During the cold winter months, spending some time outdoors making snowmen and snow angels or even riding on their kiddie sleds can be so much fun for young toddlers. It’s a whole new experience for them. Unfortunately, they are at the mercy of the cold environment, particularly their feet. That’s why it’s important that you get them a pair of boots that will help protect their feet from the bitter cold. Regrettably, this is a lot easier said than accomplished since the market is technically inundated with toddler winter boots that all claim they’re the best. Not to worry, though, as we’re here to help you decide with our 10 best winter boots for toddlers so you can bring your tot and have a merry time in the snow.
Things to Consider When Buying Winter Boots for Your Tot
Enjoying a day or two in the snow can be particularly risky for the feet of young toddlers as they are especially vulnerable to a lot of cold-related injuries and conditions. Choosing the best winter boots for them entails an understanding of the fundamental characteristics that these kinds of footwear must possess to help protect your child’s feet. Here are some of the things to consider when buying winter boots for your tot.
This is perhaps one of the most important considerations you will ever make in choosing the right winter boots for your tot. Remember that if you’re feeling cold whenever you’re outside, the feeling can be twice as cold for the young child owing to a relatively thinner skin and a still-immature thermoregulatory system. Additionally, their body surface area is significantly smaller compared to adults making heat loss all the more pronounced. That’s why it is critically important to look at the individual temperature ratings provided by the boot manufacturer. For example, a well-known brand of winter shoes can have products that can handle temperatures as low as -100 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers put temperature ratings in their footwear and, as such, you should look for other signs of excellent heat-retaining properties.
In cases where there are no printed temperature ratings, you can always look for a removable liner which is often made of polypropylene if not acrylic or wool. In some manufacturers, they fabricate their own special thermal liners. If the boots don’t have removable thermal lining, these may use special thermal materials. There are also fashion boots that use a different kind of wool that is known as shearling. Unfortunately, there are plenty of faux shearlings in the market. These may look and feel like the real deal but they do little in keeping the feet of your little one comfy and warm. Lastly, it makes no sense having a thermal liner if the insole of the footwear simply doesn’t retain as much heat as possible. So, these are the things that you need to look for so your kid’s feet won’t be affected as much by the bitter cold.
Warm winter boots should also provide your kid with exceptional comfort. As toddlers now love exploring the world around them, they will be wandering around. And if they will have to wear their winter boots for extended periods of time, comfort is a major factor.
You will have to consider adequate support for the arch of the feet and the feet itself. Ideally, your tot should have no problems walking with his or her boots. Look for arch supports and ample padding in the insoles. Some manufacturers actually provide for orthopedic insoles as well as pronation control. This is one very useful feature in maintaining the perfect alignment of the feet in relation to the central axis of the body by preventing the inward rolling of the foot every time it hits the ground. If this is not corrected early on, it can lead to a variety of health issues in the knees and the back.
Additionally, you have to check the lacing system of the winter boots you’re considering for your toddler. As much as possible get a boot with full lacing as it guarantees the best possible fit for your tot. However, there are winter footwear that do not have full lacing yet they provide exceptional protection especially in deep snow. Most winter boots for toddlers come with hook-and-loop straps, however, for ease of securing and removal.
Imagine your footwear as a closed system that your feet actually can feel suffocated. If it’s too warm and the air simply cannot circulate inside, you run the risk of growing bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause nasty odors in the feet. That’s why one of the characteristics that you might want to consider is the breathability of the footwear. These should have antibacterial or even antimicrobial properties in addition to the inclusion of quick-drying or moisture-wicking technologies in their design.
Unfortunately, the need for breathable footwear often clashes with the need for waterproofing. As such, it may be important to look at the material used in the winter boots to check if it is both breathable and waterproof. If not, you will have to weigh in on which of the two will matter more to your kid.
The grip of your kid’s winter boots is inherently supplied by the unique design of its outsoles, particularly the depth and size of the lugs. These lugs help prevent falls and slips as they provide a mechanism for the outsole to improve its contact with the ground surface, or in this case, the surface of the snow. Typically, the larger and deeper the lugs the better is the grip. In some cases, a heel brake is provided for added protection against slips especially when descending or walking on uneven terrain. You can think of the heel brake as an anchor for the boot so it will not easily slip.
Most winter boots have outsoles made of rubber although some manufacturers combine it with carbon to make it harder and more durable. Unfortunately, such design can be quite slippery on icy surfaces.
Snow may look solid to you, but, with the right temperature, it can easily melt and turn into water. That’s why it’s important to look for boots with exceptional waterproofing to help prevent snow, water, or even slush from ever entering the footwear. The material that is used in the construction of the boot should be, in itself, waterproof. Additionally, there are certain technologies and systems that can help prevent the entry of moisture so you might want to check these out.
For instance, there are boots that have gusseted tongues that help prevent the entry of water through the spaces on the sides. There are also those that feature a gaiter or a cuff which serves as a collar that effectively channels snow away from the interior of the boot. Gaiters can be likened to sleeves that effectively cover the boot and extend well up into the level of the knees.
You can expect winter boots to be especially heavier than most other types of footwear. And given the relatively smaller and less strong feet of your tot, the weight of the footwear may have to be considered. It is important to look for footwear that can provide you with all of the above features but will not require your young child to exert too much effort in simple walking. The good news is that today’s winter boot manufacturers continue to find ways to improve their materials, making them more waterproof, breathable, comfortable, and with excellent thermal capabilities, without having to add weight to the boot. If the winter boots will make walking more like a chore, you’d better look for something else.
- Ankle support
Even if you were able to buy a lightweight winter boots for your kid, these will still be heavier than most other shoes that he or she wears. When buying winter boots, it is thus, important to look for those that provide ample ankle support such as padded sides, full lacing, and an overall firm structure.
It is a well-established fact that toddlers are already beginning to make full use of their newfound mobility. Winter time is an excellent opportunity for them to discover this snowy wonderland. With the 10 best winter boots for toddlers, you can help them explore in the wintery cold while protecting their feet.