Whether you’re a beginner angler who has just heard about ice fishing and wants to give it a try or a seasoned ice angler you need to be prepared for the tough weather conditions associated with this extreme style of fishing. Ice fishing has been the pastime of many anglers who loves a challenge and the outdoors, but it is sometimes necessary to travel to get the best out of the spot and some anglers head for places like Minnesota or Alaska in search of the best ice fishing season.
The harsh winter conditions of places like Alaska can’t be taken too lightly, and experienced ice fishermen will know all about the dangers of overexposure to the winter elements, so protecting yourself with the best gear is important.
One of the most crucial pieces of equipment are your boots; so much of our body heat is lost through our feet that having good, reliable boots is an essential step for properly arming yourself against the worst conditions you may have to handle for the best ice fishing. Footwear that will keep you safe, warm, and comfortable can mean the difference between a safe and enjoyable fishing trip, or serious injury that may take time to recover from.
Having the best gear can protect you against hypothermia and even frostbite, which the conditions can leave you vulnerable to. Ice fishing can often mean you spend long periods waiting, which means that your body keeps still, and your body heat becomes centered at the core which can mean your risk of frostbite becomes increased.
One of the most important extremities to protect is your feet, so spending time searching for good ice boots that suit your needs is a great place to start preparations for a great ice fishing excursion. The best boots will keep you comfortable and will be designed to keep you safe while you’re out on the ice.
With all that in mind finding the best pair of boots can feel overwhelming and some novice ice anglers can feel anxious when choosing their first boots. We’ve put together some great options for you to take a look at, to give you an idea of what suitable boots may look like. We’ve also created a buyer’s guide to take you through some of the features that are important to keep in mind before choosing your boots, plus answering a few of your questions to make sure you have everything you need to make the best choice.
Top 5 Best Ice Fishing Boots
OUR TOP PICK
These hard-wearing, tough boots are rated to be used from -40oF to 40oF. Ost anglers will find this more than sufficient for ice fishing, and probably any other kind of cold-weather activity you’d like to take for a spin. The boots are waterproof and there’s a reason that a lot of ice fishermen would choose Muck over other similar brands.
These boots are durable enough to last you for a good few years, and you can trust them to keep you safe and warm even during a long day on the ice. The other great thing about these boots is that they won’t make your feet sweat in slightly warmer temperatures like other options, which can make the time waiting for a bite a bit more uncomfortable. On the other hand, at the other end of the scale, you’ll be glad of this pair when temperatures begin to drop and they’ll definitely keep your toes safe from frostbite.
The boots are comfortable enough to wear on the ice for hours at a time and the water-proofing is very impressive as the boots feature a rubber shell that covers the whole foot and above the ankle to provide waterproof coverage across the whole area. The boots also have excellent traction thanks to the rubber sole that’s durable and robust, so it’ll keep your feet dry even in very wet conditions. The boots have a fleece lining to help keep you warm, and it’s also insulating for even more comfort.
The boots also have 2mm of thermal foam and 5mm of neoprene. The neoprene keeps the boots flexible and waterproof and combined with the fleece lining keeps your body heat in pretty well. The thermal foam is positioned under the footbed to protect you from the ice, and the shaft measures over 14.5” above the arch which gives you a great amount of protection from the elements. These are boots that could deal with heavy snow quite easily.
These are a great option if you regularly have to deal with a lot of mud while you’re out and about and they’re durable boots that are sure to last you a while. This option is a good choice for those who need their kit to stand up to a more rugged and tough environment and there’s certainly been plenty of thought in the design and construction process to keep you safe and warm so you can enjoy the very best fishing possible.
- Durable and well-constructed
- Made with high-quality materials
- Very warm and waterproof
- A great option for mud
- Offers excellent protection from the elements
- Remember you can’t tighten these boots so take care oversizing
- 5 mm neoprene provides comfort and flexibility, along with excellent waterproofing, shock absorption and heat retention properties; adjusts to your foot shape to resist blisters and chafing
- Completely sealed rubber shell extends up above ankle area for added protection from moisture
- Fleece lining is soft, durable and provides exceptional warmth in frigid environments; 2 mm of thermal foam under footbed; comfort rated from -40 °F to 40 °F (-40°C to 4°C)
- Outsole with rugged molded lugs for increased traction on slippery and uneven terrain
- 100% waterproof winter boots; EVA contoured, molded midsole for increased support
There’s a lot to recommend these boots from Baffin and they’re another option that works hard to keep you as safe and comfortable as possible when you’re in tough conditions. Baffin has a great reputation and many ice fishermen trust them to have their back then they’re out on the hunt.
This option has features like a drawstring collar which pulls in the top of the boots so you can stop snow blowing into your boots in windy conditions. Snow in your boots can be very dangerous when you’re far from home and can put your extremities at risk from frostbite so this is a useful little feature that demonstrates how hard Baffin has worked to create boots that are functional and safety conscious.
The boots are very lightweight which makes them easy to walk in for longer periods and over rough terrain and will help you keep your balance against waves or other obstacles you may encounter. The insulation on this option is removable, which makes the inner lining far easier to dry out completely than other similar options.
The boots are very durable as you’d expect from Baffin, and while they’re a little shorter measuring just 11” from the arch to the top they include a drawstring collar helps to keep the snow out so your feet stay dry.
These boots are rated for up to -40oF which gives you a great range to fish in safely, the boots are comfortable to wear for long periods even when you’re on your feet all day and they’re a good option for most anglers from beginners to more experienced anglers. They do an excellent job at keeping the warmth in and insulating your body heat from the elements, and the included dual buckle straps are easily adjustable so they can be taken on and off easily with very little hassle.
You could use these boots for most outdoor winter pursuits like hiking, snowmobiling and they’re an excellent option for keen ice fishers who like to spend as much time as they can outside. They offer the grip and traction you’d expect from Baffin, and the level of adjustable features make them a great one for finding your unique fit.
- Comfortable and durable
- Offers great traction and grip
- Very adjustable to help you find the best fit for you
- Lightweight with removable insulation
- Good for most skill levels
- Not the most packable of boot options
- Drawcord collar with double buckle locking mechanism.
- 5-layer inner boot liner with Thermaplush
- 6mm contoured removable footbed.
- Proprietary cold resistant EVA midsole for support and cushioning.
- Cold weather rubber outsole with integrated arch support
Muck Boots do make some of the best options on the market at the moment, which is why they’re appearing on this list again. This option is a great choice for those who like to have as much traction as possible while outside to give you as much grip and stability to help prevent injury or accidents.
These boots do as much as they can to keep you warm and comfortable and they include both a 2mm thermal lining and an 8mm neoprene layer so that you stay warm and dry for hours at a time. The thermal foam under the footbed helps protect your toes from ice and helps keep your body heat in. The neoprene keeps you warm and makes the boots particularly waterproof and adept at dealing with cold and harsh water.
The outstanding traction that this boot option gives you is all thanks to the Vibram Arctic Grip outsoles which will help to keep you upright even on the most unstable and slippery of surfaces. Being able to deal with uneven or hard terrain is a great way to reduce the risk of injury and make you more comfortable on your ice fishing excursions. Every ice fisherman worries that their boots may suddenly spring a leak at the wrong moment and with these boots you can relax.
They’re very durable and hardwearing and can be used from -60oF to 30oF comfortably. If durability is an important factor for you then you’ll struggle to find better than this option. These are a great option for those who plunge into cold-weather regularly and are suited to a wide range of different snow-based activities
- Very durable
- Comfortable to wear for long periods
- the Vibram Arctic Grip outsoles give outstanding traction
- Well-constructed and designed
- Heavy duty and rated to -60oF
- May get a little warm in milder temperatures
- 8 mm neoprene provides comfort and flexibility, along with excellent waterproofing, shock absorption and heat retention properties; adjusts to your foot shape to resist blisters and chafing
- Soft fleece lining and 2 mm thermal foam under footbed enhances comfort, provides superior warmth, and is durable for long cold treks; comfort rated from -60 °F to 30 °F (-50 °C to -1 °C)
- Comfort topline keeps out moisture while locking in heat; EVA contoured, molded midsole for premium comfort; extended rubber coverage and tough Spandura adds protection against wear
- Vibram Arctic Grip outsole pods deliver the most advanced traction on wet ice; Vibram Icetrek full base layer provides the highest level of traction on dry ice
- 100% waterproof winter boots; multi-directional outsole lug design offers excellent traction on multi-surface terrain; rear pull loop for easy on/off
Next up we have an incredibly warm and stylish option from Sorel which is another great choice for those who know that they’re going to spend a significant of time staying still and want their feet to remain warm, comfortable, and dry while they wait for a great catch.
One of the most exciting features of this option is the recycled felt insulation which is also removable making it easy to dry completely. Sometimes ice fishing boots have liners that can get bunched up or come out completely as you out the boot on and off, this option is easy to adjust as you need to and combined with the drawstring you’ll quickly find the best and most comfortable fit for you which will keep the snow and slush out, and your body heat in.
The boots also have laces at the ankle which can help you keep the boot at the tightness that you find comfortable, so you can move around easily and keep a full range of movement which can be crucial while ice fishing. These boots are rated for up to -60oF which most anglers will find a comfortable range to fish in. The boots remain comfortable even after you’ve spent the day on your feet, and you’ll defiantly be glad of them when the wind is blowing.
The boots measure 13.5” from the arch to top and the upper is coated with polyurethane which keeps the boot waterproof. For added durability and protection against snow and icy waters, the boots have a rubber shell around the foot, so that you can relax knowing that you’re suitably protected against the elements.
- Comfortable and easy to take on and off
- Durable and well-made
- Removable felt liner for easy drying
- Very waterproof and warm
- Rated to -60oF
- Doesn’t come in any half sizes
- EXTREME CONDITIONS: Made for the most extreme conditions, the XT boots provide warmth, waterproofing, traction and comfort; Great for urban adventures in the harshest winters
- WATER RESISTANT BOOT: Made with water-and-wind resistant PU coated synthetic textile that keeps you warm and dry; Drawstring with barrel lock closure keeps snow out
- INSULATED WARMTH: Features a removable 9 mm recycled felt inner boot with Omni-Heat reflective lining that keeps you warm down to -60F; 2.5 mm bonded felt frost plug
- COMFORT AND GRIP: Comfortable 6 mm ThermoPlus felt footbed for extra coziness; Handcrafted waterproof vulcanized rubber shell with grippy outsole for icy conditions
- FUNCTION MEETS FASHION: SOREL creates bold, always-ready footwear that's built to take on non-stop days and nights in the city
Last up we have this pair of excellent cold and snow weather boots which are very adjustable for your unique fit and comfort level. Kamik has worked hard to make this boot a great option for ice fishing, and while this might not be the pair of boots you want for ice trekking or hiking they’re a great option for beginners who want to get into ice fishing without looking into other cold-weather activities.
They’re another option with removable insulated felt liners which beginners will find useful if their boots become wet at any point during their trip as they’re much easier to fully dry out. They’re constructed out of 600-denier nylon which is pretty robust and sturdy, so these are a good first option that should be with you for some time.
The drawstring collar feature makes it easy to keep snow out of your boots and the included Velcro closing straps are very adjustable to make sure that you feel comfortable as possible. They’re lightweight and easy to wear for long periods and while they’re only rated up to -40oF beginners will find this more than enough on the start of their ice-fishing adventure. More seasoned anglers may want something a little heavier duty but this is a stylish and durable option at a very accessible price point.
- Rated to -40oF
- Durable and well-constructed
- Very adjustable for a great individual fit
- Removable felt liner
- Great for beginners
- Better at keeping your feet warm than dry in serious conditions
- 100 percent waterproof
- Minus 40 Fahrenheit extreme temperature rating
- 8mm Thermal Guard removable liner (100% recycled content) and hook-and-loop strap
- Adjustable Velcro strap
- Built in USA
Best Ice Fishing Boots Buying Guide
We want you to feel as prepared as possible before you make any decisions about what sort of boot is right for you, so to give you a little more info we’ve put together some of the most important factors to consider before you make your choice.
When you’re doing any type of fishing you want your boots to be waterproof so that your feet don’t get wet, but that becomes especially important when ice fishing. Your regular winter boots probably won’t have the amount of waterproofing or weather resistance that you need to have a great time out on the ice. Remember ice fishing can involve staying by a hole in the ice for hours at a time, or spending time in a pool of frozen water so keeping yourself comfortable is crucial.
You need properly sealed and waterproofed boots to keep your feet warm and dry, or you may find yourself cutting your day short or risk injuring yourself. Look out for tough rubber soles that help keep the water out and the heat in, and make sure that your boots have layers of insulation so you stay comfortable all day. Zippers and buckles are better at laces and provide less of a weak point for moisture to seep in. When picking out ice boots make sure you go for a design that has your comfort at its heart so your feet remain dry at all times.
It’s a relatively well-acknowledged that when you’re ice fishing you’re going to encounter some slippery and wet terrain that can make accidents on the ice much more likely. As ice fishing revolves around you walking over a frozen body of water you need to make sure your boots have the right amount of grip and traction to avoid any unnecessary safety threats which may lead to you or someone else falling through the ice
Traction should be one of the first things you check out when you’re looking for your next ice boot, so think about the terrain you’re likely to encounter on your trip. Deep treads are better for snow, while out on the ice you want your boots to have spikes to keep you in a sturdy and secure position. More modern boots have a rugged traction pattern that functions well on most surfaces so look out for that as well if it’s something you think might suit you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What material should my boots be made from?
This comes down to personal preference, and the most important thing to make sure is that whatever materials your boots are made from it’s been pre-treated to make sure it’s fully insulated and suitable for the environment you’ll be encountering.
What’s the first thing I should check about my new boots?
That they can handle the weather. You might be out and about at -20 °F (-29 °C) and you need to trust your boots are going to be able to deal with this kind of temperature to keep you safe. Don’t underestimate the dangers of this kind of temperature and weather conditions. Ice fishing is a very fun sport and a great one for beginners but being conscious of the dangers is the first step in a successful trip.