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Winter is coming, folks, and according to recent predictions, it may just be one of the U.S.’ most brutal winters in years. That means we ought to be prepared with the best winter boots for when mother nature strikes. And by being prepared, we mean investing in the right type of footwear now, so you’re not scrambling to find your size of what’s available at the last minute.
Lucky for you, we’ve spent hours studying new launches and testing dozens of styles to bring you the best winter boots for women in 2021. We even tapped winter gear experts and podiatrists for recommendations, so you can avoid injury and feel supported in your boots this winter.
Whether your city is expecting a rainy, snowy, or mild winter, we have a pair of boots for that. We even provide specifications for your type of foot and your preferred activity. Remember, just as with any other type of shoe, there’s no one-size-fits-all winter boot. That’s why we’ve curated this roundup and answered some important winter boot questions so you can find a great pair that best matches your needs.
What to Look for in the Best Winter Boots for Women
Before you shop for a pair of winter boots, you’ll want to consider the activity you’re using them for. Are you looking for a pair of hiking boots with extra insulation and a heavy-duty tread to conquer a tough trail? Do you need a more stylish and less technical pair for days running to and from the office? Or do you need a reliably strong pair of snow boots that can handle running errands on the snow-swept sidewalk?
Whatever activity you’re shopping for, make sure the boots you choose are warm and at least water-resistant, if not waterproof. New York-based board-certified podiatrist Dr. William Spielfogel explains that, “there are different liners in boots to suit different activities, but you should always make sure the boot is breathable [from the inside out]. If you sweat and the boot isn’t breathable, you’ll have a cold foot from the trapped moisture.” To avoid this, look for boots made with performance fabrics like waterproof leather or nylon, especially at the seams to prevent leakage.
The best winter boots for women also offer solid traction in snow or ice. Good tread on the outsole of a boot should remain rigid with a rubber-like grip, whether you’re hiking the backcountry, walking around your city or shoveling your driveway.
How Should Winter Boots Fit?
“While some foot types (including those with high arches) will do better in a boot with a heel as opposed to a flat style, boots are not as specifically made for different foot types like sneakers are,” says Dr. Spielfogel. “Not having the right support can often lead to common foot aliments like plantar fasciitis or metatarsalgia. A good solution is to add in a pair of fitted arch supports in your boots.”
Boots also shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. “If the fit is too loose, your heel may slip and irritate the Achilles tendon or cause heel pain,” says Dr. Spielfogel. He also mentions a good pair of winter boots should accommodate a thick sock. “Wool is breathable and wicks away moisture,” he says.
Heavy-duty wool or a smart merino wool are better options for sock materials over a cotton blends because they will help the feet feel warm and dry in a pair of insulated boots.
From customer- to expert-approved picks, read on to find the best winter boot for women this cold weather season.
Keen Revel IV Polar
Best Backcountry Boots
If you’re big into winter hiking, or pretty much any winter activity that doesn’t require a board-specific boot, you’re going to want to invest in Keen’s Revel IV Polar boots. They’re compatible with microspikes for added traction during rigorous hikes and climbs, as well as snowshoes for trekking up the backcountry. They can handle snow, mud, slippery rocks, and icy logs. Plus, they’re extremely durable and get more comfortable as you break them in. We’re not here to tell you they can’t be worn off the trail, but they’re specifically made to keep your feet dry, warm and supported while you trek the backcountry. Both testers and reviewers mention they’re plenty roomy, making them appropriate for wide feet and able to accommodate a nice, thick sock, too.
Sorel Winter Carnival Boots
Best Women’s Winter Boots for Heavy Snow
These boots are up for anything. Whether for a trip to the grocery store in the middle of a snowstorm or trekking to the bar after a long day on the slopes, these boots will keep you warm, dry and supported. They’re made of durable waterproof nylon and are seam-sealed to ensure that cozy feeling even when you’re trekking through the worst conditions. They extend just below the calf, making them easy to pack, carry and wear. But for that reason, if you’re walking through over a foot of snow, you may want to keep scrolling.
Ugg Adirondack Boot III
Ugg’s Adirondack III is the total package. Not only are they cute winter boots, but they’re also super easy to slip on and off and provide neutral arch support for optimal foot health. With a super cozy fleece liner and waterproof leather outer, they’ll keep your feet warm and dry in frigid climates. And the liner is insulating, featuring 200 grams of wool for toasty effects at any temperature.
Forsake Lucie Boot
Most Versatile Winter Boots
Forsake is a climate neutral-certified footwear brand that pays exquisite attention to detail in everything it makes. The company was born out of a passion for exploring the outdoors, and you can’t help but feel that love when you slip on a pair of its boots. The label’s small-but-mighty collection is innovative in terms of style, function and sustainability. And its new Lucie Boot is a standout for snowy winters.
It’s made with waterproof leather and suede, making them a super stylish option for commuting, going out on the town or posting up in the backcountry. The styles features a memory foam footbed and the brand’s notable Peak to Pavement outsole, which brings a stable grip from the street to the trail. Plus, the slip-on style makes getting ready a breeze so you can get out the door faster on a busy schedule.
Muck Boot Arctic Ice AG Sport Boots
Best Non-Slip Winter Boots for Women
Verified Amazon reviewers rave that these boots have great traction on slick driveways. They include arctic Icetrek grip technology and a Vibram sole to ensure non-slip traction on any surface. They’re also 100% waterproof and feature a bioDewix footbed insert that offers odor control and moisture management. And, your feet will never be cold in these, as they include 200 grams of insulation.
Despite their beefed up look, these boots are actually quite lightweight. “They aren’t too heavy, so it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing bulky boots, even though the boots have warming features,” says one reviewer.
The North Face Thermoball Lace-Up Boots
Best Winter Boots for Walking
These North Face boots will instantly up your cool factor while saving your feet from the harsh elements of winter. Similar to the effect of wearing a puffer jacket, these include Thermocball Eco insulation so you stay toasty without feeling weighed down. They’re made with an Ortholite footbed for added support and all-day comfort along with a rubber sole for increased traction on any wet or dry surface. They feel like a sneaker/slipper hybrid with the support and protection of a hard-working boot, making these the best women’s winter boots for long walks outside. Added details like bungee cords at the collar to prevent snow from getting in and a synthetic mudguard make this pair extra special.
Hunter Original Insulated Short Boots
Best Slip-on Winter Boots
Hunter has become renowned for its stylish rain boots, so the brand knows a thing or two about all-weather footwear. These insulated snow boots from the brand are meant to keep your feet warm like a fitted sleeping bag. And the Ortholite footbed adapts to support a high arch or flat foot. These boots are entirely waterproof with a hydroguard internal membrane for added protection. They were specifically developed to provide maximum grip on wet surfaces.
Bogs Women’s Snowday Mid Waterproof Insulated Boots
Bogs’ boots are known being easy to slip on and off, and the label’s Snowday boots are no exception to this rule. With these, you can forget about needing to sit down, stuff your foot inside and tie a bunch of laces. You can be in and out of them in seconds.
In addition to being accessible, the style is lightweight, yet ultra-warm, thanks to insulated fleece on the interior. It also includes sweat-wicking technology to keep feet dry and fresh-smelling. For a low-maintenance boot, they provide great rebound and traction and are entirely waterproof. An exceptional detail comes from the adjustable elastic closure at the top of the shaft that prevents snow from trickling in.
Hoka Kaha Gore-tex
The Hoka Kaha Gore-Tex boots are a favorite among outdoors enthusiasts. NASM-certified strength coach and avid hiker Simone Tchouke just summited the highest mountain in the contiguous U.S. in her Hokas. “My favorite boots are the Kaha Gore-tex from Hoka,” she says. “They’re waterproof, have great ankle support and are super lightweight. I walk, run and skip in them and feel safe.”
As for winter, they feature a mega grip for versatile traction and Gore-Tex to keep your foot dry, but we recommend a hefty wool sock for added warmth to the responsive and supported technology.
Oofos Oomg Boot
Most Supportive Winter Boots
Oofos helps fitness enthusiasts recover from repeatedly working out on hard surfaces. The brand’s recovery technology lies in a biomechanically engineered footbed featuring proprietary OOfoam made to absorb 37% more shock than traditional footwear foam. The result is cloud-like comfort and arch support that takes the pressure off the ankles, knees, hips and lower back. The foam is flexible, lightweight and inside these hefty snow boots. These aren’t for trekking through snow and puddles, but they will keep your feet happy when it’s cold out.
L.L. Bean 8” Bean Boots
Best Women’s Winter Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
Since technology is always advancing, we typically like to prioritize the latest and greatest products on the market. But sometimes, it’s an oldie that proves to be the best season after season. That’s the case with L.L. Bean’s iconic Bean boots. They’re equipped with Gore-Tex waterproofing, an insulated lining and durable mixed material stitching that can withstand it all. They’re a great everyday pair of boots that emphasize arch support and have a sturdy heel, making them a top option for people with plantar fasciitis.
Birkenstock Upsalla Suede Boots
Sure, Birkenstocks are on-trend right now. But more importantly, they provide sufficient support for all foot types. Just like the brand’s classic Arizona sandals, Birkenstock’s Upsalla boots include the contoured anatomical footbed we all know and love. The trick is to break these in, and soon enough, they’ll feel custom-made for your feet.
The boots are less technical than others on this list, but they’re a great option to complement a more sophisticated outfit. Plus, thanks to their oiled suede finish, they’re weather-resistant and can hold up in a storm just fine. The inner lining is made with shearling fur, which means your foot will never feel cold even in dramatically low temps.
Timberland Jenness Falls Boots
Timberland’s boots are known for having exceptional outer treads, including this stylish pair that is practically slip-proof on any terrain. Once you lace these up (which according to the reviews, might take a minute) your feet will thank you. You’ll get consistent support and stay consistently warm down to the toes. These are waterproof and extremely lightweight. Plus, their classic aesthetic with modern details makes them perfect to wear from day to night and around the city.
Altra Lone Peak All WTHR Mid
Best Boots for Long Hikes
Altra makes performance footwear with specifications you won’t find anywhere else. For starters, the brand is notable for its signature FootShape toe box. This feature enhances comfort and allows more space for your foot to sit naturally, addressing the biological differences in men’s and women’s feet (and making them a great option for anyone with wide feet). The company’s shoes also feature a platform with balanced cushioning that positions your heel and forefoot at an equal distance from the ground for better alignment and low-impact landings.
This particular style is durable with a grippy rubber outsole for exceptional traction and canted lugs to keep you from slipping. These active winter boots are as sturdy as they look, making them a great pair of footwear for winter trail running, hiking and month-long excursions.
Sorel Joan of Arctic Boots
Warmest Winter Boots
The Joan of Arctic boots from Sorel live up to their catchy name. They’re the warmest pair of winter boots on this list. If you’re seeking a solid pair of boots to keep you cozy and comfortable for an entire day in the snow, look no further. They’re made with a gusseted tongue to keep your toes protected, since they’re normally the first part of the foot to go cold.
The shaft is 11.5 inches high, offering generous coverage in deep snow. While these are a bit on the heavier side, they offer ultimate protection against the elements, not only thanks to a high shaft but also a waterproof outer, plush interior and grippy rubber sole.
Columbia Ice Maiden II Snow Boots
Best Winter Boots for Icy Conditions
From deep snow to black ice, these boots have conquered it all — just read their over 12,000 near-perfect reviews on Amazon for proof. Offering the support of a sneaker with the coverage of a winter boot, they have a waterproof leather upper with extreme insulating properties, plush-yet-responsive cushioning ,and Omni-Grip traction for slip-free movement. Even reviewers that live in areas with the coldest climates, like Minnesota and Alaska, rave about the Ice Maiden II snow boots from Columbia.
Sperry Maritime Repel Suede Boots
Most Stylish Winter Boots
Sometimes, the most technical boots don’t always agree with your style. Sperry gives us the best of both worlds with these cute winter boots for women. Not only are they fleece-lined for extra warmth, but they’re also seam-sealed to keep feet bone dry. Plus, the rubber outsole is made with the brand’s “razor-cut wave-slipping” technique for ultimate traction on slippery surfaces. Multiple New Yorkers have written great reviews about these boots, claiming their feet never get wet or cold. They’re great for walking miles in cold-weather cities as they offer their arch support, traction and an overall more urban aesthetic.
Cougar Vanetta Waterproof Boots
Cougar’s Venetta boots may just get you excited to tackle harsh weather this winter. Complete with a plush lining, they offer the coziness of your favorite pair of slippers, but are also rugged. Not only are they done in waterproof suede that won’t get ruined in slush, but they’re also temperature rated -11 degrees Fahrenheit. The thick platform sole and dramatic tread make these walkable, durable and, of course, chic.
Ugg Classic Weather Hiker Snow Boot
Ugg makes some of the best boots on the market, which is why the brand made this list twice. Come winter, reach for Ugg’s Classic Hiker. They’re just as comfortable as the brand’s everyday boots and slippers, but also feature a waterproof leather upper, gusseted tongue for extra warmth and grippy rubber sole with far better traction. And, they’re pretty darn cute.
Merrell Tremblant Tall Polar Snow Boots
Best Tall Winter Boots
Moab hikers, who? Also from Merrell, these tall snow boots are so technical and stylish, they almost make us forget about the brand’s claim-to-fame hiker. Not only will the Tremblant waterproof boots pair perfectly with a chic winter coat, but they will also hold up in harsh weather conditions, too.
They’re made with waterproof leather and a faux fur collar for an on-trend look and snow-tackling capabilities. They have 200 grams of added insulation for extra warmth and an outsole tread that can hold up on black ice. Keep in mind, though, that like most durable footwear styles, these might take a few wears to break in.