Finding the Right Snowshoe Boots

by | Jan 23, 2017 | Footwear Recommendations, General Foot Care

Snowshoeing is a popular recreational activity up in the High Rockies. It’s hard to take the hiking out of the hikers, after all. My wife and I recently jumped into the foray and I quickly realized how ill-prepared I was for the adventures, most notably in my feet.

I’ve been in Houston for the last three years, a place that mostly shuts down at temperatures below 40-degrees. Naturally, all of my footwear choices reflected that kind of weather. I moved up here with plenty of running shoes, a pair of Birkenstocks, some Allen Edmonds wingtip shoes, and my heartiest pair of shoes – a pair of fashionable Kenneth Cole boots.

How do you safely snowshoe in leather fashion boots? Well, you don’t.

Being a skier, I do have ski boots that keep my feet plenty warm, but the lack of ankle motion would never let me walk around in snowshoes. My wife, who is a much better skier than I am, has dabbled in snowboarding and had been up here for three years now, so she has some nice Sorel boots already. In order to get into the snow, I had to find some solid boots in a hurry!

A problem that I, personally, deal with is Raynaud’s phenomenon. This vascular concern is surprisingly common, with symptoms including painful, cold digits. In Raynaud’s, small blood vessels of the fingers and toes sporadically close and reopen, usually because of changes in temperature. We see patients in the Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle office almost daily with this problem – I just happen to be one of them. Because of this, I knew I would need warm, waterproof winter boots.

Ultimately, I decided on a pair of Woolrich winter boots. They are rated to -25-degrees to keep my toes, which are more at risk of frostnip and frostbite, warm even while out on the trail. The leather waterproof upper will prevent any trench foot or moisture-induced injuries from affecting my feet as well. Now I know that even if I get lost on the trail while snowshoeing, my feet are protected from the elements.

I tell patients every day brands do not matter, and that is a true statement. Good boots can be found in any budget, from casual winterwear to these sturdy, cold-weather boots. Natural construction materials like leather and wool can provide long lasting warmth, while synthetic materials like Goretex can provide similar properties at a lighter weight.

Should you be in the market for new winter boots and want some recommendations, we are familiar with all types and brands, and can help point you in the right direction. If you have symptomatic Raynaud’s phenomenon like I do, we have treatment options for that as well. For any foot and ankle complaints, we have you covered at Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle. Contact us today by calling (970) 949-0500 to connect with our Avon office or (970) 668-4565 for our Frisco office.