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Watch your step! 10 boots and shoes that will help you walk in snow and ice

These shoes will help keep your feet firmly planted when the weather outside is frightful.
Unrecognizable woman hiking in the mountains on a snowy day
miodrag ignjatovic / Getty Images

Winter is officially here, which means snow, ice and other treacherous conditions that are likely to have you slipping and sliding — especially if you don't have the right shoes on. Contrary to popular belief, it takes more than just a rubber outsole for shoes to actually be snow- and ice-friendly.

To help guide your search for proper shoes for slippery conditions, Shop TODAY spoke to Maryland-based podiatrist Dr. Priya Parthasarathy for tips to keep in mind when shoe shopping, along with a few recommendations to get you started on the right foot.

How to choose shoes for walking on snow and ice

Parthasarathy started off with a few key features to search for when shopping for shoes to walk in slippery conditions. "A textured sole is important for traction, especially during inclement weather. And it’s also really important to look at the stitching to make sure it’s tight if you’re looking for a waterproof boot," she advised. If you're specifically looking for ankle boots, she also recommended choosing a pair with walls that sit slightly above ankle height for additional stability.

When searching for a proper winter boot, Parthasarathy recommended keeping two general guidelines in mind. First, make sure that you cannot bend the shoe itself in half. The toe box can have some flexibility, but you should not be able to fold the shoe in a sandwich-like manner. Second, make sure the back of the heel is firm, not too soft or squishy, so there’s adequate support. "All of these things will prevent slipping and falling," she told us.

Parthasarathy also noted that while most winter boots are made with a sturdy bottom, these are good tips to keep in mind if you're looking for a more fashion-focused shoe for colder weather. Other features she said to look out for are lace-up styles to provide additional stability; a removable insole if you require a more supportive shoe insert; and shorter, chunkier heels in lieu of taller, narrower ones. "A slight heel is also better because it elevates the foot out of the snow itself," she explained.

Best shoes for walking on snow and ice, according to a podiatrist

JBU by Jambu Ella Tall Duck Boots

Recommended as a more affordable option, Parthasarathy likes these tall duck boots. These water-resistant boots have a memory foam footbed to ensure comfort and stand just over 11 inches tall.

Timberland Courmayeur Valley Chelsea Boot

Parthasarathy regarded these boots as a little more fashionable. The brand describes these Chelsea boots as being "as comfy as a pair of yoga pants." Aside from being made with premium leather upper, they feature cushioned and odor-blocking OrthoLite footbeds for long-lasting comfort.

Sorel Tofino II Boot

Parthasarathy says these Sorel boots are one of her favorites. "[These] are intense 'I’m going hiking or I’m going to be out in really cold weather' boots, but they’re cute," she said.

Ugg Adirondack III Tall Boot

"Another, more classic winter boot is the Ugg Adirondack III Tall Boot," she told us. These waterproof leather and suede boots feature a removable insole and wool lining at the top.

Vionic Kaylee Ankle Boot

Parthasarathy led this recommendation with an advisory that, while these boots may not be the most ideal shoe for inclement weather because of the heel height, they are an option you can take into consideration for a night out. "They have a rubber sole and they’re weather-resistant, which is hard to find," she said.

Best shoes for walking on snow and ice, according to shoppers

Cliffs by White Mountain Pathfield Boots

These ankle boots have a sweater trim at the top, a cushioned insole and a lug outsole for traction. Aside from coming in seven different colors, one Kohl's reviewer said they didn't require "breaking in" because they were immediately comfortable.

Sorel Evie Sport Lace Boot

These lace-up wedges from Sorel have a bit more of a trendy flair to them while still having the rubber footbed needed to walk in slippery conditions. "They are so comfortable, I don’t even feel like I’m wearing a wedge," one Zappos reviewer enthused.

Dream Pairs Mid-Calf Winter Snow Boots

The rubber outsole on these snow boots features a tread design that will provide the traction Parthasarathy recommends having in a boot to be worn in slippery conditions. They come in six different colors and the brand recommends ordering a half size larger if you usually wear wide width shoes. One Amazon reviewer loved them so much, they bought two pairs!

Sorel Caribou Boots

These boots from Sorel have everything you need in a quality boot for walking in snow and ice. They feature seam-sealed waterproof leather, a removable and washable (nothing is worse than when the material inside gets all gross and doesn't come out) felt inner boot with a Sherpa snow cuff and a rubber outsole with "never-slip" traction. It even comes in three colors. What more could you ask for?!

Madden Girl Kamora Platform Chelsea Boot

Okay...hear us out. These, like the Vionic Kaylee Ankle Boots, are probably not the most ideal for walking in snow and ice. However, they have the wider, chunky heel that Parthasarathy mentioned, plus the sole has a tread design to create traction. They're an option to take into consideration if you want an edgier, fashionable style.

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