The winter boot: such an ageless and enchanting bit of apparatus. Perhaps this is on the grounds that they harken back to being a child, when snow falling dependably implied the expectation of stepping around in a fresh, great world for quite a long time at any given moment with the guarantee of hot cocoa toward the end. Underneath we separate the best winter boots for 2017-2018, from dynamic to easygoing and pretty much everything in the middle. For foundation data, look at our correlation table and purchasing guidance. A large number of the boots are offered in the two men’s and ladies’ styles, yet we’ve additionally committed a segment to our best women’s-particular winter boots.
- Sorel Caribou Boots
It doesn’t get much more classic than this. The Caribou from Sorel seemingly has been around forever, and we love the combination of comfort, style, and performance. First off, this is a very warm boot with a 9mm felt liner, stout leather upper, and wraparound rubber lower. Most manufacturers nowadays turn to synthetic fill to reduce bulk, but the throwback felt liner insulates well and adds soft cushioning along the interior. You also can remove the liner, which is a great feature to expedite the drying process should the boot get wet in deep snow.
It’s true that Sorel boots used to be manufactured exclusively in Canada and now are made in China, but they are a quality option nevertheless and work well for a wide range of winter uses. Walking long distances, however, is not one of them. Keep to the shorter distances and these boots will be a cozy and warm haven in almost all conditions.
Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry
Breaking from the traditional designs of our top two picks, Vasque’s Snowburban is a nimble boot designed for active use. With the looks of a hiking boot—and the grip, support, and waterproof protection to match—along with hefty 400-gram Thinsulate insulation from 3M, this is a great option for strapping on a pair of snowshoes in frigid conditions or summiting a local peak. The Snowburban is decently stylish too (in a hiking boot kind of way), with the leather uppers adding a little class in a sea of black rubber.
One consideration with the Vasque Snowburban is that the ankle height may be a little low if you spend a lot of time in deep powder and don’t want to put on gaiters. More, the 400-gram insulation can be overkill and too hot for working hard in mild conditions (the Salomon X Ultra Winter below is the better option for those uses). But most will appreciate the extra warmth, and the Snowburban’s $160 price undercuts most of the competition below by $20 or more.
L.L. Bean Boots 8” Thinsulate
Many boots on this list trend toward the casual or performance sides of the spectrum, but L.L. Bean hits a nice combination of the two. On the bottom, you get a waterproof rubber construction for protection from snow and other moisture. On the top, the leather upper is both comfortable and gives the boot a polished look. Throw in a quality build that is put together and sewn in Maine, and there’s good reason why L.L. Bean’s winter boots have been so popular for years.
Within the same classic winter boot line, you have different insulation options to choose from. The 8” Thinsulate model we’ve listed here has insulation along the footbed but not around the upper part of the boot (this should be sufficient with wool socks or when it’s not frigid). You also can choose the fully insulated Gore-Tex version, which offers extra warmth and protection from the elements for $50 more. Both come in narrow, regular, and wide fits, so L.L. Bean offers something for just about everyone.