Many of the things that make shoes
interesting — open toes, whisper-thin straps, mesh, and lace — becomes an invitation for frostbite and sprained ankles in the colder months, especially if you live in an area that sees a lot of snow. But life doesn’t stop when the mercury plummets, and you can’t expect yourself to live in a pair of Moon Boots until the ground thaws. The best cute winter boots toe the line between function and fashion, harnessing weather-friendly features but with elevated design details, like shiny hardware, fur trim, or a knock-em-dead color. These thoughtful additions are what lifts this largely overlooked shoe into something a cut above the ordinary. Soles, Decoded
Of course, there are some considerations to keep in mind when you’re dressing for warmth. Wet feet equals cold feet, so it’s important to seek out materials that are at least weather-resistant (if not outright waterproof) to help keep your feet warm and dry. A lot of
winter boots feature rubber soles — rubber is naturally waterproof, and is often molded into another design feature you’ll want to look out for: lug soles. Lug sole boots have extra-thick soles with deep grooves cut in for better traction, so they’re a good pick for snow and ice. TPR — or thermoplastic rubber — has properties of both rubber and plastic, and it's another commonly used material for making anti-slip shoe soles. Bonus Features
If you want to wear extra thick socks, it's nice to be able to go one half-size up so there’s plenty of wiggle room. For that reason, shoes that are available in half-sizes are a blessing. And, of course, a good lining — especially comfy faux fur — is luxurious on frigid days.
I curated a selection of
cute winter boots that check the boxes when it comes to the above material criteria, but also combine utility and design in the best possible ways.
A Dead Ringer For Sorel Winter Boots
quilted snow boot is an affordable (and vegan) dupe for the popular Sorel winter boot right down to their distinctive rubber outsole and 10 heavy-duty D-ring eyelet laces, plus a faux fur lining and cuff. Outside of those details, the materials vary by color — and there are over a dozen to choose from, including Fair Isle patterns and a gray tweed-like fabric. The mid-calf shaft measures 11 inches high, so you can march through snow drifts with impunity, and they also feature a hardy waterproof lug sole for traction. Available colors: 21 colors Available sizes: 5 - 12 (no half sizes)
These Rubber Chelsea-Style Ankle Boots That Can Handle Winter Weather
Backed by more than 3,000 reviews, these rubber Chelsea boots are a good choice for
winter ankle boots because they are naturally weather-resistant and stylishly versatile. You can easily dress them both up and down. There's elastic goring on the sides and ankle tabs to help you get the boots on easily, and the rubber sole is molded for increased traction — it's not quite a lug sole, but definitely has better grip than a lot of other fashion boots. Many reviewers noted they run true to size, or even a little big, so you'll have room to layer some really good socks. While not the warmest on this list, shoppers reported that these boots are waterproof and comfortable. Available colors: 13 colors Available sizes: 4.5 - 12 (with some half sizes)
This Pair Of Dressy Winter Boots With A Surprise Faux Fur Lining
A pair of
dressy winter ankle boots are great if you work in an office or attend events that require a more elevated dress code. These faux suede boots with a rhinestone accent were made for winter walking with a faux fur lining and lightly padded footbed to keep your feet warm when the mercury dips. The almond toe is sophisticated but not overly formal and the 3.5-inch block heel is easier to walk in than stilettos. It does have a smooth sole, however — so they might not be the best choice in a lot of ice or snow where traction is key. Available colors: 6 colors Available sizes: 5 - 11 (with half sizes)
These High-Heel Snow Booties With Serious Treads
A pair of
high-heel snow boots will see you through flurries in style thanks to a thick lug sole, that provides enhanced traction, and a chunky heel for extra stability. This style is offered in two heel heights — and in a range of deep neutrals — so there are a lot of good basics to choose from. These boots are made from vegan polyurethane leather and have a weather-resistant thermoplastic rubber outsole for durability with a side-zip closure and adjustable laces for a perfect fit. Multiple shoppers wrote about how comfortable they were to wear. One noted: "Very simple way to dress up a basic outfit. Love these boots. I can walk in them all night." Available colors: 10 colors Available sizes: 5 - 11 (with half sizes)
These Knee-High Winter Boots That Are Cute & Warm
tall winter boots with faux fur are a chalet-chic answer to snowy weather. A knee-high shaft gives you an extra layer against the cold and the boot is fully lined with the softest faux fur. The lace-up detail is decorative: These come with a zip closure, so they're easy to get on and off. The durable TPR sole is grooved so these boots do have some grip, but they are not the sturdiest option for dealing with a ton of snow or ice. (Check out the choices on this list that have lug soles.) "Finally found fashionable boots that keep my feet warm and dry," one shopper wrote, and several others echoed how nicely made these boots are for such an affordable price. Available colors: 4 colors Available sizes: 5 - 11 (with half sizes)
Some Quilted Riding Boots With Gold Hardware
A pair of vegan leather
riding boots with quilted details and glam gold hardware are a great day-to-night boot that combines the ease of a flat with the upgraded finish of dressier shoes. These feature a weather-resistant TPR outsole and a knitted accent cuff on the back. The only caveat is that the buckle fastens directly over the zipper, and a two-step process to take off your shoes might get annoying over time. That hasn't deterred more than 1,700 reviewers, over half of whom left a five-star review. There were mixed reports on whether the calves ran narrow or wide, so make sure to check your measurements before adding them to your cart. "Great fit and so many compliments on these boots!" one shopper commented. Available colors: 6 colors Available sizes: 6 - 11 (with half sizes)
These Epic Vegan Mongolian Fur Boots
This pair of Ugg-style
winter boots with cozy faux Mongolian fur are basically hygge for your feet. These have a lightly cushioned insole and are lined with fleece for softness and warmth. That said, they're surprisingly hardy thanks to a heavy-duty rubber lug sole that provides weather-resistant traction, but the upper isn't waterproof so these boots are not the best choice for inclement weather. That said, they earn high marks for a style that one reviewer called "snow princess vibes." The same reviewer added, "I'm in LOVE with these. Very sturdy soles for traction in winter weather. Inside is soft with lots of support so they're super comfy and super fabulous." Another shopper noted the boot are: "An awesome vegan alternative to Uggs." Available colors: 4 colors Available sizes: 5.5 - 11 (with some half sizes)
This Sharp AF Option For When You Need To Live Dangerously
Admittedly, these are the least practical shoes on this list, but they're too gorgeous to leave out. You had to see them. A pointy-toed, faux suede ankle boot, available in both black and shades of red, with a nearly five-inch stiletto heel is a
stylish winter boot that brings a look. They come with a protective film on the bottom to prevent damage, although if you're looking for lug soles, these aren't a match. They do, however, come lined with a fleece-like fabric, according to reviews.
This option packs the widest size range available, offering up to a size 15. (A few reviews noted that these do run small, however.) You can score options with and without the patent panel, just note that the extra-high heel can be a little harder to walk in. One reviewer noted the boots' "fantastic quality" and that they "look expensive."
Available colors: 5 colors Available sizes: 5 - 15 (with limited half sizes) Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently of Bustle's editorial and sales departments.