Being confident in not just the comfort of your snowmobile boots, but also in their ability to protect your feet and ankles can really impact your performance when out on the snow. Deciding on if you want a boot that is comfortable off your snowmobile as well as on can really lead to some complex questions about the perfect trade off.
Due to the rugged environment and extreme weather conditions you may encounter, choosing the best snowmobile boots can require a lot of searching and comparison. You want boots that are going to keep out the wet and cold, provide good support for all parts of your feet and are reasonably flexible, but are all these aspects available in one boot?
THINGS TO CONSIDER
When looking for the right snowmobile boot, it is worth considering the “balances” you want: flexibility or support? Breathability or waterproofing? And many more.
Getting the right balance to suit your needs can make all the difference between a fun day out skimming over the snow or a uncomfortable chore that you can’t wait to be over. If you make the right choice, a suitable set of snowmobile boots can be your most valued piece of gear.
Being on a snowmobile is completely different from spending a day playing in the snow or digging out your driveway. When driving, your lower limbs tend to stay in a fairly static position whilst the bulk of movement is confined to the torso and arms. With this in mind, you should think about how your new boots are going to actually wear themselves in and do they provide enough shock protection for your feet and forward flex for your ankle.
Spending time in the snow means that water and wetness is going to be a major part of your day. Make sure that both your boot (and even more so your inset sleeve/sock) is not only going to keep out the spraying snow, but also ensure that snow can’t get into the top of your boot. Well placed protection at the front of the boot really doesn’t help if there is easy access for snow and errant moisture to get in through the top.
Weight & Size
Many top brand snow and snowmobile boots come built in with moulding technology. This means that after wearing your boots in, they will be perfectly fitted for your feet. Make sure you are getting a boot that is not too loose otherwise it won’t be able to mould accurately to your foot, and instead will only shape in high pressure areas such as the toe space.
Equally important is that you can fit your feet in with the appropriate tubing for warmth and insulation. When you’re considering the weight of a boot, try to balance the sturdiness and support of a heavier boot with the flexibility and scope (for other uses) of a more lightweight model.
So you’ve bought a boot that will keep your feet warm to -40 degrees, that’s great, but remember that if your feet can’t breathe, they sweat. That means water in your boot that will make for a very uncomfortable day. Make sure that the boot you choose is suitable for the temperatures you’re going to be snowmobiling in.
If the maximum cold is -20, there’s not much point in getting a -40 boot. Sure it will keep you toasty, but your feet will definitely start sweating.
Most boots will come with an insulation rating and their own patented technology for insulation. Think about what you need based on what you’re actually going to be doing. Do you want a seven layer system or a Cold-resistant EVA compound? Which is going to support your style of snowmobiling better?
SNOWMOBILE/WINTER BOOTS VS REGULAR BOOTS
There is really no comparison in this. Whilst regular boots may provide more flexibility when walking around, to and from your snowmobile for example, they will not give you anywhere near enough protection from snow spray or provide you with enough ankle support for more than a few minutes driving.
Keep in mind that there will probably be a heavy layer of snow on your feet for most of the day, so bare this in mind while deciding which type of boot can protect you better.
Here are a few of our recommended choice for snowmobile boots. This range includes boots for both men and women in a selection of winter boots and snowmobile specific boots.
BAFFIN WOMEN’S SNOGOOSE WINTER BOOT
WEIGHT: 1.3lb/ 0.58kg per boot
DIMENSIONS:Shaft approx 12.5″ from arch/Heel approx 1.25″
SPECIFIC FEATURES: Waterproof 900 Denier nylon upper; Waterproof nylon snow collar; 5 layer removable inner boot system; B-Tek 4 channel hollow fiber insulation; PolarProven winter boot featuring toggle closure at shaft and lugged outsole for grip.
BEST USE: Leveled snow, snow-based activity.
DESCRIPTION: The Baffin Snogoose for women is a flexible, reasonably lightweight boot with technology that focuses mostly on insulation and foot comfort. It contains an impressive foam insulation system with many moisture-wicking and thermal layers that can manage moisture and retain your body’s natural heat.
The Snogoose is a good-looking boot that is available in a range of colors and comes in sizes 6 – 11. It has a drawcord waterproofed collar to keep out snow spray and has a rating of -40 Fahrenheit. Its upper body is double-weave 900D nylon and the sole is made of TPR rubber. The sole is deep cut providing excellent gripping power and traction.
Some of its special features include a built-in snow gaiter to stop snowfall and snow spray from getting into your boots and a cold resistant EVA midsole to better insure against foot numbness. It also has side-to-side fastening which means your foot and ankle will have more support and prevent ankle sprains.
RELATED: The Baffin’s women’s winter boot also comes in varying models for different fittings and specific comforts with the Escalate and Iceland models. The Escalate is an easy on/easy off boot that’s good for daily wear (although its rating is only to -20). Whereas the Iceland is a tough wearing snow boot that will keep you toasty at anything up to -40 and comes with a snow collar and deep grip sole.
KAMIK MEN’S GREENBAY 4 COLD-WEATHER BOOT
WEIGHT: 3.82lb/ 1.73kg per pair
DIMENSIONS: 14″ shaft/ 19″ circumference
SPECIFIC FEATURES: Lace lock snow collar; Duration 600 nylon upper; removable 200B Thinsulate™ foam liner; Ensures warmth up to -40 degrees Fahrenheit; Mid-foot adjustable Velcro® closure strap.
BEST USE: Tough cold-weather conditions, wet and slippery terrain.
DESCRIPTION: Kamik have been making boots in America for more than 100 years and have a solid reputation in the extreme condition footwear market. The Greenbay 4 Cold Weather Boot is a very flexible multi-purpose boot.
It is good for most outdoor winter activities and is well-regarded by users. Some of its special features include a flexible rubber sole which enables you to use it for a range of tasks; a lace lock snow collar to keep out snowfall and snow spray; a padded footbed and a removable inner lining. The Greenbay 4 has a waterproof upper body with moisture-wicking lining on the inside to keep your feet dry.
The boot has an adjustable ankle strap which can be tightened to give a greater amount of support which is good for more active snow based fun. It also has an 8mm thermal-guard felt liner and a “hook-and-loop” lacing system for snugness. This is a fairly heavy duty boot with a hard wearing look and a sturdy feel.
RELATED: Kamik’s Greenbay 4 also comes in a women’s version. It has the same features and looks virtually the same as the men’s version, with the only difference being fit.
KLIM ADRENALINE GTX SNOWMOBILE BOOTS
WEIGHT: 7.9lb/ 3.58kg per pair
SPECIFIC FEATURES: Stiff durable board to help disperse shock and protect bottom of foot; Ankle cutout promotes forward flex; 600g Thinsulate insulation increases warmth without unneeded bulk; Removable moisture wicking insole; kicker toe piece to resist wear from tunnel bolts.
BEST USE: Snowmobiling.
DESCRIPTION: The Klim Adrenaline GTX is purpose built for snowmobiling enthusiasts. It has a sleek design and is available in sizes 8 to 13, although it does only come in a limited range of colors.
It lacks the flexibility of many multi-use boots but is ideal for actually being on a snowmobile. It is a very durable boot that keeps the feet cozy with 600 gram 3M Thinsulate technology; an added plus is that it can be worn with just a sock.
Some of the many features of this boot include moisture-wicking lining material and a removable moisture wicking insole; a stiff, durable base board in the sole to help absorb shock over bumpy terrain and ultimately protect the foot and of course it is very waterproof, even up to 6 inches of water.
BAFFIN MEN’S SELKIRK SNOW BOOT
WEIGHT: 2.6lb/ 1.18kg per boot
DIMENSIONS: 13″ shaft/ 19″ circumference
SPECIFIC FEATURES: ICEPAW high grip technology; Waffle insole for airflow and insulation; Adjustable calf strap with compression buckle, Adjustable ankle strap with hook-and-loop closure; Vaporized aluminum membrane’s metallic surface reflects energy back to the foot.
BEST USE: Long term cold exposure, deep snow.
DESCRIPTION: If your main focus is warmth and waterproofing, you can’t go too far wrong with the Baffin Selkirk Snow Boot for men. It is a highly waterproof snow boot that has been designed for multi-purpose usage, and with a cold rating of -94 Fahrenheit (-70 C), it is easily one of the best boots for keeping your feet cozy and dry.
The base is an Arctic Rubber shell with an EVA midsole and a Polar Rubber Outsole, the whole thing topped off by a lockable snow collar with an extendible gaiter to prevent snow getting inside the boot. For support, it is a mix of both molding and foam, which increases overall comfort and helps insulate the foot.
This is an “all-rounder” boot. It is sturdy enough to use with ATV’s including snowmobiles, but flexible enough to make it comfortable for other outdoor activities. With its very high cold rating, it is good for almost any environment.
RELATED: Baffin make a similar model for women in the Ice Field Insulated Boot, which is rated for temperatures down to -148 F. It also has a stylish web lacing system for comfortable fit and good looks.
HJC STANDARD MEN’S SNOW BOOTS
WEIGHT: 7lb package weight
DIMENSIONS: 18 x 5.2 x 15 inches
SPECIFIC FEATURES: Waterproof & Water Repellent Scotchgard Genuine Leather; DuPont & Thermolite Insulated Liner; Superior Warmth & Comfort to -60 F; Reflective Patch on back; Velcro and buckle closures; Replacement boot liners sold separately.
BEST USE: Snowy terrain, wet and slippery ground usage, all-terrain vehicles.
DESCRIPTION: The HJC Standard Mens’ Snow Boot is a combination of thick, durable rubber soles and Scotchgard leather uppers. It includes insulated liners by Dupont and Thermolite and is cold tested up to -60 Fahrenheit.
It can be securely fastened using both the hook-and-loop and buckle closures, which gives good support to the ankle and comes with a 3M® reflective patch for higher visibility. Being a fairly heavy boot, you can expect it to be reasonably durable and initially quite stiff to wear in (although the leather uppers should help with this).
The HJC Standard is recommended as an “all-round” boot, suitable for most outdoor snow/cold activities including snowmobiling, motorcycling and even (due to its waterproofing), river fishing.
RELATED: HJC has an extreme hard-wearing boot available, too. It comes with Removable Insulated Polar Thermolite Fleece Liner and is rated to -68 Fahrenheit. This is a great bot for real heavy duty wear in extreme cold conditions. It had Hook and D lacing to ensure front flex on the ankle and is a good addition to the ATV range.
NORTHSIDE MEN’S ALBERTA II COMBINATION COLD WEATHER BOOT
WEIGHT: 5lb package weight
DIMENSIONS:12 x 8 x 4 inches
SPECIFIC FEATURES: Synthetic; Synthetic sole; Shaft measures approximately 13″ from arch; Heel measures approximately 1.25″; Back pull-on loop; Adjustable instep strap with hook-and-loop closure; Topline drawcord with adjustable barrel toggle closure; Pull-on entry; 200g Thermolite® insulation rated to -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
BEST USE: Wet and cold weather wear, daily use, snowmobiling.
DESCRIPTION: The Alberta II Combination Cold Weather Boot from Northside is a multipurpose boot for extreme temperatures. It has a rating which can handle temperatures down to -40 F, due to its combination of 200g insulation and a felt lining.
The lining is removable, meaning that you can easily pull it out if necessary, which is a great bonus. Regardless of shoe quality or your precautions, it’s always a possibility that snow will get into your shoe. If this happens, this boot will allow you to remove the liner to speed up the drying time.
It’s a moisture wicking liner too, making it even faster to dry both inside and outside of the boot. This boot has generally good traction because of the rubber sole, but some of tread is a bit small. This can lead to snow and ice getting stuck in them and building up.
This shouldn’t be a problem when snowmobiling and walking in deep snow, but caution may be needed when walking in shallow snow with slippery surfaces. This boot also performs well for everyday winter use in rainy, wet and muddy conditions.
RELATED: Northside have a similar boot for women, that has many of the same construction and style features.
BAFFIN MEN’S TUNDRA WINTER BOOT
WEIGHT: 2lb package weight
DIMENSIONS:12 x 8 x 4 inches
SPECIFIC FEATURES: Synthetic; Imported; Rubber sole’ Shaft measures approximately 13.5″ from arch; Winter boot featuring hook-and-loop ankle strap for stability and drawstring topline for warmth; Insulated -40 F rating; seven-layer removable insulated inner boot system.
BEST USE: Deep snow and wet conditions.
DESCRIPTION: The Baffin Tundra Winter Boot will keep your feet warm and dry when snowmobiling or for general winter wear. While they need to be broken in a bit, once they have been, they are very comfortable. They also slide on and off easily for comfort and convenience.
Fully waterproofed, this boot also has a drawstring top to prevent snow from getting in, so these shoes do a good job keeping you dry from both the inside and outside. Suited to a -40 F rating, these boots are very well padded for warmth and an overall supported, cozy feeling.
The insulation is made from 7 layers of Thermaplush a soft material which feels, well, plush, against your feet. The rubber outsole is durable and able to cope not only with snow, but also muddy ground. A good all-rounder for winter, this boot also provides a strap for extra ankle support, while the nylon upper is flexible enough for comfortable walking.
RELATED: The Baffin Wolf Snow Boot is a lighter boot for those of us who avoid the coldest of temperatures but still want a good quality winter boot. An excellent all-around snow boot, it has a synthetic sole and the inner has thermo-set molding capabilities.
The market out there for snowmobile and winter boots is huge, and there is a big variance in cost, too. Your boots should ultimately be chosen based on the usage you have in mind, and the conditions in which you plan on using them. It really is a matter of choosing the right tool for the right job.
While you may find more flexible usage in one type of boot, will it give you what you need for snowmobiling? And if you are not a regular snowmobile user, will the boots you choose be suitable for other outdoor, snowy escapades?
Think about whether you are better off getting one pair that covers all eventualities or if you really need specific boots for specific sports. If you’ve had any experience with choosing a boot suitable for snowmobiling, why not share you inside knowledge in the comments section below?