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Fishing on ice can be a hobby, sport, or new skill you are trying out. It can be competitive, fun, and rewarding but it is important to be prepared for a day out on the ice.
Boots can be considered among the most important pieces of equipment for your ice fishing get up, for a number of reasons.
So what are the best boots for ice fishing?
In this article, we’ll explore some important considerations to help you find the right boot to keep you protected out on the ice and highlight several products that may work well for you.
What to consider when using boots for ice fishing
Well, when it comes to boots, there are a few things that are very important. They are meant to keep you safe, warm, and comfortable.
Especially when ice fishing, they protect you from potential frost bite, ice, cold water and hypothermia. When your boots fail, so does the rest of your fishing trip.
Wearing boots also protects your feet from anything dangerous on the ground around you.
Any time you are out on the ice, it is easy to forget that you have equipment, fishing supplies, or other sharp objects surrounding you. Your boots are the first physical line of defense in those accidental situations.
A dreaded slip can also ruin your day out. Boots are supposed to have enough grip and traction to keep you safe.
It is essential that you support yourself with a pair of ice fishing boots that keep you safe, comfortable and in some cases, work with your budget.
A few features that you may want to look for in a good pair of ice fishing boots:
- Waterproof — Once again, if your feet get wet, the day is coming to an end. Having wet feet when ice fishing can speed up the process of frost bite, hypothermia, and other temperature related health conditions. Your feet are one of the fastest ways the body loses heat. If you do not purchase a boot that is waterproof, it may not be safe for you to go out on slushy, wet ice.
- Spikes — Some boots provide a strong grip for walking on ice, but some days can be more slippery than others. When choosing a pair of boots, always make sure they are good for walking on slippery surfaces. If you feel like you need even more support though, ice fishing spikes can be purchased with boots to ensure traction. Sometimes called snow cleats, these extra helpers attach to your boots to help with pulling a sled on ice, or dealing with a slippery day.
- Thermal Insulation — You need to keep warm when sitting out on the ice all day. A good pair of boots with insulation will help keep the temperature up inside your footwear. The more insulation a boot has, the warmer your feet will stay. Certain types of insulation are better for your feet too. Always read the review of the boot to make sure your feet stay protected.
A few things to avoid in the right ice fishing boots can include:
- Thinly Lined Boots — The lining in your boots should contain insulation for cold weather sports. If your boots do not contain a thicker lining, your boots will not hold or keep in the heat your feet are generating therefore leaving your feet with a chilly feeling. If you are not able to keep your feet warm, you will definitely start to feel uncomfortable. Simple winter or outdoor boots may not do the trick when you venture out on the ice. They may feel as if they are doing the job at first but you will start to notice your feet getting cold as the day goes on. Always look at the type of insulation your boots have, if any, before making a purchase.
- No Traction — Ice is, well, ice. It is wet, slippery, and usually pretty dangerous. You must prepare to be walking, sliding and standing on ice all day when going ice fishing. Your boots should help you stay upright and safe. If your boots are not built with extra grip, or if you have not invested in a pair of spikes, it may not be safe for you to go ice fishing. To ensure the safest day out, pay attention to the quality of traction the boots your purchase have.
- Rubber (or lack there of) — It is safe to say that ice fishing boots for men that are 100% rubber on the exterior may be the best boot to choose. Any boot that isn’t protected with a rubber outside cannot guarantee you complete waterproofness. Always consider a boot that will protect you from spills, slips, or falls on the ice that may cause your boots to get soaked. Even walking through slush and sludge on the ice can dampen your boots. Boots made of cheap material but that are considered waterproof, may fail you, and you are not going to want to find that out the day you decide to go ice fishing.
Best Boots for Ice Fishing
If you’re looking for the best boots for men’s ice fishing, there are a range of products that could potentially work well for keeping you safe and stable on the ice.
No product, however, can substitute for proper safety on the ice. Always consult an industry professional and the product manufacturer to discuss whether a product is appropriate for use with ice fishing.
Kamik Men’s Greenbay 4 Cold-Weather Boot
There is quite the variety of ice fishing boots for men out there but picking the best pair can be tricky. A good, trustworthy boot is the “Kamik Men’s Greenbay 4 Cold-Weather Boot” which is found on Amazon.
This boot has a trustworthy waterproof bottom and nylon top to ensure water doesn’t get in.
It has a Synthetic RubberHe sole, 8mm thermal-guard liner for thermal protection, and a draw string top line to secure the boot around your calf.
They are considered to be made with a 50% lighter material rather than natural rubber, and can keep you warm in down to -40 degree F.
This lightweight yet durable waterproof nylon boot has a thick treaded rubber outsole for traction on slippery, icy surfaces. Perfect for a day out on the ice.
For more information on how this product might work for use with ice fishing, you can check them out on Amazon.
Baffin Men’s Wolf Snow Boot
Another reliable boot for ice fishing is the Baffin Men’s Wolf Snow Boot. It is a padded snow boot featuring dual buckle straps around shaft and drawstring collar.
It has a seven-layer removable insulated inner boot system, a gripped outsole, and is insulated for a -40F rating.
Baffin Wolf says this “is a lighter more technical boot suitable for everyday winter wear specially when the snow is deep” which could be useful on the ice.
It has a flexible midsole and rubber outsole for comfort and arch support. These boots are considered a hybrid style of high-performance footwear rather than a typical snow boot.
All of this boot’s qualities come together to form the right balance of warmth, protection, low weight and grip for your feet.
Check out these boots on Amazon if you would like more information on how they could work for ice fishing.
SOREL Men’s Bear Extreme Snow Boot
Lastly, this men’s snow boot would be considered for “extreme” ice fishing. The SOREL Men’s Bear Extreme Snow Boot is ideal for a big day out ice fishing.
The boot features a waterproof polyurethane-coated top with drawstring and barrel-lock closure system.
It also includes removable 9mm recycled felt inner boot with omni-heat reflective lining and a 25mm bonded felt frost plug midsole.
It is rated for -60 degree F weather and has a handcrafted waterproof vulcanized rubber shell with Sorel aero-trac non-loading outsole. The boot is the real deal.
It is said that this boot is “ideal for those participating in active winter sports like snowmobiling or sledding, or for activities where maximum protection is required — like all-season hunting or fishing, or simply going to work.”
If you are or want to be a serious ice fisherman, this may be the best boot for you.
View this product on Amazon if you would like more information on how these boots could work for ice fishing.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com