Are Duck Boots good for Snow?
If you live in a cold climate where it regularly snows then finding a winter boot that can deal with slippery surfaces, wet weather and can keep your feet warm and dry is essential. The problem is what boots are capable of holding up to winter conditions?
Let’s talk about Duck Boots and whether these are suitable for snow and cold weather or whether you should be looking for alternatives.
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What Are Duck Boots?
Firstly what makes a Duck Boot a Duck Boot? Well, there are a few unique features that make a pair of Duck Boots different from other types of winter boots.
Firstly Duck Boots combine the best of two different types of boots as they have a rubber sole whilst the top of the boot has a leather upper. The rubber soles are great for wet surfaces and provide water protection. The leather upper section has been designed so they can be flexible around the ankle and lower calf.
Secondly, many Duck Boots have a unique design on the rubber section at the front of the boot. This resembles the webbed foot of a duck. As the front of the rubber section of the boot is relatively wide it leaves room for your feet and toes to spread out and can offer stability in wet or slippery weather conditions.
Different Types of Duck Boots
The original Duck Boots were originally made by L.L. Bean who wanted a pair of boots that would work for hunting and keep his feet dry and warm.
Since then many other companies have created similar designs to the original shoes including companies such as Sperry’s and Sorel. There are also plenty of non-label imitators that use similar designs.
As with most boots and shoes, you get what you pay for. The cheaper imitations may work as a winter boots in milder climates but if you want the best Duck Boots you need to stick with the major brands that are making better quality products.
Do They Make Good Snow Boots?
If you are thinking about buying Duck Boots to use in the cold weather then you need to do a little homework as not all of these boots are going to work in extremely cold temperatures.
The fact is that Duck Boots come in a number of different styles and designs and each of these will offer different weather protection.
In order to assess whether the pair you are looking at can handle the extreme cold you need to make sure they are:
- Fully Waterproof
- Insulated With a Good Thermal Lining
- Are Slip Resistant and Have a Rubber Outsole With Good Traction
The Best Bean Boots for Snow
These Women’s Caribou Waterproof Sorel Boots are a perfect example of a great Duck Boot design that is perfect for Winter.
These insulated Duck Boots have been specially designed for walking around in the snow and have a removable felt inner boot with a sherpa pile to keep your feet warm in cold, wet and snowy conditions.
These are waterproof which means that these winter boots will keep your feet dry. Pus the rubber sole has been specially designed for additional traction which means that you should be able to walk around safely in the snow.
There is also a men’s version of this SOREL Men’s Caribou Waterproof Boot as well. These come in the classic duck boot style and are perfect for winter conditions.
Are Duck Boots Warm?
Duck boots are typically used as winter boots because they keep feet your feet warm and dry however not all of their boots are fully insulated.
If you are looking for warm Duck Boots then you should choose a pair that has been designed with the appropriate insulation for the weather you are going to be dealing with.
There are plenty of non-insulated Duck Boots that are available to buy that may be perfect for wet conditions but are not really suitable for snowy conditions.
Duck Boots are made by more than one manufacturer and the level of insulation can vary depending on the maker and design.
Choosing The Warmest Duck Boots And Best Insulation
Different manufacturers make different types of insulated Duck Boots. Some insulated boots have a flannel lining, while others have Thinsulate or Primaloft insulation or felt inner boots. All can work in snowy conditions.
When buying your insulated boots check to see the temperatures that they are capable of dealing with so you can assess whether they meet your needs.
Different countries and regions can have big temperature differences in winter. That means what will work in one area may not be suitable for another. Buy boots to cope with the lowest temperatures you expect to regularly deal with.
The Sorel Caribou boots that we have already mentioned are some of the warmest on the market and you can also use their Winter Carnival Waterproof Boots as well.
This particular style of boots has a midsole with a felt frost plug and can withstand temperatures of -25° Fahrenheit / -32° Celsius. These are boots that work in heavy snow and handle relatively low temperatures which should suffice for the majority of people.
Are Duck Boots Waterproof?
Whilst many people might assume that they are waterproof boots this is not actually the case and a better term to use might be water-resistant.
If you think about it the rubber foot of these shoes is going to be fully waterproof. The rubber bottoms will act like wellingtons and keep out water in wet conditions and snow. However, the weakness comes in the upper part of the boot which is not fully waterproof because it is usually made from leather.
Leather is a natural material that can be good for keeping your feet dry and warm provided you aren’t standing in a wet environment for a significant amount of time. If you are standing in water or snow for a significant amount of time water can start to seep through your shoes causing wet feet.
You can of course improve the waterproofing of the boots by using products to help. Rust-Oleum, Clear 280886 Shield H2O Boot and Shoe Spray is a product that you can use on your boots to make them withstand wet environments. Just remember that you may need to regularly spray this on your Duck Boots as the protection is not permanent.
Wearing These Boots in Wet Conditions
Duck Boots with waterproof leather and rubber bottoms are perfect for wet weather conditions. They will keep your feet dry and warm which is what makes them great winter boots.
In fact, Bean Duck Boots were created for people who were going to be spending their time outdoors doing activities such as hunting or fishing.
These boots tend to hold up well in the wet weather and keep your feet warm and dry unless you are faced with more extreme conditions.
Are Bean Boots Non-Slip?
Are Duck Boots Slippery in the snow? Well, the rubber soles on a pair of Duck Boots usually offer decent traction to help you walk in the snow and ice.
Many Duck Boots made by LL Bean have a chain tread pattern on the rubber soles. This design on the rubber bottom of the boots gives you a relatively good grip in cold weather.
However, very few boots can guarantee that they are totally non-slip especially if the conditions are particularly icy. If you are looking for ways of staying upright and getting amazing ice traction then you need to think about buying some Yaktrax to wear over your boots.
Yaktrax Diamond Grip All-Surface Traction Cleats are designed to help you get a great grip when walking over snow and ice.
All you need to do is choose a size to fit on your boots and then secure the rubber sling over the top of your boots and start walking. These are super easy to get on and off and give you that extra security if you are dealing with surfaces that are super slippery.
Wearing Bean Boots for Hiking In Winter
Whilst Duck Boots are great for walking short distances in the snow and wet weather they aren’t really designed as hiking boots.
A good hiking boot needs to be stable, offer ankle support, have good traction, and be breathable and sadly Duck Boots are lacking in many of these essentials.
For example, Duck Boots aren’t particularly breathable boots and that means that if you start to walk long distances in them sweat starts to build up in the boot, and has nowhere to go. When your feet are sweaty you can start to experience friction which leads to blisters. Good hiking boots are breathable allowing you to go winter hiking in comfort.
Next, the boots themselves don’t tend to offer great ankle support. When you are wearing good hiking boots they support and protect your ankle in less-than-ideal terrain. Hiking tends to involve walking over uneven ground and slippery rocks so it makes sense to use a boot that is more capable of keeping you safe.
This is, even more, the case when the rubber foot or sole of Bean Duck Boots doesn’t have the traction to deal with hiking conditions. Yes, it can cope with snow but that is very different from snowy conditions on a hiking route with rocks and poor surfaces.
Oh, and as we mentioned earlier Duck Boot has a wide front of foot section which give them their unique look. This space means that your feet have space. This is great in winter conditions but not so useful in hiking boots where the foot should be stable and static to prevent blisters on long walks.
If you want to go winter hiking think about buying a pair of boots like these NORTIV 8 Men’s Insulated Waterproof Boots instead.
The fact is that Duck Boots can be snow boots if you choose the right design. The key is understanding that not all Duck Boots are the best ones for really snowy weather.
Basic Duck Boots don’t have to be fully insulated and tend to be a footwear option for people who just need boots to keep their feet dry in a mildish winter.
As an example living in London, you are never likely to fully need a good snow boot. At most the capital of the United Kingdom gets a couple of inches of snow at the worst for only a few days a year. Therefore a non-insulated duck boot such as these Sketchers Mid-Herringbone Chelsea Boots would probably hold up just fine on a typical commute or for running errands.
Move to areas of Canada however where snowfall is often measured in feet and not inches and then it is an entirely different story. Then you need to invest in warm Duck Boots that can cope with freezing temperatures and lots of snow. This is where the Caribou Duck Boots we mentioned earlier come into their own.
The Sorel Caribou Duck Boots function extremely well as they have been designed for use in heavy snow. They have the typical Duck Boots design but extra insulation, traction, shaft length, and sherpa pile snow cuff make all the difference.
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