10 Best Winter Boots Reviewed & Fully Compared
While winter conditions probably present a particular set of problems for your running routine, it can be just as hard to make it through your average day in the snow and sleet. A good winter boot means striking a balance between comfort and practicality, while maybe even being able to wear them in terrain a little tougher than sidewalks and roads.
We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best winter boots so that you can spend the snowy season in style while also doing the things you love. Many of the boots included on our list are packed with useful features meaning you can take them wherever the winter weather carries you– like from the store to the hiking trail and back home again. Check out our FAQs and our criteria for picking the 10 best winter boots if you need more help making a decision or if you are looking for tips and tricks on making sure you and your boots survive this winter.
- Sorel Caribou
- Great Insulation & Waterproofing
- MuckBoots Hale
- Lightweight Design
- KEEN Revel III
- Great Traction
10 Best Winter Boots
Although these boots definitely have a heavy-duty look, they are casual enough to wear while running errands. There are a variety of styles available in both men’s and women’s sizes and the gorgeous leather uppers come in wide array of rustic and down to earth colors with practical faux fur accents.
These boots are packed with features meant to make your winter much more enjoyable. The attractive Nubuck leather uppers have a waterproofed finish and the seams are sealed to keep moisture out. The shell and the soles are made of durable rubber and molded with rubber lugs to help with traction and give that edge over the slick and slush. The felt Thermo Plus inner lining is comfortable and designed to keep the heat in while also being removable and easy to air out. Sturdy lace-up rings and a metal shaft help keep laces secure and ensure a tight fit. The faux fur accents are not just stylish, they’re snow guards that help keep the elements from getting into your boots.
The shaft of the shoe measures 10.75 inches from the arch with a 1.25 inch heel and a half inch platform. The removable inner felt lining measures at 9mm. These boots are temperature rated to -40°F which means they are prepared to stand up against extreme temperatures.
Compared to other boots on this list, the Sorel Caribou boots sit in the mid to high-cost range but are definitely worth the cost. They are reliably tough and built to withstand whatever winter activities you have planned while being versatile enough for everyday wear. If you can afford the initial cost they’ll offer great value long-term.
- Durable rubber shell and lugged AeroTrac outsole
- Removable Thermo Plus felt inner lining
- Faux fur snow cuff
- Nubuck waterproofed leather uppers
- Variety of styles and designs
- Sealed seams
- Metal lace-up shaft
- Temperature rating of -40°F
MuckBoots come in a variety of color and style options but all varieties feature a relatively plain looking lower portion made from black rubber. However, the differences between styles can be seen on the lengthy upper shaft, with many interesting patterns and color schemes available to choose from.
Water protection is guaranteed due to the lower portion of these boots being made from rubber, which can come in handy when coming into contact with melting snow. Aside from this, the most notable feature is an extremely long shaft with a small calf loop to help wearers put these boots on.
As previously mentioned, rubber is used for the lower portion of the MuckBoots with what looks like neoprene on the upper shaft. Due to the excessive length of this upper shaft, some women with larger calves may have some difficulty fitting in these boots.
Some sizes and color options for these shoes come at a very reasonable discount. However, the most expensive option for these MuckBoots is on the higher end of the cost spectrum for similar products. Customers should expect to spend about as a much as they would for a high-end pair of boots.
- Lightweight feel due to design and construction materials
- Fantastic water protection from rubber and neoprene
- Wide variety of available styles and colors
- High upper shaft can cause problems for women with large calves
- Some styles and sizes are much more expensive than others
KEEN Revel III
The use of Roebuck leather gives these shoes a weathered and distinctive appearance that is sure to please any hard workers or outdoors enthusiasts. A few different color schemes are available as well, offering a small degree of versatility that helps to make these some seriously stylish boots.
The leather used for these boots provide excellent protection from water. A padded collar and dry membrane on the inside provide further waterproofing as well as heat insulation. On the underside, a full rubber outsole provides enough grip to handle snow and rain.
With rubber on the bottom and leather on top, these winter boots are made from some of the strongest viable footwear materials. In regards to sizing, the manufacturers suggest ordering a half size larger than usual due to the extra cushioning causing these boots to fit tighter than normal.
Being made from high-quality materials, it makes sense that these boots would come with a higher price. The cost is on par with a pair of very high-end trail running shoes but they are worth every penny. The exception is one or two sizes that seem to have highly inflated prices, most likely due to limited availability.
- Amazing build quality due to high-quality materials
- Rubber outsole provides superior grip on dangerous surfaces
- Good insulation from padded collar and dry internal membrane
- Smaller than average fit due to extra internal padding
- Highest cost, albeit not without justification
These are not stylish boots. When looking at the numerous straps and clasps the form the majority of this Baffin product, is is abundantly clear that fashion was not a primary concern when designing them.
The most impressive feature of these snow boots, aside from the fantastic stability offered by its heavy-duty straps and EVA midsole, is the seven layers of insulation. No other boot or trail shoe is going to offer this sort of heat protection, which is guaranteed for temperatures as low as below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The majority of these boot’s construction is derived from leather and textile, with EVA foam being used for the midsole and heavy-duty rubber for the outsole. Surprisingly, these winter boots aren’t nearly as heavy as their appearance would suggest.
The cost for an average pair of these Baffin winter boots is about the average for any other pair of high-end snowshoes. However, what gives this particular product an edge over its competitors is its unparalleled heat insulation.
- Seven layers of insulation provide warmth in extremely cold temperatures
- Excellent stability due to multiple straps and EVA midsole
- Lightweight despite bulky appearance
- Bulky and unfashionable style
- Limited color choices
The Original MuckBoots Arctic Sport Mid
These boots are simple, having a very different look than most of the other winter boots on our list. They more closely resemble a pair of rain boots and have similar protection from moisture. Although the stark black of these boots may be a bit plain or too minimal for some, they are easy to match and won’t stand out in a negative or bulky way.
The rubber outsoles of these boots are molded with grips for better traction and extend upwards into a shell that covers past the ankles for extra waterproofing protection. Additionally, leather uppers help to wick moisture and thermal foam cushioning helps with comfort and warmth. The MuckBoots winter shoes are impressively 100% waterproof while being lightweight and easy to wear over or under your pant legs. A fleece lining helps to retain warmth as well and is soft and comfortable.
Leather uppers, neoprene mids, and rubber shell and outsoles balance the makeup of these boots. The shaft measures 11 inches from the arch and the midsoles are contoured EVA, complemented by comfortable fleece lining.
The price of these boots varies depending on sizing; at the lowest, they are fairly cheap for the quality and at the highest the price is reasonable. With the reliability of the MuckBoots brand and the quality of construction and materials as well as the versatility of these boots, the price is definitely worth the benefit.
- Combination of neoprene, rubber, and leather materials
- 100% Waterproof
- Soft fleece lining that insulates
- Minimalist, sleek design
- Durable rubber outsole with grips
- Temperature rating -40°F to 40°F
- Lightweight design reduces calf strain
- Potentially a little pricey for those on a budget
- Plain, minimalist design
Salomon X Ultra Winter CS Waterproof Performance Boot
These boots aren’t anything to write home about, but they aren’t an eyesore either and they’ll get the job done. The colors are limited (black and brown) and the basic design and accents are visually generic.
It’s all in the name with these boots, sporting Climashield protection against the weather. The combination leather and fabric uppers have CS waterproofing and offer Thinsulate insulation for warmth. The rubber outsoles also help keep out moisture with an added layer of protection; rubber caps on the toes and heels will help shield your toes from icy terrain, as well as using Contragrip and IceGrip designs for traction. The midsole is molded EVA and lightweight Ortholite and the chassis is designed to be ultra light as well.
The temperature rating on these boots means you’ll be comfortable in temperatures as low as -20°F, but some reviewers have said they are able to use the shoes comfortably in temperatures lower than that. They are made of leather, rubber, and a synthetic fabric blend. They also have a nice plush lining near the collar of the shoes for warmth and to prevent rub.
The cost of these boots is about mid-range in comparison to others on the list. With plenty of features designed with winter in mind and decent performance, it’s a reasonable price tag for the Salomon X Ultra Winter boots.
- Limited colors
- Narrow fit
- Weak lace hooks
All available models of these women’s boots feature a similar design and pattern on the outside with the changes mostly involving the color. What makes these boots stand out from any other winter wear is the faux fur lining which can be tufted out the top for a bit of extra flair.
Extra cushioning around the higher collar of these winter boots helps to avoid any discomfort that may otherwise be a result of this particular footwear style. On top of that, cement epoxies were used to bind these boots in a manner that guarantees high durability.
These boots are entirely made from synthetic materials. The lack of any authentic leather or wool may dissuade some purists from trying these boots on but those who are against the use of animal products will appreciate the design choices made by Kingshow for this product.
One fortunate benefit to these boots being made from all synthetics is that the price is competitively low. Because of the low cost of entry, even those on a budget will have a tough time finding excuses to stay indoors on a cold winter day.
- Faux fur lining ensures warmth and comfort
- Cement bonding agents provide terrific durability
- Conveniently low price tag
- Somewhat stilted style with limited differences between models
- Not made from any authentic animal products
Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat
Even though they don’t come in trendy colors or have any extras like faux fur, the Bugaboot boots do have a great design that is sleek and bold without being bulky. The Columbia insignias accent the outside nicely and the neutral colors and solid black options are easy to match.
There’s plenty of upgraded hardware in this model of shoe, like the sturdy eyelets and double rivets on the lace catch that ensure durable lacing and a tight fit. The Omni-heat insulation is also a great upgrade for your winter boots that uses a reflective lining to trap your body heat, keeping your feet warm. The leather and nylon uppers are waterproofed and the dual-compound rubber outsoles wick water away; on top of all this are the sealed seams that are sure to keep moisture out. The midsoles and shell are both made with Techlite materials to help keep this sturdy boot lightweight.
The shaft measures 7” from the arch. The Omni-Heat insulation is 200g and the Techlite shell and uppers are a mix of leather and nylon. The outsole uses Omni-Grip tech and the midsoles also use Techlite material.
These boots sit in the mid-range of pricing on our list and have a variety of fantastic features as well as the unique Omni-Heat insulation that uses your own body heat to warm your boots. They’re built to stand up to the elements long-term and have enough benefits to justify the price tag.
- Seam-sealed waterproofing
- Sturdy eyelets and double rivets for secure laces
- Omni-heat insulation
- Reflective lining helps to trap heat
- Dual-compound rubber soles with Omni-Grip for great traction
- Combination of leather, nylon, and webbed uppers
- Techlite midsole cushioning
- Lightweight construction
- Sleek design
- Ankle-height may not offer enough coverage
- Limited colors
- Small or narrow fit may be too snug
- Lining may not hold up over time
These winter boots come in only one color: black. It’s a style that coordinates well with many other outfits but can also come across as rather simplistic and unappealing. Some fur-like material tufting out from the collar helps to make this product a bit more visually distinctive.
These are a bog-standard pair of boots with a few small features that provide additional convenience and comfort for colder temperatures. The higher shaft comes with additional laces for a sturdy fit and treading on the outsole allow for extra grip on certain surfaces.
As previously mentioned, these boots are entirely made from textiles and synthetics. No real animal products were used in the making of these winter boots; this will likely turn off many potential buyers but does come with the benefit of a lower price tag.
Without much being offered that gives these boots an edge over competing products, it’s a good thing they aren’t priced very high. However, they’re still just expensive enough to disqualify as an impulse buy for the majority of prospective customers.
- Sturdy fit maintained with high shaft and heavy laces
- Fur-like interior lining provides comfort and warmth
- Only one color option limits stylistic aspect
- No leather or wool used whatsoever
Ahnu Northridge Insulated Waterproof Hiking Boot
If you’re looking for a shoe at the crossroads of high-performance and stylish design, look no further than these Ahnu hiking boots. They come in four different colors--two variations of plaid and basic black and brown--but for as simple as the colors they offer are they are also versatile and modern. The overall build is unique and aesthetic with a good combination of solid black rubber, shiny silver hardware, and light faux fur accents.
The materials on these boots are treated to be waterproof, like the breathable mesh collar and the quality leather uppers. Even the zipper is treated with waterproof sealing and the inner lining is made to wick any excess moisture. The outsoles are made of Vibram non-marking rubber molded for traction. The build of these boots is particularly unique in that it has supports installed on either side of the midsole to prevent the foot from sliding or rolling to either side which may be especially useful for those who need the extra stabilization while hiking or in bad conditions.
The shaft measures 9 inches from the arch and the heel is 1.25 inches. There’s 200g of Thinsulate insulation and the insoles are removable EVA material. The construction is a combination of leather, textile fabric, and rubber.
These boots may be one of the more expensive options on our list, depending on the size and color, but they also stand up to other winter boots that have plenty of high-performance features.
- Durable non-marking rubber outsole
- Hydrophobic mesh collar
- Leather uppers
- Lining that wicks moisture
- 200g Thinsulate for lightweight warmth
- Zipper with waterproof sealing
- TPU shank between insole and outsole for support
- Removable dual-density EVA insole
- Available in multiple colors
- Unique supports on either side of midsole to stabilize foot
- May be too narrow for those with wide feet
The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Winter Boots
There are many different brands, manufacturers, styles, and models of winter boots on the market, so we’ve put together a list of specific factors to help break it down. Whether you’re searching for the perfect shoe here on RunnerClick or shopping for a fit in-store, we hope these criteria will help you make the right decision for you.
While it is most important that a pair of boots function properly, it is also very important to many people that they look good as well. Shoes are a major fashion statement; after all, it’s important to put your best foot forward if you wish to impress your peers. This means that all boots on this list were evaluated based on how stylish they look and how many stylistic options they offer.
For the most part, all a winter boot needs to be considered a successful product is to completely cover the wearer’s foot and ankle while also keeping it warm. This section touches on these two design aspects but also takes into account any additional features added to each product, such as a more comfortable insole or a more efficient lacing system.
How much do these boots weigh? What are they made of? Do they offer sizes in both men’s and women’s? While factors like these can be considered in value judgments, these more specific questions considered in this section of the review are intended to clear up any ambiguities about the exact design of each boot.
Even the best pair of winter boots in the world will have a price limit that people will be willing to pay. This section ultimately compares the cost of each product to the quality of its construction and the features present in its design to determine whether or not it is priced reasonably. This section will also mention if any discounts are available.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Most customers reading this buying guide will have enough information from the criteria listed above to make an informed purchase. However, there are special cases in which certain individuals may require more information. For the sake of these people, here are some additional design factors worth their consideration:
Certain kinds of material used in the construction of boots can lead to an allergic reaction to certain predisposed individuals. If you have some sort of allergic sensitivity to particular textiles or insulating material, it would be wise to closely examine the materials used in each product to ensure they won’t lead to discomfort.
Sometimes, one pair of boots that costs more than another can actually provide a greater value. This can be due to the presence of an extended warranty, where the manufacturer offers to cover the costs of repair or replacement for a predetermined period of time after purchasing. While it probably shouldn’t make or break a purchasing decision, researching warranty options can help to pick one specific product over another.
Generally speaking, boots are designed to handle the widest possible array of terrain. However, it may be wise to research whether or not these boots work well on the specific form of terrain you are likely to encounter. For example, individuals in a snowy environment will want to find boots with excellent water and snow resistance, while hiking and trail running enthusiasts will want to find good off-roading boots.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When should I replace my boots?
A: There is no consistent time period where you should always replace your boots but as a general rule, you will have to replace them sooner if you don’t perform regular repairs on them. Some good indicators that it is time to replace a pair of boots are when layers start separating, treading becomes worn down, discomfort is felt while walking in them, or water begins leaking through.
Q: How do I clean my boots?
A: The first step when cleaning any kind of boot is to wipe away any dirt or grime with a soft cloth. For leather boots, the next step is to use a special leather conditioner to maintain the material’s quality. Other forms of boots may need to be treated with a non-silicone based waterproofing material periodically.
Q: Will my winter boots stretch?
A: Leather boots are known to stretch and can be done so in a controlled manner as part of the process of breaking them on. If you have a hard time initially putting on your leather boots they probably aren’t too small–it may just be that they need time to stretch. Boots made of rubber should not stretch; if they do, it will likely cause damage to them.
Q: How should I store my winter boots?
A: During the offseason, winter boots should be stored in an environment that isn’t too warm, is dry, and isn’t directly exposed to the sun. This is the best way to ensure they keep and can be used next winter. Failing to keep them in cool and dark environments can result in degradation of the material, and keeping them in a wet place can cause mildew.
Q: What is the most durable boot material?
A: In general, the most durable and long-lasting boots are made from some form of leather. The most common form is cowhide but a similar level of resilience can be found in boots made from buffalo leather as well. In order to ensure long-lasting durability, any leather-based footwear will need regular cleaning and conditioning.