Warm, Comfy & Stylish: The Best Winter Boots Of 2022


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Winter is hard on your heating bill, it’s hard on your car, it’s hard on the pets, the house paint, and a thousand other things as well; including your feet if you’re not wearing the right winter boots. Cold air, freezing rain, sleet, snow, and slush can all conspire to make walking an uncomfortable experience. The best way to prevent winter from wreaking havoc on your feet is a good pair of winter boots.

We’ve examined the best winter boots on the market, whether you are planning a hike, live in a snowy place, make occasional visits to the mountains, or need a day-to-day winter boot for driveway shoveling and commuting to work.

 

 

The Best Winter Boots

 

 

Best for Heavy Snow: Sorel Men’s Caribou II Winter Boots

 

Sorel Men’s Caribou II Winter Boots

The Sorel Caribou Boots are the Midwest, Northeast, and Rocky Mountain winter boots to rule them all. The Sorel Caribous have been in production since 1962, and have served the sidewalk-shovellers and driveway-clearers of our snowy kingdoms ever since. There are both men’s and women’s versions and they perform just as well as a more modern-looking boot. These sorel boots sport waterproofed, triple-stitched Nubuck leather uppers and waterproof rubber bottoms for long-lasting protection and comfort. It’s worth noting that the rubber is not inherently warm. If you’re going to be out in sub-freezing temps, make sure that you wear thick moisture-wicking socks that are up to the task.

The acrylic fleece pile collars help keep snow and debris out, while also helping to insulate you from excess debris, wind, and snow. Lugged rubber outsoles help you navigate snow and ice without worrying about slipping and sliding. The removable, four-layer 9 mm ThermoPlus™ felt liners will keep your feet warm — and you can wash them when your feet begin to smell.

  • Nubuck leather upper
  • Waterproof lugged rubber outsoles
  • 9mm ThermoPlus felt liners
  • Acrylic fleece pile collar

See SOREL – Men’s Caribou Waterproof Boot on Amazon

See SOREL – Men’s Caribou Waterproof Boot on Sorel

See SOREL – Men’s Caribou Waterproof Boot on REI

 

Best Budget Pair: DREAM PAIRS Women’s Mid Calf Winter Boot

DREAM PAIRS Women's Mid Calf Winter Boot

The DREAM PAIRS Women’s Winter Snow Boot is an affordable winter boot for cold temperatures as well as snowy and icy conditions. I’ve worn this boot when it’s below 30 degrees outside and the faux fur lining has kept me quite warm in the snow on Mt Hood. I try to keep my products animal-friendly so I love the 100% synthetic construction. I wear these boots every time I head up the mountain to ski and I rarely slip even in the iciest conditions.

I’ve taken these boots to the Alvord desert in eastern Oregon for winter camping, down to Mt Bachelor for a backcountry ski festival, and enjoyed comfortably warm feet thanks to the faux fur cuff, synthetic insulation, and waterproofing. My only complaint is that the liner slides around. I had to glue it down to stop it from moving. Otherwise, this has been a very warm boot for winter conditions. I’ve even done short hikes in them but I wouldn’t call them a winter hiking boot. I went true to size but Dream Pairs recommends half a size up if you have wider feet.

Key features

  • 100% synthetic construction
  • Faux fur lining for insulation
  • EVA rubber outsole
  • Waterproof to a depth of 2.2 inches

See DREAM PAIRS Women’s Mid Calf Waterproof Winter Snow Boots on Amazon

 

Passed the Alaska Test: Sorel Explorer Joan Winter Boots

Sorel Explorer Joan Winter Boots

If we could choose one snow boot for a harsh winter, we would choose the Sorel Joan of Arctic. Like its glorious namesake, the Sorel Joan of Arctic kicks butt when it comes to winter warmth and style. Our tester has rocked her pair since 2016 with zero complaints and has yet to replace her inserts.

We love a few different things about the Joan of Arctic boots — the removable felt liner which allows you to change out the felt liner for a newer fur-trimmed liner if you so desire, the vulcanized rubber sole which keeps the boot both waterproof and insulated, and the twelve-inch lace-up shaft that keeps the snow out and your lower legs and feet warm. The tread on these Sorel boots will keep you from slipping on most snowy/icy surfaces, while the 6mm washable and recycled liner will keep you warm in all but the most extreme weather. Think Antarctica-extreme, because it passed the Alaska test. This is one of our favorite women’s snow boots.

Key features

  • Waterproof suede upper
  • EVA footbed for extra cushioning
  • Waterproof and perfect in the rain and snow
  • Excellent design that is easy on the eye

See Sorel Women’s Explorer Joan on Amazon

See Sorel Women’s Explorer Joan on Sorel

See Sorel Women’s Explorer Joan on Zappos

 

Best Men’s Winter Hiking Boot: Columbia Men’s Fairbanks Omni-Heat Winter Boots

Columbia Men’s Fairbanks Omni-Heat Winter Boots

The Columbia Men’s Fairbanks Omni-Heat Hiking Shoe is built for brutal weather. These winter hiking boots are made with 100% leather upper and Cordura textile, meaning they are built to last. Furthermore, movement is incredibly easy: the Cordura and leather break-in quickly, allowing comfortable movement with support from the reinforced heel and the supportive rubber sole.

This winter boot is an exceptional footwear choice for winter hiking, or even just shoveling snow. These waterproof boots feature 200g of insulation to keep your feet and toes warm. The shoe comes with a tech lite lightweight midsole that cushions your feet. This is the best choice for any hiker ready to break into winter hiking.

Key features

  • Made with leather, rubber, and Cordura textile
  • Rubber sole that’s excellent for treading all kinds of surfaces
  • Comfortable and lightweight midsole
  • Omni-grip feature for more convenient traction

See Columbia Men’s Fairbanks Omni-Heat Ankle Boot on Amazon

See Columbia Men’s Fairbanks Omni-Heat Ankle Boot on REI

See Columbia Men’s Fairbanks Omni-Heat Ankle Boot on Backcountry

 

Best Traction: Mishansha Winter Anti-Slip Leather Warm Winter Boots

Mishansha Winter Anti-Slip Leather Warm Winter Boots

If there is any disadvantage to winter boots, it’s that most of them are only useful during the winter months and sit on a shelf the rest of the year. This is not the case with the Mishansha Winter Anti-Slip Leather Warm Snow Boots, which feature a stylish design that makes them suitable for year-round wear. Its classic ankle bootie design is timeless and ideal for both men and women, giving it an advantage over many other boots that don’t have the same versatility. While they may not be ideal for deep snow due to their height, this winter shoe shines in packed snow.

The faux leather upper is sturdy and water-resistant, ensuring that water does not seep into the shoes. These boots are cruelty-free and made with artificial leather, which makes them an excellent option for vegans and those in opposition to the use of animals in manufacturing. The faux fur collar and lining will keep you warm. The rubber anti-skid outsole provides more traction than most boots on slick or icy surfaces.

Key features

    • Faux fur collar and lining to keep the feet warm
  • Artificial leather upper
  • Great for year-round use
  • Rubber soles for traction

See Mishansha Winter Anti-Slip Leather Warm Winter Boots on Amazon

 

Best Low-Rise Rain Boot: Sperry Women’s Saltwater Rain Boot

Sperry Women’s Saltwater Rain Boot

This lovely boot features a design that is pleasing to the eye. More impressive still is how it does this while still providing a quality product that can stand shoulder to shoulder with other popular brands. The boots are waterproof and are an ideal companion for your forays into the cold/wet conditions without having to worry about your feet getting wet.

The materials are top-notch, which means that they can withstand the damage of snow and rain. Also, this winter boot comes with a side zip enclosure, making them easy to get on and off. A cozy fleece lining on the interior ensures that your feet retain warmth and keep you comfortable all day long. Furthermore, the rubber outsole also provides some extra traction that makes the traversal of wet and dry surfaces a cakewalk. If you live in a place like the Pacific Northwest where your winter is more rainy than snowy and cold, these are a perfect boot for you.

Key features

  • Fleece-lined insides for added warmth
  • Rubber duck toe that’s waterproof and perfect during the rainy season
  • Side zip enclosure for easy access
  • Rubber outsole for convenient traversal

See Sperry Women’s Saltwater Snow Boot on Amazon

See Sperry Women’s Saltwater Snow Boot on Sperry

See Sperry Women’s Saltwater Snow Boot on Zappos

 

Best Winter Work Boot: Timberland Men’s 6″ Premium Winter Boots

Timberland Men’s 6″ Premium Winter Boots

Timberland often walks the thin line between work boots and winter boots, and why not? Guys that work outdoors need winterized boots that are also appropriate for the job site. The Timberland Men’s 6” Premium Waterproof boot is such a boot. Tough, comfortable, warm, and waterproof. It has a full rubber sole and padded heel that absorbs shock, 400 grams of high-quality insulation throughout, and it’s fully waterproofed.

In deep snow, you may need a taller boot but for most places, this winter boot will serve you well. These are great rain boots and all-around winter boots for work or leisure.

Key features

  • Fully waterproof
  • Leather construction
  • 400g of PrimaLoft insulation
  • Full rubber sole for excellent traction

See Timberland Men’s 6-Inch Premium Waterproof Boot on Amazon

See Timberland Men’s 6-Inch Premium Waterproof Boot on Zappos

See Timberland Men’s 6-Inch Premium Waterproof Boot on Dick’s Sporting Goods

 

Best High-Rise Rain Boot: UGG Men’s Hannen Tl Winter Boots

UGG Men’s Hannen Tl Winter Boots

The UGG Men’s Hannen TI Winter Boot rides nice and high so you can blast your way through snow and slush. The Treadlite outsole provides optimal traction on all surfaces and the wool lining means your feet may be the warmest part of your body when you’re out and about in winter weather.

The seam-sealed construction is an integral part of the waterproofing, which is first-rate. Durable, attractive, comfortable, waterproof, and warm too, the UGG Men’s Hannen TI winter boots are stylish, effective all-around cold-weather footwear. And, while they aren’t cheap, they should last you for many years if you care for them properly. Hands down, one of the best men’s winter boots on the market.

Key features

  • High-rise boot made of leather
  • Soft, warm wool lining
  • Treadlite outsole
  • Waterproof construction

See UGG Men’s Hannen Tl Fashion Boot on Amazon

 

Best Women’s Winter Hiking Boot: Danner Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boot

Danner Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boot

The Danner Mountain Light Cascade Women’s winter boots are attractive and effective. They take their design cues from classic mountaineering boots – and you could wear them on the mountain if you’re so inclined – but they’re built with everyday use in mind. The water-resistant linings and full-grain leather upper protect you from winter precipitation and incidental contact with puddles and the like. If you want a fully waterproof boot however, you’ll have to treat them with an aftermarket waterproofing agent.

These winter boots are self-consciously stylish, harking back to the classic Alpine boots of the past for everything from the profile to the red laces. They’re exceptionally warm and comfortable, extremely well built, and hug the ground even when that surface is slick. The only minus is that they take a while to break in.

Key features

  • Water-resistant linings
  • Full leather upper
  • Classic red laces and design
  • Vibram outsole

See Danner Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boots on REI

See Danner Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boots on Backcountry

See Danner Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boots on Zappos

 

Best Tactical Boot: Columbia Men’s Bugaboot

Columbia Men’s Bugaboot

The Men’s Bugaboot Plus III winter boot is a handsome no-nonsense piece of winter footwear. These are high, snug, flexible winter boots that sport 200g of high-performance insulation and are seam-sealed throughout. The gusseted tongue will also assist in keeping things dry and keeping the heat in, and you’ll get a sure stance from the Omni-Grip rubber outsole.

Available in a multitude of colors and for a remarkably affordable price.

Key features

  • Omni-grip rubber outsole for great traction
  • Omni-heat reflective lining
  • 200g of insulation
  • Eaterproof seam-sealed construction

See Columbia Men’s Bugaboot III Snow Boot on Columbia

See Columbia Men’s Bugaboot III Snow Boot on Amazon

See Columbia Men’s Bugaboot III Snow Boot on Zappos

 

Best High-Rise Snow Boot: Kamik Men’s Greenbay 4 Cold-Weather Boot

Kamik Men’s Greenbay

The Kamik Men’s Greenbay 4 Cold-Weather Boot is performance first, style second. If we were stranded in the far north in extreme conditions and could choose only one boot from this list we’d probably go with the Kamik Greenbay 4. These Kamik boots come up to mid-calf so you’re good to go in deep snow and blizzard conditions. Post-holing won’t get you down.

These arctic boots are also rated to -40 degrees Fahrenheit and are virtually hermetically sealed against the elements. Kamik is one of the best winter shoes brands and they know how to make a proper boot. The pair weighs in at less than two pounds so your winter boots won’t become winter anchors, and the synthetic rubber outsoles will keep you upright even on slippery surfaces. An outstanding extreme weather boot.

Key features

  • 600 denier nylon
  • Synthetic rubber outsole
  • Rated for -40 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Waterproof bottom rubber

See Kamik Men’s Greenbay 4 Cold-Weather Boot on Amazon

See Kamik Men’s Greenbay 4 Cold-Weather Boot on Backcountry

See Kamik Men’s Greenbay 4 Cold-Weather Boot on Zappos

 

Why trust us

No one knows winter like those who live in the thick of it. I live in the Pacific Northwest where it’s 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and raining nearly six months of the year and I spend a good amount of time November through May getting far away from the rain and up into the cascades to the snow. Our other tester is Josette, a mountain guide and paramedic who spends her summers in remote Alaska and her winters in the Northeast. Your testers are tried and true mountain women who spend more time outdoors in a year than most do in their lives. The boots we tested were put to the test in Alaska, Maine, Washington, Oregon, Northern Nevada and Idaho. Each boot stomped through snow, rain and slush.

Who this is for

This guide is for anyone who needs a good-quality pair of winter boots. Winter boots come in many forms: muck boots, rain boots, snow boots, hiking boots, and more. We also include winter work boots and high and low rise options so you can evaluate each option against your personal needs.

How we picked

When selecting the best winter boots, we started with tested pairs from resident winter lovers. Once we put those on the list, we looked at best sellers and widely respected boots from top brands like Sorel and Kamik. Lastly, we peered through hundreds of reviews to ensure we only recommend the best options.

How we tested

The boots we tested got put to work on Alaskan backroads and shoveling snow in the Northeast with Josette. She’s a winter queen and has been putting winter boots to work for years. I tested boots up in the snow of Mt Hood and all around Oregon and Washington before skiing, while sledding, exploring, and even a bit of hiking and camping.

winter boots

Features to look for in winter boots

There are so many different, outstanding winter boot options on the market today that trying to find a pair that will serve your exact needs can be a bit daunting. What level of waterproofing do you need? How much insulation is enough for the climate where you live? Will you be wearing these boots on the job or just to and from the job? These are all questions that will need to be answered before you decide which pair of good winter boots to spend your hard-earned money on.

Warmth

There are many different types of insulation and some boots will offer temperature ratings. Others will provide insulation measurements. Both these pieces of information can help you make decisions for the climate you expect to be in.

Boot height

I personally love tall boots, mid-calf or highwear is my preferred height. I live in Portland where splashing rain puddles are something you run into multiple times a day and I spend a lot of time in snow too. A taller boot offers more support and insulation but can also restrict some movement or be a problem for those with larger calves. Consider your needs and personal preferences before deciding on a boot height.

Insulation

Insulation is key to warmth. Many offerings on our list offer a fleece fur or faux fur lining and collar that insulate your feet and ankles from the cold. As noted above, temperature ratings and the amount of insulation are often listed in the description of each product. A winter boot should keep your feet warm, at a minimum.

Weight

Weight isn’t a factor many consider but it can make a difference. If you’re out and about all day, lugging a heavy boot can be tiring. Walking through snow or water is more tiring than flat ground and a heavy boot can add to fatigue. However, if you won’t be out for long periods at a time in your boots, then weight is less of a concern.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing is a must. Most boots on our list are either 100% waterproof or nearly completely waterproof and those that aren’t can be treated with an aftermarket waterproofing agent.

Fit

A well-fitted boot can be the difference between a wet, cold, fatigued foot and a comfortable, rested foot. Any footwear should be comfortable and fitted or it will increase fatigue and quickly ruin your day.

Traction systems

Every boot on our list has a rubber sole whether that be synthetic or natural rubber. Rubber provides excellent grip and certain tread patterns can increase traction. If you find yourself on ice, you can also add additional traction systems like microspikes to your boot for additional support.

Outsoles

The outsole of a shoe is important in durability, comfort and traction. The outsole of most winter boots is rubber which provides traction, shock absorption, and durability. You can choose between natural or synthetic rubber – both are solid options.

Grip

Grip is vital to any quality winter boot. Grip is created at the intersection of quality materials and tread patterns. Rubber is the most common outsole material on winter boots and its effectiveness increases in cold weather.

Breathability

If your feet are very warm, you will sweat. On the other side of the coin, any breathability in a shoe is a chance for moisture and cold to enter, thus defeating the purpose of the boot. The perfect boot finds a blend of breathability and warmth but often the latter takes priority.

2 pairs of winter boots

Winter Boots FAQ

Q: What are the best snow boots for ice?

Most of the boots featured above will do a commendable job keeping you upright on slick, icy surfaces. If we had to single out one, we’d go with the Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus III winter boot. The level of stability provided by the company’s Omni-Grip rubber outsole is outstanding. Additionally, both Sorrel boots on our list have excellent traction. If you need additional traction, you can always add microspikes.

Q: What are the best winter boots for walking?

When it comes to walking in your winter boots, flexibility and good grip are crucial. While stiff winter boots may be essential for activities such as ice climbing, they won’t be very comfortable walking across town. As such, of the many excellent winter walking boots (and best work boots) reviewed above, we’d have to pick the Caribou II from Sorel. The simple but firm lacing structure ensures you’ll have both flexibility and protection from the elements.

Q: Who makes the top winter boots?

There is plenty of debate about who makes the ‘best’ winter boots but the argument comes down to how you intend to use them. If you need your winter boots to dig out cars and shovel walks it’s hard to beat the Kamik’s Greenbay 4 Cold-Weather Boot. If you just need to look good while staying dry and warm then something like the UGG Men’s Hannen TI Winter Boot may be more appropriate. For deep snow and winter conditions, the Sorel Caribou and Joan of Arctic are the prime choices. Kamik and Columbia also make excellent boots.

Conclusion

The right boots for winter are a critical addition to your extreme cold weather gear, whether you work in an office, or a construction site or you’re grabbing the camping stove and heading for the mountains.

We hope you found the above reviews of the best cold weather boots informative and that the information presented here helps you make a sound decision when it comes time to purchase your next pair of snow boots.

Sources:

  1. Get Ready For Winter Working Conditions With The Right Outerwear And Footwear -International Safety Equipment Association
  2. Proper Footwear For Winter Walking – Environmental Health & Safety At West Virginia University
  3. Ice And Snow – Choose The Right Footwear – NHS Fife
Tuesday Kahl

Tuesday Kahl Tuesday Kirby Kahl is a contributor at Explorersweb. Her fierce love for the outdoors fuels everything she does. Her professional pursuits include writing, creating art, and photography. These professional passions allow her the time to live life outside as a rock climber, skier, runner, backpacker, paddle boarder, swimmer, and explorer. When Kirby is indoors, she enjoys tea, whisky, old films, cooking, and baking. Her product testing and feedback have shaped the design of everything from climbing shoes to candles.