Trekking around the city in the middle of an ice storm or hiking long distances in the snow requires top-of-the-line footwear to keep you warm and comfortable. The best winter walking boots offer a combination of both qualities, shielding your feet from the cold while providing enough support to go the distance. When picking out winter boots, you should consider the following features:
- Traction: For superior traction in icy conditions, your boot's sole should be made of strong, rugged material — preferably some type of rubber — and built with excellent tread so you don't slip when faced with ice.
- Warmth: Proper insulation is key to keeping your feet from getting cold. Good winter boots will have durable, high-quality insulation — a feature that's often measured in grams.
- Support: High-quality insoles made of materials like EVA foam, memory foam, and other shock-absorbing components will offer arch support and prevent your feet from getting tired or sore. It’s also helpful to have a cozy lining made from soft materials like fleece or faux fur.
- Water-resistance: Depending on your needs, you may want the boot to be water-resistant or even fully waterproof. Look for materials like synthetic or genuine leather for waterproofing, or special coatings and treatments to add water-resistance.
To help you find the right fit, I've gathered a list of the best winter boots for walking. I made sure to include a variety of heights and styles so you have an option for any occasion you need.
1. The Best Ankle Boots
OTBT Women's Fanfare Cold Weather Boot
What's great about them: These unique winter ankle boots are constructed with a special technology in the insoles called the "OR Rotator System" that makes walking on ice easier. The innovative technology, which essentially functions like a built-in crampon, features a small, spiked metal circle that fits inside the bottom of the boot. If you're walking outside and it gets icy, simply pull the piece out. I tried these boots on at a recent trade show and, though I didn't go outside in them, they were nevertheless among the coolest boots I've ever seen. On top of that, they're fleece-lined and incredibly warm.
What fans say: "I 100% love these boots. Last year every time I went outside I fell flat on my back. This year big ice storm not one single fall. It took a little while for me to perfect using the key to change the spike settings but now I am a pro."
- Available sizes: 6 - 11
2. The Best Mid-Calf Boots
DREAM PAIRS Women's Winter Faux Fur Lining Combat Boot
What's great about them: With tough synthetic leather and a warm faux fur lining, these mid-calf winter boots are well-equipped for winter weather. Multiple reviewers noted they were surprised at how warm these kept their feet at such a low price. The lace-up boots have a strong rubber TPR sole and a clever zippered pocket to stash cash, credit cards, keys, or other small items. They come in two different heights and multiple color options in addition to the "Camel-pu" pictured here.
What fans say: "The lining is soft and feels like it actually cushions my feet ... The tread is enough to walk on snow and even give some traction on ice. The other day it was pouring and I walked through melting snow but ended the day with dry feet ... I wore these for an entire week, walking around 4 miles a day and my feet were comfortable and warm the whole time. Overall: These boots are super cute, comfortable, warm, and weather tough."
- Available sizes: 5 - 12
3. The Best Tall Boots
Skechers Women's Keepsakes-Big Button Slouch Tall Winter Boot
What's great about them: Available in three colors, these cozy winter boots feature strong rubber soles that can withstand long days on your feet without getting worn out. They're made of 100 percent microfiber, which makes them soft and comfortable. The feature that makes them best for walking long distances, however, is the memory foam insole, which, according to one reviewer, makes it feel like you're "walking around in a warm pair of slippers." These aren't waterproof, but they make a great option for dry, cold days.
What fans say: "Loved these, bought them before a trip where I walked a lot and they were comfortable [from] day 1. It was cold where I visited and they kept me so warm with the fleece lining."
- Available sizes: 5 - 9.5
4. The Best For Snow
Columbia Women's Ice Maiden II Insulated Snow Boot
What's great about them: With more than 4,400 reviews and a solid 4.5-star rating, these popular winter boots are specifically designed for being outside in deep snow. They're built with toasty 200-gram insulation surrounded by fully waterproof genuine leather. The rugged rubber sole has advanced traction, so you won't slip while you're trudging along, and the exceptionally comfortable cushioning makes them great for long stretches of walking. They come in six colors options, too.
What fans say: "Love those snow boots. Purchased for a week long trip to very icy place (20-30 degrees F, 30+ mph winds). I walked 10+ miles per day in these boots without any major issues. They did an excellent job [at] keeping my feet warm and dry ... Would recommend these to anyone that experiences icy cold winter weather."
- Available sizes: 5 - 12
5. The Best For Hiking
KEEN Women's Revel III Cold Weather Hiking Boot
What's great about them: If you're an avid hiker who isn't afraid of a little cold weather, these winter hiking boots are the perfect option for outdoor excursions. They're made with tough nubuck leather on the exterior to block out the elements, along with cozy, bamboo charcoal-infused insulation that provides an impressive level of warmth. The high-profile boots are outfitted with excellent cushioning to absorb shock on the trail and offer great ankle stability. They are fully waterproof and available in red or black.
What fans say: "These were by far the best boots I have ever had ... I wore them for walking in town, hiking trails, on the Black Sand Beach and even snowmobiling on a glacier in -5 degrees ... I will wear these until they fall off my feet and will recommend them to anyone who needs a great, waterproof winter boot."
- Available sizes: 5 - 11
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