Winter boots are needed when there’s snow on the ground and for colder temperatures. These boots should be waterproof and insulated. Hiking boots are not usually a good substitute, they are generally not waterproof enough and usually are not insulated.
Like hiking boots, you may want to invest in a really good pair for adults and youth whose feet have stopped growing. Unlike hiking boots, you will get a season’s worth of use out of winter boots because your son can wear them to school and when playing in the snow. (just be sure they are dry before camping).
The classic Sorel “Duck Boot” (right) is a good choice, and many companies make similar boots.
Pac boots (left) are an even better choice. These boots are intended for artic weather and are available in a variety of types and weights of insulation.
Its always best to have a spare pair of footwear on campouts in case one gets wet. But not everyone has a spare pair of winter boots, and these boots take up a lot of room. If you can’t bring a second pair of winter boots, then bring an additional pair of socks (besides the ones you change into at night and the next moreing) and a pair of plastic bags that are large enough to cover your feet (bread bags work great!) If your boots get wet, then change into a dry pair of socks, and put the plastic bags over the socks so your boots don’t get the socks wet.