03 Dec BEST WINTER BOOTS REVIEWS OF 2018-2019
When winter is on its way, the trusty winter boot is a Godsend. You might not remember buying this kind of boot recently, but no doubt you’ve run around in the snow as a kid and you didn’t do this is a pair of sneakers! So, the best winter boots are ones that keep your feet warm when there’s ice or snow on the ground and likely close to sub-zero temperatures.While you can keep warm with a nice winter coat, without the best winter boots for men or the best snow boots, your feet are surely going to freeze. Not to be outdone, the best women’s winter boots feature some feminine designs that keep her sense of style (and warmth) without missing a beat. We’ve separated out the first section for general winter boots and the second section just for reviews of women’s winter boots, so jump to the section that’s most relevant for what you’re looking for.
Columbia Bugaboot Plus III
The Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus Iii Omni-m is a rugged boot that’s designed for cooler temperatures but it’s so insulated that they’re uncomfortable to wear when it reaches 25-30-Fahrenheit. The 200-grams of insulation (synthetic) is good enough to work in different temperatures making this a more useful boot for braving the snow. The design is detailed with a choice of three color schemes, a shaft that rises 7-inches from the base of the arch and weighs just two pounds, four ounces. The design with the sole and combination of metal, leather, nylon and webbing on the upper is a mixed appearance that works well together.
There’s Columbia’s Omni insulation too which works well. While these aren’t the best winter hiking boots because the synthetic insulation isn’t as warm as other boots under review, the thick waterproof seam along the edge, plus the Techlite branded material on the upper keep moisture out. The weight of 2 pounds and 14 ounces finds a nice balance between being too heavy for comfortable use and too light for secure footing with snow or ice under foot.
Muck Boot Arctic Ice Tall
The Muck Boot Women’s Arctic Ice Tall Work Boot takes a different approach than many of the other boots under review. This one is made from Flex-Foam with neoprene that is 8 mm thick. There’s rubber which is made to feel soft and flexible to avoid splitting the boot and Spandura to provide greater comfort.
This could one of the best waterproof winter boots because it’s much taller than most, so jeans or other pants can either get tucked inside or go outside the boot. There’s a pink accent on the Vibram sole, but other than that, there’s little to indicate that this is a boot for a woman. The weight of 5 pounds is much heavier than other boots reviewed; up to 100% heavier. However, this along with the lugs on the sole that go in multiple directions for better traction greater and the heavier weight serves to anchor your feet in place with various terrain. The soft fleece offers comfort with the lining and ensures these boots are rated for -50 Centigrade.
Vasque Snow burban Ultradry
The Vasque Men’s SnowburbanUltradry Insulated Snow Boot is one that works well in different situations and not only when there’s snow on the ground. It does come with Thinsulate, made by 3M which is 400 grams and keeps your feet toasty. Therefore, these boots will do well in climates that are typically very cold for several months or year-round; they’ll be too hot for the spring, summer or the fall on many locations. The sleek black boot is a no nonsense appearance with other elements also matching the black coloring, just a little lighter or darker. The only exception is the yellow branding which is noticeable as a result. The weight of 3 pounds, 6 ounces reflects the extra insultation and is the price you pay. The waterproofing comes from leather and polyurethane that’s been coated.The collar has a fleece lining for added comfort and to keep the wind out.The sole is rubber. The shaft runs 8-inches from the arch. There’s a toe cap made of thicker rubber to provide some degree of protection from stubbing your toe. A heel kick and a D-ring have been fitted too for the wearer’s convenience. The opening to get your foot is wide enough to fit legs and feet in comfortably. There is perhaps a little less ankle support than one would like, but it’s generally decent enough. These are good all-round winter boots and may well be the best winter boots for a person who likes to go out in virtually any weather. They’re also nondescript in design, so they’re look fine with any colored clothing too.
Salomon X Ultra Winter CS
The Salomon Men’s X Ultra Winter CS Waterproof Performance Boot is a useful boot that only weighs 2 pounds, 7 ounces and this is partly due to the use of some fabric in the upper and also the 200-grams of 3M Thinsulate. As a result, it’s not as warm as other boots.This Salomon boot certainly keeps you light on your feet. You can strap it in for shoeing through the snow without difficulty. For hiking and backpacking trips late in the season when temperatures can drop sharply, these boots will keep the feet warm enough. They’re available in black or brown mix with the latter looking quite different to the former. The upper is a combination of fabric and leather mixed together. The rubber sole has EVA OrthoLite above it. A heel cap and toe cap, both rubber, work well. The mid-cut level boot has a tongue that’s gusseted to keep the wind and snow out too.
The North Face Chilkat III
The North Face Women’s Chilkat III is a brown or black colored boot that looks different to the others with a wider base for considerable lower leg movement into the boot.The boot weights 3 pounds and 2 ounces. There’s 200-grams of Heatseeker insulation packed inside. The sole is synthetic with a platform that gets 0.75-inches off the ground. The shaft rises almost 8 inches.The leather and suede for the upper is an interesting choice here. It certainly looks good and along with the insulation peaking out at the top of the boot and the quality laces and stitching, you’re in good hands here. The boot is designed to be waterproof top to bottom and does well there too.
Top Women’s-Specific Winter Boots
SOREL Women’s Joan of Arctic
With the Sorel Women’s Joan of Arctic, there’s no mistaking that this is a boot for a woman. The boot looks to merge the appearance of a plastic Converse sneaker at the bottom with a high black leather boot with the top part. It’s certainly different and distinctive. The boot is covered in cow hide and suede for a strong, durable outer and rises up to 11-inches above the arch. The tough laces match the color scheme perfectly, as does the rest of the boot. There’s a bunch of faux fur peaking out luxuriously at the top of the Joan of Arctic which looks just right too.The Arctic can actually handle -25-degrees Fahrenheit which isn’t bad at all. We expected less of it to be honest. The inner liner can be removed to dry it out when the boot gets flooded, therefore you shouldn’t expect the level of waterproofing that other boots under review provide. The heavier 3 pounds, 13-ounce weigh is mostly due to the taller design and insulation. This boot is very capable for use in winter conditions regardless of whether you’re actually planning to go hiking with it. Walking in city streets will certainly be more comfortable this way for sure.
Merrell Women’s Decora Chant
The Merrell Women’s Decora Chant Waterproof Winter Boot is a decent boot to handle weather during the colder months when you need to be careful about your footwear. The boot is made from a leather outer which ensures waterproofing. The boot is 10-inches tall, but with an 8-inch shaft. There’s faux fur at the collar for style and also to stop wind coming inside the boot.The outsole is grippy for slippery surfaces which has an air pocket to bounce the foot comfortably. The arch gets additional support too, so this boot is a casual one for colder nights. It is not designed as one to start climbing up the side of Mount Everest but it’s certainly apt for stylish, understated city walks on winter nights thanks to the 200-grams of insulation.
Columbia Women’s Minx Mid II Omni Heat
The Columbia Women’s Minx Mid II Omni-Heat Winter Boot looks very much a boot for sledging through the snow and braving the ice. There are three color schemes with two being very dark and the other closely matching darker snow. The quilted appearance looks great and the laces (ghillie) suit it perfectly. One key advantage with this boot is that it only weighs 1 pound, 10.4-ounces. So, it’s easy to move around, but equally it won’t handle deep snow all that well.On the insulation front, there’s Omni-heat in the lining at 200-grams which is good enough for colder nights. It’s made from fabric on the upper, with a faux fur collar and an all synthetic sole too. Its platform is a shallow half inch and the shaft rises up 10 inches starting at the arch.
The North Face Shellista II
The North Face WomensShellista II Mid Boot is a strong product that is a little shorter at 8.5-inches tall compared to other taller boots. A leather upper is present, but the 200-grams of Heatseeker insulation only covers you down to +20-degrees Fahrenheit because of the boot’s design.The sole is synthetic and has a TPR shell that’s molded and waterproofed. There’s a textile knitted collar at the top. The lace up system all the way up the front of the boot is stylish and dependable.The mixture of woolen design at the top of the shaft, brown soles and black boot design looks fashionable and distinctive.
The Ahnu Women’s Northridge Insulated Waterproof Hiking Boothas a Vibram rubber black sole with a 1.25-inch rise. The shaft of this boot rises 9-inches with black ribbing along the back. The side and front have a blended crisscross pattern with a similar color for below the laces and the feet area.The boot weighs 2 pounds, 4 ounces. There’s 200-grams of 3M Thinsulate lining the interior of the boot. The boot is suitable for hiking and even when temperatures reach freezing point, but not really lower than that.The mix of textile and leather works well with this boot that will look presentable in a range of different outfits.
Types of Boots and Uses
There are different types of winter boots. Some will be suitable for below freezing temperatures and others are more fashionable that won’t be suitable for hiking but city walking in the snow is just fine.
The casual boot is designed for keeping your feet warm in the winter. They will usually have 200-grams of insulation to provide warmth, but won’t offer full insulation protection. Most boots are made of suede and sometimes leather, but less often rubber material is used. The profile of casual boots tends to be shallowed usually, but there are some high shaft exceptions, particularly when designed for women.
Winter Hiking Boots
The winter hiking boot is more robust, but it will also usually have an ankle height that’s not as high and the insulation is 200-grams in most cases which is only good for freezing to moderate temperatures and not colder.The materials used vary between brands and models, but are reliable and durable for hiking and contact with rocks and boulders.
Cold Weather Winter Boots
Some winter boots are designed to handle being out in the snow for lengthy periods and permanently colder climates. These could have 200-grams of insulation from 3M, but often they’re packing 400-grams for extra warmth. The boots tend to be less fashionably designed with a focus on a mixture of leather, nylon and rubber. The advantage of these materials is greater natural insulation and good waterproofing.
These types are heavier boots won’t suit longer walking. Driving with these on is also difficult too because of their bulkiness. But that’s the trade-off with warmth for design and flexibility.
It depends on the brand whether they come with a rating for what temperature they can still keep the feet warm. There are no regulated test results here, so this is purely the boot maker’s estimate or internal tests being used. In general, you’re better when moving around to keep the feet warm. No boot is perfect in this regard; you cannot stand still in knee deep snow and expect to keep warm. The trick it to keep moving and let the insulation do its stuff.
Most winter boots are waterproof. Not every boot is waterproof and even the ones that are sometimes have a lining that can be removed and dried out which is a good indication that their waterproofing isn’t the best. It really depends what weather conditions you live in year-round whether 100% waterproofing matters or not.
The shaft length for boots varies quite a bit. It depends how you’ll use the boot and whether you prefer a longer shaft. Will you put jeans over the top of the boots or tuck each jeans’ leg inside the boot? Things like this dictate the size of the boot’s diameter that will be best and what shaft length will work better for you.
Winter boots have different degrees of protection for the ankle. Some basic models have the potential for the ankle to roll and cause injury. Other types of winter boot that’s closer to a hiking boot have thicker materials and are built with a more rigid EVA sole and outer material that helps keep the foot and ankle in the same position when walking.
You’ll usually find rubber used in most boots, most commonly lower down. It provides good basic protection from the elements. Rubber tends to keep its form, so it doesn’t bend as well with the movement of the foot. Sensitivity to the ground and feeling the ground beneath you are not strong points. Rubber also doesn’t breathe well. With uppers, these could be leather, suede, nylon or fabric. Snow gets absorbed, but if the insulation and waterproofing is good, that’ll still be okay.
Boot Outsoles and Grip
Many manufacturers use Vibram outsoles. They sometimes make custom designs for individual models, so just because it says that it’s Vibram doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s dependable; it depends on the specification they’ve worked with. However, Vibram tends to be good. Bigger lugs and multi-directional ones work best in keeping their grip on the ground. This is true when trudging through snow and small streams.
Traction with Winter Boots
When walking on frozen lakes, you’ll need additional spikes added to a winter boot or to use spiked walking sticks to avoid slipping.
Insulation Types :
Insulation using Thinsulate from 3M and alsoPrimaloft is commonly seen. Some brands like Columbia and North Face use their own insulation systems (Omni-Heat and Heatseeker respectively) which work well too.
A measurement in grams for the insulation type used is what to look for here. 200-grams is used in more basic winter boots for freezing but not lower temperature usage. 400-grams of insulation is required for colder conditions. With more insulation, the weight of each boot grows considerably.
Other Fills and Linings
Some boots will have a faux fur collar or lining. A few boots may use down filling to add considerable extra warmth, but most common is synthetic insulation in winter boots these days.
You get what you pay for with winter boots. You must decide what temperature you need to handle with your footwear first, to narrow the field of suitable boots. From there, the insulation type and materials used, plus reports on the construction quality and traction level matter the most. Finally, the look of the boot from a fashion perspective becomes the last thing to worry about.