How to Choose High-Quality and Warm Winter Shoes: 6 Important Nuances

Winter shoes lasted you for several seasons, did not chafe the foot, and protected against frost – you need a responsible approach to choosing the boots.


Experts recommend choosing winter footwear made of natural materials. In them, the foot does not freeze and does not sweat. List the pros and cons of popular materials for winter shoes.

  • Natural leather provides good air exchange and a long-wearing time, taking the shape of the foot after a few days of wear. Minuses of leather shoes – expensive, as well as the ethical side of the issue. Identify real leather by putting your hand on the surface. Leather shoes will heat up quickly, while the substitute will remain cold.
  • Suede or nubuck are good alternatives to leather with similar characteristics. Their disadvantages are the need for regular maintenance, as well as vulnerability to water and wet weather.
  • Winter shoes made of leatherette are less warm, quickly covered with cracks and rarely last more than one season, but it is cheaper.
  • If you walk a lot and lead an active lifestyle – it is recommended to choose shoes with membrane technology. It can withstand heavy loads, as well as very lightweight and warm enough.
  • The best filling for shoes – is natural wool, such as sheepskin. It retains heat and at the same time does not overheat your feet. Among artificial fur substitutes, you should pay attention to the cortex and insulation. You can identify natural fur by its luster – it is less matt. Also, fur has a tufted base, while faux fur has a woven base.

The sole

The thickness of the sole in winter shoes should be at least 1 cm. The best material for the sole is polyurethane. It perfectly tolerates temperature changes. Thermoplastic soles are durable and non-slip – this is also a great material. The rubber sole is more slippery and less tolerant of frost.

Pay attention to the pattern on the sole – it should be embossed and deep. In such shoes, you can walk on ice and not slip. Examine the place where the sole turns into the shoe – in quality shoes there should be no bends and cracks.


It is recommended to choose a winter shoe size larger because it usually has a thicker sock. In addition, it is important to wear shoes with a free space, because poor blood circulation in the toes quickly freezes. If the shoes fit you – we wrote about how to stretch shoes.


If the shoe has a zipper, the zipper should not reach the bottom of the shoe. From the sole to the beginning of the zipper should be at least 1 cm – then the shoes will not leak. Behind the zipper, there should be an inner lining so that the frosty air does not blow into it.

Heel and toe

Completely flat winter shoes can cause discomfort in the legs and corns on the feet. But also high heels on slippery roads only interfere. Optimal is a thick and stable heel with a height of 2-3 cm.

Winter shoe socks should be wide, with approximately 1 cm of space reserved around the toes. Shoes with a narrowed toe can cause poor blood circulation, and consequently – pain in the feet.


Wearing orthopedic insoles is recommended for stability when walking and to support the foot. You can buy special insoles for winter shoes in orthopedic stores. They support the foot anatomically correctly and reduce the risk of injury when falling on the ice.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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