9 Best Winter Boots – 2021 Reviews
Winter boots are one of the most practical pieces of winter gear you can have. They will keep you warm, safe, and comfortable as the temperatures drop.
There are many different types of winter boots, some warmer than others, and some with more traction. Knowing what type of activities you plan on indulging in ahead of time will help you to make a better decision when choosing a boot.
To help steer you in the right direction, we have rounded up some of the best winter boots that are currently available and rated them accordingly to show you their specific features and downfalls.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
Easy to get on
Top 9 Picks!
1. Sorel Caribou
Easy to get on
Can feel heavy
Could have a better fit
Sorel’s Caribou winter boots offer you a classic that has been redesigned over the years and has always been an extremely popular winter boot among outdoor enthusiasts. You get a soft inner liner and a waterproof exterior that is made to keep your feet warm, even on cold winter days. Also, you’ll get a lot of warmth and excellent traction from the nice soles on these boots. These boots are also easy to get on and off.Read more
These boots are designed with Pac Boot style construction, and they provide a lot of warmth. On the inside of the boot, you get a strong ThermoPlus felt inner that is both comfortable and helps to keep the heat inside. You also get plenty of room to move with these boots, and they help to keep your feet comfortable while you are on the go. While the boots might feel heavy to some, they are still very warm and comfortable.
We like the nice features designed into this boot. First, it's waterproof and has a great sole that can repel water from the ground up. Also, these boots are manufactured with treated Nubuck leather, and that material helps to keep water from getting into the interior. These winter boots also have a nice ventilation system that helps push the moisture out of your boot effectively.
Ease of Use
They have an easy to use lacing system, and although you still need to tie them, they aren’t difficult to use. It is quite easy to get these boots on and off. Also, it is easy to get the correct fit with these laces, and that helps with the comfortable feel. You shouldn’t have problems lacing these up or getting them on or off when you need to.
These boots have a rubber sole with a nice traction system and well-designed lugs, which are built to handle any type of terrain. The Caribou are great for walking around in snow and ice.
Sorel’s Caribou winter boots are priced moderately, so you won’t have to worry about burning a hole in your wallet if you decide to get them. They aren’t the most affordable boots on this list, but for what they offer, it's well worth spending a little more.
2. NORTIV 8
Heat reflective insulation
Highly durable sole
All cold challenging weathers
These are heavy duty construction style, some like a less robust style
These are robust strong boots with an appealing design for all cold and wet weather environments, casual, at work or heavy duty hiking. For those looking for boots with a combination of protection from the wet weather, serious sole tread, superb traction and absolute comfort, these are well worth checking-out. The heavy duty boots will work in any challenging environment and the waterproof level of defense is excellent.Read more
For comfort, the insulation is thermolite insulation rated to _24f heat-reflecting lining, giving overall warm protection for the entire foot area. The lower boot is strong rubber and absolutely waterproof while the upper boot is also waterproof and oil resistant. This means no wet inner boot spoiling comfort.
Featuring a protective synthetic toe cap, a warmth giving cushion faux fur insole which is removable, a full insulated boot lining. These winter boots also feature an impressive tread layout that works in all conditions, the mountains, forests, skiing or hiking. Wherever you meet challenging wet weather, these boots will perform.
Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use, the heavy-duty boots are easy to put on, and the lace up system allows for a secure comfortable fit. Once you have these on, the comfort level kicks in. The insulation not only reflects heat back to the foot, but it also acts as a comfort-giving layer of insulation.
Impressive traction design means multi-directional anti slip capability; the traction teeth are designed and spaced to ensure a very good grip while avoiding picking up wet clinging earth which can deter the surface grip of many types of traction, but not these boots. The traction capability is excellent.
Not overly pricey and not too low priced to cause suspicions about durability. These are affordable and in return, the features of the boot are very impressive. The rubber sole is highly durable, incorporates great traction and can take hard knocks while being scratch-resistant. Waterproof protection is further supported by synthetic uppers which are treated to repel oil and water. These are multi-purpose all-weather boots offering great protection and comfort.
3. Kamik NationPlus
Great traction system
Lots of warmth
The tongue could be designed better
Kamik’s NationPlus winter boot offers you a Pac boot design that has a nicely insulated inner liner and also has waterproof features on the outside. These boots come with an affordable price tag as well, which makes them a great choice if you are shopping in a budget. Plus, you’ll get a durable winter boot that you’ll get a lot of use out of. We love the warmth and comfort offered by these boots and the fantastic traction system that they also feature.Read more
Kamik’s NationPlus winter boots have a lightweight insulation system that is designed to keep the inner part of the boots warm. You get Thinsulate insulation and a soft, comfortable inner liner that will keep your feet warm and cozy. Also, the insulation retains its loft, so it is very durable as well.
The way the interior of the boot is designed gives you plenty of comforts and since these boots are so easy to get on and off, there is no straining yourself. You also get a good ventilation system, so there is some breathability.
These boots come with a couple of nice features built into the design that makes them a viable choice in winter boots. First, you get a solid, waterproof boot that is designed to keep your feet warm, and you won’t need to worry about any cold water or snow getting into the interior area.
Ease of Use
One of the reasons why these boots are so popular on the market today is the fact that they are so easy to get on and off, which is not always true of winter boots, even if they are very well-designed. You get an easy-to-use opening that you can slide your foot in and out of without much trouble. Also, the fabric won’t restrict your ability to get your feet either in or out of the boots. The lacing system could use a bit better design around the tongue area, but other than that, these boots have decent ease of use.
The traction system that is designed into this boot features grippy lugs that can hold onto just about any terrain with ease. Whether it is snow or ice, you'll feel well-balanced with these boots.
This option comes with a very affordable price tag, and that makes these boots great for outdoor enthusiasts that are shopping on a budget. With these boots, you get a lot for the price. First, there is plenty of durabilities designed into these boots, so you’ll get a lot of use out of them. Also, they are very comfortable and warm, and you’ll love how good they feel while you're outdoors.
4. Vasque Snowburban II
Lots of warmth
Could have a better lacing system
Need to break these in
Vasque’s Snowburban II UltraDry winter boots bring you one of the best options in high-quality boots. These boots can help you conquer any winter terrain. You get a lot of warmth, comfort, and protection from the wet ground as well. They are also designed to give you a lot of high-quality insulation. They have an excellent traction system as well, which should make it easy for you to get where you want to go even when the weather isn’t so nice outside.Read more
The winter boots have 400g of synthetic insulation packed into them, which is far more than what most options offer. You’ll get a lot of warmth and an upper that is designed to keep heat in. That means you’ll get the warmth you want when the weather is cold. Plus, these shoes are also made to provide a lot of long-lasting comfort and support, so you’ll get the stability you need when out on the trails.
Vasque, as a manufacturer, always adds some quality features to their products. These boots, for example, have some great waterproof features that work to keep your feet dry inside and out. You get a strong inner liner that is designed to be both waterproof and breathable. These boots have a lot of great insulation built into them.
Ease of Use
While we love these winter boots, we wish the lacing system was a little more simple. With the lacing system, all you have is eye lits and that can actually take some time for you to fit the boots on your feet correctly each time you want to hit the trails. Also, the tongue can slip into the boot with this design, which can be a bit annoying and frustrating if you are busy and on the go. Despite the complex lacing system, it isn’t too difficult to get the boots on and off.
The rubber sole has a traction system on these boots is extremely grippy and works well to give you the balance and support you need on the trails.
These boots fall into a moderate price range, which means they are incredibly affordable for all of the features and comfort you get. You get a nice pair of high-quality winter boots that are built to last. Plus, you’ll love the comfort and warmth you’ll experience whenever you decide to hit the trails.
5. Timberland MT Hope
Easy to use laces
Could be warmer
Timberland`s MT Hope winter boots give you a stylish, casual boot design at an affordable price that makes these boots another nice choice if you are shopping on a budget. They look very fashionable and come with nice insulation and comfort as well. Plus, they also have a great traction system that can help prevent you from slipping or having other issues on the difficult winter terrain.Read more
They feature Primaloft insulation to provide a nice, effective boost of warmth during the cold winter weather. You also get a lot of cushioned comfort designed into the insulation that helps make these boots feel great during the cold winter months. While the insulation might not be as warm as some of the other options on our list, you still get what you need with these boots.
You get a decent amount of water protection too, since they are designed to be water resistant. While they aren’t fully waterproof, they still handle winter moisture well.
Ease of Use
One thing we really like about these boots is how easy they are to use. You can slip them on and off easily since they have a large entry hole. Also, the insulation in these boots adjusts easily to let your feet slide in and out of them, and unlike other types of insulation, they won’t make it more difficult to take the boots off or on.
These boots feature a nice traction system because they are designed with a Vibram sole that is made to handle the difficult winter terrain. You won’t need to worry about slipping, and you should be able to easily get where you want to go in these boots.
Timberland`s MT Hope winter boots bring you an affordable option in good quality winter boots at a price. They should work for anybody shopping on a budget. With these boots, you also get a lot of durabilities, so you won’t need to worry about purchasing another pair of boots for some time.
6. Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV
Good waterproof protection
Can feel clunky
Upper can feel stiff
These winter boots offer you an affordable choice of boots, which makes this product a nice pick without breaking the bank. You get a high-cut boot that has a lot of effective insulation. These are also designed to be lightweight and waterproof. You get plenty of warmth and comfort, as well as a nice traction system that can easily get you to where you want to go even when the weather is cold.Read more
This pair comes with synthetic insulation that will provide warmth and comfort even when it is cold outside. You also get a liner with these boots that works to trap the warmth inside the boot so you won’t lose heat. You’ll feel a lot of warmth and comfort on all of your winter hikes.
One of the features we really like in these boots is the updated waterproofing. Now, they have a Techlite shell membrane, and that makes them very waterproof. They also come with an outer made of leather and nylon to enhance this. You won’t need to worry about your feet coming in contact with cold water.
Ease of Use
These boots have a nice design that features a lot of simplicity. So, they are quite easy to get on and off, and they have a quick lacing system. You won’t have any problems taking these boots on and getting them off if that is a worry of yours. That’s a nice bonus feature, and it’s nice to get your boots on when you need them.
They feature a grippy traction system that will help prevent you from slipping even on difficult terrain.
Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus IV come with an affordable price tag, which makes them a very nice option for outdoor enthusiasts shopping on a budget. You get a high-quality pair of boots from a good brand that offers a lot of durabilities. Since these boots are built to last, they make a worthwhile investment. Also, they offer plenty of comforts and great waterproof protection while you are out on the trails.
7. CAMEL CROWN
Traditional lace-up system
Nice traction capability
Good for snowy cold weather but not overly serious weather conditions
Practical in tough weather with a fashionable style. Incorporating a short-fleece lining that traps air and keeps both feet warm. Full wet protection via microfiber splice in the forefoot area. A fully waterproof toecap. The sole is armed with deep biting lugs to ensure full surface grip in all conditions. These are slip-resistant and ideal for snowy sidewalks, roads, moderate snowy trails, trekking and parks.Read more
The fur lining is light-weight and comfortably soft, this means comfortable warmth out in snowy conditions. The toe area is reinforced with rubber protection so that sharp objects cannot harm the toes when out in parks or on trails. The lace up system allows for adjusting for fit while securing the protective shoe tongue to avoid bunching or irritating blister causing rubbing.
The uppers feature waterproof umbrella style cloth and for the forefoot area waterproof microfiber; these are good durable materials. All seams in these boots are sealed to ensure durability and warmth. The boot insoles are padded and also include a removable fleece insole. A traditional lace up system ensures a good comfortable fit.
Ease of Use
Easy on the eye and stylish, these boots are not a struggle to put on; they are built for durability and are very easy to clean. The lace up system is a traditional style that offers good ease for securing a comfortable fit.
Featuring a thick rubber outsole giving great durability, these winter boots are abrasion resistive and the sole has designed in deep lugs for reliable surface traction and anti-slip capability.
This is a boot offering a stylish design combined with lots of comfort, good warmth in cold weather, ankle high supportive protection. Good for hiking, trails, parks, and for wearing around the neighborhood. With waterproof toecaps and water-resistant materials, the uppers offer good protection. The fleece lining ensures warm air becomes trapped and retains warmth inside. These winter boots are priced at a mid range cost giving value to the buyer.
8. Salomon X Ultra 3
Warm inner liner
Difficult to lace up
Salomon’s X Ultra 3 boots have an innovative design that resembles the comfort of shoes. They are very lightweight and are the lightest pair of boots on this product list. If you really value a lightweight pair of boots, then these are the ones for you. While they do cost a bit more than some of the other products on our list, they offer a durable design that is comfortable, warm, and waterproof. Therefore, you get a well-designed, high-quality boot.Read more
These pack a double punch with warmth and insulation. You’ll get a Thinsulate synthetic liner with a ClimaShield breathable liner. That means your feet will stay well-insulated and toasty warm, but these boots can still breathe well and give you the ventilation you’d want to have if you sweat often. Also, they fit more like a shoe and have a lot of comforts designed into them as a result. They also are very lightweight, which adds to their comfort level.
We like the nice features that this boot offers for winter weather protection. First, the ClimaShield waterproof and breathable liner allows the boots to breathe, but it also means they are waterproof so cold water can’t pass through into the interior of the boot. There is no water leakage, which is an excellent factor.
Ease of Use
There is a bit of a learning curve with the lacing system that is featured. The boots themselves are pretty easy to slip on and off, but some of the lacings require a bit of time to conquer. You’ll need to learn to loop through the lace locker at the ankle and then loop through two other hooks to get the right fit. You then tie the boots down.
They also come with a decent traction system that can help you out in the winter climate, and they have enough grip to get you through tough terrain. To enhance the traction of these boots, there is a gaiter hook in the heel of each boot.
Salomon’s X Ultra 3 winter boots run on the expensive end of the spectrum compared to some of the other products on our list. However, they still offer a lot of durable construction that makes them a very long-lasting boot. You won’t need to worry about replacing them for some time if you buy them. Also, you’ll get a lot of warmth and comfort that can help you out on the trails.
Traditional boot style
Good for wet weather
Here are a great pair of boots at a very customer friendly price; these winter boots provide good durability, lots of protection, leather micro fiber uppers but not actual animal leather, a padded collar, a cushioned foot bed, and a fur lining to ensure lots of warmth. The insulation in these boots is good. The boots are hand-stitched for reliable durability and a strong structure. A heavy duty molded outsole made from rubber gives very good surface traction.Read more
With a comfortable warm inner lining, these boots are made from supple micro fiber leather which resists water penetration. The structure is solid and stitched to keep the boot structurally strong. A hard toe area ensures adequate protection from sharp branches or stones which means comfort and safe from injury. These will give comfort and protection on trails, hiking or wet city streets.
These feature a very sturdy robust build and design; the boot collar is lined with fur to give protection while keeping in the warmth. Microfiber leather has very good water resistance and a good level of durability.
Ease of Use
These winter boots offer good ease of use in wet weather and snowy conditions. Fine for trekking, trails, parks and wet streets. The lace up system ensures an adjustable fit and the upper boot is a solid supportive design. The appearance and style are very traditional.
The built in multi-directional lug layout on the heavy-duty rubber sole means dependable traction on slippery, wet, muddy surfaces.
The point for value for these boots is that you do get good value in return in the form of a traditional boot which gives good protection, and warmth. These are far below the price of many other boots and yet you still get the main features expected from a pair of wet weather boots.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Comfort is an important factor to consider when purchasing winter boots because you want to make sure they feel great on your feet or you might not ever use them.
When we analyzed comfort, we discussed the feel of the boots, such as a cushioned sole, tongue padding, a soft fur lining, and how tightly or loosely the boots hug your feet.
In addition to the materials that line the inside of the boots, we also investigated their warmth, breathability, and insulation. These three factors are incredibly important as well but sometimes overlooked.
Breathability is one of the most important features of a boot because if there is no ventilation in your boots, sweat can build up and lead to rubbing and blisters. Also, no one wants to keep their feet sitting in a pool of their own sweat.
Features are important when analyzing your winter boots.
When we took a look at features, we talked about the weather resistance found in each boot and the type of traction system.
Weather resistance is determined by the materials that the shoe is made from and how they can keep your feet safe from the harsh winter elements. A rubber sole is always a great thing to look for because it will help to keep your feet dry. Another great thing to look for is a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Many rain jackets have a DWR finish, and while this can fade over time with washing, you can always re-finish your boots.
Traction is another feature that we looked at with each pair of boots. Snow and ice can be very dangerous to walk on but a boot with great traction can help you to stay upright. Winter boots with poor traction are comparable to a car with bald tires. It is incredibly dangerous and difficult to manage.
Ease of Use
We analyzed ease of use for all of the products on our list.
With that, our primary focus was on the lacing systems of these boots and how easy the boots are to get on and off.
Lacing systems of winter boots can be a bit tricky. A lot of these boots go up over the ankle and a tight fit is important. While shoes with laces are typically easier to get on and off, each boot features a different lacing system and can take some getting used to.
Boots without laces fit the needs of some people and are typically more stylish. However, these are sometimes harder to pull on and off your foot.
Another thing to pay attention to with boots without laces is the opening on the top. Is there a feature to keep the snow from falling into your boot or will they fit comfortably around your calf?
To avoid a nasty spill in a winter wonderland, you are going to want to take a look at the traction of each winter boot.
The packed sections of ice can disguise themselves among the powder and sneak up on you. A pair of winter boots with great traction can help keep you safe and upright.
You can see the traction system by looking at the sole of the shoe. Rubber has proven to be the most durable material for a sole. You’ll also want to look at the tread system. The larger the tread system, the safer you’ll be.
Some winter boots feature lugs as well. Lugs are for the serious outdoorsman who will be working or spending a lot of time in the snow.
When we analyzed value for each product on our list, we considered each factor: price, durability, comfort, features, and all of the other factors the boots had to offer for the price.
Winter boots are not cheap, but they are a necessary investment. Something else that you may want to look into before buying a pair of winter boots is the brand's reputation. Some brands offer a lifetime warranty and have great customer service. Others offer one or the other, or nothing at all.
You will most likely recognize most of the brands on our list and know that they have been keeping customers happy for many years.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It is best to try on winter boots in the afternoon. In the afternoon, you have likely been on your feet and they may be slightly larger and will give you a better idea of how your shoes fit.
You should also try the boots on with whichever socks you plan to use in the winter. Winter socks tend to be slightly thicker than normal socks and may make the boots feel tighter than you had imagined.
If a boot doesn't offer the insulation you are looking for, you can add your own by using a hand warmer.
A small, one-time use, hand warmer, such as Hot Pocketz, can easily go in your boot and keep your feet warm for up to 10 hours.
Other Factors to Consider
For some, this may be one of the most important factor. But for us, it sits on the back burner. We praise comfort and durability over style but we also realize that you need to feel confident in your boots.
Our list features many different styles of boots, some with laces, and some without. To preserve the function of the boot, the overall style of the boot doesn't falter much, but you can show off your personal style with color.
If the boot you have decided on isn't available in a color that suits you, you could always change out the laces or even find a gore-tex or merino wool sock in a great print and have that on display from the top of the boot.
A sock-like this will also amplify the weather protection and breathability features of the boot.
With all of the features and padding that are stuffed into winter boots, they can sometimes weigh you down. The weight of a winter boot does help to give you a sturdier feeling but most people aren't looking for a full body workout while walking in a winter wonderland.
Luckily, today's technology has made it possible to pack all the comfort and layers into a smaller and lighter package. Weight is still an important factor to consider when looking for a new winter boot.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are winter boots the same as snow boots?
This is debatable depending on viewpoints. A purpose designed snow boot is very different in appearance yet some people wear them just like a winter boot because of the style.
Snow boots are distinct as they have lots of rubber designed into the lower boot structure. This is because of the need for strong water protection. Snow boots are generally higher on the legs than standard winter boots.
The differences can also be seen in the type of insulation; snow boots offer full boot insulation while some winter boots offer variations on insulation amount. Good snow boots will have uppers made from leather and sometimes blended with nylon.
Winter boots are made in a wide range of different materials. The last point to keep in mind is that snow boots are heavier with more bulk.
q: I don’t have a lot of money to spend on my boots. Am I going to have to worry about sacrificing durability?
Not necessarily. On our product list, we discussed how even our affordable boots offered durability. We have thoroughly researched each boot on this list and given you our honest opinions and even rated the boots all each individual criteria.
You can choose to view the list in order of overall scores, or you can change it and see how the boots line up judging by durability.
q: Do I need to worry about ventilation with my boots in the cold weather?
If you plan on hiking or walking often in your boots and you sweat, you should get a boot that is breathable. You don’t want to experience odor or bacterial build up from your sweat or wind up with blisters from your boots rubbing.
Keeping your feet dry keeps them healthy.
q: Can't I use my regular boots in the winter?
If you live in Florida, yes. Otherwise, you will want something stronger and warmer. Many winter boots have rubber soles and/or uppers. These allow you to walk through snow or puddles and not absorb water into your boots.
Another benefit to winter boots is that if you do happen to splash too hard and the water does enter your boots, many of them are insulated, ensuring that your feet will be warm no matter what.
q: Is traction important for winter boots?
Yes. Have you ever walked out onto a fresh sheet of ice with a regular pair of shoes? It's like ice skating without the skates, padding, or the intention.
The better the traction on the sole, the fewer slips and falls you are likely to encounter, and the fewer injuries. Since you might be dealing with snow and ice during winter, that’s important.
q: Should I order my winter boots a size bigger than I normally wear?
This is a common misconception. Somewhere along the way, this advice got passed down and stuck. The only reason to order a size larger than normal is if the shoe runs small or you plan on wearing incredibly thick socks with the boots.
Most of the boots on our list have their own insulation systems built in and you won’t need to wear an extra thick sock with the boots to ensure your warmth. I
f you have the ability, it is always a good idea to try on the boots with the pair of socks that you plan to wear with them. If you do this, you will be able to see exactly how the boots fit and will know if you need to adjust your size.
q: What boots to wear in the snow?
For heavy snow conditions, you should choose a purpose designed snow boot. The boot is bulky and offers lots of warmth and protection. The boots sit higher on the leg for more weather-proof protection from the cold.
The lower part of the boot tends to be durable waterproof rubber while the uppers are usually leather for warmth and protection.