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Winter is in full swing folks, and we’re looking at a long, snowy road ahead for those that live up north. Whether you live in a region where tackling icy driveways and frigid temps are a daily routine, or you pay the occasional visit to a ski town, it’s important you have a solid pair of boots that can handle the elements for this winter (and future cold seasons). And since we’re knee-deep in snow season, there’s no better time than now to purchase a great new pair of winter boots. In fact, you can currently score some can’t-beat-it deals on top pairs.
Types of winter boots
- Snow Boots
- Hiking Boots
- Duck Boots
- Work Boots
- Extreme Cold Winter Boots
- Hybrid Winter Boots
- Stylish Winter Boots
When shopping for your perfect pair, it’s important to note there are several different types of winter boots to choose from. Snow boots, for example, are designed with techy materials and constructions to be super warm, grippy and waterproof when trudging through ice and snow. Meanwhile, duck boots are a specific classic style that have a waterproof toe and are typically lined with warm fleece or shearling. Winter work boots are made with extra-protective features to guard feet from falling debris and stylish winter boots are the ones you can dress up while remaining surefooted on snowy days. All these styles fall under the general category of winter boots, checking off durability and warmth. One pair of boots can fit under a few different categories, like a hybrid pair of winter boots you can wear in the backcountry and around town (such as Forsake’s Wilson boots included in our list below). However, it’s important to know the different types so you can find a pair that best fits your needs.
Winter boot materials
Most winter boots will be made with genuine or faux leather, other synthetic finishes like nylon or a combination of the two. While these materials are water-resistant, unlike rubber, they’re not fully waterproof on their own. So, many snow and winter boots are treated with waterproof technology to effectively block out the elements. “Waterproofing is essential when it comes to winter boots,” says world record traveler Mikah Meyer. “Let’s be real; snow melts, and if your boots aren’t waterproof, then you can’t pound through the inches you’re hopefully getting on the slopes or in an ice box (like in Minneapolis where I live).”
Additionally, a good pair of winter boots will have lugged rubber outsoles like Vibram technology to keep feet dry and stable in wet, icy conditions. No matter what type of winter boots you’re in the market for, warmth is key. Think cozy linings made of wool or shearling — both are temperature-regulating to keep you toasty warm but not sweaty.
Outdoor expert and Burton ambassador Bryan Reid says he looks for winter boots that are first and foremost functional, but also stylish. “Good insulation is an absolute must to keep your feet warm, along with a waterproof material,” he says. “If the boots have the technology to keep snow from getting inside, that’s a huge bonus.” Specific features to look for are waterproof Gore-Tex to keep feet extra dry and Thinsulate, which offers heat-trapping insulation without adding extra bulk inside boots. Snow boots are more likely to have these features given their purpose, however some more rugged winter boots or versatile styles may offer them as well.
Sock pairings for winter boots
Your sock choice is just as important as the boot itself. Thick winter socks, like those made of wool, merino wool or other moisture-wicking materials are best to keep you warm and dry. Stay away from cotton blends or anything with synthetic materials. While many boots have a lining for extra warmth, it can’t hurt to double up with a trusty pair of winter performance socks. Merino wool, in particular, has moisture-wicking and heat-retaining technology, meaning you’ll be toasty warm without the sweat.
For shopping made easy, we rounded up the best winter boots for men to invest in. They come courtesy of top outdoor and luxury leather brands, and are all highly reviewed by customers, gear experts and editors. And lucky for you, many of these popular styles are on sale.
Ugg Butte Snow Boots
Best Overall Snow Boots
One of the most tech-forward pair of boots on this list, Ugg’s Butte snow boots are worth the splurge. Featuring a a waterproof full-grain leather upper and soft, cozy lining made of sherpa and upcycled wool, they’re built to last several season and keep you warm in temperatures as cold as -32 Celsius (or -25.6 degrees Fahrenheit). They won’t let in any water, rain and snow, even if you’re mid-calf deep in the elements (the zippers and tongues are gusseted to ensure this). Plus, a rugged outsole underfoot offers stability and an EVA footbed and midsole make these feel like your favorite Ugg slippers. If you’re looking for a boot that can do it all, you’ve found your match.
Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Boots
Best Winter Boots for Hiking
Eddie Bauer brings ergonomically-crafted comfort to this winter-friendly hiking boot. The Guide Pro is made with an InsoFit polyurethane footbed and a MidLite premium Eva midsole which acts as an arch-supportive insert for optimal energy and foot health. The style also has WeatherEdge seam-sealed technology for when the weather gets rough. Pair these with a thick warm sock for added warmth during the winter, or sport them with thinner styles during warm-weather hikes. “I trudge through the snow with ease in my Eddie Bauer Guide Pro boots,” says Meyer. “The high ankle is helpful for stepping through deep snow in the backcountry or after a snow plow covers the street corner.”
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Lugged 2.0 Counter Climate Boots
If you’re looking for practical and fashionable winter boots, this shoe is for you. The Lugged 2.0 Counter Climate Boots have been updated and are back and better than ever. The new design includes a waterproof canvas upper, OrthoLite cushioning for all-day comfort, and a taller rubber sidewall for added protection. Plus, the neoprene lining makes them warm and comfortable.
Blundstone Chelsea Boots
Most Stylish Winter Boots
Blundstone boots have a cult-following, and for good reason. At first glance, you might not think this stylish Chelsea boot is made with premium waterproof leather uppers, a patented comfort system for all-day wear and durable TPU outsoles to keep you from slipping. These are completely winterized, meaning they have plush, removable shearling footbeds and Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet warm when the temperatures go harsh. It’s the perfect pair when you want to keep your feet warm, cozy, supported and surefooted in snowy, rainy or icy conditions.
Adidas Terrex Free Hiker Gore-Tex Boots
Best Winter Boots for Walking
The waterproof performance of these sneaker-like hiking boots make them a top choice for all-weather hikers. They have responsive Boost cushioning that keeps you moving on the trail with endless comfort, a breathable Gore-Tex membrane to stay 100% dry and a rubber outsole that keeps your feet firmly on the trail. Reid especially loves the comfort and design of these. “They are a low-profile hiking boot made with Gore-Tex technology that repels now, mud or anything in between. Plus, the signature Boost cushion makes it feel like you’re literally walking on clouds no matter how many miles you hike.” Plus, they have an abrasion-resistant reinforcement and molded toe cap that Reid calls an extra layer of armor in case you stub your toe.
Forsake Halden Hiking Boots
Best Hybrid Winter Boots
Forsake makes some of the most stylish yet tech-driven outdoor winter boots on the market. The Halden boots are fully waterproof with a gusseted tongue to prevent snow from sneaking in. The brand’s signature Peak-to-Pavement traction gives this classic heritage design the ability to adventure through the backcountry. These can handle any terrain, whether it’s snow, ice, slush or mud. The combination of weather-resistant leather, breathable mesh and waterproof suede makes these feel like a sneaker with the protection of a boot. Since they are breathable, just make sure you couple them with a sufficient sock for added warmth.
L.L. Bean 8″ Gore-Tex Bean Boots
Best Duck Boots
An original that absolutely never gets old, the L.L. Bean’s Bean boots are some of the best men’s duck boots for winter. The latest model now features a Gore-Tex lining for extra water protection, plus Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet warm and cozy. Made from full-grain leather, they’re virtually indestructible and offer great comfort and stability. They perform well in snow and should be able to handle any adventure, from a wet commute to a tough hike.
Sorel Caribou Boots
Also Consider Best Snow Boots
Perfect for exploring a wintry city or jaunts in the backcountry, Sorel’s Caribou boot is equal parts attractive and functional — making it one of the best men’s snow boots for winter. The boot effectively blocks out moisture with a waterproof nubuck upper and seam-sealed construction, plus it features a removable felt liner and faux fur cuff for added coziness and style. In the midsole, a bonded felt frost plug keeps your feet dry. And the outsole is as tough as it looks, featuring a vulcanized rubber shell with ample grip. This is definitely a solid recommendation for walking through heavy snow and slush.
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Ii Boots
Also Consider Winter Boots for Hiking
If you’re looking for a quality style that won’t break the bank, these Columbia boots are for you. They’ll keep feet dry thanks to a seam-sealed construction with added mesh materials to prevent feet from overheating as you clock in miles. What’s more, a grippy rubber sole doesn’t hurt on those occasions, either. Notably, these feature Columbia’s proprietary midsole that’s designed to be ultra-lightweight, comfortable and durable. “There’s nothing bad I can say about these boots,” one Amazon reviewer noted. “I walk miles each day through different terrain in these for at least 12 hours a day with no trouble.”
Kamik Nationplus Boots
Best Snow Boots for Extreme Cold
The Nationplus boot is a fantastic boot that’s made from 100% leather with a rubber sole. The boot is also seam-sealed to keep your feet dry and warm and includes a removable Thinsute liner for extra warmth. In fact, these boots have been tested to withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. You can’t argue with those results. They do tend to run a little large, so be prepared to carry around a little extra bulk.
Keen San Jose 6” Waterproof Boots
Best Winter Boots for Work
For people who work in construction or other fields requiring safety toe boots, this Keen style makes a great work boot for colder weather. Weighing only 26.4 ounces, it’s incredibly lightweight thanks to its aluminum toe build — which weighs less than steel alternatives (keep in mind, though, that steel toe boots offer the most impact protection against falling objects). These boots should also keep more you more than comfortable on your journey featuring a waterproof outer membrane, stabilizing TPU shank and air-injected midsole. And while they don’t offer the greatest level of insulation on the market, customers say they’re reliably warm for shorter periods of time. “The boots did a great job keeping my feet toasty in the snow,” said one reviewer. “I just wore one layer of socks, and after a few hours, my feet felt cool but not cold.” (Pro tip: In cases like these, add on a thermal sock for extra warmth.)
Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boots
Best Winter Boots for Wide Feet
These ankle-length Timberland boots are the perfect go-between for winter — not too hefty, but still able to tackle all sorts of conditions. And with over 25,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, these shouldn’t disappoint in terms of performance. The boots feature whole-grain leather uppers and a sturdy rubber sole for plenty of traction on any trail. Plus, they’re seam-sealed, so you never have to worry about water getting in. Some reviewers note the toe box is roomy, so be prepared to wear a couple pairs of socks with these boots if your feet are on the narrow side.
Lems Shoes Boulder Waterproof Boots
Best Minimal Design
If you’re looking for an adventure boot that doesn’t skip on the style points, try the waterproof version of Lems’ leather Boulder boot. It’s especially flexible, able to keep up with your pace while remaining comfortable, and features a zero-drop platform for stability on uneven terrain.
Skechers Sargeants-Verdict Boots
Another great ankle boot, this pair from Skechers has all the functionality you need with a waterproof leather upper, cushioned insole and a sturdy rubber sole that keeps your feet firmly planted on the ground. A padded tongue and collar add extra comfort. The style has the look and feel of a work boot with winter-ready additions, including a speedy lace-up system that helps you take them off and put them on with ease.
The North Face ThermoBall Lifty II Boots
The North Face’s Lifty II is perhaps the best boot for hardcore excursions in the snow. Its upper is made with a PU-coated leather and extends to the calf for extra waterproof protection. Underfoot, the outsole offers plenty of traction and is made with injection-molded EVA — which has a rubber-like quality to it but is much lighter weight. To top it all off, it features high-quality insulation for ultimate warmth on the mountain. “I work in a cold and wet environment,” one reviewer noted. “My feet never get cold or wet with these boots on.”
Labo Snow Boots 103
Best Affordable Snow Boots
With an adjustable lace-up closure, Labo’s winter-ready snow boots are ready to go in a flash. An all-rubber outsole provides plenty of traction, while the genuine leather upper is waterproof and offers enough flexibility to keep you moving. These boots are super sturdy, too, at least according to Amazon reviewers. One said, “I’m in my third winter with these boots, and they hardly have any signs of wear and tear — not a leak or hole in the sole or seams.”
Northikee Snow Boots
Also Consider Affordable Snow Boots
Another great budget buy, Northikee’s boots have everything you need to hit the slopes without emptying your wallet. They have a seam-sealed construction to keep feet dry and a six millimeter removable felt liner for warmth no matter where you are. With a grooved outsole and decent arch support, these should stay stable and comfortable when the weather’s fierce. And, featuring a durable TPR shell and leather upper, they should last you years. An easy lace-up system also allows for easy on and off.
Sperry Avenue Duck Boots
Also Consider Duck Boots
Duck Boots are especially great for keeping the snow, slush and ice away without a big clunky boot. This version from Sperry is made to embrace the elements in a lightweight design thanks to its simple rubber shield. The seam-sealed waterproof construction keeps the feet perfectly dry and the thermal-lined shaft and footbed keeps you warm. Bonus: It’s super easy to wipe off any scuffs or salt stains on these thanks to the Wave-Siping technology.
Ecco Soft7 Tred Winter Boots
Also Consider Hybrid Boots
The ultimate street style pick, these offer the look of a high-top sneaker but with many more rugged benefits — including a Gore-tex lining, waterproof construction and two-component polyurethane outsole to keep you dry and sturdy on the trail or mountain. They also include a mudguard for extra durability and protection. They are a style-forward option that can take you from the snowy sidewalk to the après-ski cocktail bar.
Nisolo All-Weather Andres Boots
Also Consider Stylish Winter Boots
There’s nothing like a clunky winter boot to ruin a party outfit. But with Nisolo’s Andres boots, you don’t have to worry about detracting from your look in order to keep feet protected during your commute. The silhouette is undeniably sharp yet not at the expense of function, complete with a water-resistant leather upper, gusseted tongue for flexibility and sturdy rubber sole for traction. And you can feel good about your purchase, too, as the pair is ethically made in a family-run factory in Mexico.
Ross & Snow Phillipe Coffee Duck Boots
Best Splurge-Worthy Winter Boots
Duck boots aren’t known to be particularly fashionable, but this style from Ross and Snow is a rare exception. Perfect for a snowy night on the town, these boots are made with supple calfskin leather and a waterproof-injected welt to keep you dry and comfortable. A Vibram outsole offers stability on slippery streets, while a full shearling lining adds ultimate warmth and luxury. Pair these with jeans and chinos for a chic winter look.
Scarosso Edmund Brown Boots
These hand-crafted boots offer the best of style and performance. They’re packed with rugged features like padding at the leg for optimal comfort, a gusseted tongue to keep moisture out and hook-and-eye fasteners for easy access. The boot’s Artic Grip sole is second-to-none, ensuring safety and stability on ice and show. Although these calfskin boots will cost you a pretty penny, they’re sure to last you many seasons and work with most everything in your closet.
Info on winter boot care
Winter boots are meant to take a beating against snow, ice, salt, slush and mud. While many are made with materials that can fight this off naturally, other materials like weatherproof leather and suede must be taken care of. Even performance materials require some upkeep. We have a long list of winter boot cleaning care tips, that include removing salt stains with white vinegar and water, restoring leather with leather conditioner and erasing scuffs with baking soda. You can even prevent future damage and odors with special sprays and essential oils.
Also, if you plan to store your winter boots at the end of the season, make sure to keep them in a breathable container (such as the original cardboard box they come in, as plastic boxes will not allow the leather to breathe).