Are Hiking Boots Good For Snow?

Are Hiking Boots Good For Snow

HIking boots are ideal for trekking through the mountains or going on an adventure during the summer, with a lot of walking involved, and usually some tricky terrain.

They’re tough, comfortable, and able to protect your feet from damage better than normal shoes would. 

But let’s say it gets to the winter season, and you want to go on another hiking adventure, but it’s started to snow….could you still just simply use your hiking boots?

Or does the change in weather mean you also have to change your shoes? 

The thing is, most people don’t have specialized shoes just lying around the house. It’s good enough when people have hiking boots, let alone have a pair of special snow boots!

So for most people, using hiking boots all year round is the best solution, regardless of the weather. Luckily, in most scenarios, hiking boots should be totally fine for using even when there is snow.

The beauty of hiking boots is that they really are tough, and as long as you’re not knee-deep in snow, then they should do the trick just fine!

However, there are many different types of hiking boots, with different designs and features, suiting a wide range of different needs and preferences.

If you’re going to use hiking boots in the snow, then there are a few traits that hiking boots should have, in order to make them more appropriate. But let’s go over all the information in a little more depth! 

When hiking boots are good for snow:

Okay, so as a general rule, it should be fine for you to wear your hiking boots out in the snow. However, this isn’t always the case. So here is exactly when it’s okay to wear hiking boots:

You’re hiking around entry-level or accessible trails:

If you’re hiking a pretty accessible route, where there’s snow but no proper danger of something going wrong, and it’s pretty easy overall, then hiking boots are completely fine.

We’re talking about the kind of route that people wouldn’t even wear hiking boots for during the summer, but in the winter, hiking boots offer way better traction than normal shoes, so they become the specialized ideal option. 

The snow is light, not deep:

If it’s light snow, and not too deep, then hiking boots will be more than enough for you to get by comfortably and adventure on with ease.

The sole of a hiking boot is tough and thick, with very good traction that will keep you steady, and there’s no need to get special snowshoes as it won’t make that much of a difference. 

If it is deep snow, however, as if you’re knee-deep in the snow or there’s snow absolutely everywhere, then the terrain will start getting trickier and trickier, and hiking boots might not cut it.

If this is the case, then it is probably better for you to be wearing snowshoes. 

The snow is packed, not slippery:

When the snow is tightly packed and solid, it’s pretty easy to walk over it, and the traction of the hiking boots should be more than enough for you to keep going with ease, almost as if the ground was no different regardless of it being covered in snow. 

However, if the snow turns icy and the ground becomes extra slippery, the traction of hiking boots might not be enough to stop you from falling.

In this case, it might be better to wear some microspikes, which you can slip on over the hiking boots to instantly adapt them to the snowy conditions. 

Types of hiking boots that work best for snow:

Types of hiking boots that work best for snow

As we mentioned before, there are many different types of hiking boots with varying features and design choices, that are aimed at different needs and preferences.

There are some features that will suit snowy conditions a lot better, so if your hiking boots have any of these, then it means that they will be a lot better for venturing out into the snow.

If your hiking boots don’t have any of these features, then maybe they’re not the most ideal choice for going out during the winter. 

Here are the features we’re talking about:

Waterproof protection:

Some hiking boots are designed to be completely waterproof, so that they can be worn during rainy weather, or so that they can be used when crossing rivers and streams.

These are perfect for snowy conditions because snow is…well, wet! If you walk through the snow in normal shoes, your feet will very quickly become soaked, then freezing cold.

Having waterproof boots is ideal for keeping your feet protected and dry. 

Extra traction:

Snow can be a challenging terrain to walk on, especially when it gets deeper, or when it starts to become slippery. One of the most important features that can help with this, is good traction.

Some hiking boots have spikier soles than others, designed to offer a way better grip on the surface you are on, these are the ones to use when it’s snowing outside! 

Over-the ankle protection:

When it comes to hiking boots, they are mainly divided into high and low.

Low hiking boots stop at the ankle, while high hiking boots go up higher up the lower part of your calf, to add extra protection and so that they are far more secure.

These high boots also help protect the ankle, keeping it in place and avoiding any sprains if you trip over stones and similar.

If you’re out in the snow, high hiking boots will keep your ankles protected, in case you slip, and they will also prevent snow from getting into your boots through the top opening. 

Can hiking boots be used?

So, can hiking boots be used when it snows? The answer is yes, as long as the snowy conditions are mild, and as long as the hiking boots in question have some of the features more suited to snow. 

Waterproof protection, good traction, warmth, and comfort. These are pretty much the things that your hiking boots should tick, before being used to go out into the snow.

And of course, if the snow gets really deep, or you’re on a difficult trail, then it is recommended that you switch to snow boots, or at the very least that you add some micro spikes to your hiking boots. 


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