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Are Your Winter Boots Keeping You Warm Enough?

Winter boot weather has finally arrived, and there are three things you should consider before taking on a new pair of boots: insulation, water resistance, and traction.

Insulation is critical for staying warm, dry, and keeping comfortable. Jeff Wunn, Gempler’s merchandising manager, says the most common type of insulation is 3M, which can vary in warmth depending on the liner weight. If you’ll be out in extreme cold for longer periods of time, find yourself a pair of boots with a 24-hundred gram liner. For those just experiencing the cold briefly, boots with a 200-gram liner will do.

3M is the most common option, but it isn’t the only option for boot insulation. According to Wunn, foam insulation is also a great option used mainly in muck, bog, or traditional chore boot styles—especially in the ag market.

“Those tend to be more slip-on boots, and they generally are rated up to anywhere between -40F to around -145F for extreme conditions in the Arctic,” Wunn said. 

One of the most important factors for keeping feet warm is water resistance. Most manufacturers will sew a waterproof membrane between the exterior boot layer and the interior liner, Wunn shared. 

Lastly, be sure to pick out boots that have great traction.

“If you’re working out in an area where you’ve got ice and perhaps packed snow as a condition that you’re going to be working with, you’re going to need to look at boots that possibly have studs on the bottom,” said Wunn. 

If you can’t find boots with the level of traction you need, there are other devices to help. Products like Yaktrax can be slipped onto traditional work boots to make working in slippery environments much safer.

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