

Choosing the right size of winter boots can be tricky business. You may be confused as to whether snow boots run big or small or tempted to go up a size larger to accommodate thick socks. However, this is unnecessary. Sticking to your everyday shoe size should be fine. Many winter boots are designed to just slip on because, more often than not, the sole of the boot and the boot upper are made from the same piece of hardened rubber. This ensures maximum waterproofing and protection against any hidden obstacles or debris. They’ll likely also have a neoprene, leather or waterproof textile collar too for added comfort. Because they slip on, show boots are generally made slightly larger than other types of footwear to allow you to get your foot in comfortably.

Is my boot size the same as my shoe size?

This very much depends on the style of snow boots you’re buying. winter boots are designed to be a wider, roomier fit to make room for the thick fleece lining and any socks that you may choose to wear. The idea that you should leave room to accommodate socks is totally unfounded when it comes to winter boots. Don’t be tempted to size up as too much movement of the boot can cause sores.


How to Size and Fit Snow Boots

How loose should my snow boots be?

Loose fitting winter boots are a big no-no. Due to the change in how you walk when wearing winter boots, oversized boots are a potential tripping hazard. Any added unsteadiness is definitely not needed when it comes to winter weather. A one-finger width gap down the heel of the shoe is the maximum wiggle room you should leave. The same rules apply for fitting kids’ winter boots, too.

Are snow boots true to size?

This will come down to the style of snow boots you choose. For example, zip-up winter boots can’t be secured to the foot as easily as Velcro fastening winter boots or lace ups. There’s also a slight difference between brands. If you’re ordering winter boots online, the best thing to do is try them on with the socks you intend to wear the boots with. This will give you a better idea of how they fit and if they suit the shape of your foot.


How Should winter shoes Fit?

winter shoes

winter shoes should hug your foot comfortably, providing both support and insulation. A looser fitting boot will offer greater warmth and comfort but will cause problems when walking longer distances. Snow boots that are too tight will lead to circulation issues and problems walking.

To find the right balance, always fit snow boots while you’re wearing appropriate socks (as in the socks you’ll be wearing when you wear the boots). Make sure you have enough room to wiggle your toes comfortably.

Snow boots come in a variety of height fittings, from ankle length to above the calf. They should always go over your trouser hem to ensure full protection – some winter shoes will also come with a drawstring pull around the cuff to help seal the heat in and keep the cold out.

All winter shoes should have a supportive insole for comfort. This is useful when walking long distances as it will help keep your foot in place while walking – offering you extra support. For more information, check out these fitting guides for men’s shoes and women’s boots.

How can I check my new winter shoes fit correctly?

There are a few ways to check to make sure your snow boots fit correctly.

  • The kick test. Once your winter shoes
  • are on and securely fastened, gently kick a wall. If your toes hit the end of the boot, you may find they rub while walking. This means there’s too much room, so consider a smaller size.
  • Check your heel space.

    Before fastening your boots, push your foot forward and see how much space you have around your heel. One finger should fit comfortably. If it doesn’t fit, they’re too tight. If you have extra room, it may be worth considering a smaller size. Your heel should also stay in place if you rock the foot up and down, movement of the heel can cause blisters making it uncomfortable to walk.

  • Wiggle your toes. Once the boots have been fastened, stand up and wiggle your toes. You should be able to do this easily. There shouldn’t be any pressure points on the toes or widest part of your foot. If there is, you might need a wider fitting pair of snow boots.

winter shoes

How do I choose winter shoes for wide and narrow feet?

 When buying snow boots for narrow feet or snow boots for wider feet, always make the effort to shop around and try on a large range of different styles to find your perfect fit. Be sure to walk around in every pair your try on to give you a feel for how the shoes will fit when you’re on the go. This will ensure you can comfortably rely on your snow boots when you need them most.

To find the best pair of winter shoes, it’s always best to know what you’re looking for and what type or style will suit you. Following our easy snow boot sizing and fitting tips, you’ll definitely be set for anything the weather throws at you, come ice rain or the fiercest of blizzards.

The extra insulation in snow boots means you can wear them in cold temperatures too, even when it’s not snowing, making them a great investment for all kinds of chilly winter weather.

Check out our guide to winter-proofing your shoes or our top tops for buying winter boots for more cold weather footwear advice from Shoe Zone.