Are Hiking Boots Good For Snow? [Everything You Need To Know]

For many hikers out there, investing in a good pair of hiking boots is an easy decision. They know the importance of having shoes that can protect your feet from injuries while at the same time giving you comfort on all kinds of terrain. As a hiker, I often get asked if hiking boots are good for snow, and in today’s guide, I will tell you all about it!

There are a ton of great hiking boots that you can choose from. While some are more suitable for summer hikes, other pairs are more suitable for winter hikes. You might also come across the name winter boots in connection to the second kind of boots!

Today, I will tell you everything you need to know about hiking boots before taking them on a snowy winter hike. So, if you want to learn more, I recommend that you keep on reading!


TOP3 Hiking Boots For Snow

Can You Wear Hiking Boots In The Snow?

Hiking boots are great in many ways, but they are not always suitable for winter hiking. Before you take them out on the snow, there are certain things you need to be aware of if you want the experience to be positive.

First of all, hiking boots are great for all kinds of terrain. You can walk on snow with them, but the traction will be good at best. You can get better traction if you add a pair of crampons or snowshoes.

Also, you will be better off sticking to hiking trails when it comes to hiking boots. Depending on the boot itself, it might not be that suitable for deep snow. It would be best to check the cuff and see if it is tight enough to keep snow and water away from the foot.

During snow travel or snow hiking, you will also want to keep your feet warm at all times. Usually, hiking boots are great at this because they have a lot of insulation. Your feel will stay warm but will not overheat since most hiking shoes are also breathable.

Another thing to consider is whether your hiking boots are waterproof. When hiking in wet conditions or snow, you will need shoes that will be waterproof. Most hiking shoes are like this, but keep in mind that winter shoes will have better waterproofing on them.

Last but not least, I want to mention that hiking boots are often lightweight, which makes them a great choice. Winter shoes are a lot bulkier and may weigh you down, so consider that when choosing between the two.

Are Hiking Boots Good For Snow And Ice?

A lot of people do not realize the differences between hiking boots and snow boots. In winter, before going on a walk in the snow, you should know what type of shoes you should take with you. Let me help you make that decision!

If you are planning on walking on packed snow, you will be better off wearing snow boots. These boots have a tighter cuff that does not allow any water or snow to get into the shoe. Since packed snow can melt immediately after you touch it, you want to stay protected from the water that might come from it.

So, hiking boots are suitable for walking in light snow. They are waterproof and have good insulation, so your feet will stay protected at all times.

The hiking shoes should stay at home whenever there is deep snow outside. Even though they have a lot of great qualities, even the best winter hiking boots or insulated hiking boots will not offer enough protection. You need snow boots if you want to be as protected as possible!

Moving on from snow onto the ice.

When it comes to icy conditions, you have a whole different story. You are talking about walking on slippery terrains, and for that, you will need a shoe with good traction. Snow boots have special Gore-Tex soles that serve as the best traction devices.

While on the topic, I have to mention hiking boots as well. They have good soles that offer traction, but you can always add traction devices called crampons. They will make sure that you can walk even on rough terrain without any problem.

Getting the crampons might be a burden on your budget, but they are worth every penny. So, before hiking on slippery winter terrain, make sure you get them and attach them to your footwear.

waterproof hiking boots

Are Waterproof Boots Good For Snow?

Waterproof boots, whether we are talking about a winter hiking boot or a snow boot, are the only good choice for hiking in the snow. When you are hiking in cold weather, you need to have your feet warm at all times. You cannot do that if water keeps creeping in in your boots.

To stay warm during winter hikes, I recommend that you find a good pair of Gore-Tex boots that are 100% waterproof. Adding a winter sock under them is also a good idea if you want even more warmth.

But keep this in mind – if you get special winter boots or snow hiking boots, they will not be suitable for year-round hiking. You will be able to wear them during the winter, while you will need another pair for the rest of the year. These shoes are too heavy, bulky, and insulated, and these are things you do not require for spring or summer hikes.

Are Columbia Hiking Boots Good For Snow?

Columbia is a well-known company that has produced a lot of great shoes over the years. They currently have a lot of great hiking shoes but unfortunately, they do not have any special snow boots. If you are looking for special snow boots, you will have to look elsewhere.

Columbia mens Bugaboot Iii Snow Boot, Cordovan/Rusty, 10 Wide US
  • OMNI-TECH: Our proprietary technology provides air-permeable protection that's waterproof and breathable, keeping mother nature's elements out, at the same time allowing the inside to breathe, keeping...
  • ALPINE STYLE & PERFORMANCE: Waterproof leather upper, injection molded shell, 200 grams of insulation, superior midsole cushioning, and an advanced traction outsole that will get you through every...
  • TAKE ON THE COLD: A re-energized update of our cold-weather classic. Versatility and protection make this the perfect boot for wet, cold, and snowy weather

Still, there is no harm in looking into the hiking boots. Columbia’s hiking boots are quality boots that come at affordable prices. Usually, they are waterproof only to a certain extent, so you cannot wear these boots in the snow, especially deep snow.

I recommend that you take a closer look at all the boots that they have to offer and choose the best ones. Go for the ones that have a Vibram sole instead of a rubber sole. Then, choose ones that are higher and offer more protection.

I would hate for you to injure yourself during your winter hike, so make sure that the boots you take with you have comfortable ankle support. Columbia has boots like this, so you should be able to find some for yourself.

Once you decide which pair you want to get, make sure that you get matching crampons as well. You can also get snowshoes to reinforce the hiking boots.

Are Merrell Hiking Boots Good For Snow?

With so many great companies out there, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. Salomon to Columbia, Marmot, and Patagonia – these are all names to keep in mind when buying outdoor gear. Another name that you can add to this list is Merrell, a great company that makes all types of outdoor gear.

Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Earth, 11 M US
  • Waterproof membrane seals out water and lets moisture escape
  • Pigskin leather and mesh upper
  • Metal hook traditional lace closure

Merrell also offers a wide range of shoes. They have some fantastic hiking shoes that you can also take for a hike in the snow. Still, there are a few things to keep in mind.

When getting a pair of Merrell, you should look for shoes that have great waterproofing and traction. The shoes should have great insulation and offer great comfort. They should also extend above your ankles. If you can get all this in one shoe – congrats, you have great snow hiking shoes!

As I mentioned with Columbia hiking shoes, you will still need some crampons if you plan to take some extreme trails. You can even use the crampons on regular winter terrain if there happens to be a lot of snow.

Whatever you do, make sure that you are being careful. That means that after getting the snow or hiking shoes, you should take them for a shorter walk before going on an extreme hike. Check out their abilities, the comfort level you can get from them, and go on a more serious hiking trail after making sure everything is okay.

hiking shoes


Well, that is everything you should know about hiking boots and their ability to withstand even the harshest weather conditions. Again, you should look for hiking boots that extend above the ankle, have a tight cuff, are 100% waterproof, have good traction, and are lightweight, comfortable, insulated, and suitable for all kinds of terrain.

It might not be that easy to find all this in one pair of shoes, but at least the search will be worth it! In the end, you will have a decent pair of shoes that you can take anywhere. So, I recommend that you take your time, browse around, and find the best shoes you will love having and wearing on all your hikes!

Andrew Mullen

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *