From women’s winter fashion to cold-weather hiking, from deep-powder snow to insulated ice-grippers, we’ve got your feet covered.
Depending where you live, winter can mean frigid temps, mud and rain, piles of snow, or anything in between. With that in mind, we’ve tested a wide variety of boots and compiled our favorites that span all types of designs and uses.
How to Choose a Winter Boot
A boot that’s perfect in one scenario may be miserable in another. So before we jump into the boots, let’s take a moment to consider how you’ll use them. Here are a few things to help when choosing a winter boot:
- Do you need a waterproof boot? Will you often be wearing the boots in rainy, wet conditions? Is slushy snow a common occurrence? Waterproof is great, but it often comes at the cost of breathability and excessive heat retention. It can be worth it, but if you live in a milder climate, water-resistant may prove a better fit.
- Does tread matter? These days, shoe sole technology is a science all its own and can truly make or break the shoe. If you find yourself walking and hiking in icy conditions, pay special attention to the tread grip and look for one designed for ice.
- What’s up with liners? Many boots have replaced the liner with insulation directly in the boot. The benefit of the liner is you can remove it and set it out to dry between uses. The downside is liners can sometimes cause extra movement and friction, which can lead to blisters and discomfort.
- Which boot height is best? The main considerations with height are ankle articulation, keeping snow out, and, in some cases, fashion. If you regularly get out in deep snow and want a lot of support, choose a taller boot.
Now that we know what you’re looking for, we can move onto boot selection. Below, you’ll find boots separated into four categories: winter hiking boots, fashion winter boots, snow boots, and extra warm boots. Of course, some boots could belong in more than one category, and this list doesn’t cover every boot out there but is quite comprehensive.
We’ve tested all the boots we could get our hands on and used them through rain, snow, mud, and sun on countless adventures around the world. And we’ve whittled it down to our favorites here. These are the boots we recommend to family and friends, the boots we get excited to wear all winter long.
Women’s Winter Hiking Boots
Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you have to stop hiking. In fact, winter means fewer crowds and some amazing opportunities to have the trail all to yourself. Choose a boot that provides adequate grip and insulation, and winter hiking could soon become your new favorite pastime.
These boots are a great choice for both snowy hikes in the mountains and winter walks around town. The 200-gram Thinsulate insulation will keep your toes toasty, and the waterproof leather and UltraDry upper keeps water out while still allowing sweat to escape. They also proved grippy through a variety of conditions including mud, muck, and ice. They’re not ultralight, but I do like that they’re about as streamlined as a winter boot gets.
If a running shoe and burly winter boot had a baby, it would surely be this hiker from Salomon. The carbide-tipped spikes give it plenty of grip while the cushioned midsole brings the comfort of a sneaker. You’ll get plenty of ankle support too. The Gore-Tex bootie will keep water out. But be forewarned: You could find these boots too hot in warmer conditions. For anyone looking for a solid, ultra-grippy winter hiking boot, this is just the ticket.
My favorite part about these boots is the weight, or lack thereof. While 2 pounds for the pair isn’t ultralight by any stretch, it’s pretty darn light for a warm, insulated winter hiking boot. They were surprisingly comfortable from the get-go and worked great for a hike-in snowshoe trip. And I was pleased with the way the baffled tongue kept unwanted debris and snow out. All around, this is a great boot for a very reasonable price.
Looking for a mashup between a snow boot and a hiking boot? The Durand Polar could be just what you’ve been hoping for. The 400-gram insulation will keep your feet warm, and the higher coverage is great for staying dry through snow piles. And it makes me happy knowing these are American made boots, assembled in Portland, Ore. Note that these boots do run small, so be sure to order a half-size up.
When you want a boot that’ll take you from trailhead to coffee shop without pause, go with the Patch Boot. The waterproof upper keeps feet dry, and the open-cell footbed is mighty comfortable. These aren’t the most technical boots on the list, and I wouldn’t recommend them for deep snow and cold. But if you’re looking for a solid hiking boot that can transition from mountain to city throughout the seasons, the Patch is for you.
Stylish Winter Boots
Gone are the days when you had to choose between functional and fashionable winter boots. Thanks to the convergence of technical performance and designer style, it’s possible to pick a boot that works hard and looks good doing it. From tall boots to ultralight, packable boots, we’ve found the best styles that will still keep you warm, dry, and happy.
Teva nailed combining style and function with this newest addition to the De La Vina boot line. The slightly stretchy back panel makes extra room for calves or tucking in jeans, and the rubber sole provides traction and all-day comfort. These aren’t insulated, so toes may get cold on the truly frigid days. But if you’re looking for a good-looking, hard-working tall boot, these could be the answer to your winter boot prayers.
The Chelsea Duck Boot is the perfect slip-on for mud, rain, and snow. It’s a great boot to leave at your door for quick outings and early morning walks. As contributor Chelsey Magness reports, “When I was pregnant and could no longer bend over to tie my shoes, these were amazing for my daily ‘waddles.’ While nice for the rain, they are not recommended for ice. Also, on super cold mornings, the sole of my foot would become quite cold after a mile of walking through the snow.” However, for late fall and early spring, and places with mild winters, these boots are your best friend.
Looking for a boot that doesn’t smash your toes? KEEN’s got you covered. The toe box provides plenty of space for your feet, and the 200 grams of insulation will keep you comfortable in sub-zero temps. I appreciate that the side zipper allows for easy on and off and have found them plenty warm, in part thanks to a thermal heat-shield footbed that captures and retains warmth. This one could fit in either the fashion boot or snow boot category with its combo of warmth, waterproof leather, and stylish back tie details. Anyone looking for a versatile, comfortable, fashion snow boot should consider the Elsa.
If you are after a light and fashionable minimalist boot that rolls up to the size of a water bottle, fits like a glove, and still offers plenty of wiggle room in the toe box, then look no further. The Boulder Boot has a zero drop and is a barefoot design. The outer material is made out of full-grain leather, and the inner liner is 100% cotton. All said and done, a size 43 boot comes in at 9.9oz. Contributor Chelsey Magness travels often and usually has to pack ultra light. Previously, this meant foregoing boots, but the Boulder Boot has changed that. These are the perfect boot for your next overseas or domestic adventure. Check out our full review here.
These boots may look like just another pair of leather riding boots, but trust me when I say they may change your life. For more than two years I only wore three pairs of shoes: sandals, my beloved Merrells, and these boots. I hiked in them, biked in them, and traveled across the country with them. The full-grain leather material lasted through constant use in snow, rain, and sun. And the rubber sole gave it the comfortable feel of a moccasin. Water will leak through the zipper if you walk through water (as I once learned crossing a river in Washington), but through normal winter use, they’ll keep your feet dry, comfortable, and stylish.
A winning combination of style and performance, the Koosa could quickly become your go-to winter boot. The wool lining is the epitome of cozy, and the waterproof leather protects through the sloppiest winter day. The large rubber sole makes it appear a bit more snow boot than fashion boot, but it provides plenty of traction and stability. I also like that the straps on the back are adjustable, allowing a custom fit for big and small calves alike.
Women’s Snow Boots
From fluffy snow flurries to blizzards, windblown drifts, and slippery icepack, snow boots are a necessity in many places. They offer insulation, traction, and comfort on even the coldest days. Whether commuting across town, completing chores at home, or heading outdoors to play, there’s a snow boot for you.
There’s just something about these boots that makes you hope for a blizzard. The waterproof suede upper provides protection as you march through snow drifts, the seam-sealed waterproof lower keeps you dry even in the wettest conditions, and the faux fur trim adds a fun bit of flair. At times they can feel heavy on your feet, but it’s a worthy tradeoff for sturdy, stylish snow boots. And if you do get a pair, remember the tabs on the sides are not meant for pulling the boot on, but for removing the liner to clean. Save yourself tears over busted boots and avoid yanking on the tabs. Instead, place the boot on solid ground, loosen the laces as needed, and use your body weight to help slide your foot in. Now you’re ready for a winter wonderland.
Growing up with horses, Muck Boots were synonymous with long-lasting work boots. And these boots bring that same ethic to the world of winter boots. The 8mm of foam and fleece lining makes them plenty warm, with a -40-degree F comfort rating (check out the tall version of the boot for a -60-degree F rating). Most importantly, the Vibram Arctic Grip outsoles provide unmatched traction in icy conditions. Whether mucking stalls or tromping around town through snow and ice, these boots are a winner.
Basically a puffy jacket for your feet, these boots will keep your tootsies warm all day long. I like how flexible they are, and the temperature-sensitive lugs provide traction on icy, slippery surfaces. Plus, they’re so lightweight (9oz. each) I often forget I’m even wearing a snow boot. While water resistant, they aren’t completely waterproof. So if you spend a lot of time in really wet conditions, this may not be the boot for you. But for anyone looking for a cozy, warm, lightweight snow boot, the Thermoball Button-Up is a great option.
With 400 grams of PrimaLoft insulation, these sneakers will keep your feet toasty without the bulk of a boot. As a barefoot fan, I like having the option to wear a shoe with snow boot performance and sneaker comfort. The waterproof leather and Helly Tech waterproof membrane will keep your feet dry through the sloppiest of days. The lower sneaker cut isn’t ideal for deep snow, but otherwise this is a fantastic snow boot alternative.
I had one pair of boots while motorcycle camping across North America, and they were Bogs. I can attest to their long-term comfort and impressive durability. These 100% waterproof boots will keep you dry through the wettest conditions, and the 7-mm Neo-Tech insulation provides plenty of warmth, with a comfort rating of -40 degrees F. I found they have great traction in wet conditions, and I especially appreciate the convenient pull-on handles.
This waterproof boot will keep you warm even when temps dip into the negatives thanks to Columbia’s Omni-Heat reflective lining and 200 grams of insulation. They offer the tall boot look, without feeling quite as heavy as other options. And while they are waterproof, extended water crossings can cause leakage. As for sizing, I did find they run small and recommend you order a half-size up for the best fit.
Extra Warm Winter Boots for Women
Whether spending hours in a hunting blind, trekking miles across Antarctica or simply desiring extra toasty feet, these are some of the warmest winter boots.
This boot was designed to be worn all day in cold conditions. With 1,000 grams of Thinsulate insulation, you’ll stay warm without getting weighed down. The Gore-Tex liner keeps water out while proving surprisingly breathable. I wouldn’t wear these around town or out to dinner, but when hitting the hills for the day or camping out waiting for that trophy buck, the High Ground is a top pick.
These beasts have a comfort rating of -148 degrees F. Yes. you read that right: -148. Part of the Arctic line, they’re designed for extreme conditions. Totally waterproof and complete with a seven-layer inner boot system, these snow boots are ready for your next extreme winter adventure.
Your feet are now ready for winter. But what about the rest of you? Find a favorite flannel to stay cozy all season long.
Have a favorite boot we didn’t cover? Let us know, and we’ll check it out for future updates to the article.