What to Look For
The conditions you plan on walking through will determine what you should look for in a boot. The winter boot you'll want in Buffalo, New York, for example, will be different than the best boot for Maryland, which has lighter snowfall. If you plan on trudging through piles of snow, you need something waterproof. In snow that reaches few inches from the ground, you'll need a boot with a longer shaft; ankle boots will not offer as much protection as knee-highs.
Some of the most popular winter walking shoes may turn out to prove a poor purchase. Ugg - -a brand of walking boot -- uses suede for its boots. However, suede and leather are probably not your best bet for materials because of how easily water stains them, even if they are treated with a waterproofing agent. Furthermore, while these boots provide plenty of warmth -- something else you should definitely look for in a winter boot -- they offer virtually no arch support, which can cause irreversible damage to your feet. If you fall in love with a pair without arch support, consider purchasing an arch-support insert to avoid any injuries.
Where to Buy
Shoe store chain DSW offers designer shoes and boots at affordable prices. It has a huge selection of cold weather boots available at each of its locations as well as on its retail website. DSW has boots in all styles, heights and varieties. Best of all, all of DSW's boots cost less than $150. For a higher budget, an outdoor sporting goods store such as REI can offer warm, durable choices.
Boots vary widely in price. Some designer winter boots cost up to several hundred dollars, while some department stores like Target will offer winter boots for as little as $50. Boots, however, are one of those products where you usually get what you pay for. An inexpensive boot will typically only last you one season, if you're lucky. If you hope to get more mileage out of your winter walking boots, consider purchasing a pair closer to about $150 to $200 in price, which indicates they are made from higher quality materials.
Keeping your boots clean and salt-free is one of the best ways to extend their life. Purchase a cleaning solution for whatever material your boot is made from. You can usually find out what material was used for the shell of your boot by looking at the tag on the inside of the tongue of your boot, and the cleaning solutions can be found either at a shoe store or a drug store. Keeping a spare pair of laces around is always a sound idea.