The 14 Best Winter Boots of 2023

The North Face Chilkat V 400 is a great, all-around winter boot that will keep your feet dry, warm, and comfortable.

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Winter Boots

Courtesy of Merchants / Photo Illustration by Kevin Liang for Health

A good pair of winter boots is essential for foot health and safety. You’ll want to find boots that are comfortable, keep your feet warm in cold and wet conditions, and have good traction to prevent you from slipping, and potentially getting injured. While winter boots and snow boots are both designed to keep your feet warm in cold weather, snow boots are specifically designed for wet conditions.

Reviewed & Approved

Our favorite overall are North Face’s Chilkat V 400 Boots because they’re warm, comfortable, waterproof, breathable, and they have good traction. We also like the Columbia Women’s Minx Shorty III Boot because they’re stylish without sacrificing the necessities, like comfort, traction, and warmth.

The best quality winter boots generally have a rubber bottom and an upper made of leather, suede, or synthetic material designed to be breathable and water resistant or, better yet, waterproof. 

When shopping for winter boots, you’ll want to remember your primary needs. The height of the boot should match the conditions you’ll be wearing the boot in. So, if you’re shoveling deep snow, you’ll likely want boots at least a mid-calf height. But, if you’re walking through city streets, an ankle-height boot will likely suffice. And, of course, budget will play a part in your decision. Good quality winter boots typically cost around $150 – $200.

Best Overall

North Face Chilkat V 400 Boots

North Face Chilkat V 400 Boots

Amazon

Why We Like It: These boots are comfortable, warm, waterproof, breathable, have good traction, and are not too heavy. Not many boots do well in all of these categories, especially at this price point.

It’s Worth Noting: These boots may run on the narrower side.

North Face’s Chilkat Boots are our best overall pick because they’re durable, reliable, and a great choice if you’re looking for one boot that meets all your winter weather needs.

These boots have a sharp and angular lug design on the bottom, which provides good traction to prevent slipping in wet, icy conditions. The rubber outsole is thick, which prevents cold from leaching in, and the 400g of insulation helps keep your feet warm in cold weather. 

We love that they’re fully waterproof with seam-sealed construction, and they include a gaiter attachment to keep you dry if you expect to be knee-deep in snow. Not to mention they have compression molded midsoles for added comfort if you’re expecting to be out and about for long periods.  

While these boots generally fit true to size, some customers thought they ran small and ordered boots one half to one size larger than they normally wear. These boots come in two different color options. And they are built to be compatible with gaiters and snowshoes.

Price at time of publication: $160

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 11 women’s, 7 – 14 men’s
  • Materials: Leather, suede, rubber
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulated: Yes

Best Budget

Columbia Ice Maiden II

Columbia Ice Maiden II

Columbia

Why We Like It: These are great everyday boots that are warm, comfortable, and waterproof at an affordable price. 

It’s Worth Noting: They may be a little big, but that leaves plenty of room for fluffy socks. 

Columbia’s Ice Maiden II boots are great budget winter boots for casual wear. The traction rubber outsoles were designed to reduce slipping in winter weather, and the lightweight midsoles provide extra cushioning for comfort. We've found that these boots run a little large. But the good news is the insoles are removable, so you can pop in your favorite inserts to ensure your foot is snug and secure. 

If you’re planning on being out in the snow, these boots are waterproof while still being breathable to ensure your feet stay warm and dry. But it’s worth noting that these may not be the best options for anyone who expects to be out in wild weather for long periods. These boots don't have enough insulation to be in extreme temperatures or have enough waterproofing for walking through rivers on hikes.  

Price at time of publication: $110

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 12 women’s
  • Materials: Rubber, leather, textile
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulated: Yes

Best for Warmth

Sorel Caribou Boots

4.9
Sorel Caribou Boots

Sorel

Why We Like It: The removable felt liner and thick sole will keep your feet toasty when needed. 

It’s Worth Noting: These boots are bulky and heavy, which is not ideal for walking long distances. 

Sorel Caribou Boots are the best winter boots for warmth because they have thick, 9 mm liners and thick soles to trap warmth and prevent cold from seeping through. And while the fluffy trim on the top of the boots prevents snow from drifting in, we all know there’s no way to fully control the snow. This is why the removable inner lining is perfect for quick drying after a bit of snow escapes the plush trim. 

These boots generally fit true to size and come in three different colors. While they excel in warmth and waterproofing (which is great for outdoor chores like shoveling snow), they’re pretty heavy and bulky. So if you’re planning on walking outdoors for long periods, a lighter option on this list may suit you better. 

Price at time of publication: $200

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 12 women’s, 7 – 17 men’s
  • Materials: Leather, rubber
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulated: Yes

Best for Traction

Icebug Metro2 BUGrip Winter Walking Boot

Metro2 BUGrip

Icebug

Why We Like It: The steel studs on the bottom of these boots create great traction. 

It’s Worth Noting: The studs aren’t retractable, so these boots are not safe to be worn indoors on hard surfaces such as wood or tile. 

Winter weather can be treacherous. If icy paths are a concern for you, having a pair of boots with heavy-duty traction is your best bet. The Metro2 BUGrip boots by Icebug have 16 steel studs along the bottom to help you avoid slipping and breaking any bones. 

In addition to having steel studs, the outsole is thick (to help prevent cold from leaching into the boot) and wide (in order to provide a larger and more stable surface area to prevent slipping).  

These boots come in four different colors, and generally fit as expected. Some customers said that the ankle felt a little too snug, but that after a few wears it felt looser. It’s important to note that the steel studs are not retractable, though. While it’s still possible to drive in them, they can’t be be worn indoors—especially on wood or tile surfaces.  

Price at time of publication: $200

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5.5 – 10.5 women’s, 7 – 13 men’s
  • Materials: Suede, rubber, steel studs
  • Waterproof: No (but they are water resistant)
  • Insulated: No

Best Waterproof

Hunter Insulated Roll Top Vegan Shearling Boots

Hunter Insulated Roll Top Vegan Shearling Boots

Hunter

Why We Like It: These boots are 100% waterproof.

It’s Worth Noting: They may not last for many seasons.

These 100% waterproof boots are great for walking through wet, wintery, slushy conditions. They feature an insulated sole to prevent the cold ground from leaching into the boots, a faux shearling liner for additional insulation and are constructed of rubber and insulating neoprene to keep the boots waterproof. We also love that the shaft of these boots can be rolled up or down, which is helpful if you’re suddenly walking through snow and need to add a few inches to the top of the boot to avoid having snow fall in. 

While they generally fit true to size, some customers may need to order a size smaller than they typically wear. Additionally, these boots may not last for many seasons. However, Hunter appears to respond to complaints about boots not holding up by providing refunds or replacing them. How long these boots last will really depend on how well you take care of them.  

Price at time of publication: $150

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 11 women’s, 7 – 13 men’s
  • Materials: Rubber, neoprene
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulated: Yes

Most Comfortable

Columbia Women’s Minx Shorty III Boot

Columbia Women’s Minx Shorty III Boot

Colombia

Why We Like It: The sneaker-like feel of these winter boots makes them stand out in terms of comfort.

It’s Worth Noting: These boots run small so you may need to size up. 

You may find some boots feel stiff and uncomfortable when you first try them on, but that shouldn’t be dismissed as something you can break in. ”You don’t need to break boots in. They should be comfortable from the start”, stated Morris Morin, DPM and chairman of Hackensack University Medical Center’s Department of Podiatry. This is why we love Columbia’s Minx Shorty III Boots—they’re comfortable right out of the box. 

And they’re not only comfortable, but they’ll protect your feet from inclement weather, too. The waterproof upper is made from a synthetic material, which allows the boots to be breathable while preventing your feet from getting wet and cold. The rubber outsole was designed with traction in mind to prevent slipping in winter conditions. And these boots have removable footbeds, so you can replace them with your favorite insoles if you choose.

Price at time of publication: $120

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 12 women’s
  • Materials: Rubber, synthetic materials, faux fur
  • Waterproof: Yes, with a seam-sealed and synthetic breathable construction
  • Insulation: Yes. 200g insulation with thermal reflective lining

Most Supportive

OrthoFeet Florence Boots

OrthoFeet Florence Boots

OrthoFeet

Why We Like It: The arch support, heel cushioning, seamless interiors, and wide toe box make this a great option for individuals with plantar fasciitis, bunions, diabetes, and other foot ailments. 

It’s Worth Noting: These boots run a little small.

These boots were designed with foot health in mind. Their orthotic insoles provide arch support and are removable in case customers want to use their own insoles. The shoe has extra heel cushioning, particularly helpful for individuals with plantar fasciitis. There is a wide-toe box for those who have bunions. And the seamless interior reduces the risk of skin rubbing or breakdown, which is optimal for users with diabetes.

There are five different width options, so if the first pair you order feels a little tight you can easily reorder a larger size to rectify the issue. And, for those with very narrow feet, these boots come with removable spacers that can be added to create a more snug fit within the boot.  

Price at time of publication: $160

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 12 women’s with 5 width options
  • Materials: Leather, rubber
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulated: No

Best for Walking

Columbia Heavenly Omni Heat Boot

Columbia Heavenly Omni Heat Boot

Columbia

Why We Like It: These boots are super lightweight, each weighing less than 1lb. 

It’s Worth Noting: They run narrow and have a narrow toe box, which is not ideal for people who have bunions.

These lightweight boots feel like cozy house slippers. With a faux fur-lined interior and a heat-reflective lining, they’re well-insulated to keep your feet warm in cold weather. Plus, they’re waterproof, making them versatile snow boots for walking around in any weather.

The snug fit of the footbed keeps your foot stable within the boot, and the tread design and pattern specific to this boot prevent slipping on snowy and wet surfaces—both of which help prevent any pain or issues while you’re on a long walk.

Since these boots run narrow, you may want to order a half to full size larger than your normal shoe size. 

Price at time of publication: $140

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 12 women’s
  • Materials: Rubber and other synthetic materials
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulated: Yes

Best Everyday

Blundstone 510 Chelsea Boots

Blundstone 510 Chelsea Boots

Blundstone

Why We Like It: These boots are stylish, comfortable, water resistant, and have a good outsole.

It’s Worth Noting: They’re not meant for extreme winter weather conditions.

These durable, water-resistant, and lightweight boots are comfortable enough to be our top choice for everyday winter boots. The outsoles are slip resistant, and the boots are designed to specifically be shock absorbent. The midsoles are cushioned for comfort, and the footbeds are removable, so you can replace them if that’s your preference. 

While we love these boots for a slushy commute to work, walks through wet parks, and standing for hours at a time, they’re not great for serious snow storms.   

And though they run true to size, they seem to fit wider feet better than narrow ones. We recommend ordering a half-size larger if you want to wear thick winter socks with them for added warmth.

Price at time of publication: $210

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 11 women’s, 3 – 14 men’s
  • Materials: Leather, rubber
  • Waterproof: No (but they are water resistant)
  • Insulated: No

Best Slip-On

Muck Boot Arctic Ice Mid

Muck Boot Arctic Ice Mid

Muck Boo

Why We Like It: If you’re looking for a pair of boots that slip on easily and will keep your feet dry and warm through the winter, this is the one to get. 

It’s Worth Noting: These boots sacrifice style for function.

The flexible shaft and pull tab make these boots easy to slip on. They are also fully waterproof and are lined with neoprene insulation and fleece for warmth. They also come with insoles specifically designed for cushioning and comfort and thick outsoles that provide insulation from the cold. 

These boots come in one color and are not necessarily the most stylish slip-on boots on the market. However, what these boots lack in style, they make up for in function. While these boots fit true to size, the footbed tends to be a little roomy. But that problem is easily solved by wearing thick socks.  

Price at time of publication: $200

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 11 women’s, 7 – 15 men’s
  • Materials: Rubber, neoprene, fleece
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulated: Yes

Best for Travel

Sorel Emelie Chelsea Bootie

Sorel Emelie Chelsea Bootie

Sorel

Why We Like It: These stylish boots are waterproof, seam-sealed, and have a rubber outsole for winter weather. 

It’s Worth Noting: They can cause a little blister around the ankle if you wear low-ankle socks. 

If you don’t want to compromise style for practicality, Sorel’s Emelie Chelsea Booties are the way to go. They are small, lightweight, and easy to pack. Dr. Morin states that one feature to look for in a good winter boot is heel elevation since this helps relax the tendons in the foot and can help ease pain from common foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis. These booties have a 1-inch heel and are comfortable for walking long distances. 

They're waterproof with sealed seam construction, have a footbed specifically designed for cushioning, and have outsoles made with a specific type of rubber designed to prevent slipping. While they can cause rubbing and sore spots around the ankle, this only happens when wearing low-ankle socks instead of taller winter socks. 

Price at time of publication: $165

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 12
  • Materials: Rubber, leather, suede
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulated: No

Best Hiking

Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP

Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP

Salomon

Why We Like It: These boots are among the warmest winter hiking boots on the market while offering the added benefit of being lightweight, largely due to the aerogel insulation.  

It’s Worth Noting: A few of these boots have had a defect of the seams coming apart, but the company is aware of it, and it’s covered in the automatic two-year warranty. 

Our expert podiatrists strongly recommend the brand Salomon because their boots are well made and great for aggressive winter weather. Their Toundra Pro boots have a heel cap compatible with snowshoes and microspikes, an arch in the midsole for gaiter compatibility, and a gusseted tongue to prevent debris from entering the shoe. 

These boots are fully waterproof with a high shaft to prevent snow and water from entering them. Plus, Salomon uses their own patented outsole using mixed density compounds to specifically grip well on snow and ice. That makes them perfect for snowy mountain hikes or long treks through the woods in the middle of winter.

Price at time of publication: $200

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 11 women’s, 7 – 14 men’s
  • Materials: Rubber, aerogel, polyurethane-coated leather
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulated: Yes

Best for Snow

UGG Adirondack III Boot

4.8
UGG Adirondack III Boot

Macy's

Why We Like It: The thick wool lining, foam layering, and lightweight style make these boots more comfortable and flexible than their competitors. 

It’s Worth Noting: These boots run narrow so you should consider sizing up, especially if you have a broad foot. 

The Adirondack III is a fully waterproof boot that is flexible and lightweight, and has a spider rubber outsole that stays soft and flexible in freezing temperatures. UGG’s patented DryTech materials allow these boots to be waterproof and breathable, which prevents your feet from getting cold and wet. The snug ankle fit, the wide surface area of the bottom of the boot, and the lug pattern contribute to improved foot stability and enables good traction in slick conditions. And, the non-synthetic sheepskin lining provides additional comfort and helps prevent odors from building up in the boot. 

Just like our best waterproof pick, the Hunter Insulated Roll Top Vegan Shearling Boots, these boots can be unrolled to create a taller shaft when warranted by winter weather conditions. Because of the additional flexibility of these snow boots, they are versatile enough to be comfortble while walking and while driving.

Price at time of publication: $250

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 5 – 12 women’s, 7 – 18 men’s
  • Materials: White spider rubber, sheepskin lining
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulated:  Yes

Best Extreme Cold

Baffin Impact

Baffin Impact

Baffin

Why We Like It: With a rubber base, soft liners, and a snow collar, these winter boots provide the warmth and comfort that’s needed for extremely cold weather. 

It’s Worth Noting: These run small, so consider sizing up.

Baffin’s Impact boot is designed for extended periods in extremely cold weather, so it keeps your toes warm when your activity level is low. These boots feature removable liners, which our winter weather expert, Jeff Anderson, says is important in ensuring your boots can dry out overnight. These liners feature two inner layers designed specifically for comfort, a polyester wool blend to wick moisture and trap heat, and Baffin patented material and design created specifically for heat regulation and moisture management within the boot. 

The footbed has a waffle comb design to trap warm air and prevent the cold from the ground from leaching into the boot. And the tread pattern and sharp lugs effectively bite into the snow and prevent slipping on snowy surfaces. 

These boots were designed to be snowshoe compatible and are great for activities such as shoveling snow in extreme cold. It’s worth noting that because they were designed for seriously cold weather, these boots are a bit heavy and bulky.

Price at time of publication: $220

Product Details:

  • Sizes: 6 – 11 women’s, 7 – 15 men’s
  • Materials: Rubber, nylon, polyester wool blend, and other synthetic materials 
  • Waterproof: No (but the base is waterproof)
  • Insulated: Yes

How We Selected the Best Winter Boots

We interviewed podiatrists and a winter weather experts to learn about which boot features are most important for various winter weather conditions. Then, we researched dozens of other winter boots from the most popular brands and retailers and narrowed down the list based on expert opinion. 

The experts interviewed for this article include:

  • Jeff Anderson, hydrologist for Natural Resources Conservation Service, Nevada. His work entails snow survey and water supply forecasting.
  • Morris Morin, DPM. Chairman of Hackensack University Medical Center’s Department of Podiatry. 

What to Know About Winter Boots

Climate Factors

It is important to choose a winter boot based on the winter weather conditions where you live. If you live in an area with a lot of snowfall, you’ll likely want a boot that is mid-calf or higher to prevent snow from getting into your boot. If you live in an area with a lot of ice or slush, you’ll want to pay attention to the sole of a boot to prevent slipping. There are different traction designs to prevent side-to-side slipping, and certain tread patterns prevent ice, slush, and snow accumulation on the bottom of your boot. 

Warmth and Insulation

If you live in an extremely cold climate, warmth is a crucial factor when it comes to picking winter boots. To ensure you’re purchasing warm boots, look for pairs with an insulation rating. This rating refers to the thickness of the insulation, which starts at 100g (cool temperatures) and can go up to 1000g+ (extreme cold). The casual wearer likely won’t need winter boots warmer than 200g to 400g.

Traction and Stability 

Traction is what helps prevent winter boots from slipping on wet or icy surfaces. If you live in an area with a lot of snow, ice, or slush, it’ll be important to pick a pair of winter boots with traction designed to handle these winter conditions. The soles of these boots will be made of materials that won’t harden in cold weather and will have a tread pattern designed to prevent snow buildup on the bottom of your boots. 

Waterproofing 

Most winter boots are designed primarily to keep your feet warm in cold conditions and not necessarily dry. However, you can easily find winter boots that are also waterproof. Typically, waterproof winter boots will have rubber around the foot of the boot, and the upper will be made of leather or suede. You’ll want to ensure your boots are breathable, so they don’t trap moisture inside. Jeffrey Anderson found that waterproof boots with Gore-tex don’t allow your feet to breathe, which causes moisture to get trapped in the boots leaving your feet wet and cold. 

If you find winter boots you love that are not inherently waterproof, there are sprays and waxes you can purchase to waterproof them. 

Fit and Style 

Dr. Morin recommends finding a pair of comfortable boots the first time you try them on—they shouldn’t cause any pain, irritation, or rubbing when walking, and if they do, it’s not just because they need to be broken in. 

You’ll want winter boots that are comfortable and not too tight to allow your feet to breathe. You’ll also want to ensure the boots aren’t too loose around the ankles, which will help prevent slipping and falling when walking in slick conditions.

Your Questions, Answered

Are winter boots the same as snow boots? 

While winter and snow boots are designed to keep your feet warm in cold weather, they are not the same. The key difference is that snow boots are specifically designed for wet conditions (snow, slush, mud). Therefore, they generally have rubber bottoms for 100% waterproofing, shafts that extend above the ankle to keep snow out, and sealed seams to keep your feet dry. Snow boots are great for activities that have you spending extended periods in snowy and wet conditions, such as shoveling snow or going sledding. 

Winter boots, however, aren’t necessarily designed for snowy or wet weather and don’t always have deep treads to prevent you from slipping on ice. They are generally lighter than snow boots but are still designed to keep your feet warm in cold conditions. They can be waterproof or water resistant.

What makes the warmest winter boots?  

The warmest winter boots will typically have thick rubber or synthetic soles with thick insoles, which helps prevent heat loss from your feet. They also need to be breathable, so moisture doesn’t accumulate within the boots, and waterproof to ensure your feet stay dry in winter weather conditions. Lastly, warm boots have good quality insulation (such as synthetic or fleece) that helps trap heat and wick away moisture.  

How do I keep my feet warm in winter boots? 

You’ll want to make sure your winter boots are breathable. This will allow moisture from your feet to escape, preventing your feet from getting cold and damp. You’ll also want to wear wool socks or socks made up of a moisture-wicking material, which will pull any moisture that accumulates in your boots off your feet and allow it to escape through your breathable boots. Cotton absorbs moisture, which will ultimately lower the temperature of your feet and could lead to frostbite. And lastly, make sure that you dry your winter boots at the end of the day. Stuffing them with newspaper is a great way to help them dry faster than letting them air dry. You can add accessories to your boots, such as foot warmers and woolen insoles. 

How much do quality winter boots cost?  

You should expect to spend around $150 – $200 on a pair of good quality winter boots.

Who We Are

Sarah Edlin, OTR/L, is a Nevada-based Occupational Therapist and a powerlifter. She spends her winters as an adult ski instructor and as an adaptive ski instructor for kids and adults. Because she’s often in cold climates as a ski instructor, Sarah has ample experience with winter clothing including winter boots. Her goal is to provide helpful information so that readers can choose products which make the most sense for their lives. 

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