You won’t believe how amazing it feels with the right pair of winter boots on a snowy day.
It feels like you just turned on a real-life cheat code because your feet are warm and you’re one of the few people not slipping and sliding on the street.
Winter is fast approaching, and if you think that your ragged old footwear won’t make it through another season it’s high time for an upgrade!
Get to know the best winter boots by exploring this in-depth guide and prepare well in advance.
Navigate Our Top 11 Winter Bootschoosing winter boots however, the difference between a durable, sturdy pair and one whose traction and waterproofing almost don’t exist is staggering. The first will allow you to enjuy winter’s splendor in warm coziness. The second will give you soggy, miserable memories, or a nasty case of frostbite if you aren’t so lucky. Having boots whose durability and comfort you can rely on in the winter time is literally one of the most important purchases you’ll ever have to make, requiring a bit of research and forethought.
What height should you go for?
Does that cool-looking lug pattern actually give good traction?
Both of these and more are questions you should definitely have a clear answer to before pulling the trigger on boots your feet’s warmth and safety will depend on in the upcoming years.
Pictures and two-sentence reviews on an online store won’t make you any wiser, but exploring the info on eleven pairs of top notch models I’ve presented here as well as a brief reminder on the key points of boot buying that follows might. Be sure to check out the Winter Boot Buying Guide!
Make yourself a nice warm cup of cocoa to get into the spirit of things, and let’s explore what boots to get you!
1. Timberland Men’s Schazzberg Insulated Winter Boot – Overall the Best Winter Boots
Timberland has been thrilling customers worldwide with their sturdy, waterproof winter wear ever since their first models were introduced back in the 70s. 40 years later and seemingly not much has changed as another of their iconic models, the Schazzberg, stands out as the best choice for the season.
These are supremely comfortable and surprisingly lightweight boots. In spite of barely feeling them on your feet, you’ll be cozy and warm thanks to the PrimaLoft insulation their natural leather exterior is lined with. Available in regular or dark brown, the leather has a raw, rugged appearance that emphasizes the boots’ outdoor look.
The unusual, cobblestone-like lugs give excellent traction on snow and ice. The sole itself is supple enough to allow for a better grip, but more than a match for any jagged rocks that might be hiding behind a thin coat of snow.
The Schazzbergs get my vote for best winter boots this season – their lightness, no compromises when it comes to keeping you warn & dry as well as the minimalistic yet attractive look they sport make parting with a dollar or two extra when buying a pair easy. Besides, you’ll probably end up using them for more than a decade and actually end up saving money in the long run.
2. Merrell Men’s Moab Polar Waterproof Winter Boot – The Best Men’s Winter Boots for Casual Use
Some winter boots are made specifically to withstand exposure to below zero temperatures for hours on end while trudging through deep snow. Others, like Merrell’s Moab, are perfectly suited for keeping your feet warm and firmly on the ground while getting to work in a metropolis.
Going an inch or so above the ankle, these are lower boots that won’t constrain movement too much. The synthetic bottom and midsoles serve as a nice counterpoint to their leather and fabric upper, making the Moabs look quite stylish. Both espresso and black get the tones just right, helping the boots become equal part a warm winter necessity and a statement of good taste.
Walking over ice patches won’t be a problem while wearing the Moabs as their patented Ice Grip soles have an effective pattern of differently-sized lugs which keep you steady in slippery situations. Slush is no bother either as the water-resistant upper won’t let water penetrate inside the boots unless you deliberately do something reckless like sticking them in a foot of ice-cold water.
The Moabs are the best mens winter boots for mild climates and short stints out in the open. If you treat them as such, the warmth, comfort and grip they offer ought to keep you satisfied for many a winter to come.
3. Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni Cold-Weather Boot – Currently the Best Winter Boots for Men by Columbia
Columbia has had a great track record in outfitting winter sports enthusiasts and regular guys alike with solid winter boots known for their sturdiness and resistance to weather. It’s safe to say that with the Bugaboot this trend continues.
At 8 inches, this is a much taller boot than the Moab and can keep the better part of your calves toasty. Obviously this also means that you can use them in relatively deep snow without fear of it getting to your feet. Apart from the height, well-made water proofing will definitely keep that from happening. The outer and midsoles are both made out of rubber. The former won’t slip on iced-up surfaces thanks to a smart pattern that fans out in all directions, and the latter’s flexibility ensures you can walk for miles without feeling stiffness or discomfort. Add to that the leather & synthetic lightweight upper, and you’ve got a functional and great-looking pair of boots.
For all-around use, these are the best winter boots for men Columbia currently has to offer. While you might not want to be stuck in Yukon in the middle of January while wearing them, the Bugaboots are more than a fair match for anything your average winter can throw at them.
4. Sorel Men’s Conquest Boot – The Best Boots for Winter at Its Coldest
Almost all the boots I’ve written about so far will be good for a garden variety winter somewhere temperate, but what if you live all the way up north in Canada or notoriously cold states like Colorado or Minnesota? With winters there regularly dipping well below the minus 20s, a pair of boots is called for that takes the warmth of your feet much more seriously.
Sorel is up to the task of providing one with the Conquests, and making it clear that the polar bear in their logo isn’t there just for show! These are by far the best boots for winter that comes with a vengeance, being able to give warmth to your feet at temperatures as low as -40 degrees!
A number of factors are at work here – the high rubber sole and leather upper form a tightly-sealed shell no snow or water can get into. Beneath them are 400 grams of Thinsulate insulation as well as a pair of built-in gaiters, soft and warm inner booties which wrap around your whole foot for added warmness.
When winter bears its cold fangs, you’ll be glad you bought a pair of Conquests to step all over it. Superb weather protection followed by good traction and a rugged look one can’t help but like are all the reasons one needs to grab a pair and not look back.
5. KEEN Men’s Summit County III Winter Boot – The Best Winter Hiking Boots
Diehard hiking fans don’t want to abandon their favorite pass time during the winter, and so a market has formed that caters to nature enthusiasts who brave the wilds at their harshest. Leading the way in this niche are the Summit County boots from Keen.
They’re all about innovation and clever use of materials to provide the most lightweight, breathable and steadfast experience possible. Much of their lightness stems from the interesting insulation made from charcoal bamboo, which reduces the boots’ weight by quite a lot. This has no effect on their ability to ground you well – a dual-climate outsole adapts itself to gripping either snow or small rocks and mud depending on the season and is especially good at helping you keep your footing when going uphill.
The upper is of a sturdy, velvet-like nubuck leather which is soft to the touch and does a good job of protecting your foot from damp. Meanwhile a breathable membrane set inside the boots takes care of sweat and odor buildup, leaving your feet dry even in warmer climates.
If you’re keen on experiencing your favorite hiking trails during the most challenging conditions, the summit Counties are the best winter boots for hiking to do it in. You can expect easier climbs, bone dry feet and a compliment or two from fellow hikers, all of which ought to take most of the sting out of the price you’ll pay for them.
6. EVER BOOTS “Tank” Men’s Soft Toe Oil Full Grain Leather Insulated Work Boots – The Best Winter Work Boots
Jobs in the farming, oil or construction industries are demanding enough as it is, but the winter months add another degree of challenge to them. Wearing the right kind of work boots in winter can keep you more comfortable and, more importantly, prevent accidents on the jobsite. Ever Boots’ Tanks are the best winter work boots around, and a small investment that’s well worth making.
They’re surprisingly light for work boots. That’s not to say they’re soft or flimsy – their leather upper is rigid and tough, but won’t rub on your foot due to the well-placed padding inside. The toe box has been elevated for extra room so you can wear warmer socks if the weather becomes colder. These being work boots, the insulation isn’t as thick as in regular ones, but good enough to keep your feet from freezing during a standard shift.
The soles offer good traction on uneven terrain, making these great working boots for a ranch hand. They’re a bit stiff for work on solid surfaces, but you get used to it after they’re broken in. Since the soles experience the most wear& tear, Ever boots actually made theirs easily replicable.
One would think that boots as affordable as these would come with serious problems, but what you’re actually getting is a structurally solid, comfortable and grounded pair of work boots for an amazing price. Buy yourself a pair or two and get the peace of mind that comes along with them.
7. Merrell Men’s Fraxion Shell 6 Waterproof Winter Boot – The Best Waterproof Winter Boots
During winter, few things are as irritating as having to walk around in boots that are full of slush because of poor waterproofing. Not only is that extremely uncomfortable and cold, but dangerous for your health too. With the Fraxions, the 2nd pair of boots by Merrell on review, that’s a problem you’ll never be plagued by gain.
Although the boots themselves are on the lower side, just barely covering your ankles at 5 inches high, a lot of that height is taken up by the rubber midsole and heel / toe caps. The stitching between the midsole and the leather upper is expertly done, providing a seamless transition between the two materials. This gives water no chance to enter them all the way up to the cuff even if submerged, making them the best waterproof winter boots in the guide.
They don’t look too shabby either. Their smaller size, intricate sole sides and accents on the upper almost make them look like a hybrid between sneakers and boots which turned out very well.
For the great outdoors and away from trodden paths though, this is a great pair of winter boots! Nothing can beat the Fraxions when it comes to staying dry even if you’re unlucky enough to get them completely wet. Comfortable and good looking to boot (no pun intended), they’re a fine choice for any nature enthusiast.
8. Salomon Men’s X Ultra Winter CS WP Performance Boot – The Best Winter Hunting Boots
Winter is the most exciting time of year for hardcore hunters! Their pray tends to huddle together, adopts a more relaxed routine and is a piece of cake to track assuming there’s no blizzard. A seasoned hunter needs boots that won’t slip up, get wet or give him literal cold feet during long hunting excursions, and Solomon is here to provide them with top of the line winter boots.
They’ve got all it takes to keep your pray on its toes – 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation for warmth & coziness, tread-like lugs that tear through snow and keep you from falling on ice, a footbed that molds itself to your foot and helps you tread lightly as well as first-class insulation that allows you to stay on your feet longer without getting wet.
The Men’s X Ultra are the best winter hunting boots for this season, but the properties which make it so like the considerable isolation and the way they hug your foot make them a great choice for hiking, fishing or other activities in nature, while their rugged aesthetic ought to get you looks of approval on snow-covered streets too.
9. Sorel Men’s Caribou Wool Boot – The Best Men Winter Boots for Warmth
If for some reason you don’t like the more modern appearance of Sorel’s Conquest boots but don’t want to settle for a pair that is less warm to walk in, then it’s time to revisit an old favorite of past generations. The Caribous have been around the block for decades, and their newest incarnation is as warm and distinctive as ever.
Featuring a two-toned midsole, supple leather with big, solid eyelets and a luxurious wool collar, the Caribous are a throwback to the past that’s aged quite well, especially if you pick a pleasing color combo like burro. The collar is actually part of an innerboot you can remove to make the boots even lighter and usable in hotter weather.
With the innerboots, they’re able to withstand biting cold for up to a staggering -40 degrees while your toes are warm and snug inside. As protection from the cold goes, only Sorel’s other model comes remotely close.
The Caribous are ideal if you love to spend a lot of time out in the open during the coldest part of the year. You can count on their superb insulation to provide warmth for your toes during the whole day, and on their soles to keep you steady in packed and loose snow alike. Tackling the fiercest cold nature has to offer and looking good while doing so are reason enough to go for them.
10. Timberland Men’s White Ledge Waterproof Boot – The Best-rated Winter Boots
If you’ve been doing any research into the best-rated winter boots before reading this guide, you’ve more than likely come across Timberland’s White Ledge. With good reason too, as their premium build, sleek look and other features make them the favorite of many satisfied customers.
A lot of that comes from the quality full-grain leather used in their construction. One big piece of it is used to create almost the entire upper, minimizing the number of stitches needed to keep the boots together as well as the chance of leaking. Since it hasn’t been modified much, the leather’s natural breathability is skillfully used to prevent sweat from making your feet uncomfortable
Stability is their other strong point, both in terms of how they behave on various surfaces and how your foot feels while in them. Generously padded collars keep your ankles in place while an ergonomic insole offers flexibility and comfort during long walks.
Ultimately the praise Timberland gets for the White Ledge is well-deserved. Top notch materials, a simple yet elegant design and great performance in all kinds of weather have cemented their cult status and are compelling reasons for you to join the crowd!
11. Clarks Men’s Ryerson Rise Winter Boot – The Best Stylish Winter Boots
What better way to end these winter boot reviews than with a flourish! Last in line is Ryerson Rise, a pair of gorgeous boots by renowned British and now global manufacturer Clarks. Continuing the 150-year tradition of delighting their customers with dapper footwear, Clarks is at it again with probably the best stylish winter boots to strut in this season.
Only the highest quality full-grain leather, suede and rubber are used in making them. Cleverly combined in a deceptively plain but luxurious style, they form a pair of boots whose stitching, collars and soles are first and foremost lovely to look at, but which don’t lag behind when their durability or comfort are measured either.
Relative to their size these aren’t the lightest boots out there, but they’re certainly among the warmest and most comfortable. They come with a removable insole which makes sure you’re maintaining correct posture, minimizing the impact long walks out in the rain and snow have on your feet and back.
While practically every pair of boots covered in the guide looks at least decent, there’s no denying that the Ryerson Rise manages to edge in front. A great new arrival to build your winter wardrobe around as well as sturdy, comfortable boots in their own right, they are a true example of functional fashion at its finest.
Winter Boot Buyer’s Guide
If you’ve decided that it’s time to stretch your legs after all this reading and go grab a pair of your own, don’t do so before revising a few key components that make purchasing those new boots less stressful and more in line with what’s actually good for you.
- Height – Other than being a style preference, a winter boot’s height is important when considering what kind of activities you’ll be doing in them most of the time. The taller the boot is, the deeper you can go without moisture starting to seep into your clothes. Choose higher boots for use in nature, or in areas where blizzards and snow-ins are not uncommon. Lower boots will do for temperate climates and cityscapes where paths are maintained regularly.
- Traction – The more traction your boots have, the better they perform on treacherous terrain like snow-covered ice. While no ordinary sole is 100-percent stable on ice, the difference between one that has an evenly spaced-out pattern which holds on tightly to the ground and one with barely noticeable lugs is very pronounced. Don’t go overboard though – lugs which cut too deep make the boots less stable when there’s no snow or mud to dig into.
- Warmth – Obviously the best winter boots need to be warm, but how warm is a matter of debate and your local circumstances. Any self-respecting pair of boots ought to be enough for temperatures of about 10 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. In states or other parts of the world where winters are less forgiving though, such boots can be downright dangerous to walk in. Make sure that you’re aware of what kind of winter to expect where you live / intend to travel to, and make a purchase accordingly.