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The 6 Best Ice Fishing Boots for 2023

Considering everything needed for ice fishing — an auger and ice scoop, a sled, rod, reel and bait — it’s easy to relegate clothing, perhaps particularly boots, to the bottom of the list.

But choosing ice fishing boots should get careful consideration, because keeping your feet warm and dry is essential to being safe and comfortable on the ice. Read on for recommendations on the best ice fishing boots.

Best Ice Fishing Boots

Our Top Picks

Best Overall:
Korkers Polar Vortex 1200

Runner-Up:
Kamik Men’s Icebreaker Cold Weather Boots

Best Value:
ArcticShield Cold Weather Snow Boots


1. Korkers Polar Vortex 1200

If you use a snowmobile or a four-wheeler to get to your favorite ice-fishing spot, the Korkers Polar Vortex 1200 will be your best choice among ice fishing boots.

With the Polar Vortex 1200, operating a manual-shift four-wheeler is easy, and it also can be held comfortably in a snowmobile footrest. Additionally, the Polar Vortex 1200 comes with interchangeable soles to match whatever snow or ice conditions you may encounter.

Korkers Men's Polar Vortex 1200 Winter Boots - Insulated and Waterproof - Includes Interchangeable SnowTrac Lug Sole - Size 9

Pros

Easy to put on and remove

Provides exceptional warmth, including toes

Uses innovative and easy BOA lacing system

Cons

Breathability may be an issue above the boot sole

Boots tend to run small, may need to order next size up for best fit

Some wearers may find the boots a bit clunky


2. Kamik Men’s Icebreaker Cold Weather Boots

Featuring Kamik’s proprietary RubberHe technology, the men’s Icebreaker cold weather boot offers top-level traction and flexibility among ice fishing boots, both important in getting to and from your ice fishing adventures.

With a moisture-wicking liner and a temperature rating of -40 degrees, the Icebreaker is sure to be comfortable even in the most frigid conditions, and its pull-on style, laced at the top, makes it easy to pull on and take off.

Kamik Men's Icebreaker-M, Camouflage, 10 M US

Pros

Remains comfortable during long-term wear

Removable liner dries easily

Large top opening means they’re easy to put on

Cons

May be uncomfortable for people with wide feet

Liners subject to deterioration within 12 months

Sizing can be inaccurate for some purchasers


3. ArcticShield Cold Weather Snow Boots

Rated to minus-40 degrees, at a price of less than $60, ArcticShield Cold Weather Snow Boots represent a great value for anyone looking for ice fishing boots at a great price point.

As part of the bargain, the ArcticShield snow boot combines light weight with amazing heat retention, and it also offers a thick treaded outsole for traction on the ice.

ArcticShield Mens Cold Weather Waterproof Durable Insulated Winter Snow Boots (10 (M) US Mens)

Pros

Hold up well, even with every-day use

Snow won’t infiltrate the boots

Effective during long hours of ice fishing

Cons

Ankle strap can be a problem to tighten

May not be particularly effective at lower than minus-5 degrees

Wearing heavy socks may be difficult


4. Muck Arctic Pro Snow Boot

Featuring an 8-millimeter interior bootie constructed of neoprene, a synthetic rubber that can handle a wide range of temperature extremes, the Muck Arctic Pro Snow Boot is worth your consideration as a contender among high-quality ice fishing boots.

Also helping to ensure warmth in the Arctic Pro Snow Boot is its fleece lining, and an upper binding that snugs up to the calf to keep cold out. And, the Arctic Pro includes 2 millimeters of thermal foam below the foot to ensure comfort and warmth.

Muck Boot Arctic Pro Tall Rubber Insulated Extreme Conditions Men's Hunting Boots, Bark, 12 M US

Pros

Great balance between warmth and light weight

Hold up well under sustained use

Toe area is roomy and comfortable

Cons

Not as durable as some users would like

Not available in half sizes

Camouflage design wears off quickly


5. Sorel Men’s Caribou Waterproof Boot

With a breathable textile lining and a tough rubber outsole, the Sorel Men’s Caribou Waterproof Boot should be on your list of ice fishing boots to consider as part of your ice fishing adventures.

One of the great advantages of the Caribou boot is its distinctive lug design, which offers incomparable traction on many different types of terrain.

Pros

Effective in wet and slushy snow

No guessing required for correct sizing

Great gripping strength on snow and ice

Cons

May not be best choice for covering long distances

Cold protection numbers may be somewhat exaggerated

Some looseness at top of boot


6. Lacrosse Hunt Pac Extreme Hunting Boot

The combined leather and vinyl construction of the Lacrosse Hunt Pac Extreme Hunting Boot gives it a premiere level of both durability and flexibility. At the same time, the boots’ reinforced heel and toe gives them an ability to deal with challenges of use in the outdoors.

Additionally, the Lacrosse Hunt Pac Extreme offers a thickly cushioned midsole, ensuring the warmth of the feet, and thus, the rest of the body, during extended periods of having feet exposed to snow and ice.

LaCrosse Men's 283160 Hunt Pac Extreme 10" Waterproof 2000G Hunting Boot, Mossy Oak Break-Up - 11 M

Pros

Designed for long periods of sitting in extreme cold

Effective even when immersed in slush

Won’t require wearing multiple pairs of socks

Cons

Bulk of boots may mean they’re clumsy for some to use

Sizing tends to run small, so order larger size than indicated

Liner is not removable


Ice Fishing Boot Buyer’s Guide

Great ice fishing boots aren’t some sort of luxury for spending a day on your favorite lake, it’s a necessity. First and foremost, of course, is the fact that a great ice fishing boot keeps your feet warm, which in turn helps ensure that the rest of your body retains its warmth.

Among the things that you’ll need to consider before choosing a pair of ice fishing boots that will meet your personal needs is how long you’ll be fishing. As a rule of thumb, the longer you plan to spend ice fishing at your favorite spot, the more insulation your boot should have.

Temperature and Terrain Factors

If you’re shopping for ice fishing boots outside the winter season, one thing you should find out, and keep in mind while you’re shopping, is what the average temperature has been when you’ve been out on the ice. That will be a good guide for determining boot insulation needs.

Additionally, you’ll want to keep in mind the depth of snow you’ll encounter en route to your fishing spot and on the lake itself. If you’ll be in deep snow, you’ll want a boot that either rises high toward your knees or that can be tightly sealed no matter its height.

On a related note, you’ll want to consider whether you’ll encounter snow, ice, slush, or some mixture when crossing the terrain toward your fishing spot. The type of ground you’ll be covering should be a consideration regarding the type of sole on your boots.

Riding or Driving a Snowmobile or Four-Wheeler

One thing that you may not consider, but should when deciding on a pair of ice fishing boots is how, exactly, you’ll get to your fishing spot. If you’ll be doing a lot of walking, you might want to opt for a fairly flexible boot to ensure comfort.

On the other hand, if you’ll be riding or driving a four-wheeler, a snowmobile, or some other kind of all-terrain vehicle on your ice-fishing day, you’ll want to be sure you have compatible boots.

If you’re driving, of course, you’ll want ice fishing boots that don’t restrict your access to gas pedals, clutches, or other controls, and if you’re a passenger, you’ll want boots that fit comfortably on footrests and vehicle access points.

Proper Fitting

Lastly, having properly fitted ice fishing boots is a key to both comfort and safe walking on icy, snowy or slushy terrain. Be aware, in particular, that ordering ice fishing boots online, rather than trying on a pair in your local outfitting store, can be problematic in terms of ensuring a proper fit.

Ice Fishing Boots

Also, when considering what size of ice fishing boots you’ll need, particularly when you’re ordering online, remember that you’ll likely be wearing extra socks along with your boots.

When trying on ice fishing boots, you should opt for the softest pair that you also feel will provide adequate support to your feet and lower legs for the distances you’ll be walking and the time you’ll be out on the ice.

As a final note to help you decide on the ice fishing boot that will best meet your needs, check to be sure that the boot liner is breathable. Be wary of heavily insulated boots without breathable liners because they can cause your feet to sweat, making you uncomfortable.


FAQs on Ice Fishing Boots

Of course, the one question that everyone looking for a comfortable and functional pair of ice fishing boots will have is which boot is best. As you’ve seen in this post, there’s no one answer to that question, given the individual circumstances involved in every decision.

As a guide, though, answering that question on an individual basis should involve consideration of questions such as the amount and type of insulation the boot should have, whether its weight and other design factors will be comfortable, and how well its soles perform.

What About the Soles?

With regard to the soles of your ice fishing boots, you’ll want to have boots that either come already equipped with cleats, if you’ll be fishing in an area where traction and grip will be at a premium, or you’ll want boots that can have cleats attached to them.

How Can I Keep My Feet Dry?

Of course, the many choices available for ice fishing boots include boots that are designed specifically to keep your feet dry. But if you choose a boot that may not offer all of the protection you need or want, there are steps that you can take.

Waterproof Ice Fishing Boots

One option is to use a waterproofing wax on the bottom and along the seams of your boots to help ensure that they will keep water from infiltrating into your boots.

What’s the Best Balance Between Boots and Socks?

One of the more confusing aspects of getting a properly fitted pair of ice fishing boots is working out how thick the socks you wear with your boots should be.

It can be tricky because the interface between foot, sock, and boot should be snug but not too tight. You don’t want a fit so tight that blood circulation might be affected, but you also don’t want room for outside air to infiltrate the space between your boots and your feet.

On a somewhat related note, as already mentioned, you might want also to consider getting a pair of cleats to attach to your boots. In addition to providing traction, cleats can get boots off the ground and the icy surfaces through which cold can penetrate your boots to chill your feet.


Wrapping up the Best Ice Fishing Boots

We hope this post has taught you about selecting the best ice fishing boots and has prompted you to consider buying our favorite, the Kamik Icebreaker, which, again, you can find on Amazon. For more information on ice fishing gear, check out Our Fishing Gear Posts.

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