Are Hiking Boots Good For Snow? Explained!

You might be planning your next hiking trip to the nearest mountains this snowy winter, right? But are hiking boots good for snow? If you want to know the detailed answer, this guide is for you.

Hiking shoes are perfect for summer conditions. But when it comes to winter, hiking shoes don’t have the right features to deal with winter conditions. So, they are not the most suitable shoe option in winter.

In this article, we will explore the features of the hiking shoes. We would figure out which hiking shoe features are helpful in snow. And would also shed light on the features lacking in hiking shoes.

So, let’s dive!

Are Hiking Boots Good For Snow? Quick Answer

Are Hiking Boots Good For Snow

The short and straightforward answer to this question is NO. Hiking shoes are not ideal for snow. If you don’t want to buy winter boots, then you can use them. But if you want to indulge in the exhilarating snow hike experience, they are not ideal for sure.

The main reason is their less insulation and warmth. You need footwear that can keep your feet warm, and by wearing them, you can hike without feeling cold. Unfortunately, the hiking boots are not built to provide enough warmth that a snow hike demands, mainly if the snow is heavy.

Apart from that, their waterproofing is not up to mark; your feet may soak up in water, and they may begin to freeze. In such a case, it would not be easy to move. And chances of frostbite elevate.

Having said that, it does not mean that you can’t use hiking boots in the snow. You can surely use them by following some tips discussed in this article. But you can’t get the performance as good as dedicated winter boots.

Read Also: How Long Do Hiking Boots Last?

Analysis of Hiking Boots Features For Snow

Here, we will discuss the features of hiking boots:

Excellent Traction

When you hike on snow, traction is a significant feature. And your hiking boots must provide you with amazing traction. Luckily, hiking shoes have great traction. They are designed to provide a good grip.

So, hiking shoes can provide you with fantastic traction. But not every hiking shoe has terrific traction. Therefore, it’s crucial to pick the right one.


For snow, you need to have a good pair of waterproof shoes. Most hiking boots are waterproof, so you can use them on snow without issues. But it is worth mentioning that they are good for low or moderate snow.

But if the snow is heavy, then it can cause big problems for you. Plus, if the snow begins to melt, then it would wet your feet and might freeze them.

So you should only use waterproof hiking shoes, not water-resistant ones. And use them only for light snow. If the sow is heavy, then always use dedicated winter boots.

Here are some tips that can help if you are using hiking boots in snow:

  • Use merino wool socks for better insulation
  • Prefer using durable water-repellent sprays
  • Use gaiters, as they will keep snow away


Generally, hiking boots are on the lighter side. Lighter footwear ensures immense comfort and ease. So, by wearing lightweight hiking shoes, you can move on the snow conveniently.

Comparatively, if you pick dedicated winter shoes for your snow hike, they will surely be heavy. So, it would make your hiking journey challenging and you will get tired sooner.  

Less Insulation

Doubtlessly, insulation and warmth are one of the most crucial factors. On snow, your feet need to be warm and well-insulated. But most hiking shoes are not well-insulated. So, that’s a big downside of using hiking boots in the snow.

On the other hand, winter boots are made to tackle the cold environment and snow. So, by wearing them, your feet will be warm and cosy. It will allow you to immerse in a comfortable and enjoyable snow hike.

More Affordable

One of the most significant advantages of using hiking shoes in snow is saving money. Winter boots are way more expensive as compared to hiking shoes. So, if you buy hiking boots for snow, you can save money by choosing the more cost-effective option.

How To Make Hiking Shoes Suitable For Snow?

Are Hiking Boots Good For Snow

Here are some tips that will make your hiking shoes work better in snow:

  • Proper Cleaning

If you want your hiking shoes to work perfectly, then you need to keep them clean. Always clean them properly after every use, and don’t let dirt on them. Plus, you need to keep them dry as well.

  • Pick Right Socks

You also need to pick the correct type of socks. And we would surely recommend you to go for merino wool socks. The best thing about them is water resistance. Apart from that, they have the potential to preserve heat even when they are wet.

  • Use Gaiters

Gaiters can also help you greatly if you use hiking shoes for snow. Their function is not to let snow get in your hiking boots. So, if you use hiking shoes in the snow, you must invest in a good pair of insulated gaiters.

  • Use A Spray

Water-repellent spray is another beneficial thing that can greatly help you if you are wearing hiking shoes. This spray works by enhancing the DWR coating. As a result, your hiking shoes will become more water-resistant.

Read Also: Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof Review


Well, that’s all about your question: are hiking boots good for snow? Hopefully, this article answers your question. We believe that it would be better if you invest in winter hiking shoes. In this way, you can get a better experience overall.

Although you can also use regular hiking shoes, you must struggle. But make sure to buy the top-notch hiking shoes. If you go for cheap quality, you have to face even more problems. So be careful!

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