Whether you opt for leather, suede or a man-made material, ensure the upper part of the boot is waterproof. All three types of material can be treated to be water resistant; look for a mention on the label.
Regardless of the lining you choose, keep in mind that even the best winter boots can’t work miracles if you’re standing still in -25 °C weather.
Man-made: Generally made of polyester, or felt made to look like wool.
Wool: Wool lining is woven onto a membrane. It is widely used because of its excellent value for cost.
Shearling: In this case, all of the animal’s hide is used—both the leather and fleece—which makes for very warm boots. This lining is the most expensive, but the price is justified, especially when made locally.
In our shopping bags at Carrefour de l’Estrie*
* Inventory and price subject to change
Boots with a flexible sole are more comfortable in the long run, especially if you do a lot of walking. You’ll also want to make sure they are skid-proof. Some boots even have integrated cleats, which you can use when needed. The thickness of the sole is also an indicator of how warm a boot is. The thinner the sole, the closer your foot is to the snow!
If boots feel heavy in your hands, they are likely to feel heavy on your feet. Weigh a few different ones in your hands at the shoe store, and compare them before making your final choice.