The Best Ice Fishing Boots of 2022

Ice Fishing is arguably all about discomfort. Ice fishing includes sitting in sub-freezing temperatures on ice to the reward of fresh fish and camaraderie. Ice fishing clothing is about getting warm and staying comfortable long after the fairweather fisherman has headed in. Ice fishing clothing is about comfort, and no clothing is more important than boots.

We have compiled a list of the best ice fishing boots on the market. Our ice fishing boots aren’t just a catch-all either. We’ve broken down our best choices to include a niche for women’s and men’s boots and the best bargain boots. We have gone even further and added accessories like ice cleats and socks. Scroll down as we take you through the reasoning behind our picks for the best ice fishing boots.

The Need for Good Ice Fishing Boots

Ice fishing boots need to be several things if you want to stay on the ice. First, off they should be warm. Whether sitting on an overturned bucket or the back of a snow machine, your feet will be in contact with ice and snow for the majority of the day. With your feet being the farthest extremity from your heart, they get colder faster, and frostbite is no laughing matter. Always look for boots with a high insulative value. Materials like Thinsulate will have a stated gram rating. The higher the weight, the higher the insulation.

Ice fishing boots also should be waterproof or at least water-resistant. Between snow and water kicked up from the ice auger, there’s a good chance your boots will be exposed to water. Having waterproof boots will keep your socks and toes dry and warm.

A slip-resistant sole is a must for ice fishing boots. We are Ice fishing, after all. Ice is slick, and taking a tumble running to your tip-ups typically results in a good laugh, but it’s possible to sprain or break your wrist when falling. Take extra precautions, especially when fishing alone. Take the extra step to wear boots with traction.

Best Women’s Ice Fishing Boots

While women can undoubtedly snag a pair of “men’s” ice fishing boots, women typically have a narrower foot. To ensure that your feet stay warm, double-check and make sure there isn’t excess room in the boots you buy if going gender-neutral. Or look into a pair designed for women like the two options below.

Baffin Women’s Flare Insulated Active Boot.

Baffin Flare | Women's Boots | Calf Height | Available in Grey/Sangria, Black, Charcoal/Teal | Perfect for Snow-covered Frozen terrains | Snowshoe compatible
  • Revolutionary self-molding foam based...
  • Comfort range between 41 degrees...
  • Cold tested base and high-traction...
  • Locking snow cuff
  • Waterproof materials and construction

The Flare packs all of the features of a great ice fishing boot. The Flare features a removable insulated insert that will keep feet warm with a -58 degree rating. The removable liner also speeds up drying after a day on the ice. The drawstring laces are easy to adjust and provide decent ankle support while walking, even when not fishing. The additional drawstring snow guard is a welcome addition while tackling snowdrifts on the way to your spots. These boots have a much more flared opening, making them easier to remove with cold fingers.

Runner up: Muck Arctic Sport ll

Sale
Muck Boot Arctic Sport II Extreme Conditions Mid-Height Rubber Women's Winter Boot, Black, 8 M US
  • 5 mm neoprene provides comfort and...
  • High-grade extended rubber exterior...
  • Fleece lining is soft for enhanced...
  • Women’s last is specially designed to...
  • Comfort insole supports and cushions...

The Arctic Sport II continues Muck’s company standards of a snug-fitting neoprene-based boot. This model features a higher over-molded rubber that excels at keeping your feet protected from the wind and ice. Rated to -40, the Arctic Sport provides excellent insulation while still being light to walk in. the drawbacks for these boots are the same with any Muck boots, they lack a drawstring closure. However, this model’s sole is much more aggressive than the men’s version leading us to suggest it as a great ice fishing boot.

Best Men’s Ice Fishing Boots

The Baffin Wolf

Sale
Baffin Men's Wolf Snow Boot,Black/Expedition Gold,14 M US
  • Drawcord collar with double buckle...
  • 5-layer inner boot liner with...
  • 6mm contoured removable footbed.
  • Proprietary cold resistant EVA midsole...
  • Cold weather rubber outsole with...

The Baffin Wolf is our top pick for the men’s section. These boots are rugged beyond measure with a well-thought-out design. Rather than opting for traditional laces, the wolf employs a set of buckles that are easy to tighten or remove with gloved hands. We loved the snow guard at the top to keep any snowdrifts from ending up in our boots.

Runner up: Muck Men’s Arctic Pro

Muck Men's Arctic Sport Tall Boot, Black, Size 11
  • A True Performance Product
  • Quality Assured
  • Designed With The User In Mind
  • Tested For Function In A Real-World...
  • User-Friendly Style And Design

The Arctic Pro is a different style boot than most of our men’s boots for this list. Muck has made a name for itself, designing rugged, waterproof slip-on outdoor boots. The Arctic Pro continues the Muck legacy with an insulated neoprene boot that remains flexible and easy to walk in, a big plus if you have to walk a distance out to your spot. The Pro doesn’t have a snow guard per se, but it does curl back in, giving a snug fir around a cold-weather clad calf. The Arctic Pro’s tread is not as aggressive as some others on the list, so for those reasons, it came in as our runner-up for the section.

Best Premium Ice Fishing Boot

Sorel Conquest

Sorel Men's Conquest Snow Boot, British Tan, 10.5 M US
  • SOREL Boots: Brave extreme temperatures...
  • Winter Boots for Men: Stay warm in...
  • Waterproof Boots for Men: The modern...
  • Walk Securely: Take on freezing weather...
  • Ideal for Heavy Snow: The Conquest boot...

The Sorel brand will appear on any list for ice fishing boots, and for a good reason. The Sorel Conquest combines modern waterproofing and insulation techniques while making a stylish boot that doesn’t look like you will walk on the moon. The Conquest’s upper half is leather that stays pliable and quiet even in the coldest of days. The Conquest is insulated to -40 with a removable footbed for even more insulation. The Achilles strap is a well-thought-out design feature giving more ankle support when needed. While the snow cuff kept our feet dry, we wish the boots were a little taller for deeper snow.

Runner up: The Baffin Snow Monster

Another ice fishing boot juggernaut is the Baffin Snow Monster. With a thermal rating of -94 degrees, the Snow Monster checks all the boxes for cold-weather boots. The removable thermal insole and insulated upper make this boot very warm. The drawstring laces were more than enough length to get your boots on and off.

Best Bargain Ice Fishing Boots

Kamik Mens Canuck Cold Weather

Sale
Kamik Men's Canuck Cold Weather Boot,Black,10 M US
  • Knee-high winter boot in 1000 Denier...
  • Embroidered logo at side of shaft
  • Removable 8mm Zylex liner
  • Slip-resistant tread

Kamik Men’s Canuck cold weather boot scored well enough to make our list of the best bargain boot. Depending on the model we are comparing, the Canuck is between half to a third of the price. These calf-height boots were great at keeping snow out, thanks in part to the drawstring snow collar. The removable 800g liner kept our feet warm and aided in drying the boots afterward by being separated and hung separately. The drawstring laces were a point of some contention. While they worked fine in testing, there was speculation that they could become frozen.

Runner up: ArcticShield Men’s Cold Weather Waterproof Durable Insulated Tall Winter Snow Boots.

Sale
ArcticShield Mens Winter Boots for Men with Removable Wearable Thermal Liner - Tall Warm Waterproof Insulated Mens Snow Boots for Men Rated to -40° F(Black, 11)
  • ADVANCED WINTER WEATHER DEFENSE -...
  • COLD WEATHER RATED TO -40° F: 8MM...
  • TREADED ALL-TERRAIN OUTSOLES - Enjoy...
  • TOUGH WATERPROOF DURABILITY - Navigate...
  • PATENTED HEAT RETAINING TECHNOLOGY -...

Many of the features of our best in this category can be found on the arctic shield and at even less cost. The removable liner makes for quick drying while the boot itself feels lightweight. Our biggest concern was the lack of aggressive tread. On bare ice, this would be fine, but the smaller tread did hold some snow.

Warmest Ice Fishing Boots

Baffin Men’s Titan Canadian Made Industrial Rubber Boot

The Titan takes simplicity and blows it out of the water. The Titan is a slip-on style boot with only a drawstring snow guard to fuss with. The exterior is entirely rugged rubber making it as wind and waterproof as they come. The Titan features a waffle texture footbed to keep air circulating around your foot and decrease moisture while creating warm air pockets. Combining this design with the standard insulation on the boot, Baffin rates the Titan to -146! The sole has an aggressive tread that gives us the confidence to take on any challenge.

Runner up: Sorel Glacier XT

SOREL - Men's Glacier XT Insulated Winter Boot, Black, Red Quarry, 12 M US
  • EXTREME CONDITIONS: Made for the most...
  • WATER RESISTANT BOOT: Made with...
  • INSULATED WARMTH: Features a removable...
  • COMFORT AND GRIP: Comfortable 13 mm...
  • FUNCTION MEETS FASHION: SOREL creates...

Making our list again, we have Sorel with their Glacier XT. While this boot certainly deserves a spot as one of the best high-end boots, it is undoubtedly one of the best extreme cold weather boots on the market: the aggressive tread and high nylon boot made for excellent wind and snow blocking. The real magic in these boots is the multiple types of insulation, giving them a rating of -100 degrees. The felt liner with Omni-heat lining works well to keep your feet warm; coupled with the boot’s already hefty insulation; you are going to stay warm all day. Out of all the ways to secure a boot, we were less enthused with the classic bootlace. Laces seem a minor hiccup, but trying to retie a bootlace with mittens is a challenge at best.

Best Ice Cleats for Fishing Boots

There are times when even our favorite pair of boots don’t have the grip we want. Having a pair of cleats to gain extra purchase on the ice can be the difference between a stack of walleye and a bruised tailbone. Cleats should only be worn while on the ice; your spouse wont be happy if you elect to walk through the house with what equates to nails on the bottom of your shoes. Trust us; we’ve done it.

Unigear Traction Cleats Ice Snow Grips

Sale
Unigear Crampons for Hiking Boots,Traction Ice Cleats Snow Grips with 18 Spikes for Walking, Jogging, Climbing and Hiking(X-Large)
  • Lighter and tougher, it helps to deliver...
  • The heavy duty crampons are best in...
  • Balance Enhanced - feature 18 spikes per...
  • Full-sole coverage with cleats on heel...
  • 60 Days 100% Satisfaction: If you are...

The Unigear Traction Cleats are a great low-cost option to up your grip while ice fishing. These simple to use stainless steel crampons make traversing frozen shorelines much easier. We liked the Velcro straps and majority metal construction; both features made us feel like they would hold up well in extremely cold conditions where plastic may break. Since these cleats are designed to be stretched over the boots, you should order larger ones to accommodate your insulated boot.

Runner up: STABILicers Maxx 2 Heavy-Duty Traction Cleats

STABILicers Maxx 2 Heavy-Duty Traction Cleats for Job Safety in Ice and Snow, XX-Large(1 Pair), Black
  • Pair of aggressive traction cleats for...
  • STABIL Traction System features 15...
  • Adjustable SureFit binding system...
  • Industrial traction aids are built to...

Not only are the STABILicers a fantastic cleat, but they also make a great pun. We liked that these cleats are designed to be stepped and strapped into rather than pulled over the boot. Traction was great though slightly less aggressive than the crampon style cleats we tested. Velcro straps are easy to use with gloved hands. One downside for these cleats is they are expensive. Cost-wise, the STABILicers ring in at about three times to competition. While that may not be a huge worry for some, it is an added cost to your ice fishing game.

Best Socks for Ice Fishing Boots

Rather than detract from the boot discussion in the main section, we have opted to put a brief paragraph about socks here before our picks. Socks for your ice fishing boots need to be both warm and able to wick moisture away from your feet. Cotton is not the material to choose for socks. They will quickly absorb sweat and make your feet colder. Instead, opt for wool or synthetic material. Both options retain heat much better than cotton and will work to wick moisture from your feet, keeping you dry and warm.

Sealskinz Extreme Cold Weather Boot Sock

Sale
SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof Extreme Cold Weather Mid Length Sock, Black/Grey/White, X-Large
  • Waterproof - three layer construction...
  • Comfort - Merino wool lining for...
  • Support - zonal elastication for added...
  • Close fit - four way stretch for comfort...
  • Anti-Blister - Prevents friction and...

Wool is the name of the game for natural fibers on cold-weather clothes, and the  Sealskinz Extreme Cold weather is the perfect sock if wool is your choice. To be entirely honest, Sealskinz isn’t just wool. While its base layer is wool, it is sandwiched between layers of synthetic materials. On the inside, the layer helps water and air transfer away from your skin, and the outside layer keeps water away from your skin. Seaskinz are entirely waterproof, though we don’t recommend taking your boots off to prove the point to your buddies on the lake.

Runner up: Darn Tough Merino Wool Boot Sock

The Darn Tough Merino Wool Sock is tough to beat in classic style. The blend of wool and spandex works to keep feet warm and dry in even the longest of treks. While it may not have the waterproofing of the socks above, these socks are also half the price.

Final Thoughts

There are thousands of ice fishing boots to choose from, each of them offering different options than the last. While we could have made this article pages longer, that would have taken valuable time away from fishing. We provided you with various categories to narrow down your search for your perfect boot. We also provided a few accessories that can upgrade your current pair, allowing you to stay out longer and hopefully pull that big lake trout through the ice.

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