The 10 Best Men’s Winter Boots of 2021

Reliable protection and comfort for the harsh weather

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No bones about it—winter weather can be brutal, and reliable boots suitable to handle those conditions are essential. A few key features define the must-haves in a reliable winter boot: waterproofness to block out the elements, insulation to keep things warm, and an aggressively treaded outsole to provide traction in winter’s worst conditions. But beyond that, the variety of options is extensive. There are boots that can handle trekking in snow for days on end, stylish boots that slip on easily to navigate a slush-covered city street, and really tall versions that can handle deep snow and the inevitable puddles that collect after a harsh storm. Here are the best winter boots of 2021.

The Rundown
You’ve got a winter-ready boot to tackle anything on or off the trail.
They pack a serious performance punch that even more expensive boots can’t match.
These provide support, warmth, and protection on multi-day treks in the snow-choked wilderness.
It boasts loads of winter-specific features.
The boots have extra-grippy rubber outsoles to track confidently in snow, slush, and ice.
This mid-height boot comes with a waterproof membrane to block out the elements, so your feet stay dry and comfortable.
These winter-ready boots will really keep out the cold and the snow.
They pack in loads of winter-ready tech yet hide it all in an attractive, unassuming aesthetic.
These boots are 100 percent waterproof with a breathable construction to avoid things getting clammy.
The simple Chelsea boot gets everything right, with an easy on-off action.

Best Overall: Danner Men's Arctic 600 Side-Zip

What We Like
  • Classic style

  • Serious warmth

  • Reliable traction

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Key Specs: Full and half sizes from 7 to 14, as well as in medium and wide; multiple color options

Before any leather is cut for Danner’s Arctic 600 Side-Zip, the material undergoes six different tests, making the full-grain leather outers some of the most durable available. Add to that the brand’s proprietary waterproof/breathable barrier and 200 grams of Primaloft insulation, and you’ve got a winter-ready boot to tackle anything on or off the trail.

Comfort comes from a removable footbed made from three layers of open-cell polyurethane, which pair with a Vibram SPE midsole that cushions like traditional EVA but won’t break down as quickly. The result is serious rebound and support. The outsole comes with Vibram’s Arctic Grip, the manufacturer’s most advanced traction tech, to provide a sure, stable step in harsh conditions. Bonus: the zipper lining the side of the boot makes it easy to take them on and off (at airport security, or at the trailhead) once you’ve dialed the perfect fit with the laces.

Best Budget: Kamik Men's Icebreaker Work Boot

What We Like
  • Price

  • Waterproof protection well above the ankle

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t breathe well

  • May be overkill in moderate temps

Key Specs: Full sizes from 7 to 15; available in black, brown, and camo

With a price point well south of $100 and weatherproof protection that comes up to your mid-calf, the Icebreaker from Kamik packs a serious performance punch that many more expensive boots can’t match. Rated to provide warmth down to 40 below, the vegan-friendly boots come with a waterproof upper constructed of lightweight synthetic rubber, a moisture-wicking liner, an adjustable nylon collar to seal out the elements. An 8-millimeter removable Zylex liner helps air things out when you’re back inside, and lightweight synthetic rubber outsole utilizes Kamik’s proprietary tech to deliver superior grip on all sorts of cold-weather terrain. The overall lightweight construction (3.3 pounds each) and a flexible outsole combat foot fatigue.

Best Splurge: Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX Hiking Boots - Men's

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Light

  • Very supportive

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • May be overkill for casual outdoor use

 Key Specs: Full and half sizes from 7 to 13; only available in black

Built to provide support, warmth, and protection on multi-day treks in the snow-choked wilderness, Arc’teryx’s Acrux TR GTX utilizes micro-plated tech that makes the boots highly flexible, lightweight, and abrasion resistant. A molded rubber toe cap prevents painful toe-stubbing, and the TPU chassis at the mid and forefoot amps the stability and torsional rigidity. The Vibram MegaGrip outsole stabilizes for sure-footed exploration; inside, a 4-millimeter OortoLite molded insert and an EVA-injected midsole make the boots comfortable for hours on end. A breathable Gore-Tex layer keeps your feet dry and comfortable.

Most Comfortable: Salomon Men's Quest Winter Thinsulate ClimaSalomon Waterproof Snow Boot

What We Like
  • Geared for serious performance

  • Very warm

What We Don't Like
  • May be too much boot for casual travelers

Key Specs: Half and full sizes range from 4 to 14; only in black

Cold-weather temps can transform the most mellow of hiking trails into a spikey network of sharp, frozen-solid obstacles, so you need an active-ready boot that can stand up to frozen earth, ice, and snow. The Quest Winter Thinsulate Climasolomon Waterproof Boot from Salomon accomplishes that feat thanks to an ADV-C chassis that optimizes stability, along with a Winter Contragrip outsole to bite into the terrain.

It comes with 400 grams of Thisulate insulation for serious warmth, a winter sockliner to wick away internal moisture, and a CS waterproof membrane to keep everything dry. It also boasts loads of other winter-specific features, like a gaiter ring and a snowshoe-compatible construction due to the sloped heel and robust toe cap.

Best for Hiking: Oboz Sawtooth II Mid B-Dry Hiking Boot - Men's

What We Like
  • Comfortable

  • Warm

  • Tracks reliably in slippery conditions

What We Don't Like
  • Only available in normal widths

Key Specs: Half and full sizes from 8 to 14; only in gray

Oboz winterized their most popular Sawtooth II hiking boot by adding 3M Thinsulate insulation; a thermal O FIT insole with a mylar bottom sheet to reflect your body heat back into the boot for comfort, warmth, and support; and an extra-grippy rubber outsole to track confidently in snow, slush, and ice. The 8-inch height helps block debris, with proprietary waterproof/breathable tech to fend off water and a plush fleece-lined collar for a touch of added warmth.

Best for Ice: Icebug Pace3 Men's BUGrip GTX Hiking Boot

What We Like
  • Serious traction on the most slippery of surfaces

What We Don't Like
  • Unnecessary metal studs

Key Specs: Half and full sizes from 7 to 15; only in black

Some adventurers rely on third-party strap-on spikes to help them gain traction in icy conditions, but Icebug’s Pace3 BUGrip GTX makes those accessories non-essential—they’ve integrated 16 dynamic steel studs into the rugged outsole. This mid-height boot comes with a warm, ripstop textile upper, along with a breathable/waterproof Gore-Tex membrane to block out the elements, so your feet stay dry and comfortable. A wide ergonomic last adds comfort and partners with a lightweight EVA midsole with an ESS stabilizer that allows for sure-footed navigation. The metal studs are unnecessary if not navigating on snow, though Icebug also offers an unstudded model.

Best Tall: Bogs Men's Bozeman Tall Boot

What We Like
  • Provides nearly bomb-proof weather protection

  • Easy on/off

What We Don't Like
  • The outsole grip isn’t as aggressive as other models

Key Specs: Full sizes from 7 to 14; only in black

If you want a pair of winter-ready boots that will really keep out the cold and the snow, go with the Bozeman Tall from Bogs. And when they say tall, they’re talking 15 inches from heel to collar, able to handle snow and debris lining most trails. These puddle-stompers are constructed of durable hand-last rubber with a four-way stretch inner bootie and a neoprene upper, and glove-friendly pull handles to make them easy to pull on and off. Warmth comes from 7 millimeters of Neo-Tech waterproof insulation, with EveryDry and Box Max-Wick tech to help any sweat evaporate quickly. The slip-resistant outsole tracks well, and rebound tech provides lasting comfort.

Best Chelsea: Sorel Men's Caribou Chelsea

What We Like
  • Stylish

  • Simple design

  • Solid weather protection with a pleasing silhouette

What We Don't Like
  • Not super-warm

Key Specs: Full and half sizes from 7 to 15; available in black, brown, and grey.

If you're looking for a winter-ready boot that hides its weatherized elements under a fashionable silhouette, go with the Caribou from Sorel. The seam-sealed uppers are crafted from premium, waterproof full-grain leather, with a rubber mud guard surrounding the parameter of the outsoles. Molded rubber with a modernized Caribou lug design will handle slick, snowy terrain without making you like you live in the woods, and the pull tabs at the back make for easy on/off. It doesn't boast loads of insulation—it's not that type of boot—but a removable, molded PU-like EVA footbed with a textile upper provides both comfort and some warmth to protect you from the cold earth.

Best for Wide Feet: Columbia Men's Snowtrekker

Columbia Snowtrekker
What We Like
  • Wide models will accommodate people with larger feet

What We Don't Like
  • Only available in black

Key Specs: Full and half sizes from 7 to 16

Looking for a winter-ready boot that provides a bit more room? Go with the Snowtrekker (wide version if you can) from Columbia. The PU-coated leather and textile uppers are 100 percent waterproof, with the brand’s Omni-Tech waterproof/breathable construction to avoid things getting clammy. Warmth comes from both 200 grams of insulation along with Columbia’s Omni-Heat reflective lining, which bounces the body’s natural heat back into the boot without overheating. Comfort is assured with the Techlite feature, which employs high-performance cushioning to make the boots light and plush, while the Omni Grip traction in the treaded outsole provides grip in snow, ice, and slush.

Best Leather: Blundstone Men's Thermal Chelsea Boot

What We Like
  • Easy on/off

  • Classic style

What We Don't Like
  • Might be overkill in milder conditions

Key Specs Full and half sizes from 4 to 14; comes in black, brown, and antique brown

Born in Tasmania in 1870, Blundstone shoes have become an iconic look for loads of road-weary travelers, and their 566 Thermal illustrates why: The simple Chelsea boot gets everything right, with an easy on-off action thanks to twin pull tabs and durable stretch integrated into the uppers. This model is basically a winterized version of their class 510, with fully waterproof leather and elastic, lined by warm Thinsulate insulation and a removable sheepskin footbed that’ll protect you from the cold earth. Underfoot you get a TPU outsole for enhanced traction as well as a patented comfort system that provides toe spring and heel bounce to avoid foot fatigue.

Final Verdict

If you think of a rugged winter boot as an investment that will perform season after season, the Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip (view at Backcountry) is worth its relatively high price tag. You get bomber protection from snow, serious insulation properties, an aggressive outsole, and easy on-off thanks to the side zippers, while still getting a snug fit via the laces. But if your needs are less expedition and more urban exploration, consider the Blundstone 566 Thermal (view at Backcountry), a simple Chelsea-style boot with serious waterproof protection and insulation to spare. They feature a more casual, relaxed profile and a calmer outsole ideal for less-intrepid winter travelers, though they still perform well off road.

What to Look for in Men's Winter Boots

Water Resistance

With winter comes snow, rain, sleet, and slush, and all of these can turn a good day into a bad one quite quickly if you’re not prepared to protect your feet. Snow boots aren’t much good if the water resistance isn’t great, so look for ones that completely seal out water from the start.

Warmth

Winter boots shouldn’t just protect you from water—they should keep your feet warm, too. Look for a pair with plenty of insulation, which is measured in grams. The higher the number, the warmer the boot should keep your feet. With available insulation ranging from 100 to 1,000 grams, there are plenty of options to fit whatever climate you're in.

Comfort

While warmth and water resistance have a lot to do with how comfortable you’ll be after a day out in the elements, the comfort of the boot itself is also critical. You should be able to feel good cushioning and support from the moment you pull the boots on.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Nathan Borchelt has spent countless hours navigating snow-choked terrain across the globe, from deep piles of snow in Hokkaido to stomping through ski resort parking lots in Colorado, California, Vermont, and Utah, to name a few. Each boot was selected after carefully considering the materials, longevity, and discrete functions of each pair, backed by more than a decade of rigorously testing winter boots and other outdoor/travel gear.

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