What to Look For
When you're walking on ice, you want to make sure that you're wearing a pair of boots that are made for winter conditions; if you're not, you may slip and fall, possibly injuring yourself. Because of this, you want to examine several important boot features, while shopping for them: the outsole, or bottom of the shoe, the lining and the overall construction. The bottom of the boot should be thick and feature deep treads for traction as you walk on ice. However, it should also be flexible (as many winter boots are not), to help your feet adjust to different terrains. The lining of the shoe should also be suitable for cold weather and keep your feet dry as you walk over the ice.
Do not try to use a regular boot, or even a regular winter boot, when you know that you'll be walking on ice. Boots that work well in fall and spring, like rubber boots, don't have the tougher construction that boots made for severer conditions have. In addition, they don't have the kind of traction that the best boots for walking on ice provide. Even normal winter boots, which will provide a certain amount of traction and coverage may not have waterproofing features and probably won't have the kind of thicker, larger treads that walking on ice requires.
Where to Buy
When you shop for any kind of foot gear, you want to make sure that you try on your first pair in person, at the store. Even if you end up buying your boots online, the correct fit is important. Therefore, look at local outdoor sports stores; the more specialized the store is, the better. However, even regular shoe stores usually have several pairs of boots that are appropriate for walking on ice. If you do choose to purchase your boots online, go to the websites of trusted retailers, like REI, or even directly to the manufacturer's website, like LOWA's. These sites are more secure.
The best winter boots for walking on ice will cost more than a normal pair of walking shoes or even the average pair of winter boots. While you can expect to pay between $40 and $100 for a pair of good walking shoes, and between $50 and $100 for a pair of good winter boots, the additional materials and heavy-duty construction of the best boots for walking on ice will cost you in the range of $75 to $200.
Materials like Thinsulate and Gore-Tex provide excellent linings for winter boots. Make sure the boot is constructed so that the top of the boot covers at least up to your mid-calf, to keep snow out as you walk in winter. The boot should also have heavy-duty waterproofing, to keep your feet warm and dry.