The 8 Best Boots for Snowshoeing of 2021

Rugged, winter-ready footwear for playing in the deep snow

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Vasque Coldspark UltraDry Boot at Amazon

"The Coldspark packs weather protection—not bulk—letting you move in and out of snowshoes easily."

Best Budget: Merrell Alpine Brevig Polar Waterproof at Merrell

"Stylish and affordable, you can wear this boot around town when you're done snowshoeing."

Best for Women: Keen Women's Greta Boot at Amazon

"Cute colors and lightweight bamboo insulation make this pair a joy to wear in slick conditions."

Best for Men: Columbia Men's Bugaboot III at Amazon

"An injection-molded shell provides durability and comfort without adding on the ounces."

Best Waterproof: Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP Boot at Amazon

"The Toundra boot will keep you completely dry with a waterproof bootie that locks out all moisture."

Best Classic: Danner Mountain Pass at Huckberry

"The boot's full-grain leather passed through six different tests before going to the assembly line."

Best for Extreme Cold: Sorel Glacier XT at Amazon

"They're rated to handle temperatures down to -100 degrees, thanks to an inner felt boot."

Best Lightweight: Salomon Quest 4D GTX Forces 2 at Amazon

"Though these boots are light, they don't skimp on snowshoe-friendly features."

Nothing inspires unmitigated, childhood joy more than traipsing through a wide field of deep, untracked snow, snowshoes firmly engaged, poles in hand, and your breath trailing behind. But if you don’t have the right boots for snowshoeing, it’ll be a short-lived burst of happiness. Boots win out over low-top hiking shoes because the added coverage prevents loose snow from getting inside your footwear. But they also need to be seriously warm, breathe well to avoid over-heating when you start moving, and burly enough to stand up to the worst winter can throw at you.

Read on to learn more about the best boots for snowshoeing.

Our Top Picks

01 of 08

Best Overall: Vasque Coldspark UltraDry Boot

Constructed to handle the harshest aspects of winter—ice, deep snow, plunging temps, perpetual wetness—the Coldspark UltraDry Boot from Vasque rises to the top because all that weather protection doesn’t make the boot bulky, which lets you move in and out of the snowshoes easily. Proprietary UltraDry technology provides 100 percent waterproofing, with 200 grams of insulation that partners with a breathable reflective barrier to pack in the heat.

Both the footbed and midsole are constructed of durable dual-density EVA, while the uppers have been crafted out of TPU yarn mesh that keeps the boots at a reasonable 2 pounds, 4 ounces. Vasque’s Monolight outsole is made with a temperature-resistant ColdHold compound that's crafted into a multi-directional lug pattern to maximize traction on slick, wet conditions—and it also pairs perfectly with all snowshoe straps.

02 of 08

Best Budget: Merrell Alpine Brevig Polar Waterproof

Merrell Men's Alpine Brevig Polar Waterproof

Courtesy of Merrell

Looking for a lower-cost boot that doesn’t crimp on the features and looks stylish enough to wear around town when you’re done snowshoeing? Merrell’s Brevig Polar Waterproof has you covered. Black or brown synthetic leather uppers meet bold white midsoles before returning to black for the treads, which are Z-shaped for that perfect retro vibe.

All seams have been sealed to lock out water and let moisture escape, with a bellows-style tongue that keeps out debris. Warmth comes from both a fleece lining as well as 100 grams of low-profile insulation, while a mix of EVA—at the midsole and in the removable insole—keep things comfortable for hours. The sticky rubber outsole marries nicely with snowshoes and provides solid traction when you kick ‘em off.

03 of 08

Best for Women: Keen Women's Greta Boot

Considering that women often suffer from poor circulation, it’s essential that a femme-specific boot packs in both the heat and the comfort. Keen’s Greta boot achieves this vital feat thanks to 200 grams of insulation crafted by charcoal bamboo, along with a quilted collar that provides additional insulation that’s rated to handle temperatures down to -25 degrees.

The leather and textile uppers provide waterproofness that’s further reinforced with Keen.Dry, a breathable waterproof membrane, and any unlikely odors that might build up are quickly swashed thanks to Eco Anti-Odor control. Dual-density EVA rides in the midsole and removable insole (with arch support), while the Keen.Freeze rubber outsole provides serious traction in slick conditions. Keen’s trademark toe cap also makes it easy to strap on the snowshoes.

04 of 08

Best for Men: Columbia Men's Bugaboot III

Just as at home stomping through fields of snow as it is on a frozen city street, the Bugaboot III from Columbia utilizes all the brand’s know-how to deliver a reliable winter-ready boot. A waterproof leather upper pairs with seam-sealed construction to offer 100 percent protection from moisture, while an injection-molded shell provides durability and comfort without adding on the ounces. Rated down to -25 degrees, the Bugaboot III uses 200 grams of insulation to amp the heat, with a lightweight midsole for long-lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and high energy return. Underneath, Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber soles bite into icy terrain and the sloped profile of the boot itself works well with all snowshoe straps for quick, confident integration.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Best Waterproof: Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP Boot

Warm down to -40 degrees, the Toundra Pro CSWP boot from Salomon will keep you well insulated and completely dry for hours of outdoor winter exploration. That warmth comes from Aerotherm Aerogel insolating technology developed by NASA, along with a proprietary lightweight waterproof bootie that locks out all moisture.

These burly boots also include an aggressive Contagrip tread that bites into ice and snow, as well as your snowshoe platform. High-end EVA foam and an EVA sock liner offer both shock protection and day-long comfort, a bit of faux fur makes it cozy, and PU-coated leather uppers assure that the boot will keep kicking season after season. The protective toecap is also a nice touch, both to help lock in your snowshoe straps and to add a bit of additional armor when you’re done.

06 of 08

Best Classic: Danner Mountain Pass

Danner Mountain Pass Boot

Courtesy of REI

Portland, OR-based Danner has been crafting some of the best outdoor footwear since 1932, generating a loyal cadre of followers who know that their high-end boots deliver years of reliable service. You can embrace Danner’s well-earned reputation and lean into their iconic look with the Mountain Pass, a winter-ready boot that works with snowshoes—and in pretty much any other cold-weather situation.

Over the decades, the brand has continuously updated its construction methods, shaving off weight and creating out-of-the-box comfort. The full-grain leather used in the uppers passed through six different tests before going to the assembly line, making them some of the strongest all-leather boots available. Three layers of varying-density foam line the footbed for maximum cushion and support, while the stich-down construction allows for a wider platform to increase stability and connection to snowshoes. Yes, they are more expensive than other winter-ready boots, but the boots qualify for Danner’s recrafting services, which will extend their life through many winters to come.

07 of 08

Best for Extreme Cold: Sorel Glacier XT

The bomber Sorel Glacier XT boots are for those days when it’s very cold outside—and you still want to go snowshoeing. They’re rated to handle temperatures down to -100 degrees thanks to a 13-millimeter thermoPlus felt inner boot that also has Omni-heat, a lining composed of silver dots that reflect your body heat. A 2.5-millimeter midsole made of bonded felt as well as a removable 13-millimeter midsole layer insulates you from the frozen earth, while the water- and wind-resistant PU synthetic textile upper protects you from the elements. Better still, if things start to get too hot, you can remove the inner boot and/or the midsole layer to adjust the insulation.

These boots pull on with relative ease and include standard lacing as well as cinch cords at the top entry point to really seal out the elements. The hand-crafted outsole is made from vulcanized rubber with the brand’s aero-tac treads. Make no mistake: these boots are bulky and might require more finagling to get them to attach to your snowshoes, but they’ll keep your toes toasty throughout the winter.

08 of 08

Best Lightweight: Salomon Quest 4D GTX Forces 2

In many ways, winter boots serve as a kind of armor against the harsh elements of winter. And, much like the steel-plated armor of medieval yore, winter boots are often heavy. Thankfully, Salomon has addressed this slight in their Quest 4D GTX Forces 2 winter boots, which weigh in at a relatively light 23.4 ounces. And Salomon still packs in loads of snowshoe-friendly features. Leaning into their trail running pedigree, the boots have a solid, precise fit right out of the box, with a Sensifit element that’s wrapped around the midcourt area that’s snug and comfortable. The boot rides on the brand’s 4D Advanced Chassis, which lets the boot strike confidently in uneven terrain and works perfectly with snowshoe platforms.

In addition to a Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable membrane, the nubuck leather uppers have been treated with additional DWR to fend of moisture, while a gusseted tongue locks out debris. You’ll also appreciate the protective toe cap, which aligns well with snowshoe bindings, and the durable outsole, which has an aggressive lug pattern that works well on hard or slick surfaces.

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