Should Snow Boots Be Tight or Loose?

One of the biggest concerns that people face while choosing snow boots (winter boots) is finding the right size. Snow boots, due to their different make and design, aren’t the same size as those of your regular shoes.

So, picking a snow boot that’s exactly the size of your regular shoes without trying one is a big mistake!

When it comes to picking the right size, snow boots shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. They should offer a snug comfortable fit from the first time you wear them.

Should Snow Boots Be Tight or Loose

Buying a size bigger, thinking that you’ll need extra room to accommodate socks, or buying a size smaller because you want the boots to stick to your feet will only cause problems.

Snug snow boots allow optimum space: enough to let you wiggle your feet but not so loose that your feet will slip. The thumb rule to stick with when trying to find the right size is trying a lot of snow boots before buying one. 

Bear in mind, if your feet are extra-wide or too narrow, you still don’t need a size bigger or smaller. It’s relative to the shape of the boots instead. So, look for different varieties in terms of design instead of picking boots that are too tight or too loose.

Should Snow Boots be Tight or Loose: How to Test If Your Boots Are the Right Match for Your Feet? 

The right size for snow boots is neither too tight nor too loose. If they hurt your feet when you walk or your heels keep slipping while walking, the shoes aren’t the right size. 

The right snow boots are those that offer a perfect balance between comfort and grip. Besides, there are many varieties: some snow boots are ankle length, some are calf-length, and some might even come up to your knees. So, finding the exact size for snow boots is always going to be tough.

Instead of relying on the size guide that you use to buy regular boots, try the following tricks instead. They will give you a decent idea of whether or not your snow boots are your right size.

1.) When you insert your feet in your snow boots, skid the toes forward. If there’s just about enough space that you can slip one finger inside the boots, they’re most likely going to offer a snug-fitting. 

2.) When you wear the boots, lightly kick a wall. The entire concept behind this unorthodox boot-size testing method is to determine whether the boots are big.

If your feet move considerably even when you kick the wall lightly, it means that the boots you’re currently wearing are bigger and loose. 

3.) Another usual boot test method to determine whether the size of your snow boots is right or not is to walk in them. If they’re pressing the upper side of your feet or compressing your toes, it means they’re too tight.

Similarly, if your feet skim and glide up and down while you walk in your snow boots, it means they’re very very loose.  

Should Snow Boots be Tight or Loose? 

When we say that snow boots should be snug, people get under the impression that they should be tight. That’s, however, not what a snug-fit means. 

Snug-fitting means comfortable fitting: something that’ll neither cramp and compress your feet nor let your feet run wildly inside the confines of the boots. Ideally, snow boots shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. 

If the boots are too loose, you might take a fall, your feet might chaff as well, and, in the longer run, you might suffer from pain around your heels.

If the boots are too tight, your toes will be crushed against the surface of the boots. It will lead to certain blistering and shoe bites. Besides, it will reduce blood circulation too.

Instead of keeping the feet warm (that’s the entire purpose behind wearing snow boots), your feet will feel unusually cold and numb. 

If the boots offer snug-fitting, they will allow your toes enough freedom. Your feet won’t skid inside the boots. At the same time, the grip will be good as well. Not only will your feet stay warm, but they will also be very comfortable.

How to Find Out if Your Snow Boots are Too Loose?

It shouldn’t be very hard considering the general problems that most loose boots cause. Here are the indications that clearly point out that your snow boots are too loose:

      • Your feet will slip inside the shoes significantly while walking.
      • The back of your feet will rise up and down while walking.
      • There will be obvious discomfort and visible blistering.

Wearing snow boots that are too loose also comes with the risk of falling and hurting yourself. Walking in the snow means there should be a substantial grip to keep the feet in place.

Besides, snow boots are usually fabricated to have an easy slip-in and off-take design. This is mostly the case when the boots do not have laces. So, in the first hand itself, there’s no need for you to go a size up. 

How to Find Out if Your Snow Boots are Too Tight?

This can be tricky. When people initially wear snow boots, it’s very hard for them to figure out if the boots are optimum tight or too tight.

If that’s the case with you too, the following pointers might help in determining if the boots you’re planning to buy are too tight.

1.) The instep will create substantial pressure on the top of your feet. This is the first red flag that the shoes are tight. It’s mostly more prevalent when the snow boots do not have laces. 

2.) Your feet will feel numb and cold instead of comfortable and warm. This happens because extremely tight shoes reduce blood circulation and that gives numbness and cold feet.

3.) You won’t be able to wiggle your toes. Pay special attention to the pinky toe of your feet. If there’s no space for you to stretch your toes wide apart, it’s a clear sign that the boot you’re planning to buy is a size mismatch. 

Things to Consider When Buying Snow Boots So That You Get the Right Fit

Now that it’s established that you’re supposed to wear snug snow boots (neither too tight nor too loose), it’s time we walk you through some things you should know when buying a snow boot. Have a look!

1.) Keep the purpose of purchase in mind – If you’re buying snow boots with the purpose of walking miles and miles in them, it’s better that you choose the ones with laces.

They’re easier to adjust when wearing socks and they’re better in terms of keeping your feet aligned with the base of the boots.

However, if you’re buying snow boots as a fashion statement and you don’t plan to wear them very often, you can stick with winter boots that do not have laces. They’re easier to wear and remove. And, they’re usually cheaper as well. 

2.) Keep the weather conditions in mind – If you’re supposed to walk in snow-laden streets that are covered under foot and foot of snow, buy fully waterproof snow boots.

Remember, you’ll find variety in terms of water-resistant and waterproof snow boots. Water-resistant snow boots can protect from wetness to a certain extent only. It’s waterproof ones that will keep the feet warm and dry despite any amount of wetness.  

3.) Be careful when buying snow boots online – Don’t fully rely on your regular shoe size. When buying snow boots online, make sure that the seller offers return and exchange options. Also, the boots should come with both a warranty and a guarantee. 

4.) Wear a lot of snow boots before deciding which one to buy – Always make sure you wear a lot of snow boots and walk around a little when you’re buying them from a store. It will give you an idea of whether the boots are tight or snug. 

5.) Always give preference to comfort – Although some people might say that if you’re buying snow boots as a fashion statement to wear them only occasionally, you can ignore comfort and focus on style, but that’s not the way snow boots should be purchased.

Comfort should always be the first thing in your mind. Suppose, if you don’t witness extreme cold, there’s no point in buying cushioned and highly insulated boots because they will make your feet very warm and that might not be needed.

On the other hand, if the weather is Atlantic cold, you should focus on snow boots that have additional fur linings on the inside.

So, no matter the style, it’s comfort that you should give priority. Besides, there’s so much variety that you can always find stylish snow boots that will be comfortable at the same time. 

Recommended Snow Boots

1.) Men’s Waterproof Winter Snow Boots by NORTIV 8

If you experience extreme cold and you have a lot of outdoor activities to do (or you’re a construction worker who requires extreme warmth and protection), these snow boots are the best options. 

1.) They’re perfectly insulated and fully waterproof.

2.) The sole of these snow boots is made of thermoplastic elastomer. This doesn’t let the chill from the snow underneath your feet escape inside the shoes. 

3.) The faux fur insole is removable. So, if the day isn’t as cold as it usually is and you want a little less warmth, you can easily remove the padding. 

4.) These boots weigh only 200 grams. Hence, you can wear them for the entire day without feeling a thing. 

5.) The inner lining consists of high-quality cotton. It can easily withstand a chill as cold as -25F. 

6.) They have a toe cap to protect your feet, the grip is solid so that you can even go skiing in these boots, and the outsole is flexible as well as slip-resistant.

Cons: Some consumers report that these snow boots are narrow. So, if your feet are extra-wide, these boots might not be an ideal option for you. 

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2.) Women’s Caribou Waterproof Snow Boots by SOREL

These boots offer the best of both worlds: they’re comfortable as well as stylish. They’re warm and cozy and you can easily go skiing in them. Besides, they’re waterproof, not water-resistant and that’s a big plus. 

1.) They exhibit a seam-sealed construction. Hence, they’re very comfortable to wear.

2.) The lace makes them even better in terms of comfort. 

3.) The rubber outsole is not just waterproof, but it is also slip-resistant.  

Cons: The only obvious con is their price. They’re super expensive, but they’re worth the money. If your budget allows you to buy these boots, go for them!

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


Snow boots should neither be too tight nor too loose. They should be snug and cozy. Finding the right size is an absolute necessity since snow and ice increase the chances of slipping and falling over.

If the boots are loose, you could trip and take a serious fall. If they’re too tight, your feet will be cold and numb due to reduced circulation no matter how insulated the boots are.

So, ideal snow boots are cozy and snug. That’s what you should be looking at as well. Do try many boots before buying an ideal pair!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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