There are many things to consider when picking out gear for ice fishing, but boots are definitely at the top of the list. Let’s face it, you’re not going to last long on the ice if your feet start freezing, and instead of catching fish, you’re going to go home early. In this buying guide, we will look at the best ice fishing boots to fish comfortably in all conditions.
Sorel is the brand my father swears by, and growing up as a kid, is the only boot he would buy. This is for a good reason, Sorel boots do their job and will feet your toes warm in all conditions.
The Blizzard is a high boot with PU synthetic materials and a drawstring, allowing you to cinch it down tight and keep moisture and snow out and warm air in, and it’s completely waterproof.
The boot also has a removable recycled felt inner boot with an Omni-heat reflective lining, and this is the key feature of Sorel boots in general, allowing you to remove the inner lining to dry them out. The lining is rated to keep your feet warm in as low as -40 degree temperatures, and if you're ice fishing in below -40 weather, you may be crazy.
The Blizzard also has a grippy vulcanized rubber sole and aero-trac to prevent snow and ice loading and clinging to the sole. All in all, a great ice fishing boot for anglers who like to fish even in the bitter cold.
- Omni-heat reflective lining
- Removable felt liner
- 40-degree rating
The Baffin Wolf ice fishing boot is made of a combination of 100% leather and nylon and features a synthetic sole; the nylon material on the upper portion of the boot is high-quality double-weaved 900 denier nylon, to be exact, providing incredible durability.
The Wolf has a removable multi-layer inner boot system liner with a cold weather rating of -40 degrees.
The boots feature two adjustable clips to ensure a secure fit and a shaft that measures 11 inches from the arch, and a 1.75-inch heel.
- -40 rating
- Double-weaved denier nylon
- 100% leather and nylon
This is a budget-friendly boot that can hold its own – in terms of material and performance in all conditions – with the expensive ones on the market today.
This boot, coming in at a quarter of the price of others with the same features, has a cold-weather rating of -40 degrees; this rating is aided by their patented retain technology which holds in 90% of your body’s heat and an 8mm removable liner.
It probably goes without saying that these winter boots are also 100% waterproof as well, which is a standard for any cold-weather boot. You certainly don’t want wet feet ice fishing!
Last but not least, the ArticShield Talls are incredibly comfortable ice fishing boots, with a shaft measuring 14 inches from the arch and rugged all-terrain rubber soles.
- -40 degree temperature rating
- Retain technology
Muck Boots are another brand of ice fishing boot that has made a name for itself when it comes to making a reliable pair of insulated boots. Along with the excellent cold weather performance that ice anglers expect, this boot serves two purposes, both ice fishing and hunting in deep snow, as this style provides excellent scent control for hunting species such as whitetails, as well as providing incredible warmth for ice fishing out in the cold air.
No laces to tie, but you have a strap that will cinch and hold tightly around your calf, keeping out snow and water, and the inside of the boot is lined with neoprene to aid in wicking away moisture like sweat.
Muck Boots are rated to an incredibly chilly -60 degrees, and along with that, neoprene material also has a fleece lining for extra comfort and warmth and a shaft measuring 15.25 inches from the arch. These awesome winter boots are for hunters who also fish.
- Dual usage
- -60 degree rating
- Straps instead of laces
The Baffin Snow Monster Boots really are monster winter boots. They are made from 100% leather and feature a synthetic sole. Like with other extreme weather boots, the Snow Monster also has a drawstring at the top to lock your feet in and keep water and snow out.
The Baffin Snow Monster also has bungee quickdraw laces which make putting on and removing the boot fast, and also have an adjustable circumference.
The boot “shaft” measures approximately 11.5 inches from the arch and has a 1.5-inch heel.
- 100% leather
- Quickdraw laces
- Synthetic rubber sole
These boots are pretty awesome for one reason; in particular, they have built-in ice cleats in the sole of the boot, providing traction without the need to mess around with strap-on-style ice cleats.
These cleats are hinged and have a flip-up function so that when not needed, the boots can be worn safely on floors or concrete without damaging them. Great when coming home from any fishing trip or jumping in the car to change spots.
The outer shell of the Norfin Klondaik boots is rubber to provide exceptional durability and make the boots waterproof, and the inner construction consists of a removable insole with Thinsulate insulation and foil coating to trap heat for cold conditions.
- Built-in ice cleats
- Rubber outer shell
- Removable insole
The Endeavor has 2440 grams of 3M Thinsulate insulation material, whereas many other boots only feature around 1000 to 1500 grams, and it also has 360-degree guard protection.
Among other features, these cold-weather boots have a reflective heat footbed which is something I haven’t seen in other boots, and it's completely waterproof. Great for avoiding cold feet on a fishing trip.
It also has incredibly durable soles with very good traction.
- Massive amounts of insulation (2440 grams)
- 360 guard protection
- Reflective heating footbed
Korkers have a really good range and are known for making a great pair of boots. The Vortex has two interchangeable soles, with one having carbide studs for excellent ice traction. This is a pretty unique and ingenious feature, allowing you to use the boots on the ice as well as off for other adventures.
The boot is 100% waterproof and is guaranteed to keep your feet dry, and features 1200 grams of insulation for great cold weather foot protection, along with an aerogel frost barrier footbed for extra insulations when the bottom of your foot meets the sole, which is the one area that many boots struggle in keeping body heat in.
The Polar Vortex features the BOA M4 fit system for effortless fitting and removal as well as a tight fit.
- Interchangeable soles, one with carbide studs
- BOA M4 fit system
- 1200 grams of insulation and aerogel footbeds
What to Look for in Ice Fishing Boots
The most important factor when choosing a pair of boots for ice fishing is simple – insulation. Insulation is the one thing that really keeps you out on the ice in comfort while fishing – or snowmobiling or other winter activities – in extreme weather conditions. If your feet feel like blocks of ice, you’re simply not going to stay out and fish. Anything over 1000 grams is recommended, and the more, the better in most cases, but more insulation can also cause your feet to sweat and thus start getting cold; that’s when materials such as neoprene and removable liners come in.
Waterproofing is probably the next most important factor with ice boots. In order to ice fish, you have to drill holes through the ice, and if you ice fish, this is painfully obvious, but my point is if you have drilled holes, you will undoubtedly know that water is going to gush out of the hole and cover your boots, if it seeps in, you’re done for the day, but quality pairs of boots will still keep you warm, even with a solid coating of ice on top of them.
Other features, such as ice cleats, are sort of a preference thing; while they surely will give you incredible slip protection on glare ice, such as first ice in the early season, as snow covers the ice throughout the winter months, slipping becomes less of an issue. So this is why I have put this further down on the list of importance.
Removable Ice Cleats
If you’re unsure about the need for ice cleats, you can always buy removable ice cleats to strap onto your boots. Brands like Stablicers and Shaddock fishing make some great removable ice cleats that you can use if needed; just be sure not to walk on your hardwood floors at home wearing them.
There is no shortage of ice fishing boots on the market, but this article features boots that we feel are the best boots specifically for ice fishing. Standing on a giant sheet of ice for long periods of time in extreme cold is hard on your feet, especially if they get cold, and ice fishing is a pretty sedentary gig, where you are sitting still for extended periods of time in most cases, making insulation and waterproofing even more important than other boots like cold weather hiking boots.