Can Work Boots Be Used as Snow Boots?

Usually, winter reminds us of snow and all the cozy jackets and boots we can think of to keep us warm. Our basic instinct is to keep ourselves warm and protected from the snow. 

Your work boots are ideally made to provide you with comfort, support, and all-around protection in whatever weather condition you place them in. You can wear your regular work boots in the snow but let me tell you why it isn’t advisable. 

Wearing regular work boots in the snow can harm the leather and impact the boot’s longevity. Snow, and the moisture it leaves behind, eat away at the fabric, leaving it brittle with unpleasant stains. Snow boots are designed to keep you warm and dry in extremely cold temperatures.

Can Work Boots Be Used as Snow Boots

In this article, we’ll help you identify the difference between a work boot and a snow boot in winters, and why you should not substitute your regular work boot as a snow boot. 

Work Boot Vs Snow Boot, What Should You Go For?

Here are a few key differences to understand along with the pros and cons of using work boots as snow boots:

Snow Boots Work Boots
Snow boots are designed to keep your feet insulated as they have a fur lining on the inside that keeps your feet warm and protected from cold. Due to the presence of a steel cup around the toe area, work boots with metallic toe caps can cause your feet to become quite cold quickly.
Snow boots are particularly built to handle large amounts of moisture and dampness. Majority of work boots are waterproof however they’re not equipped to handle a large amount of moisture.
To provide extra warmth in freezing weather, snow boots will be cut much above the ankle. Work boots, which are designed to be worn in all seasons, are not concerned with this factor as they are comparatively shorter.
Snow boots possess gaiters that play a major role in keeping snow out of your boots. They are simple guards that cover the gap between the bottom of your trousers and the top of your boots.  Such a gaiter does not always exist with work boots leaving you vulnerable in the snow. 

Key Features Of Snow Boots That Makes Them Apt During Snow:

1.) Insulation

One of the most significant advantages of snow boots is that they are designed to endure extreme temperatures. This means you don’t have to stop working and walk inside every hour to warm up.

Look for boots with a manufacturer-provided insulation and temperature rating. There are a variety of solutions, but the best one we can think of is 3M Thinsulate insulation, which not only provides warmth on the coldest days but is also thin enough to keep the boots from being too bulky and heavy.

2.) Excellent Grip

Slipping on ice is dangerous, therefore, on the job site, you’ll need boots that will keep you stable. The soles of winter work boots have been tested and proved to prevent slipping on frozen, wet grounds. Some boots include removable outsoles for increased traction, so you may wear them in any weather.

Snow and ice go together, so you’ll need a shoe that will help you stay on your feet. The depth of the sole’s lugs, or the channels and spikes in the rubber that grip the ground surface, is an excellent method to judge a boot’s traction. The deeper the lugs, the better your boot’s traction.

3.) Good Waterproof Materials

It’s necessary to keep in mind to look for micro porous water-resistant membrane technology rather than merely waterproof materials.

This means that your feet will not only be protected from the wet snow, but the boot will also keep the necessary breathability to prevent excessive sweating.

What Exactly Should You Look For In a Pair Of Snow-Ready Work Boots?

1.) First and foremost, what is the best material for a snow work boot?

The upper should be made of leather and should be waterproof. Your feet wet and freezing is the worst feeling ever, and it also has several health impacts too. As a result, waterproofing your footwear is an important consideration.

In snowy weather, leather, particularly faux leather, is still good since it repels water while remaining breathable. While it is possible to waterproof an ordinary pair of workboots, a pair built specifically for waterproofing will provide a much more trustworthy and durable barrier.

2.) The second feature that your snow boot should have is a high cut that allows you to simply tie the boot opening near to your ankle to keep snow out of your shoes while walking in moderately high snowfall.

Even if you’re not working through 2-3 feet of snow, you’ll want to make sure nothing can get in. If moisture gets inside through the opening, a waterproof upper won’t be able to do much.

3.) Goodyear welt construction is widely recognized as the benchmark for high-quality footwear. That’s because it makes your boots not only comfy but also almost waterproof! Boots manufactured with the Goodyear Welt construction are sturdy, long-lasting, and overall high-quality footwear.

See also: Do Rain Boots Work in The Snow?

Okay, So Just in Case, You Do Not Have a Snow Boot but Some Urgent Work Comes Up. What Do You Do?

Don’t worry, we’ll help you with some hacks that will make your life easier to work in the snow. 

First, start off by:

1.) Evaluating your work boot, check for soles, toes, seams, and laces. If any of these need fixing or replacement, do the necessary bit.

2.) Apply a generous amount of oil on your leather boots. The best is this mink oil by Red Wing Heritage. Check it out here-

3.) Waterproof your work boots. I know most work boots already come waterproofed, but adding an extra layer is always a good idea. Check out this waterproofing spray by Nikwax

After you’ve done the above-mentioned points, here are some tips to care for your leatherwork boot if you’re using it  in snow:

1.) Clean your boots immediately once you reach home-

Salt is most likely used to de-ice the roadways in most towns in the US. Since salt on the road contributes significantly to your boot’s wear and tear, it can also degrade the fabric as well as rust the zippers and hooks.

Clean them with a moist, warm cloth or a cleaning product like a desalting agent recommended by your manufacturer. Baking soda and water are helpful if you want to do it at home!

2.) Make sure you air dry your boots and keep it away from direct sunlight-

Remember, direct heat will destroy your boots, and using a heater may dry up and damage the material. Air dry your boots anywhere where there is no direct source of sunlight. And if your boots start to lose their structure, fill them with newspaper!

3.) Your work boots are likely to smell, so it is essential to deodorize them-

Well, this is especially important for the sake of those around you. Remove the soles of your boots, wash them, and completely air dry them. Add as much sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) you need to get rid of the stink completely. 

Some FAQs to review-

1.) Can you wear leather work boots in the snow?

Well yes, you can wear your leather boots in the snow but you shouldn’t. Since leather boots resist water but are not 100% waterproof, therefore snow and excessive moisture can make the boots dry and crack, ruining the quality of the leather.

2.) Is it safe to wear work boots in the snow?

When it comes to your safety and protection against hazards, work boots in snow are not an ideal choice. Since snow boots are specifically designed to be used in snow, your regular work boots will not fit in the required safety criteria.

Now let us get to some recommended work boots that can be used in the snow-

1.) Carhartt Insulated PAC Boot

This is an excellent choice when it comes to using it in snow. The insulated feature keeps your feet dry and warm. It also comes with great safety features that don’t let you fall on slippery icy ground.

2.) Wolverine Insulated Work Boot

The thermal foam insulation and waterproof feature keep the feet dry and warm even when exposed to freezing cold temperatures. They also come with padded footbeds that provide arch support and pain relief.

3.) Timberland Boondock Work Boot

These Timberland boots are an ideal pair when it comes to safety and traction. It comes with an oil and slip-resistant outsole that gives you a good grip even on uncertain surfaces.


Regular work boots used in snow and cold can harm the leather and reduce its longevity. And since winter work boots are designed to survive tough winter conditions while keeping you warm and dry, why not invest in them and spare your leather work boots for the harsh condition of winter. 

Work boots designed for snow and cold provide extra warmth and traction and that is where their special feature lies!

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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