Hunter boots are some of the most popular rubber boots in the game.
The original rain boot, Hunter has been producing their iconic rubber boots since 1856.
Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, you’re probably already familiar with the silhouette.
Naturally, many people who own a pair find themselves wondering if their weatherproofing is enough to stand up to the harsh winter climate.
This article will explore the question, and help you decide if your Hunter boots are fit for deep winter weather.
Are Hunter Boots Good for Snow and Ice?
Hunter boots aren’t winter boots. They’re designed to stand up to rain and wet conditions, but not for overt winter weather.
To explain why, you need to understand the difference between Hunter boots and winter boots.
Most winter boots feature some form of waterproofing. Keeping snow from melting and soaking into your feet is a vital part of staying warm in the snow.
Hunter boots excel at doing this. This is likely why so many are eager to wear their rubber boots into the snowy months.
The similarities end there though.
Winter boots have a few features that make them better suited to winter weather than Hunter boots.
For one, winter boots almost always feature some kind of internal lining. This lining may be made of shearling or a synthetic material.
Regardless of the material, the lining serves to insulate your feet, keeping the cold from penetrating your boots.
Hunter boots don’t have any lining. They are essentially just rubber shells that slip over your foot to keep the rain out. That’s great during the warmer months, but when winter hits, the boots won’t stand up to the cold like true winter boots.
The second area that winter boots differ in is traction. True winter boots have thick, grippy soles that cling to ice and snow so you don’t slip.
These soles are crucial to keeping you stable as you walk through wintery conditions.
By contrast, Hunter boots have thin, smooth soles. They aren’t nearly as textured, and as such, they provide significantly less traction in the snow.
If you’re wearing a pair of rain boots and step on a patch of ice, you’ll probably wind up on the sidewalk wondering what happened.
For this reason, I can’t recommend you go about wearing Hunter boots in the winter.
Why You Shouldn’t Wear Hunter Boots in Snow or Ice
Hunter boots might seem like a great choice for snow. They are waterproof after all, and the tall shafts seem ideally suited to stomping through snowdrifts.
Looks can be deceiving though. The exterior might look perfectly winter-proof, the reality is that Hunter boots are pretty poorly suited to snow and ice.
There are a few reasons why I advise you to choose a different set of footwear when winter comes in.
For one, Hunter boots completely lack insulation. They’re constructed entirely of rubber, meaning there is nothing but a thin sheet of the stuff between you and the frigid winter air.
If you try wearing these out into the cold, you’ll quickly understand why it’s a bad idea. Your feet are one of the first areas of your body to lose heat, and these boots won’t be much help once that process starts.
Not only can this be uncomfortable, but it can even be dangerous. If you go into below-freezing temperatures in Hunter boots, you could wind up losing circulation or developing frostbite. Not my idea of a good time.
Speaking of dangerous, let’s look at the soles. Hunter boots have some of the smoothest and most minimalist soles on the market.
That isn’t a problem when dealing with spring rains. In fact, it’s beneficial, as the more minimalistic soles keep the boots light and nimble.
However, when you’re dealing with snow and ice, light and nimble isn’t the answer.
In these conditions, these soles are extremely prone to slipping. They lack any real tread, meaning that the slightest patch of ice or loose snow will leave you sliding uncontrollably.
Unless you plan on wearing a ski helmet everywhere you go, you’ll probably want to avoid hitting your head on the sidewalk all winter long.
Finally, we come to the issue of cracking. While it isn’t an extremely common occurrence, rubber boots can crack in the winter.
If rubber gets too cold, it can become overly rigid. From there, all it takes is a bit of a wrong step and your boots may literally crack down the middle.
Even if you don’t mind having frozen feet and falling down repeatedly, your boots don’t like the winter. You’re better off leaving them in the closet till it warms up a bit.
How to Turn Your Hunter Boots Into a Workable Pair of Snow Boots
If you absolutely must wear your Hunter boots in the snow and ice, there are a few things you can do to help keep your feet insulated and make your boots a bit more winter-ready.
For starters, you should look into getting a thick pair of winter socks.
While they still won’t compare to the insulation you’d get with a proper pair of winter boots, these socks can help combat the cold and make the thinness of your rain boots less impactful.
Hunter makes a solid pair themselves. These socks are designed so that they span the entire length of your boot shaft.
In essence, wearing these is like putting on a boot lining. Combined with the waterproofing of the rubber boots, these socks can make your Hunters serviceable in the winter.
That said, the Hunter socks are pretty expensive. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you could just grab a pair of standard winter socks instead.
They won’t line the entire boot shaft, but if you combine them with a warm pair of pants, they should still do the trick.
For those who are absolutely opposed to buying anything new, the cheapest option would be to wear multiple pairs of socks. You may feel a bit silly, but it can help keep your feet from freezing during less strenuous wear.
All that being, even the best pair of socks isn’t going to replace the warmth you’d get from a proper winter boot. Socks can make your Hunters workable for a quick stroll, but prolonged exposure to the cold will still be dangerous.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more thorough, you could try using insulated insoles. These insoles incorporate thick, warm materials to help keep the cold out.
This pair from ABUSA is a good place to start. They’re made from sheep’s wool to ensure your feet retain as much heat as possible.
You can also combine insoles with winter socks to maximize heat retention.
Still, no amount of inserts or thick socks will replicate true boot lining. Your feet are still going to get cold after a while.
Additionally, these solutions don’t solve the other problems we mentioned above. Your boots will still provide very little traction and the rubber is still prone to cracking if it gets too cold.
These are workarounds, not guarantees. Instead of trying to beef up your Hunters into something resembling a winter boot, I highly recommend looking for a dedicated rubber winter boot.
2 Best Rubber Boots to Wear in Snow
Best Overall: Muck Boots Arctic Ice Extreme Conditions
If you love the look and feel of your Hunter boots but want something that can handle snow and ice, look no further. The Muck Boots Arctic Ice Extreme Conditions Boot is ideally suited to winter weather.
This boot features a rubber and neoprene outer reminiscent of the Hunter boots you know and love. That said, Muck has added a number of features that make these far readier for winter.
To start, the Arctic Ice Extreme Conditions boot has a dedicated insulating lining. Made of soft fleece, this lining keeps you warm and comfortable even during prolonged periods outdoors.
Additionally, the outsoles feature grip pods that offer the best traction possible on ice and snow. You’ll be able to step confidently into winter, no matter what the sidewalk looks like.
The 14-inch boot shaft is a nice addition. It keeps your lower legs warm and helps keep any snow or slush from splashing in at the opening.
Best on a Budget: Kamik Forester Insulated Rubber Boots
If you’re looking for a rubber winter boot that doesn’t break the bank, the Kamik Forester is a great place to start.
Made mostly out of rubber and a bit of nylon, this pair of boots bears a strong resemblance to the Hunter silhouette.
The insulation is incredibly warm. Rated for negative 40-degree Fahrenheit environments, this pair of boots won’t have you freezing five minutes into your winter walk.
As an added bonus, the snow collar and lining are removable. This means you can convert these winter boots into a standard pair of rain boots when the warmer months roll in.
The rubber outsole has a good amount of tread, keeping you upright through whatever winter throws at you.
Add to that the 13-inch boot shaft and cinching snow collar and you’ve got a boot ready to handle the heaviest of snow days.
Hunter boots are great for rain, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready for true winter.
While they may be waterproof, they provide little in the way of warmth. They also lack the traction necessary to walk safely in ice and snow.
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Are rain boots good for snow?
While rain boots can keep snow from seeping into your socks, they aren’t the best choice for snow. They lack insulation, meaning your feet will quickly lose heat when exposed to winter weather.
Are Hunter boots slip resistant?
Hunter boots are not slip-resistant. Their soles are light and smooth, lacking the tread necessary to grip snow and ice.