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Keeping kids feet warm and dry is one of the most important things to spending winter outside with your kids. Over the last 16 years, we’ve gone through and tried out more snow boots than I can even remember. Some of them lasted well over a decade, and others got thrown in the trash after the first week.
Living in the mountains of Utah, our kids are wearing snow boots daily in the winter. They get used for play, to school and to do chores in. Our kids use and abuse their boots, so when I say that boots are great, that’s because we know firsthand.
The boots that we’re recommending below are the ones we love most and would highly recommend to all our friends and family.
The Secret To Keeping Kids Feet Warm
The real secret to keeping kids feet warm in the winter starts before the snow boots even go on. Just like base layers for skiing, your feet need a good base layer as well. We practically live in our merino wool socks all winter. They’re like a base layer for our feet. They keep you warm, wick sweat away, and dry quickly, so if you step in a puddle of melted snow, your feet won’t freeze for the rest of the day.
If your kids still get REALLY COLD, like one of my kids, consider getting some reusable foot warmers from Aurora heat. They’re sustainably made and are the perfect way to keep feet toasty without the dangers of chemical warmers. We’ve had them for a while now, and my kids literally fight over who gets them when the temperatures get super cold. We slip them between our feet and socks and they’re the coziest things ever!
Best Snow Boots for Kids
While we love to write all about skiing, we know that skiing and winter play go hand in hand. Our kids wear their snow boots to the ski hill, after the ski day is done, and basically everything in between. If you’re headed on a ski trip this winter, a pair of snow boots is just as important as your kids ski boots (maybe more important since you can’t go out and rent kids snow boots if you forget them).
We love sharing our best gear recommendations with you and these are exactly what we think are the best kids snow boots!
Reima Quicker -Best Overall Snow Boots for Kids
The Reima Quicker boots are the snow boots that my 11-year-old is wearing now. He’s SUPER HARD on shoes and boots, so choosing Reima snow boots for him was the obvious choice. We’ve owned many pairs of Reima shoes and boots through the years and they hold up to abuse and hard play better than any other brand. We love that these boots are higher to keep out snow, but with elastic laces and a velcro strop they’re also really secure. My son bikes or walks to school daily, so we needed boots that would keep the snow out AND also keep up with his active personality.
Best Uses: Backyard play, sledding, winter hiking, snowshoeing
Warmth: Reima knows how to keep kids feet cozy, and the Quicker boots are no exception. They have a fleece lining to insulate and pull moisture away from the feet and a felt lining for extra insulation from the ground. They’re rated warm to -4 degrees fahrenheit, which is about as cold as my kids go out in, so unless you live somewhere CRAZY COLD, these provide the perfect amount of insulation for winter play. If you’re planning some winter camping or long snowy hikes, these boots have got you covered.
Waterproofing: The Quicker boots have a fully waterproof design with REimatec. The outers are a combination of leather and synthetic material that does a great job of keeping kids dry. I’m not one bit shocked because we regularly get our kids coats and snowsuits with REimatec and have never had any issues with water leaking through. The outer material is treated to repel water, and the seam-sealed construction ensures no water sneaks in. They really prioritize waterproofing, because as we all know, wet feet are a quick way to ruin a winter adventure.
Traction: The Quicker boots outsole is constructed of durable rubber that offers superior grip. It’s textured in a way that holds onto snow, ice, and even mud, making it great for various winter conditions without slipping. We trust these on our kids who are constantly running and playing rough on the snow and we’ve never had any problems with them.
Ease of Getting On and Off: These snow boots for kids don’t just slide on and off. In fact, plan on needing 2 hands to get them on and off just like a regular shoe.
Merrell Snow Quest Lite 3.0 – Best Easy On Snow Boots For Kids
If you’re looking for the best all-around snowboot for kids, the Merrell Snow Quest Lite is our top pick. It’s a pretty classic style, but with a few extra features to make it really stand out. Our kids have been wearing Merrell Snow Quest snow boots for the last 6 winters, and they’ve never disappointed us. There are three versions, the regular, the 2.0 version, and the 3.0 version. They’re all pretty similar with only minor differences, and we highly recommend all of them (just pick the one with the best price).
Best For: Backyard Play, Sledding
Warmth: These Merrell Boots are really warm, and truthfully, my kids have never really been cold wearing them. They’re rated down to -35 Fahrenheit, and thankfully, we’ve never had to test them in conditions that cold! These boots are insulated with 200g M-Select™ WARM lightweight insulation. This makes them really warm without being too bulky. On the footbed, there is 400g of insulation to prevent the cold from coming up from the bottom.
Waterproofing: The waterproofing on the Merrell Snow Quest Lite is nothing short of excellent. With a rubber bottom, they’re obviously more waterproof than most boots with a fabric bottom, but overall these have been great. In the 6 years that we’ve owned them (and passing them through our 5 kids), we’ve only had one pair that started wetting out and needed the waterproofing refreshed.
Traction: The traction on these Merrell snow boots for kids is really good. It’s great for outdoor play and walking around. The traction on the Reima boots is slightly better, since they were more designed for winter hiking.
Ease Of Getting On and Off: We love that kids can get these boots on and off by themselves, even with mittens on. They pull on really easily. The elastic cording in the front cinches them down a bit, but nothing super tight. Kids can easily pull on the elastic and tighten them with the cording, but it’s difficult to loosen them with gloves on (though my kids can still get them off easily with the elastic cord tightened). Since they slide on and off so easily, we don’t recommend them for snowshoeing or hiking in really deep snow where they could get stuck and slide off.
Sorel Flurry – Most Durable Kids Snow Boots
We got our first pair of Sorel boots when my daughter was 3 years old. They came from a thrift store, so we were obviously not the first owners. Fast forward to today, my daughter is now 14, and these boots have been passed through several other kids and now are still in great shape and being worn by her little cousin. Can you see what I’m getting at? The Sorel Flurry snow boots are great quality and last A LONG TIME!
Best For: Backyard Play, Sledding
Warmth: The Sorel Snow Flurry boots don’t skimp on warmth. These kids snow boots don’t come with a temperature rating which is surprising for a big footwear company like Sorel, but in our experience, they’re very warm. They have an elastic strap around the ankle, which does a good job of not only keeping them on a little better but also of trapping warmth on the inside. They come with a removable and washable felt liner that really helps lock in heat and is perfect for helping boots dry faster if they get snow inside of them. We’ve worn them in temperatures below 0 Fahrenheit and never had a problem with cold feet.
Waterproofing: Similar to the Merrell boots, they have a molded rubber sole and lower which does a great job of keeping water out. If your kids are really into jumping into slush puddles, that’s a great style of boot. The uppers are constructed with a PU-backed synthetic textile upper and a built-in gaiter with a barrel lock closure system. That’s just a fancy way of saying these boots are designed to keep moisture out. Whether it’s wet, slushy conditions or sinking into a snowbank, these boots stand up to the challenge. Perfect for kids who have never met a puddle they didn’t like!
Traction: The traction on the Sorel Flurry is similar to the Merrell Snow Crush. Both have a moulded sole that’s great for snow play, and lots of outdoor fun. It’s really good, but not designed for longer winter hikes or snowshoeing.
Ease of Getting On And Off: These boots slide one and off very easily. Even our preschoolers could easily get them on and off with mittens on. We love that to tighten them, there is an elastic and velcro strap. While this does require glove free hands to work, it also does a great job of making sure that kids can’t step out of their boots in really deep snow. At the same time, if you don’t cinch down the elastic, they still work fine in most situations.
Keen Greta / Keen Kanibou – Best Girls Snow Boots
The Keen Greta is our top pick for girls boots for really active kids (Keen switched the name of the boot from the Greta to the Kanibou this year, but they’re the same boots). The combination of velcro and elastic cording makes these have a really customized fit, so they work well for running around, winter hiking, and snowshoeing in addition to regular snow play. These boots are a little bit trickier to put on and can’t be done with mittens on, so we think these are better for kids who are a little bit older and don’t need help getting them on and off. They also have a lower height, so we recommend wearing them with snow pant gaiters attached to them so that snow doesn’t get in. These were my daughter’s favorite boots from age 10-13 since she could wear them for running at recess, still ride her bike with them, and they still worked great in the snow.
Best Uses: Backyard play, sledding, winter hiking, snowshoeing
Warmth: One of the most outstanding features is the 200g of KEEN.WARM insulation, making the Keen Greta an excellent choice for cold weather. The boots are rated warm down to -25 Fahrenheit. The insulation traps heat effectively without making the boots bulky which is an excellent feature. They also feature a thermal heat shield footbed so that you don’t have to worry about cold coming up from the soles of kids feet.
Waterproofing: Keen uses a KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane in these boots. That means not only do they keep water out, but they also allow moisture from sweaty little feet to escape. We also love that these winter boots for kids are treated with an anti odor treatment so they don’t end up smelling. It’s a win-win for comfort and dryness.
Traction: The Keen Greta boots feature a durable rubber outsole with multi-directional lugs. The traction is some of the best we’ve ever seen for kids snow boots. My daughter put them to the test with multiple winters of constant wear through school recess, daily biking, snowshoeing and lots of winter hikes. They never disappointed and we never had to worry about her slipping throughout the long winter!
Ease Of Getting On and Off: These boots aren’t the slide on type of boots that many others are, rather they go on and off like regular high top shoes. They have an elastic cord closure and a velcro strap. Neither of these are hard, but you will need 2 hands to get them on, and it would be tricky with mittens or gloves.
Muck Hale Snow Boots for Kids – Best Waterproof Kids Boots
The Muck Hale boots are another pair of boots that we’ve had around for A LONG TIME! We got them when our oldest son was 4 (he’s now 16), they were worn by all 5 of our kids, and are now getting lots of good use with the cousins.
At first glance, I wasn’t too impressed by Muck snow boots for kids. They lacked the bulky design that most other kids boots had at the time and appeared really thin, so my expectations were VERY LOW! Turns out, they were some of the best winter boots for kids that we ever had! In fact, they’ve been worn all year round since they’re super waterproof, and my kids prefer these over most rain boots for puddle splashing during rain storms.
Best Uses: Backyard play, sledding, winter hiking, light snowshoeing, water play
Warmth: One of the standout features is the 4mm neoprene insulation. It’s not overly bulky, but it offers a good degree of warmth, making these boots suitable for mild to moderately cold temperatures. Once we were getting below about 20 degrees, my kids started to get cold and were asking to come in. However, they’re great for places that don’t need a bulky snow boot in sub-zero temperatures.
Traction: These boots feature a self-cleaning ribbed outsole, providing solid footing on a variety of surfaces. It doesn’t look like much, but it works surprisingly well. We’ve tested them in lots of slick conditions from ice and slush to mud and water, and they do well in all conditions.
Waterproofing: These Muck Boots are excellent at keeping kids dry. In fact in the over 12 years we’ve had them, we’ve never had water leak through. No other boots compare. Remember, we’re not just talking about snow conditions, since my kids also use these as rain boots year round. I’m talking puddle-jumping, stream-crossing, and mud-stomping levels of waterproofing here. You won’t have to worry about ending your outdoor activities early due to soaked-through boots; these can handle just about anything water-related that your kids might want to dive into.
Ease Of Getting On and Off: These boots have the best fit of any slide-on boot. With that means that they take a little bit of practice to learn how to slide your foot in just right, and they can also require a good tug from mom and dad to get off. While those might seem like downsides, they’re actually great features. This boot is secure enough on kid’s feet that it never comes off in deep snow and is fitted enough for snowshoes as well.
Reima Coconi – Best Snow Boots for Younger Kids
The Reima Coconi is a relatively new boot, but we LOVE IT! They’re our favorite boots for active little kids. We’re going on our second season wearing them and they still look and perform like brand new. Our son who wears these is VERY PARTICULAR about fit. We have a pile full of shoes that his siblings have passed down to him that he won’t wear. But he wore these all winter long without a single complaint (which is a really big deal). We had these during the record breaking snow year of 2023 in Utah, and they were incredible. We had nonstop snow on the ground for 5 months so these got lots of use on slick sidewalks, deep snow, through slush puddles, and in super cold conditions and they were amazing through it all. They’re not super tall, so if you’re wearing them in deep snow, make sure to connect them to your snowpants gaitor.
Best Uses: Backyard play, sledding, winter hiking, snowshoeing
Warmth: First off, these boots are seriously warm, like just about everything that Reima makes. Designed with a Finnish understanding of cold climates, Reima uses a wool blend for the insulation to keep kids feet super warm. These boots are perfect for keeping your active kids feet toasty during all-day outings in the snow. Imagine your kids being comfortable even while taking that epic winter hike you’ve planned – these are the boots to make that happen!
Waterproofing: One thing you can count on with the Reima Coconi boots is the waterproofing. WIth rubber lowers to keep most of the water out, and synthetic uppers, they’re great for keeping kids feet dry. They feature a seam-sealed construction and a waterproof membrane that keeps out and away from kid’s feet. The design is thoughtful, taking into consideration that kids love puddle-jumping and snow stomping.
Traction: Traction is a make-or-break feature when it comes to snow boots, and Reima delivers in this area too. The rubber outsole is built for durability and has a tread pattern designed to grip on slippery surfaces. We’ve had no slipping issues with these boots whatsoever. We also love that they have a snug fit with the 2 velcro straps, so they fit kids feet better overall, which also increases their chances of stability on their feet. Whether it’s snowy paths or icy sidewalks, these boots help kids navigate safely, reducing the chances of slips and falls.
Ease Of Getting On and Off: These boots have a snug fit, but thanks to the velcro straps, tehy’re still easy for kids to get on and off. Even mittens can navigate the velcro, so you get a really secure fit that young kids can still do by themselves.
Baffin SnoGoose – Warmest Kids Snow Boots
If you’re looking for the warmest kids winter boots, look no further. These kids snow boots from Baffin are designed for extreme cold and long periods of time out in the snow. If you live in Canada or Alaska, these are the boots for you. They’re rated warm down past -50 Fahrenheit. If you live somewhere that’s not that cold, these are a bit of overkill. They’re chunkier than most boots (the sole is 1” thick), have a really bulky liner, and are a bit much for really active play. They’re easily the warmest kids boots we’ve found, but were a bit too much, even for our cold winters around Park City.
Best For: Extreme temperatures, basic play
Warmth: Baffin is no stranger to crafting boots for extreme conditions, and it shows with their Snogoose line for kids. These boots come with a multi-layer removable inner boot system, including a layer of Polywool, that provides incredible insulation. As mentioned above, these boots are built to withstand temps way below freezing. These are best for extreme temperatures and are the warmest boots for kids.
Waterproofing: Baffin utilizes a high-quality, seam-sealed construction with its waterproof nylon uppers. The lowers are made of Polar Rubber, which is specifically designed to be waterproof and withstand super cold temperatures. What this means is you’ve got a boot that’s going to keep snow and water at bay, no question about it. The waterproofing on these is reliable, making them excellent for all-day snow play or a winter camping trip where the temperatures are going to get super cold.
Traction: The Snogoose boots have a high-traction rubber outsole designed to grip onto icy surfaces and snowy terrain. The Polar rubber is specifically formulated to maintain it’s tration and flexibility at extreme temperatures, which many boots do not. The traction is superior but since the boots rea really chunky, they can be a little harder for kids to walk in.
Do Kids Need Waterproof Snow Boots?
Absolutely YES! Yes, yes, yes! We recommend only getting snow boots that are waterproof. If your kids snow boots are not waterproof, your child’s feet will get wet easily and they’ll be miserable (and super cold too).
What Snow Boots Should Kids Wear Snowshoeing?
If kids are going snowshoing or walking in deep snow, they need a snow boot that has a snug fit. Find one with laces, or a couple of velcro straps so that they’re not stepping out of their snow boots. The Reima Quicker, Coconi, and Keen Greta are our top picks for snowshoeing with kids.
How Warm Do Kids Snow Boots Need To Be?
Depending on where you live and the climate, you’ll have different snow boot needs for kids. If you live in Alaska you’ll need a different pair of boots than if you live in Arizona and only see snow once a year. Think of your climate, and how much snow you’ll get, and then choose the best boots based on that.
Are Warmer Snow Boots For Kids Better?
No, warmer is not always better. In fact, if your kid’s winter boots are too warm, they’ll cause their feet to overheat and get uncomfortably hot. Choose the snowboots that are best for your climate and condition needs so that kids are neither too hot nor too cold in their boots.
Should I Size Kids Snow Boots Up?
If you’re going to get your kid’s snow boots in a bigger size so that they last longer, go no more than 1 size larger than their normal size. If their snow boots are too big, there will be a lot of empty space that will make their feet cold throughout the day.