Best Ice Fishing Boots 2018 – Buyers Guide
It’s still critical to have the right gear, down to the ice fishing boots you buy. There’s no gear more important than your boots to keep your warm, comfortable, and mobile through slush, sleet, rain, and plenty of the frozen stuff while ice fishing or outdoors.
Coming from Wisconsin, I spend at least two days a week out on the ice and having boots that keep me warm keeps me going back out.
Best Ice Fishing Boots for the Money (Top 5)
Real fisherman take their boots seriously, so take your time to research the best ice fishing boots and understand what you should look for in footwear, including your local environmental conditions. Of course, you want a good value, but you should also focus on top-quality boots that have the right levels of insulation, waterproofing, flexibility, and traction, so you can keep kicking (and fishing) even during the coldest winter day on the ice.
|1||Baffin Men's Selkirk Snow Boot,Black/Expedition Gold,10 M US||from $142.99||Amazon|
|2||Sorel Men's Intrepid Explorer Extreme Snow Boot,Black/Red Quartz,10 M US||from $179.99||Amazon|
|3||Muck Arctic Sport Rubber High Performance Men's Winter Boots, Black, 12M US||$138.09||Amazon|
|4||Sorel Men's Conquest Snow Boot, Bark, 11.5 M US||$149.92||Amazon|
|5||Baffin Men's Impact Snow Boot,Camo Realtree,12 M US||from $188.47||Amazon|
Sometimes called “a furnace on your feet,” these are some of the best thermal boots you can buy, rated to-100 degrees F (-73.3 C). They feature water proofed uppers, 13mm ThermoPlus™ felt Inner booties, and traction-enhanced lug outsoles. Standing at 11″, they’re taller than most boots, and have a web lacing system and rip-stop nylon gaiters to keep the snow on. Inspired by dog mushers, these are some serious boots for serious fishermen.
Whether playing in the snow for the day or ice fishing, this lightweight and warm snow boot will keep you warm up to -94°F. Its Baffin’s Icepaw outsole is actually modeled after how polar bear paws grip the ice. The adjustable ankle strap can be a little awkward, and this boot is bulkier than most, but it makes up for it with a polymech foam interior that hugs your foot so you won’t want to sit, even at the end of the fishing day.
These are one of the most lightweight boots you can find that also meet the needs of ice anglers. Not only 100% waterproof, but they’re stretch fit uppers liners are surprisingly warm. One of the coolest features is that they can fit over or under pants, and they’re plenty durable with double reinforced insteps, heels, and Achilles.
I know I just advised to forget about fashion, Sorel made a boot that looks as great as it feels and performs. You won’t sacrifice warmth, as they’re rated down to -40 F. Their soles are adequate, but I recommend that you strap on cleats if you’re walking on the ice, and they run a little small so order half a size bigger.
If you’re heading into the most extreme weather conditions for fishing in Arctic or even Polar regions, you want a boot that is ensured to hold the heat. Baffin made a top of the line boot just for that, with an astounding -148 F rating. They achieve that with an eight-line inner boot system, Thermaplush foam insulation, and Geflex midsoles. But industry-leading cold protection isn’t the only benefit to these boots. Their nylon uppers are sufficient for water and snow protection and their rubber treads stick like a goat to a mountain. If you’re looking for the best boot for some no-nonsense frozen water angling, start with these boots!
Ice Fishing Boots Buyer Guide
Snow Boot Materials
You’ll find that your traditional winter boots have natural skin or fabric uppers portions and rubber lowers. You’ll also see most winter sport boots with removable liners and laced-up fronts. Being able to remove or get air to those inner sections does mean that they dry faster, but they’re also usually bulky and fit way too loose for ice fishermen.
Boots specifically made for ice fishing, however, are constructed with state-of-the-art synthetic materials, which provide a lighter, more flexible boot that is also a snugger fit.
Aside from keeping your foot dry and warm during the long hours on the ice, functionality is key. Look for the best quality boots and try a few pairs on – but remember to make sure they’re EE width because you’ll have thick winter socks on when you use them.
Look for a boot that’s high enough on your calf that you can trudge through the snow and not end up frozen the rest of the day. Even better, find a boot with a gaiter on the top to seal out the elements. Short of falling in your hole, you’ll stay dry no matter what the conditions.
For those reasons, most anglers trust Pac boots, which have a resilient waterproof base and rubberized exterior skin, keeping your feet free of snow, sleet, ice, and definitely, water.
Snow Boot Waterproofing
Putting aside snow for a moment (or shoveling it aside,) the level of waterproofing your boots provides is probably more important than anything. If you’re buying boots for the first time – or just want to ensure you make the right choice – all you have to do is read the reviews from seasoned ice fishermen. You’ll read again and again that keeping their feet dry is the top consideration when picking out your boots, as nothing will ruin your trip faster than getting a wet boot or sock.
That’s why you should look for a solid rubber base with a hearty upper made of leather, nylon, or another synthetic material. Whichever one you choose, test to make sure it’s pre-treated to repel water, and pay attention to the craftsmanship such as good stitching.
Like we mentioned, the taller boots that go well up your calf are preferable when you’re in the slop, and will give room for plenty of form-fitting insulation. Just as important is the fastening system. While you might see ice fishing boots with zippers, laces, buckles, snaps, or any combination, most ice fishermen prefer zippers or buckles because it’s easier to close them up without taking off your heavy mitts or gloves.
Having a fully waterproof and durable shell is crucial, but insulation is just as important if you want to stay warm. Any angler knows that when your extremities are cold, you tend to get impatient, make rookie mistakes, and probably won’t fully enjoy your time on the ice. These days, ice fishing footwear comes with either rubber or synthetic insulation, which offers plenty of thermal protection but also is lightweight and not cumbersome. Try a boot with one of the top insulations on the market, such as Thinsulate, opti-warm, primaloft, heatseeker, zylex, or even wool felt.
Now that you’re warm, dry, and comfortable, the next measure of a great ice fishing boot is traction. Most snow boots will have sufficient traction but its always good to invest in a good pair of ice cleats. Remember that you’re going to be slipping and sliding around if you don’t have proper traction, which could end up getting you wet unnecessarily, compromise your gear, or even turn dangerous. If you’re going to trek in instead of taking a sled or truck, take special care with a boot with the proper footing, including spikes. Match your boot’s traction with the conditions and activities you plan on pursuing.
Remember that when picking out an ice fishing boot, style should be a distant consideration, with snow protection, waterproofing, insulation, and traction of the utmost importance!