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Best Winter Boots

last updated Dec 05, 2018

When winter comes and the weather gets cold, most outdoor enthusiasts start prepping their gear choices to warm up while on the go. That’s where getting a quality pair of winter boots can really come in handy. Winter boots are an essential piece of gear that you’ll need if you live in an area where the weather gets wet and cold yet you want to keep participating in your cherished outdoor activities. When that time of year rolls around again, you’ll want to start looking around for a good pair of winter boots so you can keep doing your favorite hobbies.

Researched Sources
16
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1,343
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
9
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Sami Kritz:

Stay cozy and comfortable this winter with one of our top-rated winter boot selections. Each product has been individually rated and researched. Sorel Caribou is in the number one spot and we admire these boots for their warmth and weather-resistance. Don't forget to vote below and tell us which criterion is most important to you when choosing a winter boot!

Sorting Options
Comfort Features Ease of Use Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Comfort
93%
Features
99%
Ease of Use
98%
Value
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$149.95
$159.95
Best Deal
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Comfort
98%
Features
98%
Ease of Use
90%
Value
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Comfort
96%
Features
95%
Ease of Use
94%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$63.71
$84.99
Best Deal
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Comfort
95%
Features
98%
Ease of Use
88%
Value
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$159.95
Best Deal
$159.99
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Comfort
90%
Features
95%
Ease of Use
91%
Value
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$159.95
$160.00
Best Deal
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.5
Comfort
90%
Features
89%
Ease of Use
93%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$229.95
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
Comfort
83%
Features
95%
Ease of Use
94%
Value
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$77.99
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Comfort
84%
Features
93%
Ease of Use
95%
Value
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$129.95
$129.95
Best Deal
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Comfort
93%
Features
95%
Ease of Use
82%
Value
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$125.96
Best Deal
$179.95
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.3
Comfort
85%
Features
87%
Ease of Use
93%
Value
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$209.95
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Sorel Caribou
  • The North Face Chilkat 400
  • Kamik NationPlus
  • Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry
  • Keen Summit County
  • Timberland MT Hope
  • Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat
  • Bogs Classic Ultra Mid
  • Salomon X Ultra Winter CS
  • Blundstone Thermal 566
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Sorel Caribou

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Sorel Caribou
Comfort
93
Features
99
Ease of Use
98
Value
97
best offer for today
more shops
$149.95
$159.95
Best deal
Pros:

Waterproof

Easy to get on

Comfortable

Warm

Cons:

Can feel heavy

Could have a better fit

Sorel’s Caribou Winter Boots offer you a classic that has been redesigned over the years and has always been an extremely popular winter boot among outdoor enthusiasts. You get a soft inner liner and a waterproof exterior that is made to keep your feet warm, even on cold winter days. Also, you’ll get a lot of warmth and excellent traction from the nice soles on these boots. These boots are also easy to get on and off.

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Comfort
These boots are designed with Pac Boot style construction, and they provide a lot of warmth. On the inside of the boot, you get a strong ThermoPlus felt inner boot that is both comfortable and helps to keep the heat inside of the boot. You also get plenty of room to move with these boots, and they help to keep your feet comfortable while you are on the go. While the boots might feel heavy to some, they are still very warm and comfortable.

Features
We like the nice features designed into this boot. First, this boot is waterproof and has a great sole that can repel water from the ground up. Also, these boots are manufactured with a treated Nubuck leather, and that material helps to keep water from getting into the interior of the boot. These boots also have a nice ventilation system that helps push the moisture out of your boot effectively. You’ll also get boots that have a nice traction system and well-designed lugs, which are built to handle any type of terrain.

Ease of Use
These boots have an easy to use lacing system, and although you still need to tie them, they aren’t difficult to use. It is quite easy to get these boots on and off. Also, it is easy to get the correct fit with these laces, and that helps with the comfortable feel of the boot. You shouldn’t have problems lacing these up or getting them on or off when you need to.

Value
Sorel’s Caribou Winter Boots are priced moderately, so you won’t have to worry about burning a hole in your wallet if you decide to get them. They aren’t the most affordable boots on this list, but for what they offer, it's well worth spending a little more. You get a durable, long-lasting boot that can be used for some time, making it a worthwhile investment. Plus, these boots are quite warm and provide you with a great traction system to keep you going on your outdoor adventures.

2. The North Face Chilkat 400

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
The North Face Chilkat 400
Comfort
98
Features
98
Ease of Use
90
Value
95
best offer for today
more shops
$99.95
Pros:

Warm

Very comfortable

Great water resistance

Good traction

Cons:

Can run small

Could be easier to lace up

The North Face is a well-known manufacturer of excellent sporting products, and their Chilkat 400 boots offer you yet another all-around wonderful product. These boots are built to perform well in the cold, and they offer you a myriad of features and comfort that you’ll love having on those cold, winter days. These boots come with excellent insulation that is more than double of most other boots on the market This means they are incredibly warm. You also get a lot of water resistance built into this boot, as well as plenty of comforts. Plus, with a lot of great traction, you’ll love how much these boots have to offer.

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Comfort
The North Face designed these boots to have 400g of Primaloft Eco recycled insulation, meaning you get twice the warmth of almost any other winter boot on the market today. With all of that insulation, you get plenty of warmth and comfort on the interior of this boot. They feel soft on the interior, and they also have a flexible upper that is designed to move as you move. That means these boots won’t restrict your movement, and you’ll have plenty of comfort for hiking long distances on the trails.

Features
These boots offer a few great features that make them well worth purchasing them. First, the upper is very thick and covers the top of the foot, adding a lot of water resistance to this boot. The durable outer shell on this boot helps to push water out, and you also get a lining that is very water resistant. The traction on these boots is also amazing, and they offer plenty of grip even on difficult terrain. You’ll notice these outsoles are sticky and provide some of the best grip.

Ease of Use
These boots could use a little help with the ease of use, but they are still a high-quality product in general. It can sometimes be difficult to get your feet out of these boots. Although, if you like to slide your foot into your boots, these boots still do a good job with that even though they feature a high shaft. Otherwise, you can cinch them up pretty easily. There are two hooks on each side of these boots that you need to lace around and tie up.

Value
We do like the price range of these boots. Sometimes products from The North Face run expensive, but these boots are pretty affordable. If you are shopping on a budget, you’ll still be able to afford them. Plus, we do like the fact that you will get a very durable boot that you’ll be able to use for a while with this product. That certainly helps to make them a worthwhile investment.

3. Kamik NationPlus

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Kamik NationPlus
Comfort
96
Features
95
Ease of Use
94
Value
94
best offer for today
more shops
$63.71
$84.99
Best deal
Pros:

Great traction system

Lots of warmth

Very comfortable

Affordable

Cons:

The tongue could be designed better

Kamik’s NationPlus Winter Boot offers you a Pac boot design that has a nicely insulated inner liner and also has waterproof features on the outside. These boots come with an affordable price tag as well, which makes them a great choice if you are shopping in a budget. Plus, you’ll get a durable winter boot that you’ll get a lot of use out of. We love the warmth and comfort offered by these boots and the fantastic traction system that they also feature.

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Comfort
Kamik’s NationPlus Winter Boots have a lightweight insulation system that is designed to keep the inner part of the boots warm. You get Thinsulate insulation and a soft, comfortable inner liner that will keep your feet warm and cozy. Also, the insulation retains its loft, so it is very durable as well. Also, the way the interior of the boot is designed gives you plenty of comforts and since these boots are so easy to get on and off, there is no straining yourself. You also get a good amount ventilation system, so there is some breathability.

Features
These boots come with a couple of nice features built into the design that makes them a viable choice in winter boots. First, you get a solid, waterproof boot that is designed to keep your feet warm, and you won’t need to worry about any cold water or snow getting into the interior area of this boot. Also, the traction system that is designed into this boot features grippy lugs that can hold onto just about any terrain with ease.

Ease of Use
One of the reasons why these boots are so popular on the market today is the fact that they are so easy to get on and off, which is not always true of winter boots, even if they are very well-designed. You get an easy-to-use opening that you can slide your foot in and out of without much trouble. Also, the fabric won’t restrict your ability to get your feet either in or out of the boots. The lacing system could use a bit better design around the tongue area, but other than that, these boots have a decent ease of use.

Value
Kamik’s NationPlus Winter Boot comes with a very affordable price tag, and that makes these boots great for outdoor enthusiasts that are shopping on a budget. With these boots, you get a lot for the price. First, there is plenty of durabilities designed into these boots, so you’ll get a lot of use out of them. Also, they are very comfortable and warm, and you’ll love how good they feel while you're outdoors.

4. Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry
Comfort
95
Features
98
Ease of Use
88
Value
96
best offer for today
more shops
$159.99
$159.95
Best deal
Pros:

Lots of warmth

Great support

Excellent traction

Cons:

Could have a better lacing system

Need to break these in

Vasque’s Snowburban II UltraDry Winter Boots bring you one of the best options in high-quality boots. These boots can help you conquer any winter terrain. You get a lot of warmth, comfort, and protection from the wet ground as well. These boots are also designed to give you a lot of high-quality insulation. They have an excellent traction system as well, which should make it easy for you to get where you want to go even when the weather isn’t so nice outside.

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Comfort
Vasque’s Snowburban II UltraDry Winter Boots have 400g of synthetic insulation packed into them, which is far more than what most winter boots offer. You’ll get a lot of warmth and an upper that is designed to keep heat in. That means you’ll get the warmth you want when the weather is cold. Plus, these shoes are also made to provide a lot of long-lasting comfort and support, so you’ll get the stability you need when out on the trails.

Features
Vasque, as a manufacturer, always adds some quality features to their products. These boots, for example, have some great waterproof features that work to keep your feet dry inside and out. You get a strong inner liner that is designed to be both waterproof and breathable. These boots have a lot of great insulation built into them. Also, the traction system on these boots is extremely grippy and works well to give you the balance and support you need on the trails.

Ease of Use
While we love these boots, we wish the lacing system was a little more simple. With the lacing system, all you have is eye lits and that can actually take some time for you to fit the boots on your feet correctly each time you want to hit the trails. Also, the tongue can slip into the boot with this design, which can be a bit annoying and frustrating if you are busy and on the go. Despite the complex lacing system, it isn’t too difficult to get the boots on and off.

Value
These boots fall into a moderate price range, which means they are incredibly affordable for all of the features and comfort you get. You get a nice pair of high-quality winter boots that are built to last. Plus, you’ll love the comfort and warmth you’ll experience whenever you decide to hit the trails in these great boots.

5. Keen Summit County

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Keen Summit County
Comfort
90
Features
95
Ease of Use
91
Value
92
best offer for today
more shops
$159.95
$160.00
Best deal
Pros:

Great traction

Excellent support

Waterproof

Cons:

Fit can feel wide

Could be easier to lace up

Keen’s Summit County Winter Boots bring you a durable, affordable choice in high-quality winter boots. With an inexpensive price, these boots bring you a lot of long-lasting winter protection and make a great deal for outdoor enthusiasts shopping on a budget. You’ll get a lot of warmth and good water resistance with these boots. Plus, these boots are very versatile and you can use them for hiking, walking, or to do things around the house. With a good traction system, these boots can do what you need them to do in the cold weather.

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Comfort
Keen’s Summit County Winter Boots comes with a blend of bamboo and polyester fibers that are designed to provide a lot of warmth and insulation on the interior area of the boots. You get 300 grams of insulation with these boots, so you’ll stay toasty inside of them. Also, the insulation helps add some cushioning that also makes these boots comfortable to use. They are also roomy when worn, and you’ll love how good they feel when you are hiking.

Features
Keen uses their own type of waterproof lining in these boots, and their own brand’s take on waterproof fabrics actually works very well. These boots do well with water resistance and actively propel water, keeping it away from your feet so you stay warm and dry. Also, you’ll get a nice, grippy traction system designed into these boots, which should help you get where you want to go easily, even when the terrain and weather can be difficult to traverse through.

Ease of Use
While we feel these boots could be easier to lace up, if you unlace them to the eyelets you’ll be able to more easily slip the boots on and off. Since they offer a wider fit, it isn’t too difficult to remove them or to put them on. They aren’t as easy to use as some of the other options on our list, but they certainly perform well enough here.

Value
Keen’s Summit County Winter Boots have an affordable price tag, which means they are a nice choice if you are shopping on a budget. These boots will save you some money, and because they are also designed to be durable, you will have them for some time, so you won’t need to worry about replacing them. With a lot of warmth and a nice traction system, they make a great option in winter boots.

6. Timberland MT Hope

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.5
Timberland MT Hope
Comfort
90
Features
89
Ease of Use
93
Value
94
best offer for today
$229.95
Pros:

Lightweight

Fashionable

Easy to use laces

Cons:

Could be warmer

Timberland`s MT Hope Winter Boots give you a stylish, casual boot design at an affordable price that makes these boots another nice choice if you are shopping on a budget. They look very fashionable and come with nice insulation and comfort as well. Plus, they also have a great traction system that can help prevent you from slipping or having other issues on the difficult winter terrain.

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Comfort
Timberland`s MT Hope Winter Boots feature Primaloft insulation to provide a nice, effective boost of warmth during the cold winter weather. You also get a lot of cushioned comfort designed into the insulation that helps make these boots feel great during the cold winter months. While the insulation in these boots might not be as warm as some of the other options on our list, you still get what you need with these boots.

Features
These boots feature a nice traction system because they are designed with a Vibram sole that is made to handle the difficult winter terrain. You won’t need to worry about slipping, and you should be able to easily get where you want to go in these boots. You also get a decent amount of water protection with these boots, too, since they are designed to be water resistant. While they aren’t fully waterproof, they still handle winter moisture well.

Ease of Use
One thing we really like about these boots is how easy they are to use. You can slip them on and off easily since they have a large entry hole. Also, the insulation in these boots adjusts easily to let your feet slide in and out of them, and unlike other types of insulation, they won’t make it more difficult to take the boots off or on.

Value
Timberland`s MT Hope Winter Boots bring you an affordable option in good quality winter boots at a price. They should work for anybody shopping on a budget. With these boots, you also get a lot of durabilities, so you won’t need to worry about purchasing another pair of boots for some time. Along with that, you also get the comfort and traction you’ll want to have when you are on the trails in these boots.

7. Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat
Comfort
83
Features
95
Ease of Use
94
Value
89
best offer for today
$77.99
Pros:

Affordable

Lightweight

Good waterproof protection

Cons:

Can feel clunky

Upper can feel stiff

Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat Winter Boots offer you an affordable choice in boots, which makes this product a nice pick without breaking the bank. You get a high-cut boot that has a lot of effective insulation. These boots are also designed to be lightweight and waterproof. You get plenty of warmth and comfort, as well as a nice traction system that can easily get you to where you want to go even when the weather is cold.

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Comfort
Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat Winter Boots come with 200g of synthetic insulation that will keep your feet warm and cozy even when it is cold outside. You also get an omni-heat reflective liner with these boots that works to trap the warmth inside the boot so you won’t lose heat. Also, you get a lot of comfortable room and nice cushioning with these boots, which are made to give you a nice fit. You’ll feel a lot of warmth and comfort on all of your winter hikes.

Features
One of the features we really like in these boots is the updated waterproofing. Now, these boots have a Techlite shell membrane, and that makes them very waterproof. They also come with an outer made of leather and nylon to enhance this. You won’t need to worry about your feet coming in contact with cold water. Also, these boots feature a grippy traction system that will help prevent you from slipping even on difficult terrain.

Ease of Use
These boots have a nice design that features a lot of simplicity. So, they are quite easy to get on and off, and they have a quick lacing system. You won’t have many problems taking these boots on and getting them off if that is a worry of yours. That’s a nice bonus feature, and it’s nice to get your boots on when you need them.

Value
Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat Winter Boots come with an affordable price tag, which makes them a very nice option for outdoor enthusiasts shopping on a budget. You get a high-quality pair of boots from a good brand that offers a lot of durabilities. Since these boots are built to last, they make a worthwhile investment. Also, they offer plenty of comforts and great waterproof protection while you are out on the trails.

8. Bogs Classic Ultra Mid

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Bogs Classic Ultra Mid
Comfort
84
Features
93
Ease of Use
95
Value
88
best offer for today
more shops
$129.95
$129.95
Best deal
Pros:

Comfortable

Nice fit

Easy to get on and off

Cons:

Warmth could be better

Bogs’ Classic Ultra Mid Winter Boots are designed to handle the wet weather conditions with ease. They are made to help you through slippery or snowy terrain issues, and they also offer quite a bit of waterproofing protection. Plus, they also come with a good price tag, so they work well if you are trying to avoid spending too much money but still want a quality pair of winter boots. You’ll be able to get these boots on and off easily, and they also provide adequate warmth.

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Comfort
These boots do have a decent design for warmth, although they are not quite as warm as some of the other products on our list. However, they do have insulation and provide enough heat to keep your feet toasty for some time. We also love this brand's great fit and the comfortable feel you get when you get the boots on and off. Although they don’t run away with warmth and comfort, they still provide enough to make them a good product.

Features
These boots come with some nice features that make them perform well when the weather is wet and cold outside. First, they are designed with strong outer materials that make them completely waterproof, so you’ll never have to worry about cold water slipping into your boots. Next, these boots also offer a decent traction system that is grippy and prevents slipping even on snowy or icy terrain. That makes them an excellent option for cold weather hiking.

Ease of Use
One of the most impressive features about these boots is their ease of use. They are some of the easiest boots on our product list as far as getting these boots on and off your feet. They have slip-on features and enough space for you to get them on and off with ease.

Value
The Bogs Classic Ultra Mid comes with an average price, meaning that these boots don’t cost too much for what they provide you. You won’t have to worry about breaking your bank, and you’ll still get a good pair of durable shoes that you’ll be able to use for some time. Since they are long lasting and perform well during winter weather conditions, you’ll love the support and assistance you get out of them when you hit the trails.

9. Salomon X Ultra Winter CS

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Salomon X Ultra Winter CS
Comfort
93
Features
95
Ease of Use
82
Value
86
best offer for today
more shops
$179.95
$125.96
Best deal
Pros:

Warm inner liner

Lightweight design

Warm

Cons:

Expensive

Difficult to lace up

Salomon’s X Ultra Winter CS Boots have an innovative design that resembles the comfort of shoes. They are very lightweight and are the lightest pair of boots on this product list. If you really value a lightweight pair of boots, then these are the ones for you. While they do cost a bit more than some of the other products on our list, they offer a durable design that is comfortable, warm, and waterproof. Therefore, you get a well-designed, high-quality boot.

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Comfort
Salomon’s X Ultra Winter CS Boots pack a double punch with warmth and insulation. You’ll get a Thinsulate synthetic liner with a ClimaShield breathable liner. That means your feet will stay well-insulated and toasty warm, but these boots can still breathe well and give you the ventilation you’d want to have if you sweat often. Also, these boots fit more like a shoe and have a lot of comforts designed into them as a result. They also are very lightweight, which adds to their comfort level.

Features
We like the nice features that this boot offers for winter weather protection. First, the ClimaShield waterproof and breathable liner allows the boots to breathe, but it also means they are waterproof so cold water can’t pass through into the interior of the boot. There is no water leakage with these boots, which is an excellent factor. They also come with a decent traction system that can help you out in the winter climate, and they have enough grip to get you through tough terrain.

Ease of Use
There is a bit of a learning curve with the lacing system that is featured on these boots. The boots themselves are pretty easy to slip on and off, but some of the lacings require a bit of time to conquer. You’ll need to learn to loop through the lace locker at the ankle and then loop through two other hooks to get the right fit. You then tie the boots down.

Value
Salomon’s X Ultra Winter CS Winter Boots run on the expensive end of the spectrum compared to some of the other products on our list. However, they still offer a lot of durable construction that makes them a very long-lasting boot. You won’t need to worry about replacing them for some time if you buy them. Also, you’ll get a lot of warmth and comfort that can help you out on the trails.

10. Blundstone Thermal 566

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.3
Blundstone Thermal 566
Comfort
85
Features
87
Ease of Use
93
Value
84
best offer for today
$209.95
Pros:

Great traction system

Lots of comfort

Fits well

Cons:

Low height on boots

Blundstone’s Thermal 566 Winter Boots offer you a slip-on option in boots that will make things easy for you if you can’t stand having trouble getting your boots on and off. There are no laces on these boots, and they also look stylish on. They feature some nice waterproof features and also have a lot of warmth and comfort designed into the boots. While they are a bit more expensive than some of the other products on our list, they feature an innovative design that still makes them a great option in winter boots.

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Comfort
Blundstone’s Thermal 566 Winter Boots come with a plush sheepskin footbed that is very cozy and comfortable. Also, the footbed works to also provide insulation as well as cushioning, so your feet will stay warm and comfortable. The upper in these boots also feature a Thinsulate design for an extra boost of heat if you need it. These shoes also have leather in the design that isn’t designed to offer a lot of ventilation, but it is still breathable.

Features
These boots offer some great features you’ll love having on the trails when you are hiking in that wet winter weather. First, the leather materials on the outside of these boots are designed to be fully waterproof, so you won’t need to worry about cold water leaking in when you are active outdoors. Also, you get a decent traction system that will give you the stability and support you need on more difficult winter terrains, and they help keep you going on the trails.

Ease of Use
These boots are very simple in design and are very easy to use. You get a nice slip-on boot design here that doesn’t feature laces, and that makes it very easy to get these boots on and off without struggling. It can sometimes be difficult to get the boots on and off if you are wearing gloves, but otherwise, the simplicity and ease of using these boots are nice bonuses about this product.

Value
Blundstone’s Thermal 566 Winter Boots run on the expensive end of the spectrum, but they still provide a lot of great features for the cost that makes them a product worth considering. We like the simplicity of this design and how easy it is to get these boots on and off. Also, you’ll get plenty of durabilities so you’ll have these boots for a long before they need to be replaced. You’ll also love how comfortable they feel when you are out on the trails hiking.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

Comfort is an important factor to consider when purchasing winter boots because you want to make sure they feel great on your feet or you might not ever use them. When we analyzed comfort, we discussed the feel of the boots, such as a cushioned sole, tongue padding, a soft fur lining, and how tightly or loosely the boots hug your feet. In addition to the materials that line the inside of the boots, we also investigated their warmth, breathability, and insulation. These three factors are incredibly important as well but sometimes overlooked. Breathability is one of the most important features of a boot because if there is no ventilation in your boots, sweat can build up and lead to rubbing and blisters. Also, no one wants to keep their feet sitting in a pool of their own sweat.

Features

Features are important when analyzing your winter boots. When we took a look at features, we talked about the weather resistance found in each boot and the type of traction system.
Weather resistance is determined by the materials that the shoe is made from and how they can keep your feet safe from the harsh winter elements. A rubber sole is always a great thing to look for because it will help to keep your feet dry. Another great thing to look for is a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Many rain jackets have a DWR finish, and while this can fade over time with washing, you can always re-finish your boots.
Traction is another feature that we looked at with each pair of boots. Snow and ice can be very dangerous to walk on but a boot with great traction can help you to stay upright. Winter boots with poor traction is comparable to a car with bald tires. It is incredibly dangerous and difficult to manage.

Ease of Use

We analyzed ease of use for all of the products on our list. With that, our primary focus was on the lacing systems of these boots and how easy the boots are to get on and off.
Lacing systems of winter boots can be a bit tricky. A lot of these boots go up over the ankle and a tight fit is important. While shoes with laces are typically easier to get on and off, each boot features a different lacing system and can take some getting used to.
Boots without laces fit the needs of some people, and are typically more stylish. However, these are sometimes harder to pull on and off of your foot. Another thing to pay attention to with boots without laces is the opening on the top. Is there a feature to keep the snow from falling into your boot or will they fit comfortably around your calf?

Value

When we analyzed value for each product on our list, we considered each factor: price, durability, comfort, features, and all of the other factors the boots had to offer for the price. Winter boots are not cheap, but they are a necessary investment. Something else that you may want to look into before buying a pair of winter boots is the brand's reputation. Some brands offer a lifetime warranty and have great customer service. Others offer one or the other, or nothing at all. You will most likely recognize most of the brands on our list and know that they have been keeping customers happy for many years.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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A true fit

It is best to try on winter boots in the afternoon. In the afternoon, you have likely been on your feet and they may be slightly larger and will give you a better idea of how your shoes fit. You should also try the boots on with whichever socks you plan to use in the winter. Winter socks tend to be slightly thicker than normal socks and may make the boots feel tighter than you had imagined.

Insulation

If a boot doesn't offer the insulation you are looking for, you can add your own by using a hand warmer. A small, one-time use, hand warmer, such as Hot Pocketz, can easily go in your boot and keep your feet warm for up to 10 hours.

Other Factors to Consider

Style

For some, this may be one of the most important factors. But for us, it sits on the back burner. We praise comfort and durability over style but we also realize that you need to feel confident in your boots. Our list features many different styles of boots, some with laces, and some without. To preserve the function of the boot, the overall style of the boot doesn't falter much, but you can show off your personal style with color.
If the boot you have decided on isn't available in a color that suits you, you could always change out the laces or even find a gore-tex or merino wool sock in a great print and have that on display from the top of the boot. A sock like this will also amplify the weather protection and breathability features of the boot.

Weight

With all of the features and padding that are stuffed into winter boots, they can sometimes weigh you down. The weight of a winter boot does help to give you a sturdier feeling but most people aren't looking for a full body workout while walking in a winter wonderland. Luckily, today's technology has made it possible to pack all the comfort and layers into a smaller and lighter package. Weight is still an important factor to consider when looking for a new winter boot.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: I don’t have a lot of money to spend on my boots. Am I going to have to worry about sacrificing durability?
a:

Not necessarily. On our product list, we discussed how even our affordable boots offered durability. We have thoroughly researched each boot on this list and given you our honest opinions and even rated the boots all each individual criteria. You can choose to view the list in order of overall scores, or you can change it and see how the boots line up judging by durability.

q: Do I need to worry about ventilation with my boots in the cold weather?
a:

If you plan on hiking or walking often in your boots and you sweat, you should get a boot that is breathable. You don’t want to experience odor or bacterial build up from your sweat or wind up with blisters from your boots rubbing. Keeping your feet dry keeps them healthy.

q: Can't I use my regular boots in the winter?
a:

If you live in Florida, yes. Otherwise you will want something stronger and warm. Many winter boots have rubber soles and/or uppers. These allow you to walk through snow or puddles and not absorb water into your boots. Another benefit to winter boots, is that if you do happen to splash too hard and the water does enter your boots, many of them are insulated, ensuring that your feet will be warm no matter what.

q: Is traction important for winter boots?
a:

Yes. Have you ever walked out onto a fresh sheet of ice with a regular pair of shoes? It's like ice skating without the skates or the intention. The better the traction on the sole, the fewer slips and falls you are likely to encounter, and the fewer injuries. Since you might be dealing with snow and ice during winter, that’s important.

Sources

  1. Switchback Travel, Best Winter Boots of 2017-18, Informational Hiking Website, Nov 20, 2017
  2. Ryan Huetter and Andy Wellman, The Best Men's Winter Boots of 2017 , Informational Hiking Website, Dec 21, 2017
  3. Lisa Maloney, The Best Winter Boots, Informational Hiking Website, Jan 05, 2018