Leave hibernation to the bears. These three boots are proof that you don’t need to shiver or sacrifice sure footing in order to enjoy winter. Our favorite cold-weather kicks boast incredible warmth for the weight.
Kamik just can’t be beaten when it comes to budget boots. And the Nation Plus boots are a fan favorite. They’re waterproof, warm, and impressively durable for the price.
This is a fully waterproof leather boot bonded to a rubber sole. They lace up like a hiker. We didn’t test this rating, but they felt plenty warm when hanging around town watching a winter carnival parade.
The soles have a lot of traction for a snow boot. Paired with its flex and snug lacing system, we found the boot helps you navigate ice and deep snow more easily than Sorels, too.
It’s rarer than a unicorn, but the KEEN Targhee High Lace checks all the boxes: warm enough for freezing temps, supportive enough for hiking, enough traction for ice and slush, and, ahem, slick enough to wear with jeans.
A bouncy EVA foam midsole is comfortable enough for all-day wear, while a shank provides enough support for snowshoeing or light winter hiking. The Targhee High Lace’s 4mm lugs are on the deep side, offering cleatlike bite in mud and packed snow. And, lastly, the waterproof, salt-resistant leather keeps these boots clean enough for casual wear.
The Caribou from Sorel seemingly has been around forever, and we love the combination of comfort, style, and performance. First off, this is a very warm boot with a 9-millimeter felt liner, stout leather upper, and wraparound rubber lower. Most manufacturers nowadays turn to synthetic fill to reduce bulk, but the throwback felt interior insulates well and adds soft cushioning around your feet.
It’s true that Sorel boots used to be manufactured exclusively in Canada and now are made in China, but they are a quality option nevertheless and work well for casual winter uses. Walking long distances, however, is not one of them.
A few made it into the test pool since hiking boots are built for walking, albeit on trails, and that has some crossover appeal. But winter hiking boots have more sophisticated lacing than boots made for in-town use. But overall, walking on trails and walking on pavement are different, so we didn’t test a lot of these options.
Jeffrey Campbell Waterproof Chelsea Winter Boots
On wet winter days, these Chelsea boots will keep your feet dry and warm. They get a slightly edgier twist with faux leather, a platform sole, and heavy-duty treads.
And because they have a wide round toe box, they leave enough room to wear thicker socks. People with plantar fasciitis will appreciate that these waterproof ankle boots have a removable insole so you have the option of slipping on your own orthotics.
Oboz Bridger 7-Inch Insulated Waterproof Boots
Overnight camping trips in the middle of winter are no match for these highly insulated outdoor boots. With coverage that starts just above the ankles, these boots will provide additional stability while trudging through open parks or even outside your home. On top of that, this has a waterproofing system that wicks away sweat while warding off external liquids, so you can feel warm for hours.
If you’re not ready to go full Bear Grylls with a pair of hiking boots, there are other, subtler ways to infuse your winter look with some outdoorsy influences.
As a general rule of thumb, you can wear your brogue boots with any outfit you might normally wear with traditional brogues, so lace up a dark brown or black leather pair with heavier wool suiting, and smart trouser and shirt/cardigan combinations.
It doesn’t get more classic than Sorels for winter play and the Yoot Pacs are great for kids ages 1 to 12 needing something warm and cozy to sled and build snowmen in.
The drawstring closure is easy for all but the smallest mittened hands to fasten, and the traction is great in slippery conditions. Best of all, they’re beyond waterproof, which means kids head home with dry, happy feet after a day of sledding, snowman-building, and snowball fights — no matter how deep the snow.
Sometimes you need a sturdy pair of boots specially made for wet, snowy days, and Hunter delivers just that. Since 1956, the brand has been distributing its iconic tall rain boots with most of the original construction crafted out of 28 hand-cut parts, the natural rubber boots are assembled over three days on aluminum last before being vulcanized. With the same waterproof finish and durability of the original boots, this updated version is lined with Sherpa lining for extra warmth. They can even be worn in temperatures as cold as -5 degrees Celsius. Styled with thermal socks, these insulated boots will have your feet and legs fully covered against all the elements.
test. These are slip-on Chelsea-style boots that provide simple, rugged durability and excellent water resistance, thanks to their full leather upper. The fit is snug even though there are no laces, and the traction is reasonable in snowy and icy conditions thanks to a slip-resistant outsole.
These boots are a little harder to pull on and off than the Bogs or Muck boots. Still, soft and cushioned, Blundstones make stepping out to shovel the walkway on a frosty February morning an appealing task. They are also ideal for wearing around town when you need to look your best.
Oboz might not be a household name when it comes to winter boots, but that is likely to change if they continue to make quality models like the Bridger 10.
With 400g of Thinsulate insulation and a heat-reflective insole, they are the warmest boots in our review, a major reason why we think they are the best choice for winter hiking.
They have a quality supportive insole and a snug and precise fit that is great for winter hiking and snowshoeing. People who like a roomy fit may want to order a half size up.
There's almost nothing we don't like about the Bridger 10, and feel that this solid winter boot is good for just about everything from winter hiking to running errands around town.