Have you ever had cold feet? There’s no worse feeling in the world
If you are standing on ice you are going to need to do all you can to prevent it, and for that you’ll want to know about the best ice fishing boots in 2020.
In this article, I am going to look at the warmest ice fishing boots and show you what I look for when I’m choosing a pair for myself.
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This is an ice fishing boot that really performs. Your feet will be as snug as a bug in a rug. Baffin are a good quality brand that literally build their boots from the ground up.
What makes it great?
Baffin have borrowed from snowboard boot manufacturers to create a foam inner that molds to your feet over time, ensuring a perfect fit. If your boots are warm and comfy it’s one less thing to worry about.
It’s got everything…
Warmth? Check. Comfort? Check. Grip? Check.
The boot will keep your ankles warm too. It can often be a nuisance to tie up all the laces to ensure they really hug your calves, but Baffin have even thought of that. They feature an elasticated bungee speed lacing system to avoid your hands getting cold whilst you tie them.
If you are carrying heavy gear you don’t need to worry about crushing your feet. The boots feature a reinforced toe cap.
The bungee lacing system is super smart, saving time and cold fingers.
You’ll find a perfect fit due to the heat molding technology.
A super warm and weather-proof boot.
The sizes are true, so if you intend to wear thick socks (and you should), go a size higher.
A solid start to my review of ice fishing boots. For the money you are going to get good quality and warmth.
Another solid offering from Baffin. These are a little different from our previous Baffin boots. They don’t have laces for a start, so if you want boots that are easy to put on and secure, they could be great.
Let’s talk about some features…
Again, Baffin seem to have taken a few ideas from the outdoor sports industry. The boot features a removable inner foam liner, particularly good for keeping your feet warm as it provides another layer. They should keep your feet insulated all the way down to -40 degrees Celsius.
The outer boot is strong double woven nylon, well known for its waterproof capabilities. A drawstring at the top means not one flake of snow will be able to sneak its way in from the neck of the boot.
Super easy to put on and take off.
No-nonsense function and form.
Chunky soles ensure a really good grip.
The shaft of the boot could be a little stiff, so if you are going to walk a long way it might begin to chafe a little.
For performance on a budget these boots might be a worthwhile purchase. They aren’t particularly fashionable, but hey who’s going to see you apart from the fish?
These boots have taken their cue from ‘wellingtons’. Hence the look.
But this isn’t a fashion show…
The boot is a two piece construction, the inner is 5mm neoprene, which as snow fishing glove manufacturers will tell you, is a lightweight and warm way of providing great insulation. This neoprene is wrapped in a thin layer of waterproof rubber which extends above the ankle to keep your feet bone dry.
If you are going to be walking in deep snow you may want to look elsewhere as unfortunately, this rubber doesn’t go all the way to the cuff of the boot. By reducing the rubber, you do save a lot on weight.
Are they warm though?
Yes, they are, aside from the neoprene they have a microfleece lining and undersole foam insulation. From a grip point of view, you’ll have no issues as the bottom is constructed from super chunky rubber.
The chunky grip provided by the boots is really substantial.
By combining several layers of different material, the boots tick a lot of boxes.
These would have been perfect if they had more rubber above the ankle.
They can be a little difficult to get off.
If you want the next best thing to rubber wellington boots then these are a great choice. They offer a degree of protection and a really great grip.
With ice fishing being such a popular sport, manufacturers have thankfully been inclusive. They have made, what I consider to be, some of the best women’s winter boots for ice fishing.
The sizes and fit have been tailored to accommodate female sizes. Whilst normally ‘wellington’ style ice fishing boots tend not to be breathable, Lacrosse have done us all a favor and included an embossed liner to wick moisture away from your skin and increase ventilation.
The neoprene core will offer excellent insulation and provide wiggle room for an extra pair of socks too!
Comfortable and breathable fit.
Easy to remove and kind to your calves.
Not much actually, it’s a really nice boot!
As with the men’s boots sometimes a simple solution is best. The unique neoprene gusset on the rear of the boot makes the boot easy to slip on and take off which is vital with snow boots.
One-piece boots can sometimes be a little uncomfortable, but with the extra features and lining of this boot, you won’t have an issue.
They are 100% waterproof and breathable. So, it will keep your feet warm and fresh all day long.
Why is it furry?
Fur is an absolutely great insulator and is a great way to seal any air gaps. The interior is lined with 3M insulation.
A really great feature that I haven’t seen in the men’s boots is the M4 lacing system. Just turn a dial and your boots will fit like a glove.
It’s actually packed with other clever bits. The sole of the boot is interchangeable. These adaptable ice fishing boots allow you to change the grip dependent on the conditions! Go for the spiked sole on slippery ice or change to something chunky for traversing snowy trails.
Packed with really useful features including an advanced lacing system and interchangeable soles.
Really warm, breathable and waterproof.
While fur is a nice touch, it isn’t nearly as pleasant when it’s wet.
If the M4 lace system freezes, you are stuck with the boots on, so keep it dry if you can.
These are a great pair of boots, provided the technology stays reliable.
These ice fishing boots look a little like a budget version of our offering from Baffin. But that said, you get a lot of similar technology so they are good value.
What sort of technology?
Well for a start they are 100% waterproof. The rubber ‘foot’ section of the boot certainly is and the ankle section is covered with soft nylon.
And will it keep me warm?
ArcticShield boasts the use of ‘retain’ technology, meaning that 90% of your body’s warmth is retained within the boot. They are easy to put on and take off with an adjustable Velcro fastening at the ankle, giving a reasonable fit.
The boots are pretty lightweight and with the elasticated ankle cuff would be ideal for walking a fair distance to get to your favorite spot.
These boots are lightweight and flexible.
They offer pretty much everything at a relatively low price point.
They aren’t quite as ‘substantial’ as some of the premium boots we have looked at.
The Velcro ankle fastening may wear with time as it will be stretched and pulled often.
Well, you get what you pay for, and if you are lucky, as is the case with these boots, you can sometimes get a little bit more.
If you aren’t going to be walking in deep snow then a full calf boot might be considered ‘overkill’. You’ll still need something to keep your feet warm and dry though. If that’s the case a ‘military’ style boot might be the way to go?
A ‘military’ style boot?
Yes, and if it’s good enough for them then it’s good enough for ice fishing. With a unique heat reflective thermal lining, your feet should stay warm down to -32 degrees and they are waterproof too.
But are they comfortable?
The grip provided by the sole is perfect and the lightweight nature of the boot makes it ideal for walking long distances in utter comfort.
Great ankle support, which is crucial if you are walking on uneven ground.
They are really warm for such a lightweight boot.
If you are walking in greater than ankle deep snow, you are going to get wet feet. For use in lighter winter conditions only.
Provided you don’t ask too much of them these are a great boot. They are lightweight and waterproof.
For the money there’s a lot to like in this boot. If you are on a tight budget then it is a really reasonable compromise. It is lined with Thinsulate, which is world-famous for its heat retaining properties.
But will it keep my feet dry?
Of course, The outer material is waterproof and it even has sealed seams to prevent even the odd drip from leaking in.
Generally, you wear ice fishing boots all day, so they can get a bit ‘fragrant’ from time to time. The sole features unique antimicrobial technology and if it all gets too much the liner can be removed and washed.
The boot is waterproof and warm and offers superb value.
The removable and washable liner is a nice touch, it makes it easy to refresh your boots from time to time.
It isn’t quite as advanced as some more expensive brands.
The lacing system is very standard and there’s no way to prevent snow ingress at the top of the boot.
These are good ice fishing boots; they would be ideal if you are buying a pair for the first time and want something simple and effective.
If looking good whilst being warm and dry is your thing, then you are in the right place. This boot screams ‘quality’.
Why do I say this?
First of all, it is constructed with top grade materials. The outer is full grain leather. It is durable, tough and waterproof. Just what you want in a snow boot.
But that’s not all…
The boot is also breathable, your feet will perspire and as a result you might end up with damp socks, with this boot that isn’t going to happen, it even uses wicking material in the lining to guard against this.
The grip on the sole is multidirectional meaning you have traction in 360 degrees. Any area where your foot makes contact with the boot is lined, insulated and padded, this includes the tongue at the top of the ankle.
So, how warm is it?
One word. Very.
2,400 grams of insulation and an 8mm frost barrier ensure that you could be stood on the ice all day and your toes would still be warm and dry.
These boots are both functional and really good looking.
They are manufactured from really high-quality material.
They are really grippy on all surfaces.
The laces can be a bit of a nuisance to tie, but that said they allow you to tighten the boot where you need support the most.
A really eye catching and good quality boot. The high ankles allow you to walk in deeper snow and the insulation provided will guarantee warmth. These may be the warmest ice fishing boots on our list.
You might already have a great pair of boots that you use for ice fishing. But they might be lacking just a little something to make them perfect.
What do I mean? Well…
What if you want a little extra grip or you have decided to fish in conditions that you wouldn’t normally? What if I was to tell you that you can quickly and easily upscale your existing boots to something better?
So, what’s the secret?
Snow cleats. These give rock solid grip and are portable too. They work on pretty much any shoe, or ice boot, and have universal fittings. They are flexible and grippy and will continue to bend and flex with your foot even in the coldest of temperatures.
Complete flexibility in choosing the boots you attach them too.
A cost-effective solution if you already have a pair of waterproof boots.
They can even supplement ice fishing boots for those super slippery, wet ice days.
Aside from grip you won’t find anything in the way of warmth. So, don’t be tempted if you haven’t got half suitable ice fishing footwear.
If you absolutely want to ensure the best grip these are great. They work with any snow boot on our list. As an additional bonus by keeping the majority of your feet clear of the ice, they can supplement warmth as your soles won’t become ‘cold soaked’.
Buying Guide to Ice Fishing Boots
The best boots for ice fishing aren’t the cheapest purchase you will make, and for that reason you have to get it right first time. Of course, you need to also make sure that they will perform…
How do you do that?
Well, when you are looking at a boot, see if it has the following qualities. The warmest snow boots for ice fishing will be:
Waterproof Ice Fishing Boots
If there’s one thing worse then being cold, it’s being cold and wet.
When you are ice fishing, if you get water in the boot, it doesn’t matter how good the insulation is. Your feet are going to be cold.
By keeping the water out, you have a better chance of staying warm. Look for features that will make for the best waterproof ice fishing boots such as:
Snow cuffs on the ankle. These will prevent any snow from falling into the top of the boot as you walk.
Sealed seams. One way in which water can ‘sneak’ in is through the stitched sections of the boot. By making sure these seams are sealed you can prevent drips making their way in over time. Boots of a ‘single piece’ construction tend not to have this problem.
A fully stitched ‘tongue’ on the boot. This prevents water making its way in via the lace holes.
A good way to ensure complete waterproofing is to treat your boots with water repellent. This soaks into areas that may be susceptible and keeps you protected.
Check this video to see how effective treating your ice fishing boots can be.
Insulated Ice Fishing Boots
Its no secret that the thicker the insulation, the warmer you are going to be.
Let’s see how it works…
Basically, insulation traps air. This serves two purposes. First, it acts as a buffer between you and the outside environment. Second, this trapped air is heated by your body creating its own microclimate within your boot.
There’s more you need to know…
Some materials are more effective than others. Good insulation to look out for is microfleece and thinsulate. Some artificial furs are nice, however with constant use they can become crushed and not quite as effective.
By allowing room to add layers you will always ensure that you have the warmest snow boots for ice fishing.
It is worth noting that you probably want to go at least one size higher when purchasing boots for ice fishing. This will give you the necessary leeway to add a thick pair of socks or a couple of pairs and still be able to use them in relative comfort.
This video will show you how to keep your feet super toasty.
Get a Grip… Literally
Don’t forget what you’ll be standing on.
That’s right. Snow and ice…
To do that safely you should go for boots with a chunky grip. The best boots will not just account for you maintaining a good grip going forward.
You might be stepping side to side whilst fishing and checking your fish finder. Look out for boots with a grip pattern which provides decent traction to the side and even rearward too. After all the gentlest slope can be treacherous if it is covered in a layer of frost.
I can’t stress to you enough how vital it is to have a pair of warm boots. Think about how much you use your feet in a day’s fishing. Doesn’t it make sense to look after them as much as you can?
Let me answer some common questions that I get asked all the time…
Which brand of winter boots is the best?
Brand isn’t as important as you might believe, and it doesn’t always make sense to pay for a name. I’m always of the belief that if the boots keep your feet warm and dry, who cares what is printed on the outside?
When you invest in a well-known brand you are generally guaranteeing yourself of a good minimum standard. It still pays to do your homework.
If I was to recommend a brand I would go for Baffin as the benchmark. They tend to think of everything and certainly make some of the best waterproof ice fishing boots.
If you check my review, you’ll see a lot of the same features in cheaper boots too. Ultimately the choice is yours.
What are the best ice fishing boots?
I’m not dodging the question. But it all really depends.
Let me explain…
If you fish in all-weather you are going to need a different boot than the angler who only heads out fishing on crisp, clear days. If you can find a warm ice fishing boot and a waterproof ice fishing boot that works for you, and is within your budget. Then you have succeeded.
What’s the best insulation in an ice fishing boot?
Generally, the thicker the better. Most insulation is measured in grams. The higher this number, the better the insulation.
There’s a catch…
What does an increase in grams immediately say to you?
To me, it says that it is an increase in weight. Obviously, if you are going to be walking a long way, you’ll want lightweight ice fishing boots.
The good news is that there are ways around this. Sometimes the insulating material is lighter but provides similar heat retaining properties. It’s often about thermal efficiency and heat retention.
Full calf ice fishing boots or not?
Again, it depends on the conditions. My advice is to always choose your gear based on what you will be doing 80% of the time.
This works both ways…
If you fish in bad weather and deep snow often, then you will need boots that cater for this. The other 20% of the time when you don’t need them is just something that you will have to live with.
Likewise, if you normally only go when the weather is good, don’t go overboard on a pair of full calf ice fishing boots that you really don’t need.
If you are in doubt, go for the worst-case scenario. As I always say, it’s better to have something and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
Part of being a great fisherman is being prepared. My aim in producing a list of the best ice fishing boots in 2020 was to try and help you out.
If you like tips and tricks for fishing, I have quite a few more, subscribe to my newsletter and I will keep you up to date on what’s hot, and what’s not when it comes to ice fishing.