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Best Men's Winter Boots

Updated October 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 29 Models Considered
  • 20 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 160 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for men’s winter boots

    Last Updated October 2018

    When winter rolls in with its bitter temperatures, snow, and ice, the right outerwear is key to staying safe and warm. But for many men, winter boots are the hardest type of winter gear to get right.

    Wearing the wrong pair of winter boots could lead to more than just wet feet. It could also lead to a slip and fall. So how do you find the winter boots that are right for you?

    Are you ready to buy a pair of men’s winter boots? See our top recommendations. For general tips, continue reading this shopping guide.

    To avoid getting blisters in your new boots, try to break them in before winter by wearing them for short periods in the warmer months.

    Types of men’s winter boots

    Some winter boots are constructed primarily with warmth in mind. They are insulated but may not be fully waterproof. The traction on the bottom of the boots may be minimal.

    Other winter boots are designed to be worn for long periods of time in icy, snowy weather. These boots are waterproof with excellent traction for walking in slippery winter conditions.

    What type of winter boots are you looking for? When shopping, you’ll find dress boots, pac boots, hiking boots, and slip-on boots to choose from.

    Winter dress boots

    Winter dress boots typically feature a sleek leather exterior. They can be worn with a suit to work or with jeans and a sweater for an evening out. Dress boots vary in height from ankle to mid-calf. Most have a lined interior to keep your feet warm and rubber soles for traction in snow and ice.

    Pac boots

    Men’s pac boots are laced boots with a waterproof outer shell that houses a soft, flexible inner liner. The high degree of insulation they provide allows you to tolerate extreme winter conditions involving snow, ice, and water. If you need boots for shoveling, sledding, snowmobiling, or ice fishing, you may wish to consider a pair of pac boots. Notably, however, these boots aren’t the best choice for people who hike long distances in the snow.

    Winter hiking boots

    Winter hiking boots have a removable insulated liner and secure lacing. They’re designed to fit extremely well without shifting. With waterproof materials and higher cuffs, your feet are bound to stay dry and warm inside them. Winter hiking boots also provide extremely good traction, so they’re ideal for long treks in deep snow.

    Slip-on boots

    Unlike other men’s winter boots, slip-on boots have no laces to hold them in place. Instead, they feature pull tabs or handles at the top to make it easier to put them on. Men’s slip-on boots are made of a variety of materials including rubber, leather, and sheepskin. There are both insulated and non-insulated styles available.

    If you’re looking for a pair of boots for quick outdoor activities – a walk to the store, going to and from the car – you may wish to consider a slip-on pair of boots.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Fleece is an ideal liner material for winter boots; it’s lightweight yet extremely warm. It also wicks away moisture, so your feet stay dry all day.

    Choosing the right pair of men’s winter boots

    Some of the boots on today’s market are better for you than others. Here are some factors to consider as you shop.

    Your ideal boot height

    Winter boots should be tall enough to extend at least past the hem of your pants. However, you’ll get more protection from the snow if the boots are tall enough to cover your ankle. For walking in deep snow, you may want to get boots that are even taller.

    Your preferred boot materials

    The upper portion of most men’s winter boots is made of nylon or leather. Both materials are waterproof, buy nylon is the better option if you plan to wear your boots in deep snow. Leather is an excellent material for dress boots.

    The sole of most winter boots is made of rubber, which can provide good traction on ice. Rubber is completely waterproof and can protect your feet from cold and wet conditions.

    Your insulation needs

    Winter boots typically feature some type of lining for insulation and warmth. The lining may be made of fleece, sheepskin, fur, or a synthetic material. For the warmest boots possible, choose a boot liner with heat-seeking technology that contains special fibers to help the liner retain heat.

    To customize the warmth of your boots, you may wish to purchase a pair of boots with removable liners. When the weather warms, you can still wear your boots, albeit without the liner.

    Your need for traction

    How likely are you to find yourself in a place where you might lose your footing? To prevent a fall on slippery or uneven ground, you need winter boots that provide adequate traction. We recommend these tips.

    • Check the soles of any boots you’re considering for lugs, which are bumps and channels that help the rubber grip the ground more effectively.

    • You may also want to choose a pair of boots with a heel brake. The heel brake extends beyond the rest of the outsole to help slow you down if you feel yourself slip.

    Your style preference

    Would you prefer boots with laces or drawstring closures? Or are slip-on boots more your style?

    • Laces allow you to secure the boots tightly to your feet. This helps keep the snow and cold from getting inside.

    • Drawstring closures allow you to easily tighten the boots for a better fit.

    • Slip-on winter boots often have no closure at all. However, there may be a side or front zipper that makes it easier to take the boots on and off.

    EXPERT TIP

    For the ultimate in comfort, choose winter boots with padded insoles and breathable materials.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Breathability and comfort

    Breathability

    While winter boots are supposed to keep your feet warm, they sometimes do it too well, leading your feet to sweat. If you’re prone to sweaty feet, look for boots with nylon mesh or another breathable material on the lower portion to keep your feet from sweating.

    Comfort

    The last consideration on our list – but certainly not the least – is comfort. Nobody wants uncomfortable boots. If you plan to wear yours for prolonged periods of time or walk in them for long distances, comfort is especially important. We recommend the following tips.

    • Choose a pair of boots that provides solid arch support and insoles with adequate padding.

    • Consider a pair of winter boots that help with pronation. If you over- or under-pronate, it can lead to back and knee problems, so look for winter boots with enough stability to keep your feet steady as you walk.

    To keep water from leaking into lace-up boots, look for a boot style with a gusseted tongue. The sides of the tongue are sewn into the interior of the boot to keep out both water and cold.

    Men’s winter boot prices

    You could spend anywhere from $20 to $275 on a pair of men’s winter boots. Boot type, style, and material all influence the cost. Here are some general guidelines.

    • For basic insulated boots that are good for simple errands and just getting around, you’ll usually pay between $20 and $60.

    • For mid-range boots that are insulated and fully waterproof for moderate outdoor activities, you’ll usually pay between $60 and $120.

    • For high-end boots that are insulated, fully waterproof, and suitable for long walks in the snow, you’ll usually pay between $120 and $275.

    Because rubber is waterproof and provides good traction, most winter boots feature rubber outsoles.

    Tips

    • Use a protective shoe spray. To protect winter boots from salt stains, douse them with a protective shoe spray at least five times. Allow them to dry thoroughly each time before you wear them outdoors.

    • Avoid slush and ice when you’re wearing dress boots. Dress boots aren’t necessarily waterproof. Exposure to slush and ice could damage the boots and cause you to suffer cold, wet feet.

    • Clean your boots. When you get out of the cold, clean off your winter boots immediately. Keep a brush or cloth near your door so you can wipe off salt and other debris.

    • Keep your boots in shape. When winter ends, place a boot shaper or some rolled up magazines inside the boots to help them maintain their shape.
    For boots that look more appropriate in professional situations, choose a pair in a dark color.

    FAQ

    Q. Are leather winter dress boots waterproof?
    A.
    Leather is naturally waterproof, but over time, it can start to absorb water. The water can dry out the leather and cause it to crack. It’s best to treat winter boots with a waterproofing spray meant for leather. You’ll know that your boots are properly waterproofed when water beads up on them instead of soaking in.

    Q. Are pac boots suitable for walking long distances in the snow?
    A.
    Pac boots are designed to keep your feet warm in extreme winter weather. However, they have a fairly bulky design, so they’re not as comfortable for activities like long-distance walking or hiking. They’re best for more sedentary winter activities such as ice fishing and hunting.

    Q. How important is it to clean winter boots?
    A.
    If you want your winter boots to last, it’s essential to clean them regularly. Even the durable materials found in cold-weather footwear can break down when exposed to salt, dirt, water, and mud. Use a boot brush to remove debris from the boots immediately after taking them off. For synthetic materials, you can use a soft cloth and warm water.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Amos
      Amos
      Director of Photography
    • Amy
      Amy
      Writer
    • Branson
      Branson
      Videographer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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