Heavy insulation makes these great for extreme winter weather. Tall shaft keeps leg warm. High-quality materials and heavy duty build.
You may need to order a size larger to make room for thick winter socks. They look bigger than regular winter boots because of extra insulation.
Easy to get the foot in and out. Seriously waterproof even in sloppy, wet conditions. Warm enough for severe winter weather.
Shaft is narrow for those with wider calves.
Meet the 3 criteria for a winter boot: comfortable, warm, and waterproof. Excellent traction for winter explorers. High shaft keeps more of the leg warm.
Sizing can be a problem as the heel area tends to fit differently than other boots.
Minimal design gives a low profile appearance. Rubber outer shell keeps water out. Comfortable. Wide toe box makes room for thick socks.
Don't work well on ice. Toe area is not lined with fur so your toes may get cold.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
When the winter chill hits, you need the proper gear to keep yourself warm. The perfect coat, hat, scarf, and gloves may be easy to find, but when it comes to women’s winter boots, shopping can be a challenge. The ideal pair of winter boots combines an attractive look with a design that keeps you warm and safe no matter how much snow and ice piles up outside your door. But with so many different winter boots on the market, choosing the right pair can start to feel like mission impossible.
At BestReviews, we understand that along with style, the right pair of boots has the correct temperature rating, height, and traction to suit the wearer’s needs. If you’re looking for guidance, we invite you to consult the matrix above to learn about our five favorite women’s boots available right now.
As we prepare our shopping guides, we consult with experts in the field to get deeper insights into top products. We buy products and test them in our labs, and we pore through customer feedback from owners of the products in question. If you’d like more information on women’s winter boots, including tips on how to find the perfect pair, continue reading this shopping guide.
Let’s face it: most of us are concerned with our appearance, so we want to choose footwear that’s stylish. But with winter boots, it’s important to choose a pair that balances fashion with function. You want your boots to keep your feet warm and dry without detracting from the rest of your wardrobe.
How will you wear your winter boots? If you plan to use them primarily for getting in and out of your car and quick walks in inclement weather, a pair that offers light insulation, effective traction, and a stylish design is usually sufficient. But if you plan to hike for long periods in the snow, a pair of tall, heavily insulated, waterproof boots with thick rubber soles for superior traction would probably be more your speed.
Fortunately, there are a variety of women’s winter boots that effectively combine fashion with function. The result: footwear that performs as well as it looks.
Your feet tend to swell at the end of the day, after you’ve been walking or standing for a while. Take this into account when evaluating the fit of your boots.
There are three main winter boot categories to choose from: snow boots, pac boots, and hiking boots.
Snow boots are insulated to protect the feet from the cold and snow. These boots don’t have the thick rubber shell that pac boots do, so they’re not as bulky or heavy. (See below for more on pac boots.) They also don’t hold up to the same extreme conditions that pac boots do, so they’re best for light outdoor activities.
Snow boots are often designed with fashion details, such as fur cuffs, to give them a more stylish appearance.
Pac boots are even heartier than snow boots. If you plan to walk in extreme wintry conditions where insulation and water-resistance is essential, you may want to consider this style of boot.
Pac boots have an upper portion that’s composed of a durable material like nylon or leather and a lower portion made of thick rubber. The bottom is waterproof, while the top can be either water-resistant or waterproof. They usually have thick insulation as well, so they’re very warm and can be worn in the most extreme winter conditions. Pac boots can be bulky, though, so they’re not suited for walking long distances.
If you’re going to be walking long distances in the snow or moving through deep snow, active hiking boots are the best winter boot option. They provide strong ankle support and have a deep tread for superior traction in the snow. In addition, active hiking boots usually feature strong laces to provide stability and a breathable liner to ensure they’re warm but still comfortable.
Lace-up winter boots allow for a more adjustable fit. If your feet tend to swell, you may appreciate a pair of lace-up boots.
Many manufacturers assign a temperature rating to their boots. This provides a guideline for the temperature range in which you can expect to comfortably don the footwear. For a example, a pair of winter boots might be rated to -20°F, which means your feet should stay warm in that temperature while wearing the boots.
Which temperature rating is right for you? Consider the climate you live in and the amount of time that you’ll be spending outdoors.
But remember, too, that temperature ratings are just guidelines. A variety of factors, such as your health and activity level, can affect what temperature a pair of boots will keep your feet warm in.
If warmth is your primary concern, check the temperature rating of any pair of boots you’re considering. This figure will give you an idea how well the boots would protect you from the cold.
To keep the cold and snow from seeping into your winter boots, it helps to choose a pair that has enough height on your leg.
Generally, the taller the boots are, the warmer your feet and ankles will be. Most tall winter boots have a height of 11 to 12 inches.
Taller boots tend to be bulkier and heavier, however, so for more intense activities, a shorter pair of hiking boots that are approximately seven to eight inches high is usually more comfortable.
Avoid winter boots that have a significant heel. It’s usually easier to slip and fall in them than it is in flat styles.
Winter boots with adequate traction and water-resistance will help protect you from slips and falls and keep you comfortable in the cold.
For the best traction, choose winter boots with rubber soles that are waterproof and non-slip. The boots should have bumps and crevices on the bottom that grip the ground as you walk. Some styles have a spiked bottom; others have a coiled crevice design. Choose the option that feels most comfortable for you.
In wintry weather, there’s a good chance you’ll be facing wet, slushy conditions. You want a pair of boots that offers enough water-resistance to keep your feet warm and dry. But not all winter boots are completely resistant to water. Some are mainly designed for warmth and won’t hold up well to snow, ice, and slush.
For the most water-resistant boots, look for a pair that features a rubber shell, which protects the lower portion of the boot. The shell can help prevent moisture from seeping in, even if you’re standing in an ankle-deep puddle of slush.
If your feet are getting wet because your boots don’t resist moisture as well as you’d like, you may wish to apply a waterproof spray to the exterior of the boots. This product is available for a low cost at many supermarkets and drugstores.
If you’re going to wear your winter boots for prolonged periods, it’s important that they be as comfortable as possible.
Make sure the boots you choose provide firm support at the ankle to allow for increased stability as you walk.
You also want adequate arch and foot support so you can assume proper posture while walking.
There should also be enough room in the front of the boot for you to wiggle your toes without feeling pinched.
If you have wider calves, look for pair of winter boots with elasticized panels on the sides. They provide some stretch to create a snug yet comfortable fit.
Many women’s winter boots have some type of insulated lining to help keep the feet warm. A variety of materials work well as boot linings, including shearling, fur, wool felt, and microfiber polyester.
In addition to finding a lining that keeps you warm, it’s important to choose a pair of boots that allows your feet to breathe in order to avoid sweating. Materials like Gore-Tex and Thinsulate typically offer the most breathability.
If the weather fluctuates in your area, consider a pair of winter boots with removable linings. That way, you can customize the amount of insulation your boots have depending on the weather.
Leather winter boots are naturally waterproof, but if you don’t care for them properly, they can start to absorb water and crack.
Women’s winter boots vary in price based on type, style, and material. You could spend anywhere from $20 to $350 for a pair of women’s winter boots. Below, we offer some general guidelines.
$20 to $70
In this price range, you’ll find many “basic” boots that are designed for warmth. However, these boots will not always be waterproof.
$70 to $150
Boots in this slightly pricier range are designed for both warmth and snow/moisture exposure.
$150 to $350
The high-end women’s winter boots found in this price range are designed for warmth and heavy snow.
Inspect the stitching on any pair of winter boots that you’re considering; it should be neat and orderly. Messy stitches can be a sign of poor quality.
Know the size of each of your feet. It’s normal for feet to be slightly different sizes from one another. Find a pair that will feel comfortable on both feet.
Clean boots immediately after wearing them. After you come in from outside, wipe the snow, slush, salt, and other residue from your boots right away. Keep a boot brush near your door, so you’re always prepared.
Polish leather boots periodically. In addition to cleaning your leather boots, you should also polish them on occasion. The polish adds a protective coating to the leather so they can more easily repel dirt, water, and salt.
Store your boots carefully in the off season. When winter is over, a flat shoe storage bag can help protect your boots during storage. You can then stash them under your bed or on a closet shelf without worrying about them sustaining damage.
Q. What type of women’s winter boots are best for everyday wear?
A. If you want a basic pair of boots that you can wear while walking to work, running errands, or light outdoor activities like shoveling snow, snow boots are a good option. They’re warm and usually water-resistant, but they’re not necessarily suitable for long walks or extreme weather conditions. Snow boots often have a stylish look, too, so you don’t have to worry about them detracting from your outfit as much as some other types of boots.
Q. What features are most important in women’s winter boots?
A. Traction is a key feature in any pair of winter boots if you want to avoid slipping and falling. Insulation and waterproofing are also important, because you want your feet to stay warm and dry no matter how cold and wet the weather gets.
Q. Which are better for activities in the snow, pac boots or hiking boots?
A. If you’re going to be walking or moving around in snow for long periods, hiking boots are the best option because they’re lightweight enough to encourage maneuverability, and they provide firm ankle support for stability. Pac boots are better for light walking and activities that don’t require much movement.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.