As you look for genuine leather short snow boots, you will quickly find that you have a lot of options out there, in both men’s and women’s styles.  You will be able to see which ones are the best for you and which ones fit your budget.  As with most products, there are some which will be more expensive than others, and some that are of much higher quality than the others.  In this article, I’d like to share some of the things you will want to look for as you search for mukluk ankle high footwear.  Take a look and make sure you get what you need this year for the long winter.

Pajar Men's Basel Snow Boot,Dark Brown,43 EU/10-10.5 M US
Amazon Price: $165.00 $164.95 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 11, 2014)

Thermal Rating

Some will give you gams of Thinsulate as a gimmick of sorts, but ultimately, you are concerned with the temperature rating of the boot.  Keep in mind the rating reflects that of the footwear being used with moderate activity.  So, you cannot expect to be sitting still and have your feet stay warm all the way down to the temperature listed.  Contrary to popular opinion Gore-Tex is not insulation.

If you go with a boot with a very cold rating, you will likely have warm toes during your winter activities.  However, if you are not in a very cold climate, having a boot that’s rated for a very low temperature will cause your feet to sweat, which is quite uncomfortable.  You must use good judgment when you shop around for winter PAC boots made of genuine leather.

In general, a rating of -40 will be a good, relatively warm boot for most people.  It would be considered average, if there were such a thing, for a warm boot to wear outside during the very cold months.  Adjust accordingly from there and you should be okay.  Go to a lower temperature if you are in severe winter climates or plan to be outdoors for very long periods of time.  Go with a higher temperature if you don’t live in a very cold temperature or you are always relatively active outside when it’s cold.

Sorel Men's Cold Mountain Snow Boot,Black,10 M US
Amazon Price: $95.00 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 11, 2014)

Do I Want a Wool Liner?

The answer is maybe.  Wool is one of the very few materials which maintain its insulating properties when it’s wet.  Keep in mind that you don’t have to be wearing your goulashes out in the snow and water for them to get wet.  Your foot can and will sweat enough to make the liner wet, especially during times of substantial physical activity.  Thankfully, there are several manmade lining materials out there with similar properties.  Wool, however, seems to be a favorite to this day with many people.

How to Size a Boot

You don’t want a cheap winter boot to be too snug. If it’s too snug, it crushes the interior liner.  Just like insulation in a house, the liner needs air space to insulate properly.  This means that when it’s crushed, it will not keep your foot nearly as warm as when it is not.  To make things a little trickier, you also cannot have your boots too loose, or your foot will slide all around in there, making it unsafe.  Just barely snug is a good way to look at it.

To further complicate the issue of sizing, you also need to consider what you’ll be wearing for socks.  Many people wear very thick wool socks, sometimes two pair, when they are outside in very cold temperatures.  In some cases, it might be necessary to go up one half size, although many makers only make the boots in whole sizes.  Just keep this in mind as you try on the boots or order them online. 

Wide width winter boots for men or women are available, but it’s generally a lot harder to find replacement boot liners for them.   You will want to make sure that any style you buy has that option, as the liner is generally the first thing to wear out, making the boot lose its warmth.

What to Look for in a Good Short Winter Boot

There are many different things you will want to look for as you shop around for good deals, or clearance prices.  Listed below are a few of the concerns you might have.

Waterproof or Water Resistant:  These are two totally different things.  Waterproof, in general, is far superior.  If you will be in wet conditions, you will want to make sure you select a waterproof mukluk.  Unfortunately, the terms can be applied loosely. Some will claim it, but the tongue of the footwear might not be, just the base of it.  This is tricky.  Try to select leather tongues which are connected down the length of the boot, and not a separate piece that’s just sewn in at the bottom of the tongue.

Pajar Women's Hanna Boot,Navy/Tan,38 EU/7-7.5 M US
Amazon Price: $150.00 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 11, 2014)

Readily Available Replacement Liners:  You want to make sure you can get a good liner replacement when they start to wear down.  Wide widths, half sizes, and some other issues can creep up, making it all little harder to find them.  You don’t necessarily have to go with the exact brand, but in some cases, it’s best because of the different shapes of the interior of the footwear.

All Leather:  Okay, some manmade materials are fine, but a common deception is to add fancy words like “leather uppers” to the product, making them seem like something they are not.  Make sure they are the real thing, or you’re probably not going to be very happy with them overall.

Tread:  What are you going to be doing with them?  A good tread design, one which is beefy, will help you out in slippery snow, and likely reduce slipping, making it a little bit safer option for you.  Take a look at the bottoms and make sure you are getting something that will work for you and what you intend to do with them.

As you can see, there are many different things you will need to consider as you shop for good winter boots this year.

Lacoste Men's Lousteau ll Boot,Dark Brown,10.5 M US
Amazon Price: $185.00 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 11, 2014)