The 8 Best Winter Boots For Your Feet, According to Podiatrists

The 8 Best Winter Boots For Your Feet, According to Podiatrists

What to consider when buying winter boots

Proper fit is more important than brand names when it comes to winter boots for hiking or walking, says Bruce Pinker, a podiatrist in Westchester and Rockland, New York. "It is important to remember that comfort is always in style."


Above all else, wearing the right size boot is key to avoiding foot shoe pain. "The width should be snug, but not tight, across the toes from largest to smallest," Dr. Pinker says. Some women's style boots rise above the knee, while ankle boots cut much lower. But the fit should still be the same. For the best fit, there should be 3/8 of an inch distance between your longest toe and the front of the boot, he says.

Ankle and arch support

Whether you're hiking through trails or just walking in the snow from your home to the deli, your boots must provide ample ankle support. "Boots should be supportive around the ankle, fitting snug, but not tight," Dr. Pinker says. Hiking boots should lace up properly and fit securely around the foot and ankle, with adequate cushion in the ankle region.


The outer sole of a hiking boot should have significant treads to provide traction to help avoid slips, falls, and potential injury, says Dawn Figlo, member of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, founder of The Organic Foot, and podiatric surgeon in New York City. Some of the brands that fit all of these criteria: Sorel, Born, and Hunter & Merrill, among others, according to Dr. Figlo.

Bonus: Socks

The quality and fit of your winter hiking or walking boots are the main priorities. But they aren't the only ones. Proper socks, for example, are among the hiking gear essentials to invest in. And there are lots of  options. "Wool, silk, or combinations of cotton mixed with polyester (65 percent cotton/35 percent polyester), and nylon or rayon materials are preferred to wick away moisture from feet and keep them dry," Dr. Pinker says. "Too much moisture build-up can lead to conditions of toenail fungus (onychomycosis), athlete's foot fungus, and plantar warts." To keep your tootsies in even better shape, apply foot powder to help absorb moisture from sweat.

Now that you know what to look for when selecting a pair of winter boots, here are the best hiking boots to try out, according to podiatrists.

(Related: The Best Boots for Every Type of Canadian Winter)

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