12 Expertly Rugged And Best Ice Fishing Boots For MEN and WOMEN
Ice fishing is a fun activity for friends and family during the winter months. But no one enjoys any day out if they have cold wet feet. The best ice fishing boots need to meet the highest standards for:
Ice fishing boots need to be comfortable and safe to allow you to walk over treacherous terrain and across frozen lakes. As we all know, you reach the best ice fishing spots with some physical effort. Accordingly, some of the best ice fishing boots also serve as excellent winter hiking wear and are popular with hunters in snowy landscapes.
These qualities also mean that ice fishing boots make ideal extreme weather boots for everyday activities like shovelling snow or even walking around your neighborhood, especially if you live in a very cold climate.
You don't have to go ice fishing to make buying ice fishing boots a good decision. However, if you do choose to spend some time trying to catch some naturally chilled fish, you can relax knowing that your feet will stay warm and dry with the best ice fishing boots listed below.
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Best Ice Fishing Boots For MEN And WOMEN
How The Reviews Are Organized
I have looked at ice fishing boots for men and women. I have reviewed them for their ability to keep feet dry in wet conditions and for keeping your feet warm in subzero temperatures experienced during extreme winter weather.
A buyer's guide follows which discusses the features that are crucial to finding the best ice fishing boots for spending a day on the ice and snow.
Note: I have identified fantastic ice fishing boots for women that offer everything they need. However, women may also opt to buy men's ice fishing boots because there is greater selection, are generally cheaper than women's ice fishing boots, and normally more functional with fewer fashion extras.
Best Ice Fishing Boots For Men
Here are nine of the best ice fishing boots for men.
Muck Arctic Extreme Boots
Muck Arctic Extreme snow boots are one of the best ice fishing boots for men.
The outer shell of 8mm thick neoprene gives a waterproof boot that fits the shape of your foot for maximum comfort when walking or trekking across any terrain. Muck Boots design their premium ice fishing boots to keep your body heat in and the cold and damp out. The neoprene shell, soft fleece lining, and the thermal foam (2mm layer) under the footbed work together to keep your toes cozy down to -60˚F (-50˚C).
The Vibram arctic grip sole with multidirectional lugs gives exceptional traction on wet and dry ice and can cope with any terrain. The combination of materials insulate, flex, and act as shock absorbers for all round durable performance. The boots aim to keep you dry, warm, and comfortable if you are walking or standing around on the ice for a long time.
The boots are comfortable to put on and pull off. Buy them to fit your shoe size rather than a size larger unless you know that you are going to wear extra thick socks. They are available in men's shoe sizes 7 to 15 in an attractive winter forest camouflage design – bark/mobuc mini. You pay about $20 more for the larger sizes, but for a boot of this quality and durability, they are competitively priced.
Baffin Impact Boots
Baffin Impact snow boots are designed for subzero temperatures and extreme snow and ice. Every feature aims at keeping your feet warm and dry. The eight layers in the lining mean that it functions as a decent inside slipper boot. The sole features a double aluminum insole and a waffle comb footbed along with polar rubber outer soles – engineered to stop cold seeping up and into your feet.
The waffle comb structure allows the boot to wick moisture from your foot and evaporates it away. In severe arctic conditions, you don't want water on your skin. The aluminum layer is there for its reflective properties – preserving your body heat.
These boots are favored by people routinely experiencing extreme winter conditions – dog sled racers, trekkers to the North Pole and Everest. They also serve to keep your feet incredibly warm, toasty and dry, while standing around on the ice waiting for a fish to take the bait.
These boots are available from men's shoe sizes 7-14. Baffin Impact snow boots are some of the best ice fishing boots for men.
Korkers Polar Vortex Boots
You pay around $240 for these Polar Vortex Winter boots, but these are ice fishing boots on steroids. These ice fishing boots claim to keep your feet bone dry with a thoroughly thought-out construction – waterproof and breathable bootie, waterproof leather, webbing, laces, and stitching all combine to keep the water out.
The outsole to innersole is a massive thermal stack with six layers: aerogel insole, Thinsulate, EVA midsole, outsole frame, outsole plate, and finally, the interchangeable rubber outsole layer. The aerogel insole (developed by NASA) is an incredibly efficient thermal barrier on top of additional insulation. The upper is generously insulated with 1,200g of top-quality insulation, and you can expect your feet to stay warm when you are standing around in subzero temperatures down to -60˚F.
The BOA M4 fitting system is a neat device – you pop your feet in the boot and dial the laces tight. When you want to take the boot off, turn the knob, and away you go. The standout feature is the two outer soles giving you a choice to switch between an outsole optimized for snow and one with carbide studs for superior grip on ice.
Guide Gear Monolithic Boots
These ice fishing boots target protection from subzero temperatures with a massive 2,400g Thinsulate insulating the upper and an 8mm wool and reflective silver sheet to protect you from cold penetrating from the ground. Your toes stay cozy and fresh because the entire upper is breathable and moisture-wicking as well as waterproof.
Other Guide Gear boots include an antibacterial treatment to keep the boots smelling sweet and fresh. These don't so as the warm sock liner is not removable, you may wish to use a deodorizing shoe spray overnight to keep your boots smelling sweet.
The upper of the Guide Gear Monolithic snow boots combines nylon and full-grain leather, and the lace fittings are sturdy and robust. The size ranges from men's shoe sizes 8 to 14, and as an added feature, the rubber soles are oil resistant. They are no-nonsense, rugged, and durable ice fishing boots that stand up to subzero temperatures in extreme winter weather.
Aleader Winter Snow Boots
Aleader is a relatively new kid in the outdoor market, founded in 2014 in California. They started with water shoes and expanded to outdoor winter gear. These Aleader Insulated waterproof winter snow boots are excellent for ice-fishing, slushy mud, and winter sports. These ice fishing boots are easy to pull on, and then you can adjust the fit with an ankle strap, laces, and a drawstring top.
These ice fishing boots keep your toes cozy down to -25˚F and are waterproof where it matters. The nonslip sole keeps you in position on an incline, and the deep grooves give you grip and traction in muddy conditions. The foot part of the boot has a waterproof shell and is seam-sealed to keep your feet dry. The leg portion is comfortable, form-fitting, and water and wind-resistant. The faux-fur lining finishes the cozy warm feeling you need from an ice fishing boot.
The Aleader insulated waterproof snow boots are super-affordable for a boot with these features. You can expect to pay under $70 and benefit from 30 days refund policy if the ice fishing boots don't meet your expectations.
Columbia Bugaboo Plus IV Boots
Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV snow boots for men are an attractive all round extreme winter boot that is also an excellent ice fishing boot. The leather upper is bonded to the rubber soles with an injection molded shell to produce a water-resistant boot. A trademark process allows your feet to breathe but remain dry and warm with its thermal insulation, making it comfortable down to -25˚F.
The full length lace up support and "indoor-friendly Omni-Grip" outsole makes this ice fishing boot perfect in rocky terrain, deep in the snow, or crossing treacherous terrain. In addition, its lightweight midsole provides superior cushioning and long-lasting comfort.
As an extra plus, Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV are ruggedly good looking which allows them to function as an everyday boot with a floor-friendly non-marking sole. You can choose from three colours - a classic black or grey, or stylish phoenix blue. An incredible range of sizes from 7 to 17 with some half sizes means this boot should suit all feet sizes and types. Unlike some of the other ice fishing boots that made my list, you pay the same price regardless of the shoe size. The price is competitive.
Kamik Nationplus Boots
Kamik Nationplus Boots are affordable leather boots with a seam-sealed rubber sole. They are rated for performance to -40˚F. The lining is moisture-wicking to keep feet dry and comfortable, and this combined with an antimicrobial footbed adds additional comfort by reducing the impact of hot, sweaty feet on the boot.
Kamik Nationplus Boots are budget friendly and for the price, offers a lot of features that makes it one of the best ice fishing boots you can purchase. In addition, they are smart enough to wear for every day outdoor use and come in multiple colours. They are available in men's shoe sizes 7 to 14 with some extra wide options and half sizes.
Vasque Snowblime Boots
Vasque Snowblime Boots are ultra-dry and built like a standard hiking boot in size and shape. A solid and protective 1.8mm waterproof polyurethane coated leather upper is completed with 200mg of 3M Thinsulate insulation and a dual-density rubber sole. They supply a molded midsole cushion with mid-foot support.
Vasque Snowblime Boots uses "ColdHold Technology" to give a combination sole that offers excellent traction in subzero conditions together with arch support and comfortable, flexible walking experience. The soft collar and the cozy fleece lining combine to give comfort, and avoid rubbing and irritation. They provide all metal hardware with a locking ankle hook which supplies a positive closure and a generous heel pull on loop accommodates a gloved finger.
Available in men shoe sizes from 7 to 14 with a couple of half sizes.
Merrell Thermal Chill Boots
Merrell Thermo Chill snow boots are waterproof sneakers that include all the snow boot technology you expect with today's winter boots. The leather has a waterproof coating, and the detailed molding of the sole provides stability, arch support, and shock absorption.
Merrell Thermo Chill snow boots offer 200g of "Thermo Chill" insulation which provides a cozy interior to protect toes from the cold. A waterproof membrane protects the feet from dampness and slush. The kinetic fit base insole is removable and contoured to provide a comfortable walking experience.
The 5mm lug depth provides excellent traction in snow and ice. They offer traditional lace-up closure with fabric laces and metal hooks for a secure fit. While a bellows tongue keeps debris out.
It is one of the best ice fishing boots for less frigid climates, and great for other cold weather activities, like snow shovelling, hunting, or hiking. Available sizes start at men's shoe sizes 7.5 and go up to 15.
Best Ice Fishing Boots for Women
Here are the three best ice fishing boots for women.
Baffin Icefield Snow Boots
Practical ice fishing boots designed for women are hard to find. Baffin Icefield snow boots are Arctic-quality women's boots and built to a similar standard as some of the best ice fishing boots for men. They will easily withstand any of winter's harsh elements with its waterproof design. Its web-lacing system and drawstring collar will keep the chill and snow out.
Ignoring the comparisons with men's ice boots, Baffin Icefield Boots have all the technology needed to cope with extreme snow and ice. They have the right types of insulation to help withstand cold up to -148° F – reflective aluminum insoles, waffle comb construction for the footbed, insulating layers, and waterproof outside. The sole gives plenty of traction so you can walk with confidence and comfort.
They are available in white or black, and come in women's shoe sizes 6- 11. Although they may not be high fashion, wearing the Baffin Icefield Boots means that you can spend a day outdoors without risking frostbite. These boots are functional, durable, and if you are regularly enjoying the outdoors in frigid subzero temperatures, they are a great investment.
Columbia Heavenly Snow Boots
Columbia Heavenly Snow Boots are stylish women's snow boots which also have the technology to make them excellent ice fishing boots in severe cold weather. The outer shell is sealed to make them waterproof but also treated to be breathable. The inside lining is reflective to keep your body heat inside the boot – plus 200g of insulation to keep your toes comfortably warm. They are rated to -25˚F.
The outer rubber sole will give you excellent traction while walking around outside in snowy or icy conditions, and when you go inside, it won't mark the floors. The footbed is contoured for comfort and removable.
Columbia Heavenly Snow Boots are available in women's shoe sizes 5 to 12 with lots of half sizes, and in two colours - black and silver. It features a soft faux fur collar and tongue lining, metal rivets and lacing aglets, and a removable contoured footbed. They do not contain any animal products making it an excellent choice for those seeking an ethical option.
The North Face Shellista Boots
The style and fit of The North Face Shellista boots are gender-specific for women, starting with the injection molded shell and the fashion trims like the faux fur collar. Underneath the fancy trimmings, there is a functional cold weather boot that makes them some of the best ice fishing boots for women. The premium leather upper is fully waterproof, and 200g of quality insulation provide a dry and warm interior to keep your feet comfortable in cold, wet conditions.
The cushioned footbed provides support where you need it, and the sole includes "TNF Winter Grip®" and "IcePick® lugs" for excellent traction when you need extra grip for balance and safe walking. These tall boots look good and perform well in severe winter conditions to keep your feet warm and dry.
Sizes available from women's shoe sizes 5 to 11 with a multiple of color options, and the boots are competitively priced.
Buyer's Guide To The Best Ice Fishing Boots
Ice fishing boots need to cope with the extreme challenges of keeping your feet dry and warm for a prolonged time while standing around. Plus, they need to be comfortable for walking over rough terrain and give you traction in both dry powdery snow and wet, slippery ice.
Premier Materials For The Best Ice Fishing Boots
The best materials for a great pair of ice fishing boots must provide waterproofing, breathability, comfort, insulation, and durability. One single material does not provide all of these qualities, so most ice fishing boots use a combination of quality materials.
Leather is durable, flexible, and waterproof when correctly treated. It's a popular choice for the upper portion of the best ice fishing boots.
Rubber materials are waterproof and moldable to give a comfortable footbed and soles with plenty of texture for traction. They are normally thick to help keep cold air out.
Neoprene is flexible and comfortable for outer shells and provides excellent thermal insulation.
Other synthetic materials supply breathable membranes, softness, thermal properties, and additional insulation.
When searching for the best ice fishing boots, consider the quality of the materials and the part they play in providing a functional as well as an attractive boot.
Stiffness For The Best Ice Fishing Boots
Achieving the right amount of waterproofing and warmth can result in a stiff, inflexible boot that is uncomfortable to wear. The preferred level of stiffness depends on the shape of the boot – a stiff hiking boot provides excellent ankle support and advantages when climbing. However, a high leg boot that is too stiff next to your calf may chafe or even make bending your knee on uneven surfaces challenging.
The degree of stiffness needed for support versus the flexibility necessary for comfortable movement varies with each individual. The only way to decide if a boot is right for you is to have the experience of wearing similar boots, so you know what combinations work for you in your preferred use.
When it comes to the best ice fishing boots, rigid boots are typically preferable, as they are ideal for when you are planning on staying still. However, if you need to hike into an ice fishing spot, you will need to reconsider. Rubber boots are not as rigid and are designed to be more flexible.
Typically, for the best ice fishing boots, you expect a durable rubber base seam welded to a strong upper layer of waterproof coated leather or other durable material. The function of the outer coating is to keep water out.
Look for indications of proper watertight sealing where different materials join, and that coatings are waterproof rather than water-resistant.
Insulation For The Best Ice Fishing Boots
Insulation is vital to keep your toes warm, and you need a minimum of 200g of it. However, if you are in frigid winter conditions, you should have at least 600g for a day on the ice. Most ice fishing boots will give you a comfortable temperature range for keeping your toes warm in cold conditions.
One of the most important sources of insulation in the best ice fishing boots is "Thinsulate". The amount of Thinsulate used inside the boot should always be determined. Thinsulate is an insulation product that was developed by 3M. A key feature is its polypropylene fibers, which are stitched together inside the body of the fabric to create a strong barrier against cold.
Typically, the number of grams of Thinsulate used determines how much protection you will have from the cold. Ice fishing boots with more Thinsulate will offer more protection against the cold but will also weigh more and make the boots more inflexible.
Lower levels of insulation give a lighter, less bulky boot and make it easier to walk around. If you want to wear your ice fishing boots for other outdoor activities, such as shovelling snow, hiking or even running errands, you may need to compromise on the levels of insulation.
Cold feet make your whole body feel cold and make you feel miserable. They will ruin your day's fishing. Before purchasing, you need to figure out the likely temperatures that you will be facing so that you can determine the quality and amount of insulation that you need.
Socks provide additional insulation, and regardless if you prefer thermal, breathable, or antibacterial socks for your feet, your ice fishing boots need enough space to accommodate them.
The socks you team with your ice fishing boots make a real difference to your experience of a day spent ice fishing. The golden rule for warmth is to add thin layers with trapped air rather than one thick layer. Layering your socks means you can mix and match qualities like moisture-wicking and thermal insulation.
There are many different kinds of socks out there. I have written two articles about socks that may provide some assistance. Those are:
- 12 Best Socks For Sweaty Feet For MEN and WOMEN (2020 Reviews)
- 10 Best Boot Socks For MEN and WOMEN (2020 Reviews)
When you are trying to figure out the best socks for ice fishing boots, you may also wish to look at waterproof, heated or thermal socks. Beyond that, you should pay close attention to the material in the socks. Merino wool would be an excellent choice. They would keep your feet warm without being itchy, and they naturally wick away sweat to keep your feet cool and dry. Other synthetic fibers such as nylon, lycra and polyester should also be considered since they are key to keeping the socks' shape, and also helping with moisture. Cotton alone should be avoided as they retain moisture once wet.
Liners For The Best Ice Fishing Boots
Socks are a form of boot liner, but all boots have an inner foot-facing surface – the inner liner. Being able to remove the liner after a long day of ice fishing means you can dry it, wash it, air it out and generally make sure that the next time you put your feet in your boots, the liner is dry, clean, and odor-free. In addition, a removable liner gives you the option of rotating liners for fresher, healthier feet.
In addition, liners offer another opportunity to add a layer of warmth to your ice fishing boots. If you think you may need more, pay attention to the material and thickness of the liner to make that determination.
Rubber soles give a sticky contact with the ground, but you need intelligent lug design to provide you with traction on the different types of surfaces you encounter while ice fishing – snow, dry ice, wet ice, and slushy or rocky terrain.
Sole technology focuses on the design of the lugs and innovative use of materials. As well as looking for boots with the best technology for traction, think about using spikes for extra safety.
Laces For The Best Ice Fishing Boots
Laces are flexible because they allow you to adjust the fit of the boots for thicker socks, hiking up slopes, or any other change that needs you to flex the fit of your boots. Zips, by comparison, are inflexible.
Lacing arrangements depend on robust, securely mounted eyelets. If you know you need to get in and out of your boots rapidly, look for speed lacing fittings similar to those on hiking boots. In addition, quality laces should be thick enough to be easy to grip while wearing gloves and not easily tear apart.
The best ice fishing boots keep your feet comfortable in extreme weather conditions. Happy feet keep a smile on your face, so it is worth investing time, money and effort to determine the best ice fishing boots for you.
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