Snowmobile Boots Vs Snowboard Boots: A Detailed Comparision

We use affiliate links in this article. And, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for your support.

With the fast approaching winter months many of us avid snowmobile riders are looking for those perfect pair of boots. While many would use their old pair and some would just go for using their Snowboard boots. But, the latter option is not always feasible.

In this article, we have listed some differences between snowmobile boots and snowboarding boots and we have also spoken about why snowmobiling boots are better for use in snowmobiling.

Snowmobile Boots vs Snowboard Boots: Major Differences

While snowmobile boots and snowboarding boots both appear to be the same, at the end of the day they are designed to meet different purposes.

Tread Patterns

  • The difference in the tread patterns of the boots is the most glaring. In snowboard boots, the tread patterns are lighter and less deep. The lugs and grooves underneath the sole are not that aggressive.  
  • Whereas in snowmobile boots the tread pattern is quite aggressive. The pattern consists of more grooves and lugs and they are deep too.
  • The reason is that Snowmobile boots are designed to prevent slipping on cold metal surfaces among other things. It is like when you are resting your foot while riding or placing it on the snow during the rides your feet require ample grip to stay in place. The presence of such tread patterns provides this grip.
snowboarding boots for snowmobiling


  • This is another part where the difference between the two kinds of boots may be noticed.
  • Though meant to tolerate harsh cold conditions snowboarding boots have soles that are usually made of moderately high quality. 
  • The reason being most of the time your feet, especially the sole does stay attached to the board itself. It does not always come in direct contact with the hindering effects of snow.
  • While in the case of snowmobile boots, the soles are generally made of high-end quality. The soles provide the necessary traction on the ice and snow.
  • Therefore in many cases, you might find boots that have outer lugs, that is, small rubbery protrusions across the outer edges of the boots.


  • You see, most snowboarding boots are designed with flats.
  • The reason is simply that when you are snowboarding it is inconvenient to have heels under your feet when you are trying to correct your body posture for the falls and glides.
  • While snowmobile boots, in most cases come with a small raised heel. 
  • The reason for this is not much except for providing a better hold over the otherwise slippery ice.
best snowmobile boots


  • You see, all winter boots are made to be waterproof. But the intensity of water safety in boots depends upon exposure to ice and snow.
  • Thus in snowboarding boots, since it is not subjected to the harsh chilly bashing of winter winds and chills, the water to be repelled is less.
  • Whereas in the case of snowmobile boots the exposure to the vagaries is much, much higher. They are subjected to wind pressures and snow, and also on the ground, they come in direct contact with the snow and rain. Thus they require more protection against water and are therefore designed accordingly.
  • And in some cases along with waterproofing some snowmobile boots also have the feature of repelling water to stay warm, dry, and comfortable!

Final Words

Thus we can easily deduce that because of some structural and utilitarian differences between the two types of boots snowmobile boots should always be preferred over snowboarding boots for snowmobile rides. While the latter can be used if you are out of options, it is not recommended.

Hope this article helped answer some of your questions regarding snowmobile boots!

Photo of author


Thomas Miller
My name is Thomas Miller, and I live in Minnesota. I have been riding snowmobiles for the past 10 years. I'm completely in love with snowmobiling because it's fun, relaxing, and a great workout.