Sorel Mens Ankeny Moc Toe Snow Boot
The mens Ankeny Moc Toe Snow Boot from Sorel has a waterproof leather and suede upper, plus seam-sealed waterproof construction, yet it still manages to be lighter than most mens boots. Its as at home on city streets as on the trail, and has a deep herringbone tread to prevent slips in snow, ice, and rain.
How To Choose Winter Boots For Women
The first step to enjoying the winter is warm and happy feet. A good protective pair of winter boots can make all the difference between being comfortable outside and wanting to hide from it all season. While there are many options on the market, we have learned a thing or two after years of testing these boots and can help you hone in on the best model for your preferred activities and budget.
Where Are Your Boots Going This Winter
What’s the weather like where you live? Is it wet? Humid? Dry? Super cold? Sometimes cold? Snowy? It’s important first to consider where you live and the types of weather you plan on being in “most of the time.” The odd blizzard or superstorm may not warrant buying the warmest boots on the market, but if it’s arctic temperatures all the time, maybe that’s exactly what you need. Here are a few ideas to get you started
If the climate is wet, make sure to buy something that is waterproof, not just water-resistant. Look for leather or neoprene construction with sealed seams. If freezing rain or deep snow is common, traction is important. Do temperatures dip into the single or negative digits? If so, warmth is the priority. Or do you live in a drier climate where it rarely gets into sub-zero terrain? In that case, you may not need a very burly boot.
Next, think about what you’ll be doing this winter. Is snowshoeing or winter hiking your thing? Then you may want to consider a hiking boot over an all-around boot. Do you just need to shovel the walk and get to and from the car? A warm, comfy, slip-on option may be right for you.
Also consider fit if you have specific needs like a narrow heel, wide foot, or preferred level of arch support. With these considerations in mind, keep reading to learn about which boots we recommend for you.
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Mens Bugaboot Celsius Plus Omni
For ultra-cold weather, you need the Columbia Bugaboot Infinity Boot, which has a special Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining and 400 grams of insulationguaranteed to keep you comfortable even in frigid temperatures. Theyre still comfortable to walk in, with an Adapt Trax outsole to provide advanced traction even in wet weather and a midfoot strap to keep the boot snug and secure.
Why You Should Trust Us
Liz Chamberlain, our boot expert, is a winter enthusiast based in Truckee, CA. Liz is a downhill extraordinaire, seeking out the many mountain activities Lake Tahoe offers. Working in retail sales at Truckee’s finest bike and ski shops has engineered her to take a design-focused lens when approaching gear assessment and sales. With a graduate certificate in sustainable innovation, Liz has a background in material sourcing and functional designs. You can trust her for all insights related to fashion and function. Rounding out Liz’s assessments is Amber King, a Canadian native transplanted to southwestern Colorado. She works full-time as an outdoor educator, teaching students even when the cold of winter is rearing its ugly head. Together they have spent over 200 hours testing winter boots, wearing them in everything from warm spring storms to tall snowdrifts in their hometowns out West.
five test metrics
- Weather Protection tests
- Comfort and Fit tests
- Durability tests
Since 2013, we’ve tested around 100 winter boots for women and men. We researched top brands and products in the women’s winter boot category and then put them to the test out in the field. Our testing process includes buying and using every pair of boots in our lineup. We put each pair through various tests to rate warmth, weather protection, comfort and fit, and more. We’ve spent hundreds of hours in the snow and cold playing, walking, and doing chores for a complete analysis.
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Ecco Womens Shape 35 Ankle Bootie
Booties are great for travel, since they offer warmth and support without being as hard to pack as a full boot. Eccos Shape 35 Ankle Bootie is a classic choice, featuring a side zipper for easy on/off at airport security. This pair is also very lightweight, making them easy to pack and unlikely to tire out your feet and legs.
The North Face Shellista Iv Mid
Shaft Height:Insulation:REASONS TO BUY
This rendition of the The North Face Shellista IV Mid brought some fashionable and functional improvements to the previous Shellista design. The boot’s lightweight and fuzzy construction stood out among the rest for comfort and fit. We were impressed with the Shellista’s barely-there feel and slipper-like comfort and found ourselves reaching for this pair when heading to work on cold mornings or for late fall drive-in movie screenings at the local theater. We also loved the 10 inches of coverage the boot provides to keep our lower legs dry when trudging through tall snowdrifts.
The Shellista has a flexible yet durable upper that resists rough conditions but lacks an overall sense of stability. This is fine for casual use but left us hanging when stomping through uneven snow or sliding along icy trails. Paired with an absence of sticky lugs, we didn’t feel entirely comfortable on most slippery surfaces. But, if you’re looking for an everyday boot that eliminates bulkiness while keeping you warm and dry, this is a great choice.
Shaft Height:Insulation:REASONS TO BUY
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Warmth And Temperature Ratings
Some brands include a comfort or temperature rating for their winter boots. And theyre often very impressive numbers, claiming a rating of -25°F or lower. But right off the bat, lets be clear: there is not a standardized test to rely on for measuring a temperature rating. As such, comfort ranges are not a guarantee that youll be warm at the listed temperatures. In fact, we can almost guarantee you will not beparticularly if youre standing still. As we all know, how well a boot keeps you warm is dependent on a number of individual factors, including age, level of activity, the thickness of your socks, the tightness of the boot, and whether or not you run hot or cold. We recommend using the comfort ranges as basic guidance, but stay very conservative by adding a sizable buffer with your real-world use.
Merrell Thermo Chill Mid Wp
Shaft Height::Insulation:REASONS TO BUY
The Merrell Thermo Chill Mid surprised us in every category with its super versatile design that maintained warmth and breathability throughout our testing period. The cozy liner and midsole support are great for indoor and outdoor work, and the supple rubber compound on the outsole is the perfect amount of traction for trail exploration. The exterior construction is both durable and lightweight, so you won’t feel like you’re strapped to a 5-pound weight when trudging uphill. These great features are only made sweeter by the fact that this is one of the most affordable boots in our review.
While this is an all-around all-star design, we wish there was more ankle coverage to keep snow away from our socks, and we would welcome a slightly stiffer and taller construction to increase stability and confidence on uneven terrain. We are also a bit wary of the rubber outsole wearing down due to its softer nature, but it held up fine throughout our testing period. Overall, this boot is a major bang for your buck if you’re looking for a versatile and high-performing boot that won’t break the bank. Merrell also offers the Thermo Chill in a men’s version.
Shaft Height:Insulation:REASONS TO BUYShaft Height:Insulation:REASONS TO BUYREASONS TO AVOID
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The Best Womens Waterproof Winter Boots: Sorel Joan Of Arctic Boots
What we liked: warm, waterproof, comfortable boots with traction and durability more like a sturdy work boot than a fashion piece, stylish
What we didn’t like: run a tad large, can be too warm, can be difficult to put on and take off
Trust me, we hesitated a minute when we considered boots with the fur for our overall pick. But once we read the HUNDREDS of effusive reviews for the Sorel Joan of Arctic Boots, we realized why these are among the most popular models of winter boots for women. Out of the hundreds of boots on the market, people are fanatic about the Joan of Arctic. It isnt just for the style, either. The Sorel Joan of Arctics are warm, waterproof, comfortable boots with traction and durability more like a sturdy work boot than a fashion piece.
The Sorel Joan of Arctic are our Overall Winner for Best Women’s Winter Boot because of that versatility. In the end, we felt guilty for judging these boots based on their looks. It may be surprising, but it is possible for a winter snow boot to have it all. .
The Joan of Arctic winter boot has the durability, traction, and warmth of a sturdy workboot with the style of an Around Town boot.
Put another way: out of all the thousands of gear items we review each year across all sorts of outdoor categories, we rarely see such obvious consensus. The Joan of Arctic Boots are beloved by all.
The shaft and lacing system on the Joan of Arctic.
Boot Outsoles And Grip
Snow boots have a different lug pattern and rubber compound than their on-dirt hiking boot cousins. The compounds are softer and dont harden even when temperatures drop, which helps them continue to grip on snow and ice. In addition, the lug patterns are designed to prevent snow buildup. The outer soles themselves are very thick, which isolates your feet from the cold and rough ground underfoot. In general, hiking-ready models have the best traction, while casual and work boots can be a little cumbersome and prone to slippage. Vibram made some headlines with their Arctic Grip compound that’s specifically designed to stick to slippery and icy surfaces, which we see in designs like the Muck Boot Arctic Ice Mid. But from our experience, we still turn to a winter traction system in very icy conditions.
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Types Of Winter Boots
Over the years, we have tested dozens of women’s winter boots and determined three major categories. Each has its pros and cons. Not all boots are created equal, and some boots are more suited for specific uses than others. The categories we’ve identified are: All-Around Use, Pac Boots, and Active Hiking Boots.
Northside Mens Back Country Waterproof Pack Boot
Men headed to cold and snowy environments will appreciate these boots by Northside. Built for outdoor activities, theyre lined with Thermolite insulation for warmth without bulk. A removable felt liner with faux shearling collar can be called in on extra cold days. And with its D-ring lacing system, the Pack Boots are easy to take on and off at airport security.
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Types Of Winter Boots For Women
Casual: This type of boot is affordable and offers basic warmth, but not a lot of technical features or technology.
Snowsports: This is a catchall term for boots suited to activities like walking, sledding and snow play. For sports like skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering, get boots designed for those activities.
Snowshoeing: Boots made for snowshoeing often have waterproof/breathable technology, moderate amounts of insulation and are cut a little lower to make striding easier.
Winter hiking: These differ from standard hiking boots in that they have insulation to keep your feet warm. Winter hiking boots often have waterproof/breathable technology, too.
Need quick recommendations? Check out our picks for the best winter boots.
Active Winter Hiking Boots
An active hiking boot is best for, you guessed it, hiking in the winter! This type of boot features a snug lacing system and rigid upper for a more precise fit and better overall stability on technical terrain. The rigidity also helps you to kick steps into steep snowy slopes and works well with a pair of snowshoes or microspikes.
This type of boot is designed for aerobic activity featuring breathable textiles to keep feet dry and warm all day long. Traction typically features big, long rubber lugs that can easily stick to steep and snowy terrain.
The downside? This type of boot typically looks techy and takes more time to get on and off. It is often shorter to facilitate movement , so you may need gaiters to keep snow from getting inside the cuff. Also, the streamlined construction means that you don’t float as high in deep snow. But if you like to stay super active even when the snow flies, this is the type of boot you should buy.
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Ugg Mens Butte Snow Boots
The UGG Mens Butte Snow Boots have a solid 4.5-star rating on Amazon, thanks to their stylish yet practical design. These waterproof, leather-lined boots with warm wool protect your feet from dampness and the cold . The Vibram outsole has a special pattern on the bottom to help with traction on icy surfaces.
Cole Haan Womens Zerogrand Explorer Hikers
Cole Haans Zerogrand Explorer Hikers have lasted me through multiple Boston winters. Theyre stylish enough that I dont feel like I have to change out of them when I get to my destination, but waterproof and warm enough to stand up to slush and snow. Plus, they have Cole Haans famous Grand.Os technology, which makes these boots ultra-comfortable.
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Women’s Winter Boot Features
Warmth: Some insulated winter boots use branded fills like PrimaLoft or Thinsulate, while others use generic insulation to help feet stay warm. Insulation weight, which can range from 100 to 400 grams, gives one clue to warmth. Some boots also state a minimum low temperature, like 0 degrees F, though this is based on that brand’s estimate, not standardized testing.
Many winter boots have fleece linings for added warmth and comfort. You can also boost warmth by wearing thicker socks or using foot warmers. Boots that are too warm can also be an issue excess sweat can act to chill feet when temps inside the boots drop, which can happen when you stop moving after a period of activity.
Waterproofing: Keeping feet dry is a prerequisite to keeping them warm. Boots for high-energy activities like winter hiking or snowshoeing might have waterproof/breathable technologies like a GORE-TEX membrane inside. Some boots might be waterproof but not breathable. Still, other winter boots are made with materials that offer basic water resistance.
Taller boots help keep snow and water from sneaking in from above. You can also add gaiters or cover the boot tops with snow pants to keep the wet stuff at bay.
Our Analysis And Test Results
The Adirondack III is one of the most comfortable and versatile winter boots we’ve had the pleasure of testing. Rated to -32 degrees Celsius / -25 Fahrenheit, it’ll keep you warm even when the coldest of weather hits. With the ability to roll the fur collar up or down, it stands out as one of the more functional styles in our review. We took the Adirondack III out on snowy morning dog walks and high-alpine hikes to test its traction and stability. While the shaft isn’t super stiff, it still holds up on decently technical terrain. Waterproof and ready for snow-covered trails, this fantastic boot will keep you happy.
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Boot Care And Treatment
To keep your winter boots lasting as long as possible, its worth taking proper care of your investment. For starters, its always a good idea to keep them clean to avoid any breakdown in the materials. The grime that you pick up when walking through a slushy parking lot can wreak havoc on a boot if it isnt cleaned out. Warm water, dish soap, and a simple brush can do the trick in most cases. Further, many of the designs above have leather in the construction, which is a material that benefits from occasional treatment to avoid drying and cracking. A quality sponge-on design like Nikwaxs Conditioner works well on full-grain leather, keeping it in good shape while adding a water-resistant coating to the top. For boots that dont have a waterproof membrane or coating, its a good idea to treat them from the start . Another benefit of adding a leather conditioner right away is that it helps soften the leather and shorten the break-in period.
Removable Liners Vs One
Traditional winter boots like the Sorel Joan of Arctic and Baffin Impact are two-piece designs with outer shells protecting insulated, removable liners. The advantages of this construction are that the boots are extremely tough: the rubber and leather exterior materials are very durable and waterproof and they do a great job isolating you from the cold. The removable insulated liners are cushioned and soft, providing more comfort than a typical one-piece design. And perhaps the most functional element of the two-piece system is that you have the option to remove the liners to dry them more quickly should the boots get wet. These types of boots can feel a bit sloppy and ungainly when youre covering long distances, but for short walks, outdoor work, and harsh conditions, a boot with a removable liner is a nice choice.
For active uses like hiking or snowshoeing, or if you want to keep weight and bulk to a minimum, its better to go with a one-piece boot. These models often resemble a hiking design and offer a more precise fit and nimbler feel for greater control and stability in difficult terrain. Theyre also lighter on average, which is a positive for longer walks and snowshoe trips. You do compromise a little protection, but quality one-piece designs like the Oboz Bridger 7″ Insulated and Merrell Thermo Aurora 2 Mid are still formidable options in harsh conditions.
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