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5 tips for choosing the right winter boots for your child

Updated on 20 June 2024

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Have your child’s shoes lived through back-to-school and the fall season? It is now time to start thinking about what boots they will wear when winter comes.

Their growing feet are more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, so children generally need to be better protected than adults.

We’ve put together 5 podiatrist-approved tips to help you choose the right winter boots for your child. 

1. Choose a lightweight winter boot

As they grow, children do not always possess the full extent of their muscular and motor skills.

Therefore, when the snow accumulates on the ground, movement will prove to be easier if their winter boots are light.

You can tell if the boots are too heavy by observing how your child behaves when they try them on.

If they drag the feet, it’s best to let them go for another pair.

 2. Make sure the boot is well insulated

The feet are a body part that easily loses heat. Therefore, it is important that your child gets a boot that properly retains the warmth.

Keeping this in mind, a good choice would be a boot that has a heat index of -30°C.

As for the boot’s inner insulation, it may be worth choosing a model that features removable felts.

Typically, you should opt for the following materials in the boot:

  • Wool, which helps retain heat
  • Polyester, which helps control moisture levels
  • Aluminum coating that repels cold and wind
  • Rubber soles, which have good insulating and anti-slip properties

3. Make sure the boot fits the measurements of the child’s foot

You may be tempted to buy winter boots that are slightly larger than necessary to save money, but do so with caution.

Even if it may seem like you’re planning ahead, a winter boot that is too wide can affect your child’s comfort.

The same goes for buying a shoe that is too tight, which can cause discomforts like:

4. Choose a boot that is appropriately waterproof

Winter is not only ice and snow but also thaw and freezing rain.

In this regard, the boots you choose for your child should be designed to effectively repel water.

The effectiveness of a waterproof winter boot depends on both the materials it is made of and its impermeable coating.

The materials generally recognized for their waterproof properties are:

  • Leather
  • Neoprene
  • Vinyl
  • Synthetic nylon fibers

5. Choose a boot that breathes easily

Seeing as moisture on the feet accelerates freezing, a waterproof winter boot should also be adequately breathable.

To this end, we recommend you choose boots that meet these criteria:

  • They are made of GORE-TEX, a type of waterproof material that is also known for its breathable properties.
  • They have a nylon upper, which may be less waterproof than GORE-TEX, but allows the water vapor generated by the child’s feet to pass through.

While we have primarily focused on shoes, we should also mention the importance of a good pair of socks.

Normally, we recommend you replace pairs of socks made of synthetic fibers with socks made of a natural material like merino wool or cotton.

You should also make sure to avoid layered socks as they prevent moisture from properly draining from your winter boots.

Need more tips on choosing winter boots for your child? Consider your PiedReseau podiatrist.

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