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Warm and Waterproof boots/shoes for Iceland in November

We are going to Iceland for a week and a half in November. My feet get cold. I do know to wear wool socks! What do you recommend for winter footwear? We will be doing day trips out in the rain and snow to see the many natural wonders Iceland has to offer, although h not extensive hiking. I would appreciate suggestions for both women and men as I don't want my husband's feet to freeze either! I have a pair of Teva de la Vina ankle boots, that I bought for morning yard duty at school, but I just don't think they will be warm enough. It was suggested that I get boots rated to -15 degrees. I need comfort and support for my feet. Thank you for any and all suggestions. Any suggestions for gloves?

Posted by
6387 posts

No shoes or boots fit every foot type; that being said whatever you do if possible only buy shoes in person at the store where you can test walk several pairs and get advice in person.

Posted by
5235 posts

Any REI or similar outdoor-life stores near you where you can talk to boot experts ? And try on boots with the socks that go with them ?

Posted by
12 posts

I lived in Iceland for 2 years and unless you are planning on staying on the glacier's all night I can't imagine needing -15* rated boots. I wore regular hiking boots that were weatherproof. Plan on rain almost every day and the weather changes very quickly from sunshine to rain to ice pellets and wind. You need a good coat that protects you from the rain and cold but remember the temps in November average 38-35 during the day and 32-33 at night. Good socks that wick moisture and scarfs. I used my leather gloves that were lined with fleece. We did lots of trips around the island and visited many places. If you are renting a car make sure to have water, snacks, and blankets- just in case the car breaks down. Some of the roads are not well traveled at night. Layering is the trick. I loved Iceland and hope you enjoy your visit.

Posted by
18 posts

In Iceland in late October 2015, I wore UGG Simmens boots for everything except “heavy hiking”. They are waterproof and warm and available from Zappos. I still call them my “Iceland boots” and am planning to wear them to Ireland this October.

Posted by
1038 posts

I would add that you may need boots with good grippy non- slip soles like Vibram or equivalent.
If it snows and freezes, the streets and roads can be slippery.
My feet were never cold last December, but I was really glad I had taken the time to find boots with good soles.
Merino wool socks are the best, IMHO!
Another tip: I don't know where you live, but where I live it just doesn't get cold enough to buy or wear thick expensive wool sweaters in our winters.
What I did was go to the thrift store, and I found mens' (I'm a woman) merino wool sweaters, washed them, and took those with me for warmth.
Instead of paying $200 for a new Merino sweater, I think I paid $5. for two in great condition!

Posted by
329 posts

When I lived in New England, I loved my Toewarmers boots. Warm, waterproof, with a good tread for walking. Those Canadians know what they’re doing!!

Posted by
2902 posts

Ahnu waterproof hiking shoes are my go to shoes for travel. I can hike in mountains, walk through storms, be comfortable on cobblestones, and do just fine on regular pavement. I bought mine at REI.

Posted by
332 posts

Lowa Renegade Mid or, Ahnu Montara are very popular, as are the every popular Keen Targhee.

All three are very popular sellers at REI and other outdoor shops. The Renegade's are a lot of boot but, once broken-in are fantastic. The Montara's are light and modern looking, those two factors have made it Ahnu's most popular hiker. The Targhee has been around for a very long time, for good reason. While not the best looking piece of footwear, it's super functional and it does the job.

You're not going to need insulated footwear like snopac boots. Just make sure you keep your head covered (wool beanie/hat) and you wear appropriate layers. If you keep your core warm and cozy, your extremities will do fine.

Posted by
3214 posts

Another Ahnu Montara fan here. I have 2 pair. I've worn them in all kinds of weather conditions. The closest to what you will experience was cold sideways rain and mud puddles on Orkney.

Our archeologist daughter swears by them. She wore them on a dig in Iceland a few years back. It was in summer, but it still was rainy and cold with mud.

BTW, Teva now owns Ahnu. In prepping for my first pair a few years back, I found my proper size at REI, then ordered them online. They are sold by the usual suspects like Amazon and Zappos, but Teva could also have a sale on them.

I wear them with Sockwell Circulator or Orbital socks. Although I can't usually wear wool, somehow the combination of 34% Merino Wool, 34% Bamboo Rayon, 28% Stretch Nylon, 4% Spandex doesn't bother me. They are sold by several online vendors, some of which do not list the correct fiber combination.

Posted by
5235 posts

For Christmas markets trip in France, Austria, Hungary, Germany last December-January I bought $29.99 short boots from Costco -- good tread for slippery sidewalks. Added waterproofing treatment. Wore with Kirkland merino wool socks.

Posted by
36 posts

We just got back from Iceland. It was wonderful! As they say in Iceland, "There is no bad weather in Iceland, only bad clothing choices!" We experienced rain and snow and lots of wind! Sustained winds of 22 mph and gusts up to 80 mph. Average daytime temperature was 33 degrees. Before we left I found waterproof snow boots on the Lands End website and got Columbia brand windproof/waterproof gloves. I was glad I bought crampons from LL Bean for the trails by the frozen-over waterfalls and from Duluth Trading Company I ordered the silly hat with the flaps that cover your ears and hooks under your chin (aka Elmer Fudd hat). It was the best purchase of all, cozy and warm, and it never blew off my head! The waterproof pants and jackets were also key to our warmth in the winds. All the research pays off and we would go to Iceland the spring!

Posted by
36 posts

Thank you to all of you who answered my question. We have been back from Iceland for a few days. It was a great place to visit; Iceland does not disappoint! I am so glad I did my research here on the Forum and also on Pinterest. Anyone who goes to Iceland without being adequately prepared for the weather is a fool! I found lots of sales! Our Icebreaker wool base layers, Smart wool socks, wool-blend socks from Costco, flannel lined corduroy pants, water/wind proof gloves and REI water proof over-pants were life savers! I bought knee high snow boots from Land's End, crampons from LL Bean and waterproof lined ankle boots from Columbia outlet. Right before we left I ordered one of those hats with the flaps that go over your ears and hook under the chin from Duluth Trading Company and it was the best purchase of all. (My husband called it an Elmer Fudd hat!) That wind is amazing; we really did have sustained winds of 22mph with gusts of 80 mph while out on a day trip. As they say in Iceland, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing choices!
It only snowed one night and rained very little, but the wind..... WOW! We were prepared and so we stayed warm. Yes, it was worth it to see Iceland in the winter.

Posted by
60 posts

Glad your trip went well and you had the right clothing!

Right before we left I ordered one of those hats with the flaps that
go over your ears and hook under the chin from Duluth Trading Company
and it was the best purchase of all. (My husband called it an Elmer
Fudd hat!)

We call them Floyd R. Turbo hats. (my age is showing-LOL)