From leather boots to smart boots: Boots that will keep you safe and warm this winter

MILWAUKEE -- Nicole Kilmer with Blain's Farm and Fleet joins Real Milwaukee to show us how to pick a practical boot.

When the cold and snow hit, you`ll want the best winter boots to keep your feet dry and warm. There are plenty of sizes, fits and styles to choose from - and you might not know where to start.

1. Types of winter boots

• Pac Boots = Pac boots are generally defined as winter boots with a thick, rubber lower shell. ... Although the rubber shell is always waterproof, the upper may either be waterproof or water-resistant, depending on the construction. Most pac boots have a thick, insulating liner, which may or may not be removable.

• Hunting Boots = Field Boots are typically constructed with a variety of features in the upper to provide a balance of breathability and durability. Common materials are full-grain leather, nylon and mesh. Rubber boots offer several advantages on the hunt. Rubber boots are scent-free, so they`ll never give your location away. They are also waterproof. However, rubber boots do tend to get quite warm, so give extra consideration to temperatures in your hunting area.

• Work Boots = High-quality men's work boots are essential for staying safe and comfortable while at work. A steel-toe boot (also known as a safety boot, steel-capped boot or safety shoe) is a durable boot or shoe that has a protective reinforcement in the toe which protects the foot from falling objects or compression, usually combined with a mid-sole plate to protect against punctures from below.

2. Important Winter Boot Features

• Waterproof and water-resistant =  Water-resistant boots are what most people wear in light, rainy weather or even light snow. ... Waterproof boots, on the other hand, are usually constructed of rubber, plastic or other non-porous materials and can be submerged in water or snow and still keep your feet and lower legs dry and warm.

• Types of insulation to look for = What is Thinsulate Insulation?
Most quality boots are insulated with Thinsulate insulation. If a boot says insulated and there is not a Thinsulate Hang Tag on the boot it is probably a cheaper foam insulation. Thinsulate breathes and maintains a more constant temperature around your foot then the less expensive foam insulations. Thinsulate comes in various weights that are labeled as grams. The most common weights are 200 grams, 400 grams, 600 grams, 800 grams, 1000 grams, and 1200 grams. The more grams the thicker the insulation.

For Work Boots 400-600 Grams of Thinsulate is plenty
If you are going to be working outside in your boots and will be moderately active then don`t exceed 600 grams of Thinsulate insulation

When to go 800-1200 Grams of Thinsulate.
If you`re outside and are inactive that is where the 800-1200 gram boots come into play. Since you`re not moving around as much and your metabolism is lower you won`t be working up a sweat. If you`re ice fishing, sitting in a tree stand, or even changing plugs in your car in cold weather then you won`t be moving around as much and 800-1200 grams of Thinsulate will keep your feet nice and warm. Many hunting boots fit into the 800-1200 gram of Thinsulate category and are great for hunting but usually not so good for work boots.

• Slip Resistance and Traction = A slip resistant outsole is softer, and made of rubber that is more slip resistant when exposed to water and oil than other outsole compounds. This softer rubber outsole means that a slip resistant shoe can more effectively grip a slick floor. Look for product description on box. Vibram® Arctic Grip traction pads on CAT boots are designed for extreme slip resistance on wet ice; color indicator turns blue when temperature drops below 32°F/0°C)

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