Don't look now, but we're in the thick of winter's nastiness. And maybe it's occurred to you that a reliable, high-quality pair of snow boots would be just the thing for keeping your toes toasty and dry. The perfect snow boots will protect against harsh conditions with rugged soles to stop you from slipping and sliding on icy sidewalks. Waterproof functionality will also protect your feet from slush.
L.L.Bean 10" Shearling-Lined Bean Boots
Baffin Escalate Boots
Best Boots for Warmth
Dream Pairs Women's Waterproof Winter Snow Boots
Best Winter Boots for Walking
Icebug Ivalo 4 BUGrip Winter Boots
Best Snow Boots for Ice
Columbia Women's Bugaboot Celsius Boots
Best Waterproof Boots
Sorel Tivoli IV Tall Waterproof Women's Boots
Best Insulated Boots
Sorel Women's Joan of Arctic Waterproof Boots
Most Stylish Snow Boots
Oboz Bridger 9-Inch Insulated Waterproof Boots
Best Boots for Deep Snow
The North Face Nuptse Apres Booties
Best Slip-On Boots
Ugg Women's Adirondack Boot Iii Boots
Most Comfortable Winter Boots
Sperry Women's Saltwater Core Boots
Best Rain Boots for Snow
Totes Henrique Snow Boots
Best Affordable Winter Boots
Lowa Renegade Warm GTX Mid Boots
Best Splurge Snow Boots
Toms Mojave Boots
Best Short Boots
Muck Women's Arctic Ice Tall Agat Boots
Best Tall Boots
Instead of wasting time and money buying winter boots that aren’t as durable as they claim, we consulted a team of podiatrists, outdoor enthusiasts, travel experts and our very own shopping editors to see which pairs truly walk the walk. The 15 best winter boots, including beloved best sellers like L.L.Bean, Ugg, North Face and Columbia, below deserve a coveted spot in your cold-weather wardrobe.
Best overall snow boots
Other top snow boots we recommend for 2024
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
What factors should you consider when buying snow boots?
According to Backcountry gearhead Ashleigh McClary, keep in mind how tall your boots need to be. If you’re in an area that gets a lot of snow that builds up fast, opt for a higher silhouette to prevent anything from seeping in; if you’re in a city that gets plowed and shoveled often, you can stick to shorter boots.
She said to also consider how much grip boots have on the bottom, the amount of insulation they have and the temperature they're rated to: "How easy are they to put on/take off? What activities do you plan to do in them? How waterproof are they? And of course, how good do they look?"
When it comes to finding a super cozy pair of snow boots, it’s all about the type of insulation. Canadian sports enthusiast and skating boutique owner Georgy Lowell told us the key is to look for “effective insulation materials such as Thinsulate, PrimaLoft or fleece lining. These provide warmth while ensuring breathability and moisture management.”
McClary added that the temperature rating is just as important (if not more) than the brand of insulation. “Any insulation over 150 grams is a good place to start,” she said. “The higher the number over that 150 grams, the warmer the boots will be.”
When it comes to traction, NYC and NJ-based podiatrist and owner of Dr. Brenner's Rx Foot care products Dr. Hillary Brenner says, “For ice, you want the bottom of the shoe to have metal spikes, cleats or studs. And for walking in snow, you want the boot to have a non-slip rubber sole.”
Lowell recommends choosing pairs with an outsole that’s “crafted from robust and enduring materials such as Vibram or Michelin, as they feature a lug pattern that maximizes traction on icy and snowy surfaces.”
Most winter boots are going to be waterproof, but it is always a good idea to verify. Dr. Brenner suggests “looking at the tongue of the shoe to confirm, though sometimes it will be written on the shoe itself or the sole.” McClary recommends looking for “tech specs and keywords in the product title like GTX (Gore-Tex) or WP (waterproof),” when shopping online. Lowell told us he also likes to read customer reviews as “owner’s experiences with a boot's waterproofing in actual use are frequently instructive.”
Travel blogger Nadia Podrabinek suggests going up a size in boots in case you need to wear thicker socks for added warmth. “This is because thermal socks, typically worn in colder climates, are bulkier than regular socks. Having an extra bit of room in your boots can enhance comfort and circulation, keeping your feet warm and cozy during your winter travels,” she told us.
Just remember to consider the climate when determining if you need thicker socks, McClary told us. Because “if your feet get too hot in the socks and sweat, your feet will actually be colder.” She added: “If you are planning to use the boots for a winter activity like hiking or snowshoeing, you’ll want the boots to fit similarly to your running shoes or hiking boots. But too much room in a boot will cause your foot to slip around, so you want to make sure you just have enough room for your foot to expand but nothing extra from side to side (laterally). If you’re going to be hiking or snowshoeing, you’ll also want to consider lace-up boots that can secure your foot into place vs slip-ons.”
Dr. Brenner shared with us her go-to trick for accurate sizing. “To get the best fit, make sure the tip of your thumb can fit between the end of the shoes and the end of your longest toe. If you're wearing thick socks, the boot should fit a bit tighter and if you're wearing thin socks, the boot should fit a bit looser.”