Gone Outdoors

How to Size Snow Boots

by David Pepper

While it certainly is possible to run around in the snow in the ordinary shoes, a good pair of snow boots will keep your feet warm and dry and provide protection from cold and even frostbite. Good boots will provide a sure grip on slippery surfaces and will be high enough to prevent snow from melting down your ankle. Sizing snow boots, however, can be difficult, since your normal street shoes sizes may not apply.

Steps to a Perfect Fit

1. Choose the socks you will wear with your new winter snow boots. For insulation, wear a pair of heavy socks, or wear two lighter pairs of socks--a synthetic pair close to the skin to wick away perspiration and a second pair made of natural fibers to absorb moisture. You need to know the socks you intend to wear with your new snow boots because that will affect sizing choices and fit.

2. Start your search at the store by looking for snow boots in your normal street size or a little bigger. Wearing the socks you intend to wear in the cold, try the snow boots on. The boots should fit snugly without cramping your toe or pinching the broad part of your foot.

3. Check for comfort. Walk around the store, squat, stand on your toes. If the boots chaff at the ankles or have spots that rub, try different sizes or boots from other manufacturers.

4. Measure carefully when buying snow boots from a mail order house or the Internet. To obtain your correct measurements, stand in your winter socks on a flat surface. Place bricks at your toe and heel and measure the space between the bricks to obtain your foot length. Repeat the process for your foot width. Then convert your measurements to standard foot sizes using the conversion charts at Timsboots.com.

5. Be aware that left and right foot sizes can differ. Small differences in foot size can be compensated for by a gel or cork insert to the larger boot. Extreme differences in foot size may require custom fitting.

Items you will need
  • Winter socks
  • Bricks
  • Ruler
  • Conversion charts

Tip

  • Water repellent boots are treated to resist water; they breathe, but may become wet over time. Waterproof boots will repel all water, but may also increase foot perspiration.

About the Author

David Pepper is a Los Angeles-based writer, teacher and filmmaker. He has been writing since 1990. His publication credits include articles for the "Los Angeles" and "New York Times," fiction for journals like "Ends Meet" and "Zyzzyva," and a computer book for Prentice Hall. Pepper holds a Master of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images