See Which Winter Boots Rated The Best Of The Bunch

When the rain and snow begins in the winter, we ditch our sandals and sneakers and opt for our winter boots instead. You would think that most winter boots would be designed not only to keep us warm, but to help us from slipping on wet or icy ground, but as it turns out, this unfortunately may not be the case.

A recent study from The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute found that most winter boots on the market don’t do a good job of preventing slips on ice and snow. The center created a rating system for the safety of these winter boots and tested 98 different models on the market. These included boots marketed for safety as well as just casual boots, but they didn’t include dress boots.

The lab measured performance on both wet and dry ice, and the researchers found that 90 percent of the boots tested didn’t mean their minimum standard. This can help explain why there is such a high number of injuries each year caused by slipping on ice. The Ontario emergency room alone treats 21,000 injuries each winter.

“It’s nasty if you break your hip. You may never be mobile again if you’re older,” said the institute’s research director, Geoff Fernie, said.

Although it’s definitely alarming that the shoes we thought would protect us aren’t doing much to prevent injury, there is some positive news. The researchers discovered that many manufacturers are already working to develop better ice-gripping soles. Although that may not help much for this winter, for now, you can choose a pair of boots based on the ratings from the research center, and you can look at the ratings yourself by visiting

Top performers include:

1. Sperry Men’s Cold Bay Arctic Grip Vibram


Sperry, $200

2. Dakota Men’s/Women’s Boots With Green Diamond Soles


Available at Mark’s in Canada

3. Sperry Women’s Powder Valley Arctic Grip Vibram


Sperry, $179.95

How do your winter boots stack up?