Whether your kids will need winter boots or snow boots depends largely on your local weather conditions, but it's important to recognize the difference. And, if your children are exposed to snowy, icy, or wet conditions, they'll probably need the latter.
Winter boots will help keep feet warmer on chilly days, whereas snow boots typically have more insulating features, and may provide added traction for icy or slippery conditions.
What to Look ForTo be sure your kids stay warm and dry, look for boots with waterproof uppers, traction outsoles and interior insulation. The boots should extend above the ankle, and the shaft should fit snugly, or have a top closure to prevent snow from getting down into the boots.
For maximum protection from the elements, opt for pull-on or collared boots with substantial closures, instead of boots with movable tongues, or laces that could come untied. Unsecured tongues can let water and snow in, and untied laces make slippery conditions even more treacherous
Front laces can be very helpful for insuring a good fit, but they should have some kind of lock closure that will keep them tied.
Top laces and drawstring ties are also good, as they help tighten the tops of the boots, and prevent snow and ice from entering -- but these too would ideally have cord-lock closures.
Choosing Styles They'll Actually WearLook for snow boots that are practical, but be sure to take your child's personality and preferences into account as well. Boots that a child refuses to wear, or removes as soon as he or she is out of sight, won't provide much protection at all.
Where to Buy Kids' Snow BootsLocal department and shoe stores like Target, Famous Footwear, Payless, and Shoe Carnival should have a good selection of snow boots for children. Of course, you can also find loads of styles online.
If you do choose to shop on the web, be sure that the site you're buying from has a fair return policy, and see how long you have to return the footwear if it doesn't fit. You'll also want to find out who will pay the shipping charges for any returns.
Some online retailers, like Zappos.com, offer free shipping and free return shipping, and they carry a huge selection of snow boots for kids. I've included links to their girls' and boys' boots below, or, you can check out some of my other favorite online shoe stores.