Best Winter Boots for Kids in 2020
Over the past 10 years we have had SO many kid boots come through this house. And winter boots are a big thing – they are sometimes the difference between a really good day and an outdoor “failure”. We’ve gathered the best winter boots for kids here from our family and the rest of the team too.
We will keep updating this post as we try out new boots over the years and put them through the wringer (which, apparently, we are really good at!)
Looking for more information on gear we recommend to keep kids warm all winter? Check out our round-up of best winter gear for kids here.
Need help understanding specifically HOW to dress your kids and babies to keep them warm? This post on best practices for layering for kids should help!
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How to Keep Feet Warm
First of all, it’s important to discuss why not ALL boots work for all kids or all climates. I wish it were more black and white than it is, but the truth is that there are a lot of factors that go into keep little feet warm in the cold.
Our Favorite Winter Boots for Kids
The Merrell Snow Quest 2.0 have been great in the dry snow of Wyoming this year. They are incredibly light, cinch down to keep the snow out and the warmth in, are tall enough and have good traction.
Merrell really nailed it with this one this year. They are rated to -35 degrees F and we have tested them to -5 and had no cold feet on kids that are moving.
The bottom of the boot is waterproof to keep moisture out and does a good job. However, if have a kid that spends a lot of time laying in slush and puddles, the Bogs below may be a better option.
We are also finding that they are holding up to more abuse and heavy use that previous Merrell boots did. We honestly don’t recommend the Snow Quest Lite 1.0, but the 2.0 version is fantastic.
The Kamik SnowBusters are a team favorite because the outside is totally rubber and 100% waterproof. The tread is excellent too, handling both ice and snow well.
They have a removable insulated liner, and the boots are rated to -25. Our testers haven’t complained once this winter about cold feet. They also go up high enough that snow doesn’t get in.
Our favorite feature is the adjustable draw off around the top of the boot. Tighten that sucker down and no snow is getting in which is sweet if they’re not wearing snow pants with gators.
Back in 2019, Bogs made some big changes including lightening up their Neo-Classic style by 30%. And for kids who want as little weight as possible literally weighing them down, 30% is a LOT!
To be honest, in the past I have not recommended Bogs for kids (and adults) because I found that there were other neoprene options that in general kept our feet warmer. That said, now they are lighter, warmer AND have better traction. In fact, they are some of our very favorites for slushy, wet weather.
My kids (and I) also love how easy they are just to throw on and go….which seems to be the way we roll.
If you really don’t need high boots, these Kootenay are great for winter shoes…with just a little higher sides and better protection. We love how they don’t have laces to deal with (and have no trouble with the velcro), are stiff enough to keep their shape, and enough insulation to keep kids warm without overheating. They’re perfect for school in that respect.
We’ve also been impressed with their traction and this year they’ve added even better insulation.
Note: We have had the Kootenay in the smallest toddler size (size 4) and weren’t AS impressed for new walkers since they are on the stiff side for the smallest of kiddos. That said, I don’t hesitate putting them on my 2 year old.
The older version of the Kootenay is also available at Amazon.
These are definitely the heaviest boot in this line-up, but warm and fuzzy lining helps keep feet warm. They also look cute enough to wear with dresses on cold winter days.
We like how they are high for deep snow (the highest in this boot line-up).
This boot from KEEN is great a far as waterproof and warm boots go that remain light. They are similar to Merrell’s. However, the liner is not attached. Great for when you want to dry it out, not so great when you’re trying to put them on.
My son quickly learned it’s easier to put the liner on first and THEN the boot.
These have been our bomb-proof boots for 3 years now. They are warm, lightweight and hold up fairly well. I have NEVER had a kid with cold feet yet (and that’s saying a lot when it’s -25 degrees F). We do notice that the tread seems to break down quicker than other boots we have used and they are not 100% waterproof (so better for dry, cold climates like Wyoming).
That said, the Stonz Scout boots are warm and light too….but the structure tends to allow more snow in and we can’t recommend them with as much enthusiasm. They are great for cold, low-snow areas….but not the best for trudging through piles.
Available starting in size Toddler 4, See Kai Run shoes are flexible and notoriously great for young kids. These boots are waterproof, easy to walk in and keep feet toasty warm.
They are not the best in deep snow since they are relatively short, but for day-to-day play they’re perfect.
We have used and loved Baby Bogs for years…they’re perfect for kids just learning to walk especially. Check out our full review of them here.
Other relevant links:
Warmest and Dryest Winter Boots for Kids in 2020
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