The Rain Boot Round Table on Racked asked: “Should you own [rain boots]? Or are they just the dumbest shoe?” I say, yes rain boots are necessary and no they are not snow boots. Nor are snow boots rain boots, for that matter. The differences are in construction, of course, but also in use.
- The soles are rugged and sturdy with thick, heavy treads for walking on ice.
- The interior is lined or otherwise insulated. Any faux-fur cuffs are welcome but optional.
- The shaft of the boot is higher than the ankle but below the knee so the boot can fit over straight-legged pants or under wider-legged slacks (yes, like snow pants).
- And of course, snow boots are water resistant but preferably waterproof.
- The soles are thinner and more flexible than snow boots but still have treads for puddles and slick surfaces.
- The interior is unlined for easy removal (and sometimes styled with boot socks).
- In terms of size, the shaft is either knee high like a Wellie or ankle high like a duck boot
- And of course, all rain boots should be waterproof.
I only feel the need to weigh in as someone from the colder parts of the US who grew up wearing both snow boots and duck boots at different times of the year. The main consistency between the two different shoes is water proofing -- whether splashing in puddles or climbing snowdrifts, feet have to stay dry.