On a continuum of things that suck about winter, cold feet is pretty close to being on the ‘worst’ end of that spectrum. Once you start getting stiff, frigid toes, it is hard to feel anything but miserable. That, in part, is why equipping yourself with a solid pair of winter hiking boots before you head off through the snow is so important.
But, as always, the question is not so much if you should actually get winter hiking boots, but more which boots you should buy. Like most things today, there are a truly dizzying number of choices out there. To help you sift through the deluge of products built for cold weather hiking we rounded up a list of what we think are the hands-down best winter hiking boots out there. Whether you’re just looking to get from one side of town to the other without turning your feet into popsicles or you’re trying to log some serious miles in on the weekends – this list should be more than helpful.
Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni
Don’t let the affordable price of this boot throw you off – it is more than capable of taking on tough, long hikes in cold weather. Featuring a waterproof leather an nylon upper, 200g of insulation, and Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Heat reflective lining it is purpose-built to keep you warm even in below-freezing temperatures. Along with the top-notch warmth, the boot also features a tough, grippy outsole.
Kamik Naationplus Boot
Rated to temperatures as low as below 40 degrees, this insulated boot from Kamik is ideal for those who live in particularly cold parts of the country. Along with its substantial Thinsulate insulation, moisture wicking lining, and waterproof treatment, it boasts a high ankle and sturdy outsole for gripping ice and providing lots of traction.
North Face Chilkat II
The upper on this boot is made from a robust mix of leather and rubber – making it ideal for tromping through slush or snow. The interior of the boot boasts 200 grams of Heatseater insulation that is rated to 25-degrees below freezing. For solid traction on wet and cold surfaces, the outsole also features a proprietary Icepick technology designed to provide solid footing no matter what.
Sorel Caibou II
Featuring a duck boot toe and heel paired with a more substantial leather upper – there is no wonder why these boots are so popular. The faux fur paired with the boot’s ThermoPlus insulation keep the boot warm down to 40 below zero, while the rubberized sole provides solid grip no matter what.
Vasque Snowburban Ultradry Insulated Boot
This boot from Vasque leaves very little to be wanted. It boasts a high-top construction, seamless waterproof upper, 400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra Insulation, and a thick rubber sole. What more could one possibly ask for?
Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP
Salomon really pulled out all of the stops for this rugged winterized hiking boot. Not only does it boast an impressive all-black construction, but it features Insulating Aerogels developed by NASA to keep the boot warm at temperatures as low as 40 below zero. In addition to the substantial insulation, the boot features a waterproof bootie and Contragrip sole for solid traction around the clock.
Merrell Thermo Adventure Winter Boots
If you’re not necessarily looking to sport a pair of boots that go up to your mid-calf, this boot from Merrell may be worth a look. Featuring a waterproof suede upper and a pair of Vibram Arctic Grip outsoles, this thing will keep you high and dry all the time. To top that off, it features 200 grams of Merrell’s top quality insulation for lasting warmth.
Baffin Evolution Insulated Boot
This substantial leather, nylon, and rubber boot from Baffin features warm insulation, a quick lacing system, and a form-fitting foam insole for long lasting comfort. An ideal weatherproof option for the dedicated winter hiker.
Oboz Bridger BDry Boots
Built for those looking to do a whole lot more than shovel snow or run errands around town, this substantial boot features 200 grams of insulation, a winterized rubber sole mixed with silica, and a dual density EVA midsole for support. To top it off, the boot has multi-directional lugs that provide grip for both descending and ascending mountains.
KEEN Durand Polar Boot
On the hunt for an American made boot that’ll stand up to the worst winter has to offer? This pair from KEEN may be worth a look. They feature a leather and synthetic upper, 400 grams of proprietary KEEN.Warm insulation, and a totally waterproof build.
adidas Outdoor Terrex Tracefinder
While adidas may not be the first name that comes to mind when you start the hunt for a solid pair of winter hiking boots, they definitely should be. Take this pair for example. They feature 200 grams of insulation, a climaproof membrane that keeps your feet high and dry, and the brand’s patented boost midsole that delivers serious comfort even on the toughest trails.
Lowa Renegade Ice GTX Winter Boots
Boasting the best in winter technology; a nubuck leather upper, Gore-Tex membrane, and ATC G3 rubber for serious traction on ice – this boot from LOWA has winter on lock. It is sturdy, features a solid fit, and has a Paralena lining for increased warmth.
Zamberland Vioz GT Hiking Boots
This pair of boots from Zamberlan uses a seamless piece of Hydrobloc full-grain leather as its first layer of defense against cold and wet weather. In addition to this substantial upper, it also boasts a Vibram Rubber outsole for solid grip and comfort on your camping trips.
Danner Crater Rim Boot
When it comes to making solid hiking or work boots, few have been doing it longer than Oregon-based company Danner. It should come as no surprise then that their Crater Rim boots are among the best out there for trekking through cold and wet weather. They feature a Gore-Tex lining, an abrasion-resistant rand, top-grain leather upper, and a super grippy Vibram Bifida outsole.
La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX Mountaineering Boot
Built more for serious mountaineering than idle hiking around trails or walking around town, these boots are weapons-grade good. Not only to they boast Gore-Tex waterproofing, an insulated lining, and a Vibram outsole, but they also have step-in crampon compatibility for those looking to take there hikes high up into the mountains and over ice fields. All things said an incredibly durable, rugged boot.
20 Best Hiking Boots For Men
Looking for a pair of boots for the rest of the year? Check out our comprehensive list of the best hiking boots for men.