Best Ice Fishing Boots

Ice fishing is one of the harshest sports in the world, where hunters are subjected to extreme conditions like absurdly low temperatures and heavy rainfall. They can also face really slippery ice and rugged landscapes, all of which can cause various foot problems.

Because of all this, anything worse than the best ice fishing boots will not do well in supporting your feet or protecting them. For instance, if the boot’s waterproofing is well-enough, your feet will be exposed to external elements. Or, if the overall build is even a little loose, exposure to the unrelentingly low temperatures will cause the sole to come off really soon.

However, you don’t need to worry because I have searched through the web to find the five best boots for ice fishing in 2021.

Moreover, I have added the features that matter the most and some of the most significant questions to help make ice fishing easier and rather enjoyable for you.

Features to Look Out For

How to Find the Best Ice Fishing Boots

Through this section, I will introduce the criteria that I implemented when shortlisting the products. By following this, you will be able to understand precisely what you need from the boots, hence finding ones that not only protect your feet through waterproofing and insulation but also support them through adequate padding and cushioning, and a lot more.

1. Insulation

Because you’ll be working in extremely low temperatures, insulation is one of the most important factors. This can, however, be affected by various parts of the shoes. For one, boots often include a cold-weather lining that helps keep the warmth within the shoes, hence helping keep your feet warm.

For the upper, ‘Thinsulate’ is often used, which has polypropylene fibers stitched together to support the inner fabric and create a strong barrier, hence keeping the insole warm. Nevertheless, even the level of protection this provides varies.

Normally, the more the amount of Thinsulate, the warmer the pair will be but remember that too much of it will reduce the breathability and end up weighing more. Similarly, the way it has been stitched together can also impact the level of insulation. Lastly, the boots should allow adequate air circulation and prevent moisture buildup in order to reduce foot problems.

2. Durability & Waterproofing

In case the shoes aren’t waterproof, you will end up getting hurt badly by the cold water. Waterproofing also affects the insulation directly, and, therefore, you should look for uppers made up of materials like leather. Leather keeps out the water and is flexible enough to allow comfortable vertical and horizontal foot movement.

The boots should also include lining or additional technologies built within. Furthermore, they should be able to repel chemicals that you might encounter and be abrasion-resistant as well. This will help improve durability, another important factor for ice fishing shoes because of the extreme conditions they have to withstand.

The durability can be further improved by tight stitching and the outsole particularly plays a part here. You should look for strong rubber material that doesn’t contract much in cold weather and is sewed into the upper well, and, therefore, doesn’t form cracks easily.

3. Traction & Overall Protection

While traction might seem insignificant, it can reduce the chances of accidents considerably. It is so because, through the good grip, your boots will be able to ensure that you don’t slip on the ice and will also add to the stability and balance, hence preventing various foot problems.

For the overall protection, various factors weigh in here. For one, the materials will matter a lot and leather and nylon tend to protect better than most others through stiffness, waterproofing, and flexibility.

Other than that, the taller the shoes, the larger part of the legs they’ll cover. However, remember that they shouldn’t be too tall to make ice fishing uncomfortable for longer periods. Similarly, steel or alloy tips on the toes or the ankle will support them better and with an extra layer of protection. These are particularly useful in rough areas with a lot of debris.

4. Comfort & Support

This doesn’t directly affect the external elements you will face but will help keep your feet healthy and can be achieved through various means. For one, boots with a flexible upper will allow better movement of your feet, hence improving comfort. Other than that, outsoles with wider lug patterns will prevent pieces of snow from hindering the activity.

Furthermore, I would suggest that you get boots with ample padding as well as cushioning that is soft with a stiff structure. This will prevent hurting of the feet but keep the muscles and tissue intact, hence allowing you to fish for longer periods without aching at all.

The boots should also include additional features that might help keep the muscles in place and reduce the tension within. Ankle support is particularly important and makes sure that the pair has enough padding there but isn’t too tight as to cause pain or stress as well.

Other Considerations

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6. Feature #6

While all the factors above are very important in all situations, the significance of these varies from person to person. Firstly, some shoes include technologies that fit the feet to better grip them and support the various parts. Some also include removable cleats or liners while others are moisture-wicking and include air regulation features.

Similarly, the laces should be made of a material that can be gripped even while wearing gloves but not wear easily. You can also give closures like BOA System a try. Other than that, make sure that the shoes are loose enough to comfortably fit even the thickest wool socks for warmth.

PRODUCT REVIEWS

The 5 Best Ice Fishing Boots

I have divided the products section into three different parts, with the first including the best boots for men while the next one contains the best unisex pair and the last is for the best boots for women.

I judged all these upon the criteria that I shared before and the prices vary from around £90 ($130 approx.) to £200 ($285 approx.). An array of features is also available, like Zylex liner, Icetrek technology, Snowbob outsole, bungee lace lock, reflective piping, abrasion-resistance, thermal foam support, and dual-density midsole, etc.

MEN’s

Kamik Men’s The Canuck Winter Boot

This first pair is great for people who want vegan-friendly fishing boots. These are not only made with domestic and imported materials of Canada for the best quality but stay comfortable at temperatures of down to -40°C. The boots, additionally, include the seam-sealed waterproof 1000 denier nylon upper that is not only flexible but also protects from water and cold during fishing.

Other than that, the adjustable snow collar of the boots with the bungee lace lock helps add to the comfort while also improving the protection further. The pair’s 8 mm Zylex removable liner also adds to the comfort and is made up of 97% recycled material, helping keep the production environmentally friendly as well.

 

best ice fishing boots - Kamik Men's The Canuck Winter Boot ice

Furthermore, the moisture-wicking lining helps prevent foot problems, allowing you to better enjoy ice fishing while the adjustable midfoot bungee lace lock adds to the personalization. Similarly, the waterproof and lightweight synthetic rubber Snow Bob outsole features great traction and grip as well as durability.

Also, the outsole and textile insole of the boots are very soft, and, therefore, prevent various foot problems by supporting foot muscles and tissues, including the ankle and arch muscles, well. Lastly, the knee-high, as well as lightweight design particularly, makes them well-suited for ice fishing.

PROS

  • ✅  Rubber shell at the foot and the Snowbob outsole features great traction and grip
  • ✅  The removable Zyex liner is very comfortable
  • ✅  The upper and the outsole are waterproof
  • ✅  Bungee lace locks improve the personalization
  • ✅  The outsole and insole greatly support the foot muscles and tissues

 

CONS

  • X    Only one color choice is available

Kamik Men’s The Canuck Winter Boot

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Baffin Men’s Wolf Winter Boots

With a temperature rating of -40ºC, these are another great pair of ice fishing boots. They include the 1000 denier nylon upper made up of Pro-Tech microfiber with abrasion, wind, and water resistance for use in cold conditions. The upper is also soft and pliable as well as flexible, and, therefore, stays comfortable for long periods.

The double side-release buckle is also very secure and the reflective piping, which enhances the safety and visibility in low light, is often appreciated. Furthermore, the Thermatuf II polyester moisture-wicking lining helps trap extra warmth while the 6mm contoured EVA footbed adds to comfort as well as moisture control.

 

best ice fishing boots - Baffin Men’s Wolf Winter Boots ice

Other than that, the breathable open-cell foam is extremely lightweight yet well-insulated with the four-channel B-Tek hollow-fiber insulation that traps air for temperature control. Similarly, the double-layer metallic membranes reflect the warmth toward the inside, hence assisting with warmth-control during ice fishing.

It should also be noted that the rubber bottom offers extreme traction and grip while also featuring complete water as well as cold protection with molded welts at heels for stability. The molded arches also add to the support and the aggressive outsole lug resists clogging.

PROS

  • ✅  Reflective piping enhances visibility in low light
  • ✅  B-tek hollow-fiber insulation, the metallic membranes, and the rubber bottom work together to promote temperature control
  • ✅  The outsole features great traction and grip
  • ✅  Outsole lug for resistance towards clogging
  • ✅  The nylon upper is flexible and abrasion-resistant

 

CONS

  • X    The foot support could’ve been improved further, I thought.

Baffin Men’s Wolf Winter Boots

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UNISEX

Muck Boot Unisex Arctic Sport Tall

In case you want to buy unisex ice fishing boots, I would highly suggest this pair. It is not only waterproof but also has a 5mm neoprene insole that will help keep you warm and protect you from other environmental elements like water in even extreme conditions.

Moreover, the tall wellington boots with the rubber outsole feature notable traction and are also complemented upon having a great fitting. Other than that, the fleece lining in the boots helps keep the warm air within for temperature regulation while the cushioned footbed, with the 2mm thermal foam layer, provides incredible warmth and comfort as well as support to the arch.

 

Best ice fishing boots - Muck Boot Unisex Arctic Sport Tall

Similarly, the neoprene shaft is supportive towards the ankle and the back pull tab makes the wearing easy and quick. Also, the lightweight EVA midsole is shock-absorbing, hence making ice fishing a rather fun activity.

The shoes have considerable water-resistance as well but people often consider the style to be rather bland. However, they do make up for it with the adjustable fitting through the stretch fit that helps resist problems like blisters and chafing. These boots are particularly good for uneven slippery terrain and offer great durability and protection with double-reinforcement on the heel, instep, and Achilles area.

PROS

  • ✅  100% waterproof
  • ✅  Thermal foam and fleece for warmth
  • ✅  EVA midsole for comfort and protection
  • ✅  Neoprene lining for flexibility and a rugged outsole for grip
  • ✅  Pull-tab for easy on and off

 

CONS

  • X    Not the most stylish, but if that’s not a concern for you then this is a great boot.

Muck Boot Unisex Arctic Sport Tall

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WOMEN’s

Muck Boot Women’s Arctic Ice Tall Work Boot

In case you want synthetic boots for ice fishing, you should give these a try. These boast a Vibram Arctic Grip sole for added traction especially on wet ice while the multi-direction outsole lug also grips even multi-surface terrains well to ease up ice fishing.

The 100% waterproof shoes also provide considerable protection from elements like rain and cold and the rear pull loop eases the on and off. In addition to that, the extended soft rubber coverage improves the support. Also, the flexible Spandura is particularly meant to add to the durability and reduce wear while also fighting abrasion.

 

Best ice fishing boots - Muck Boot Women's Arctic Ice Tall Work Boot

The soft fleece lining, like most other boots from the brand, enhances comfort and provides extensive temperature regulation. Furthermore, the 8mm neoprene is highly flexible and comfortable and the shock-absorbance, as well as heat retention, add immensely to making the activity better than ever.

The pair also adjusts well to the foot shape in order to resist bister while the overall build helps improve the performance. Lastly, the fitting makes the shoes suitable for down to -50°C, which is the lowest on this list, and the bioDEWIX Antimicrobial Footbed Insert Top Cover, with NZYM, helps prevent odor and manage moisture.

PROS

  • ✅  100% waterproof
  • ✅  8mm Neoprene bootie for performance and comfort
  • ✅  Warm fleece lining and comfortable insole
  • ✅  bioDEWIX Antimicrobial Footbed Insert Top cover for odor control
  • ✅  Vibram Arctic Grip outsole with Icetrek Technology

 

CONS

  • X    Some may find the fit alisghtly loose.

Muck Boot Women’s Arctic Ice Tall Work Boot

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Baffin Women’s Snogoose Winter Boot

To end, these are another great option for you. Made in the US, the shoes are made up of synthetic material that is not only flexible but also durable, helping reduce the tension within your foot muscles and tissues, hence preventing various problems.

The boots’ fitting is also known to be appreciably well and the waterproof 900 denier nylon upper helps protect the feet from cold and water during ice fishing. The two-tone upper is also breathable and abrasion-resistant and the removable liners help ensure warmth as well as breathability through the quick-drying layers while the alumnus membrane reflects heat into the boots.

 

best ice fishing boots - Baffin Women's Snogoose Winter Boot

Furthermore, the polyester lining wicks moisture, and the locking snow collars keep out the cold while also supporting the ankle well. Similarly, the dual-density thermoplastic rubber midsoles and the under-arch support keep the feet stable and firm other than adding to the flexibility, lightweights, and durability.

The shoes are great for temperature down to -40ºC and GelFlex midsoles work in absorbing most impact, hence reducing food fatigue. The insulation is also considerably well and the aggressive outsole pattern resists clogging and enhances the traction further. Lastly, the side-to-side lacing with toggle is extremely liked as it provides a personalized feeling.

PROS

  • ✅  The GelFlex and Thermoplastic Rubber midsoles add to the support and comfort by absorbing the impact
  • ✅  The waterproofing and insulation keep out the cold and water
  • ✅  The outsole adds traction while resisting clogging
  • ✅  Side-to-side lacing with toggle enhances personalization
  • ✅  Two-tone nylon upper protects from cold and water and adds to the durability

 

CONS

  • X    Some may find these. alittle heavier than other options.

Baffin Women’s Snogoose Winter Boot

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Frequently Asked Questions

While researching, I came across various important questions and wanted to answer some of the significant ones before also sharing some tips.

1. How to best take care of ice fishing boots?

If you do not take proper care of the boots, they will soon lose most of their features, including the waterproofing. In turn, they will not be able to protect your feet or support them enough, hence causing foot problems.

Firstly, to keep them in good shape, remember to never clean them in washers or dryers and don’t use direct heat sources as well. In addition to that, remember to condition the upper of the boots often and lightly clean them a couple of times a week. For this, simply take a clean wet piece of cloth and rub it against the shoes to remove any dirt.

However, after every week or so, you will need to deep clean them. Start by cleaning them with a wet and warm cloth and then apply a boot cleaner before cleaning off the stains with a brush. Then take out the insoles and wash them in a washing machine. After this, clean the footbed and air dry both the parts before assembling it all.

2. What else do I need for ice fishing?

Ice fishing gear is much different than freshwater fishing gear as most environmental factors are different. For one, you’ll want to add banana jigs with a vertical presentation to your lures while maggots, wax worms, and minnows work best as live bait.

You will also need ice fishing augers, a tool that resembles corkscrews and has spiraling edges that help make holes in the ice. For thin ice, even the hand-held ones work fine and I would recommend ones with batteries only for thick ice as they are quite heavy.

A slush scoop should also be brought along because this can help remove the excess ice from the hole. Lastly, an ice fishing fish finder will use a high-please color or grey-scale screen to display an image of the bottom, fish, bait, structure, and the thermocline, helping make hunting easier and quicker.

3. What type of socks should I wear for ice fishing?

Getting the right socks can greatly help protect your feet better and even make ice fishing more enjoyable as well as comfortable. There are three different types of socks that you can try. Firstly, getting Waterproof Socks is a great choice as these can help immensely when you are subjected to wet conditions and the boots start to give up on you.

Another one would be Thermal Socks that are not only thick, and, therefore, warm, but also wick away most of the moisture, helping keep your feet healthy. These, additionally, include extra padding for comfort and are quite effective in preventing blisters and chafing.

Lastly, I would suggest getting Heated Socks if you’ll be working in extremely cold temperatures that your boots might not be able to withstand. Even though these sound a bit dangerous, such socks operate with the help of a low-amperage battery and are shockproof as well, reducing the risk tremendously.

4. Why do I need special ice fishing boots?

Ice fishing is one of the coldest sports in the world and the hunters are often subjected to extreme temperatures, where they will need some special protection. While some other boots may also help protect from cold or water, ice fishing shoes are always made to do just that.

Other than that, these, unlike most others, will help keep you stable on the ice as well as firm. These boots will also be made with midsoles and insoles meant not just to provide you support but also to keep the heat trapped within, along with the insulation technologies and various types of linings.

It should also be noted that, while these boots don’t look as good as most others, they do include a substantial amount of specially formulated cushioning and padding. Without these features, you will not enjoy fishing and the feet will develop various health conditions, particularly in the arch and ankle, like plantar fascia. Lastly, when it comes to ice fishing boots, you will have an array of insulation and waterproofing levels available, something that normal boots simply don’t offer.

Summary & Conclusion

Best Ice Fishing Boots

I hope that the article helped you understand precisely what you need from the ice fishing boots and answered any relevant questions that you might have had.

Out of the two, I found the Kamik Men’s The Canuck Winter Boot to be the better choice for men as this includes a comfortable lining, amazing waterproofing, and great personalization with bungee laces. The traction is also appreciable and the support is significant as well. Besides, the only con would be that it is available in only one color, which actually is really attractive.

Considering that you can handle the weight, I would highly suggest the Baffin Women’s Snogoose Winter Boot for women. This is also waterproof and is focused not on just comfort but also the performance. The support is also quite good and the antimicrobial footbed helps control the odor while the Icetrek Technology adds to the grip.

In the end, I would say that a single pair will not be well-suited for all as environmental conditions can vary greatly in sports like ice fishing. Therefore, rather than sticking to particular instructions, figure out your needs and get the shoes as such.

Written by Mark

Having researched and advised on hundreds of footwear products, I'm confident you'll find my articles insightful to the most common questions that's currently being asked online.

June 3, 2021

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