The 9 Best Cold-Weather Boots of 2021

Stay cozy and dry all winter long with these top picks

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Kamik Snow Boot at Amazon

"These winter boots give you a lot of bang for your buck."

Best for Women: Columbia Heavenly Mid Calf Boot at Amazon

"Feels so light you might think you’re wearing slippers."

Best for Men: Sorel Men's Caribou Boots at Amazon

"Sorel's highly reviewed cold-weather boots feature metal shanks across the heel for a solid grip on the ice."

Best for Kids: Sorel Yoot Pac Nylon Cold Weather Boot at Amazon

"Warm and cozy enough to sled and build snowmen in."

Best for Extreme Cold: Baffin Impact Insulated Boots at Amazon

"Used for dogsledding in Alaska and adventuring across the North Pole."

Best for Everyday: L.L. Bean Shearling Lined Bean Boots at L.L. Bean

"Boasted as the brand's most comfortable bean boots yet."

Best for Rain: Hunter Original Tall Insulated Rain Boots at Hunter

"Will have your feet and legs fully covered against all the elements."

Most Versatile: The North Face Chilkat EVO Boots at Amazon

"The lacing system is strong and secure so you can use these books on a wintry trek."

Best Style: UGG Adirondack III Boot at Amazon

"Perfect for outdoors as they are on a night out in town."

Cold-weather boots might be one of the most important purchases you make all year. Although putting a pair of thick, woolen socks on under your regular boots might do the trick when temperatures get brisk, that’s not a great strategy for when the weather turns rainy, slushy and snowy. After all, cold and wet feet are pretty much a quick ticket to misery (especially for little ones). It’s important to keep in mind a few things when it comes to winter boots: a thick, well-grooved rubber sole is essential for stability in slick conditions. Waterproof materials won’t let the snow and slush sink in for people living in wet climates, and those in very cold ones should look for insulation like Thinsulate to keep their toes cozy. It’s also important to think about the weight of the boot: making your way through a snowbank is hard enough without extra ounces weighing you down. Whatever your plans for cold weather are—whether it’s hiking, hunting, or just shoveling the car out—we’ve researched the best options for you.

Scroll through to find the best cold-weather boots. 

Our Top Picks

01 of 09

Best Overall: Kamik Snow Boot

Kamik winter boots give you a lot of bang for your buck — easily outpacing crowd-favorite Sorels for comfort and warmth. Although there’s not an exactly identical model for men and women, two similar standouts both deliver incredible quality. The women’s Momentum snow boot is rated to -25 degrees Fahrenheit, with convenient bungee lacing, a grippy rubber sole, well-sealed seams, and a high, fur-topped shaft to keep snow out (we also love the highly breathable lining that wicks away moisture). The men’s Nationplus model is rated to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, with a leather upper and 200B Thinsulate insulation — just keep an eye out for deep puddles, as water can enter through gaps at the base of the boot’s tongue. Although they might not be what you’d choose for an extended expedition, Kamiks make a great option for those who are either vacationing to cold climates or need this kind of protection only occasionally.

The women's version is available here.

02 of 09

Best for Women: Columbia Heavenly Omni-Heat Mid Calf Boot

Columbia Heavenly Omni-Heat Mid Calf Boot
Courtesy of Zappos

The last thing you'd want is cold weather boots weighing you down, and these surprisingly stylish ones deliver, feeling so light you might think you’re wearing slippers — even right out of the box. However, they’re just as warm as Columbia’s more rugged, chunkier options (so warm, in fact, that they’re rated down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit), and easily go from the trail to a night out. The mid-calf height is great for areas with a lot of snow — or just navigating snowdrifts on your way to your car — and the Omni-Tech waterproof membrane does a great job of keeping moisture out. They do run small and a bit narrow, so if you’re on the cusp of a size, or likely to wear thick socks underneath, consider going half a size up. A comparable take on the original Heavenly model, the Heavenly Organza II version of this boot features a shiny panel behind the laces if you’re so inclined.

03 of 09

Best for Men: Sorel Men's Caribou Boots

Sorel's Caribou Boots have long been a favorite option for men looking for great cold-weather protection and it's easy to see why. These highly-reviewed boots feature a waterproof leather upper and a seam-sealed construction to keep snow, slush, and hail out. There's also a felt liner inside so your feet will stay warm no matter how cold it is outside or how long you stay in the snow for. The liner is removable too, so you can take it out to dry before your next adventure. A lace closure keeps your feet and socks secure, while metal shanks across the heel provides a solid grip on ice. It can be worn down to -40 degrees and is available in multiple stylish neutral colors including black, tan, and brown.

04 of 09

Best for Kids: Sorel Yoot Pac Nylon Cold Weather Boot

SOREL Kids Yoot Pac™

Courtesy of Zappos 

It doesn’t get more classic than Sorels for winter play — whether it’s for big kids or little ones — and the Yoot Pacs are great for kids ages 1 to 12 needing something warm and cozy to sled and build snowmen in. Parents are constantly surprised by just how light and not-clunky these cold weather boots are, despite their heavy-duty looks, even for the littlest of kids. The drawstring closure is easy for all but the smallest mittened hands to fasten, and the traction is great in slippery conditions. Best of all, they’re beyond waterproof, which means kids head home with dry, happy feet after a day of sledding, snowman-building, and snowball fights — no matter how deep the snow. Sizing hint: they tend to fit true to size, which makes ordering for busy parents a breeze. Or, go a size up for a pair that will last two seasons (just add some thick socks for the first winter).

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Best for Extreme Cold: Baffin Impact Insulated Boots

With both ​women’s and men’s versions, the Impact is what gave Baffin its name as a maker of boots for the most extreme conditions the planet can throw at intrepid explorers. Tested down to -148 degrees Fahrenheit, people have used these warm boots dogsledding in Alaska and adventuring across the North Pole. (The boot runs very small, so order at least a whole size up.) Each boot weighs about two pounds, but they’re designed to be comfortable, with Arctic Flex rubber, an underfoot air bubble, and a reflective waffle footbed that keeps feet ventilated and warm. Needless to say, the deep traction outsole gets full marks, too, holding its own in all but glare ice. Although liners might get worn out over time, they’re easily removable and replaceable, meaning these boots will last you for winters to come (people also love wearing the liners separately as “tent slippers” on chilly mornings).

Check out the men's version here.

06 of 09

Best for Everyday: L.L. Bean Shearling Lined Bean Boots

L.L. Bean Shearling Lined Bean Boots

LL Bean

As the brand that originated the duck boot, L.L. Bean takes its original bean boots and amps up the heat with this shearling-lined version. They boast these boots as their most comfortable bean boots yet, and with good reason: crafted in Maine since 1912, they're constructed of full-grain, tumbled leather for a soft, comfortable fit. The premium shearling not only adds extra coziness but also enough warmth to get through wintry days. Even more, the boot's rubber bottom is waterproof and is lined with 200g Thinsulate Insulation for full protection. For a durable, snug pair of winter boots for everyday use, the bean boots are your best bet. There's also a men's version available here.

07 of 09

Best for Rain: Hunter Original Tall Insulated Rain Boots

Hunter Original Tall Insulated Rain Boots

Hunter

Sometimes you need a sturdy pair of boots specially made for wet, snowy days, and Hunter delivers just that. Since 1956, the brand has been distributing its iconic tall rain boots with most of the original construction — crafted out of 28 hand-cut parts, the natural rubber boots are assembled over three days on an aluminum last before being vulcanized. With the same waterproof finish and durability of the original boots, this updated version is lined with Sherpa lining for extra warmth. They can even be worn in temperatures as cold as -5 degrees Celsius, or 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Styled with thermal socks, these insulated boots will have your feet and legs fully covered against all the elements.

A men's version is available for purchase here.

08 of 09

Most Versatile: The North Face Chilkat EVO Boots

The North Face Chilkat EVO Boots

 Courtesy of Amazon

If you’re going to buy one pair this winter, get the pair that does it all, like the Chilkat EVO Boot from The North Face. These boots feature durable 200g Heatseeker insulation and a molded footbed that prevents toes from getting chilly and warms feet from the ground up. We love the company's prosperity IcePick technology on the rubber outsoles which result in incredible grip on everything but black ice, while the waterproof leather outer does a great job of keeping slush and snow out. For those heading out on a wintry trek, the lacing system is strong and secure. As an added bonus, these boots are also compatible with snowshoes and gaiters.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best Style: UGG Adirondack III Boot

With most cold weather boots sporting chunky designs, it's hard to look good while staying warm in negative degree temps. UGG proves that wrong with its updated version of the best-selling Adirondack boots, a pair of leather and suede boots made for harsh weather. Made with DryTech waterproof, the boots feature 200g warm insulation, UGGpure wool lining, a molded Spider Rubber outsole for stable traction, and a cushioned insole for comfort. To ensure you'll stay warm, they're even rated to -26 degrees Fahrenheit. The cuff of these lace-up boots can also be worn up or down for style versatility. Both stylish and rugged, the Adirondack III boots are perfect for outdoors as they are on a night out in town.

“Many winter boots can be heavy and bulky, and as most don’t fit over my calves, I appreciate that this pair hits a bit above the ankle. They're versatile enough to be worn when traveling, running errands, shoveling snow, or stepping across ice to get to the mailbox. My feet never feel cold in these, and I love the mix of leather, suede, and sheepskin—and definitely don’t mind the added height it gives.”—Tori Zhou, Associate Health Commerce Editor

Final Verdict

Kamik’s winter boots (view at Amazon) are perfect all-rounders when you don’t want a pair that’ll break the bank either—and they manage to beat some of the more iconic brands when it comes to comfort, warmth, and grip.

What to Look For in Cold-Weather Boots

Price

Keep in mind the rule of cost-per-use when it comes to winter boots: if you live in an area with a heavy winter climate and these will likely replace your regular shoes for a season, invest in a pair that’s warm and comfortable. If there’s just occasional snowfall, it might be worth going for a more budget-friendly pair. 

Warmth and Temperature Ratings

These guides provide a baseline for just how cold it can get before you start to feel cold in the boots—but this should be used as the most general of guidelines because individual factors like socks and physical activity can make a huge difference. 

Insulation Types

Most boots have synthetic insulation like Primaloft and Thinsulate, which keep bulk down and the coziness levels high. If fill’s available to look at, a 200- to 400-gram range covers most needs, though people in harsh- to extreme-cold environments should look for something a little higher. Non-synthetic linings like sheepskin or wool will get wet but still keep you dry—and are often removable for a quick dry before the next day’s wear. 

Fit

Always try on winter boots with the socks you’re most likely to be wearing in them—and be sure to leave a little extra room there too. It’s also a good idea to pay attention as you’re trying them on at home to where the boot hits on your leg and if there’s any chafing taking place.

FAQs

How should you clean your boots?

Just use a clean, slightly damp cloth to clean dirt off of your boots’ uppers.  

Do you need an additional traction system?

It depends on where you’re located and what you’re using the boots for. If you get infrequent snow, the majority of well-made cold weather boots will do the job just fine for running errands and shoveling the walk. If you’re working in more precarious conditions or tend to skip snow and have things skip straight to the ice, then an additional traction system might not be a bad idea. 

Should you get boots with a removable liner? 

Boots with removable liners are great if you wear your boots each day and need them to dry out quickly overnight after a day in the snow. It’s rarely a bad idea—the liners make wearing the boots a bit more cushion-ey and soft, too.

Why Trust TripSavvy

TripSavvy writers are experts in their subject areas and remain objective in their assessments. In the course of researching roundups like this, Krystin Arneson sifted through dozens of reviews, analyzed expert blogs, and consider customers’ reported experiences with the product as well.

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