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guide to buying children’s snow boots

Posted on February 24th, 2012

Snow boots aren’t just good in the snow! They can be a great option for children throughout the winter months because they are usually warmer than wellies.

When there’s snow on the ground, your children’s feet can end up like blocks of ice within minutes if they are not adequately protected, but insulation isn’t the only factor you need to take into account. The Little Terra guide to snow boots tells you how to choose footwear that will keep your youngsters safe, warm and comfy as they make the most of this magical time of year.

Think about how the boots will be used. If your children will be wearing them all winter, extra warm wellies may be the best option. They have moulded rubber soles for great grip, they are completely waterproof so they can cope with snow, rain, deep slush and paddling, and they have lovely warm linings. Snowmotion boots from Jack Wolfskin, for example, combine the practicalities of a welly with the warmth of a snowboot.

Alternatively, you could try snow boots which have a waterproof foot and a snowproof upper. Again, grip is excellent, and the foot is easy to wash down. The snowproof material is less easily wiped clean, though, so these types of boots are fantastic for mud and slush, but not ideal for serial paddlers! PowderBug Plus Snow Boots have a waterproof foot, with a water and wind-resistant upper, and the lining is rated to -32 degrees.

Snow boot soles should be thick and rugged for grip, for shock absorption and for ease of use on uneven surfaces, but they should be more flexible than a hiking boot.

Other snow boots have snowproof fabric all over. These are just the job for those perfect days in resort, tramping around the pistes and kicking through powder. They should be comfortable enough to be a blissful relief to ski boots after a day on the slopes and they should keep youngster’s feet warm and moisture-free.

The fleece or synthetic fur lining of some snow boots is fitted to form a high-fitting cuff at the top, which helps keep warm air in and stops snow falling down the boot. The Hi-Tec Snowplay and Hi-Tec Heavenly ranges are good examples. Linings are usually breathable, to allow the removal of moisture and prevent chaffing, while some also use anti-microbial material for hygiene and freshness.

Take into account the fact that your children may wear be wearing thick socks, and make sure snow boots are not too tight-fitting – there needs to be room for warm air to circulate.

Snow boot insulation is measured in grams, with 200g and upwards providing adequate warmth for the consistently sub-zero temperatures often experienced in the mountains. The Columbia Bugaboot Plus, for example, reflects body heat back into the boot and its lining delivers the highest heat retention per gram in the industry.

Don’t forget to consider fastenings, and take into account what your children can manage themselves. Frequently bending down to help your kids with fiddly laces can become tiresome – especially wearing ski gloves. Some have a zip up the front or side, while others use Velcro or a drawstring at the top. Laces are often best left to older children, although Columbia’s Bugaboots have a bungee lacing system, which simply involves pulling the elastic tight.

Most snow boots and extra warm wellies have fleece or synthetic fur linings fixed inside. Some of these are removable, which makes cleaning and drying easier. The PowderBug Plus range is a good example.

In short, think about all the variables the footwear is going to have to cope with, order with confidence from Little Terra, and prepare for great family days out – whatever the weather!

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