Snow Boots vs. Hiking Boots: Comparison Table. What Are the Main Differences?

Depending on where you are going, you will be recommended to wear snow or hiking boots. What is the difference between snow boots vs. hiking boots?

#1. Snow Boots vs. Hiking Boots: Comparison Table

Before going any deeper, let’s check this detailed comparison table. It will give you an overview of how snow boots vs. hiking boots differ.

Hiking boots

Snow boots

  • Lighter.
  • Heavy.
  • Decent traction in snow.
  • Depends on the models, but it can be good.
  • Depend.
  • Yes.
  • Insulated models are available.
  • Well warm and insulated.
  • Usually breathable.
  • No.
  • Breathable, comfortable, and lightweight.
  • Less comfortable, bulky, heavy, and sweaty.
  • Usable year-round.
  • Only for snow walking
Ankle support
  • Not always.
  • Yes.

#2. What Is The Difference Between Snow Boots vs. Hiking Boots?

When you’re traveling outdoors, you’ll need the right equipment, which requires a bit of research. One thing that you want to consider is the type of boots that you will be using.

Here are the main differences.

Snow Boots

As their name suggests, these boosts are designed for snow walking. They work well with different types of terrain and situations.

These boosts give you all the support you need to stay dry and warm when walking outdoors in the middle of winter or even during a blizzard.

They are well insulated and have excellent waterproofing for maximum comfort.

Snow boots are ideal for wet conditions, including snow and even thick mud. You can use them to walk on heavy, thick, wet snow or even light powdery stuff.

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are perfect for hiking and climbing activities.

They are also well suited for cold weather thanks to multiple layers of insulation that keep warm and provide water-repelling and waterproofing features.

Hiking boots may help you traverse various terrains such as tree roots, rocks, and even streams.

These boosts also have good traction, allowing them to keep your feet more comfortable during long hikes. They are the perfect choice for those who want to go through woods, up or down trails, or other rough areas.


You can wear hiking boots on all types of terrain at any time of the year without any additional boots.

As their name suggests, snow boots are only suitable for winter when there is snow. Meanwhile, you’ll need different footwear for the rest of the year.

So if you just want to invest in a pair of boots, hiking boots will be the smartest choice.

Winner: Hiking boots

Ankle support

During the winter, walking becomes more complex, requiring you to need something that provides good ankle support.

In this case, snow boots are your best bet because they are usually calf-high.

Hiking boots are available at different heights. So you will need to consider carefully to choose the one that is best for you.

Winner: Snow boots


If you’re going to be hiking in winter weather, comfort should be one of the most important things you need to consider.

Hiking boots are typically breathable and lightweight, making them superior to bulky, heavy, and non-breathable snow boots.

Winner: Hiking boots


When hiking in snowy conditions, one of the top things on your mind is to keep your feet warm. Snow boots are designed for winter, so they will obviously provide the right warmth for your feet.

As for hiking boots, the level of insulation you get will largely depend on your chosen model.

The good news is that plenty of hiking boots are available out there that provide much-needed warmth during a snowstorm. They are well insulated to provide the warmth you need to get through those cold winter days.

Winner: Draw


One of the significant downsides of snow boots is that they’re not breathable. If you are hiking and your feet sweat, the moisture will stay for a long time.

Hiking boots provide better breathability. Combining them with decent moisture-wicking hiking socks will be even better.

Winner: Hiking boots.


It would be a bad experience to go hiking in the winter with wet feet, whether it’s snow or heavy rain.

Snow boots are designed for walking on thick layers, and they are sure to be waterproof and protect your feet from getting wet even when you are deep in the snow.

Hiking boots are also usually waterproof and also effective at keeping moisture out. But they may not be as high as your calves like snow boots and do not feature a tight cuff. So you may have to use gaiters for added protection.

Winner: Snow boots.


While the featherweight experience is something that boots usually can’t give you, you still need to consider weight when considering investing in boots.

Hiking boots are available in different weights. But they are generally lighter than snow boots which are heavy in most cases.

Winner: Hiking boots.


Your shoes should provide excellent traction for snow walking to keep you from slipping and falling. All snow boots can keep you walking comfortably in the snow, so there is no doubt that they have good traction.

Hiking shoes are available in various models to accommodate various kinds of terrain and trekking. You will get decent traction if you have a pair of hiking boots suitable for winter weather.

But overall, snow boots are the winner this round.

#3. Snow Boots vs. Hiking Boots: Which Is For You?

We all see that hiking boots are slightly better than snow boots thanks to their better breathability, lighter weight, more comfort, and flexibility.

But snow boots are the way to go if you plan to do a lot of hiking in deep snow or other wet conditions.

#4. FAQs

Below here is common questions and answers related to snow boots vs hiking boots.

Can You Use Hiking Boots as Snow Boots?

You can wear your hiking boots as snow boots if you find something specifically designed for snow travel.

Also, we recommend combining them with accessories like crampons and gaiters for better waterproof and safer traction.

Are Hiking Boots Good on Ice?

Hiking and snow boots are the best footwear for when it is icy outside, thanks to their grippy soles. If you’re dealing with ice, hiking boots are also a great option.

What Kind of Boots Should I Wear in the Snow?

You will want to choose a heavy-duty lug or rubber sole, water-resistant materials (including the stitching), and perhaps a  faux fur or shearling lining for extra warmth and style.

Are Hiking Boots Good for Everyday Use?

You can wear hiking boots for everyday use.

These boots offer excellent breathability, traction, ankle support, and many other features. They will enable you to handle any walking surface, such as carpet, asphalt, tile, and concrete.

Are Winter Boots the Same as Snow Boots?

Snow boots are water resistant or waterproof, while winter boots are not.

The two boot kinds have different uses. For example, snow boots are used in snowy or very wet conditions, while winter boots work on well-maintained paths or roads.

What Can I Wear if I Don’t Have Snow Boots?

You can find a pair of winter-appropriate hiking boots that are water resistant and keep warm to replace snow boots.

Can You Wear Normal Boots in the Snow?

Suppose you want a pair of regular boots to wear to the bus stop when going to school or work. You should search for deep treads and rubber soles. Those will keep you stable on your feet in the snow.

Do Snow Boots Need to Be Waterproof?

Snow boots are designed for moving in the snow. So it’s no surprise that they are waterproof and water resistant.

Can You Wear Hiking Boots in the Summer?

Yes. You can use good hiking boots on all types of terrain year-round. Therefore, it is okay to wear hiking boots in the summer.

Are Hiking Boots Suitable for Road Walking?

Although hiking boots and shoes are for walking over rough terrain, you can use them to walk on the street and in casual circumstances.

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