Waterproof Boots for Snow

Posted by: Louie

Waterproof Boots for Snow - 11/11/20 01:12 PM

I have had a pair of hiking boots similar to these for a number of years: https://www.rei.com/product/143308/keen-durand-ii-mid-wp-hiking-boots-mens

That is not the exact pair, but the ones I have are mostly leather with a little fabric around the tongue and very high up on the ankle.

I have worn these on long day hikes in the snow a couple times, and by the end of the day, my feet are wet. In those situations, it was fairly warm, 40's and 50's so with good socks, my feet were comfortable even wet. But I am looking to do some overnight backing in the snow this winter / spring and maintaining dry feet seems like more of a concern.

I have been looking at boots described as waterproof snow boots like the ones below among others. My question is can I expect any of these to do a better job of keeping my feet dry than the boots I already have? Can any of them keep feet dry after 6-8 hours in snow that may be wet? I don't want to spend $200 on boots and find I am not really in a better situation.




Posted by: BZH

Re: Waterproof Boots for Snow - 11/13/20 02:51 PM

One problem with waterproof boots is they do not let your feet breath... I know: seem obvious. If you were hiking in warmer weather with insulated waterproof boots were the boots leaking or were your feet sweating?

I am a few years removed, but when I was a kid I spent quite a bit of time outdoors in the snow including snowshoe backpacking, hunting, and cutting firewood. We would often get a bit of dampness in our feet from sweating while active. For rubberized boots a small hole usually only became apparent when standing in puddles and walking through slush. Waterproofed fabric that lost its integrity could absorb water and become a bigger and bigger issue the longer you were out.

The bigger issue than holes was snow working its way in from the top. A good pair gators was a must in deep snow. For boots we usually bought cheap Sorels at k-mart with the liner you could pull out and dry.
Posted by: Louie

Re: Waterproof Boots for Snow - 11/15/20 01:17 PM

I would say my feet were damp because of the snow, not sweating. Also I think they got wet through the material and not over the top. It was spring time and there was a lot of old, fairly wet snow in generally warm conditions. So I was walking on perhaps 6 inches of lose snow on top of more packed snow underneath.

I guess my question is, if you have a standard over the ankle hiking boot that is advertised as "waterproof" but not specifically insulated, for winter or snow, how well should boots like that stay dry in 6-8 hours of wet snow? Would you expect winter / snow boots to do better?
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Waterproof Boots for Snow - 01/07/21 05:43 PM

Before I retired, I wore steel toed work boots every work day. I spent a lot of time outside in the mud and snow and almost always had wet boots and wet feet. Some time after 2000, I started wearing Gore-Tex lined boots and had dry feet for about a year, before the lining wore out. Most of my older work boots only lasted a year anyway, so this was much better performance. I always wore leather boots and the leather would crack just above the sole and let water in. The lined boots that I wore from 2000 to my retirement in 2014 held up much better and lasted far longer. When they started to leak, I'd set them aside for summer use and, when I could, I'd use two pairs of work boots alternating days so that they had a day to dry. The liners kept my feet dry until they wore out. I seldom wore rubber boots unless I knew that I was going to be in deep water.
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Waterproof Boots for Snow - 03/02/21 11:22 AM

have you tried gators to keep the snow out of your boots? What kind of socks do you wear - that matters. That said I am one of those people who stays bone dry in goretex, other people swear at it and get soaking wet. A lot depends on your method of use...