Best Snowmobile Boots: Our Top Picks for Winter Riding
Top brands, what to look for, and how to make the most of your boots this winter season
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
The right boots are an important part of your snowmobile gear, meant to keep your feet protected. Enjoy a warm and comfortable ride with a pair of snowmobile boots rated to keep you going even in sub-zero temperatures. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about the best snowmobile boots out there and how to find your perfect pair.
Why Buy Snowmobile Boots?
Protect your feet. When you’re skipping across the frozen tundra, you want your feet to be protected from the ice and snow whipping up all around you. Snowmobile boots will keep your feet safe and warm while you’re out having a fun time on your snowmobile.
Prevent fatigue. In addition to protecting your feet, the rigid design of snowmobile boots helps to support your legs, which, in turn, prevents fatigue. This is especially important if you plan on riding long.
Decrease injury risk. Snowmobile riding is inherently dangerous. However, you can take steps to decrease your risk of injury. Investing in a quality pair of snowmobile boots will do a lot in keeping your feet and legs injury-free, especially when it comes to your ankles.
Look cool. Pun definitely intended. Modern snowmobiles are all about sleek angles, chrome accents, and overall aesthetics. If you want to look the part, you’ll fit right in with a pair of stylish snowmobile boots.
Top Snowmobile Boot Brands
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Ontario, Canada, Baffin has made it their mission to craft high-quality, winter-ready boots that will last for ages. Their boots are made to withstand the toughest cold weather out there. Some of their most popular products include the Wolf Snow Boot and the Snow Monster Insulated All-Weather Boot.
In 1999, Klim produced their first gear and went on to make a name for themselves. Currently headquartered in Rigby, Idaho, they continue to make heavy-duty winter gear that’s durable and well made. Their most popular boots include the Adrenaline GTX Snocross Boot and the Havoc GTX BOA Boot.
Canadian-born Kamik has been in business since 1898 and is headquartered in Quebec. Years of expertise and high-quality materials make Kamik boots some of the best out there. Their top products include the Nationplus Boot and the Fargo Boot.
Snowmobile Boot Pricing
Under $100: You can expect boots around this price to be decent. They won’t have many of the fancy features that more expensive boots offer, such as removable insulation layers and full-on waterproof technology, but they should hold up.
$100-$200: In the mid-range, you can find warm, comfortable, and durable boots that will do their job well. The materials and craftsmanship will also be high quality, meaning the boots should last you a long time.
Over $200: At this price point, you will get the best materials and craftsmanship most manufacturers offer. The boots are usually waterproof, cold resistant, rigid yet comfortable, and overall well made. If you think you’ll be spending a lot of time snowmobiling, then they’ll be worth the investment.
Key Features to Look For
Most snowmobile boots have built-in protective elements. One of the most important features is the kickplate, which is typically located on the toe. Kickplates are thick, rubber pads that wrap from the sole up to cap the toe, protecting them from impact and making it possible to kick off the snow. If you’re an advanced rider, you’ll also want to look for ankle protector plates and impact plates in the boots.
Treads and Soles
You’ll want to look for a boot that has an aggressive tread pattern to handle the ice and snow in extreme winter weather conditions. The quality of the sole is especially important: make sure it looks and feels sturdy and is completely attached to the body of the boot. Also look for aggressive outer lugs—small, rubber protrusions around the edge of the boot that help gain traction on ice and snow.
Snowmobile boots come with a number of different lacing styles. You’ll want something that is easy to use, so you don’t have to take off your gloves to make adjustments. Large laces, a simple lacing system like the BOA laces, or even a strap-style system will be the best picks.
Warmth is one of the biggest factors when it comes to snowmobile boots. You’ll want a shoe that is well insulated, especially when the wind chill is high. We suggest a boot that has at least 600 grams of insulation. If your feet tend to get cold easily, you may want more insulation. Consider wearing heated socks to keep your feet as warm as possible.
Contrary to popular belief, not all winter boots are waterproof. The snow and ice you can encounter while snowmobiling can get your gear wet. Make sure the boots you select are waterproof or repel water to some degree to keep yourself comfortable for an enjoyable ride.
Other Considerations When Buying Snowmobile Boots
Removable inner lining: This is a great feature that is often overlooked. If you get your boots wet or dirty, you’ll want to dry and clean them easily. A removable inner lining makes it easy to clean the inside of a boot, so you’ll be ready to go for the next ride.
Breathability: Make sure the boot you select is made from high-quality, breathable materials. This will help keep your feet dry all day long, which is important when you’re out in cold temps.
Shaft height: Snowmobile boots come in a couple of different styles. Some look like hiking boots, others are more like full-on winter boots with high shafts. A higher boot shaft will keep more of your ankle and calf warm and protected.
Best Snowmobile Boots Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Snowmobile Boots
- Consider going up a size when ordering your snowmobile boots. The reason for this is the insulation. It takes up more room in the boot and doesn’t feel as warm if it hugs your foot and leg.
- If you get cold feet easily, you can always improve the insulation in your boots by wearing thick and warm socks. There are also heated socks for an extra level of warmth.
- A great tip to keep your liners dry—and your feet warm—is to use plastic bags. Slip on your socks, cover these with a large plastic bag, and then put on your shoes.
- To keep your boots in good condition, make sure to clean them after every use. Use saddle soap to clean off tough dirt and salt stains. Then, allow them to dry and buff them with a soft cloth when finished.
- Check the soles and seams regularly for wear and tear. Most snowmobile boots can be repaired by a professional if anything gets ripped or starts to crack. Invest in high-quality boots in the first place to keep the pair for years to come.
Snowmobile Boot FAQs
Q: Can I go hiking in my snowmobile boots?
A: Technically yes, practically no. If your boots are very comfortable and you want to hike in winter conditions, it’s possible to use them. Keep in mind, however, that the insulation in these boots might make things uncomfortably warm and less flexible during a hike.
Q: Can I wear snowboard boots to go snowmobiling?
A: It’s definitely possible, but we don’t recommend it. Although snowboard boots will keep your feet as warm as snowmobile boots, there are some design elements that make the former less practical for snowmobiling. The design of a snowboard boot can cause bruising on the calves and legs when riding on a snowmobile. The boots might also get damaged since they lack the thick protection of snowmobile boots.
Q: What is the temperature rating for?
A: The temperature ratings on boots show you the lowest temp they can be safely and comfortably worn in. Keep in mind, some people feel the cold more than others; when in doubt, buy boots that are rated for a few degrees colder than you’re expecting.
Q: What’s the difference between waterproof and water-resistant boots?
A: The main difference is the way the boot repels water. Waterproof boots are completely sealed to keep water out and you completely dry. On the other hand, water-resistant boots allow water to soak through slowly. For snowmobiling, at the very least, the sole should be waterproof to keep you comfortable.
Q: How do I best manage my boot laces while snowmobiling?
A: Long shoelaces can be a definite hazard. Your best bet is to tie them as tightly as you (comfortably) can and make sure to tuck away the loose ends. Alternatively, consider buying snowmobile boots with the BOA laces, Velcro, or buckles instead to avoid any lace-related problems.
Our top pick is the Klim Adrenaline GTX Boot, thanks to its sturdy design, warm insulation, and a grippy outsole.
If you’re looking for something a little more wallet-friendly, we recommend the Kamik Nationplus Boot. It’s a functional winter boot made for many different activities.