Take a look at the parking lot of a grocery store. On a cold winter afternoon, you may see dry, wet, packed, fluffy, packed, and black pavements in northern latitudes. We tested 29 pairs of boots and did 125 hours’ worth of research.
There are many top-performing winter boots, including traditional lace-up winter boots for men or women and a modern design that can tread easily on fresh snow. Slip-one with better traction in snow and ice are available. A boot perfect for walking on an icy sidewalk, a cube of slip-on-muck-boot arctic ice mid and a wool-lined leather boot are all options.
This is who this is
We designed and tested outdoor activities that can be done in cold areas. This could mean shoveling snow, walking to an outdoor mall, or moving from your car to the office. We looked for functionality and not style. We hope you find something you love here. If not, we will show you what to look for when shopping.
What is this guide missing?
- Winter work boots or extreme-cold boots are thickly insulated to keep feet comfortable for long periods. They can also have reinforced toe caps and electrical hazard protection.
- Winter hiking boots. Some made it to the test pool since hiking boots can be used for walking on trails and have some crossover appeal. Winter hiking boots are more sophisticated than those made for urban use and have a more delicate lacing that can improve traction.
- We did not test the winter shoes. They are insulated, shorter-than-normal-height shoes that are water-resistant and can be worn in wet or cold conditions. These shoes are available in millions, so you can choose what you want!
- Because mukluks are so good at a specific task, we didn’t have them. A mukluk, a soft-sided, sometimes knee-high animal skin boot, was originally worn by Arctic aboriginal tribes, particularly when hunting and dog-sledding.
Why you should believe me
Since 2006, I have been researching and using Wirecutter boots. Since 2006, I have tested boots in two floods that required boat evacuation, during the fourth largest snowfall since records began in the Lake Tahoe basin and spring in Idaho’son Valley, where mud has its season. I have a strong affinity for dramatic weather and a knack for getting stuck in it. A few other interests (snowboards, motorbikes) also see me wearing boots almost daily.
Kamik Nation Plus is the best all-around snow boot available for men.
Kamik Nation Plus (men’men’ses)
The ultimate men’men’swboot
The Kamik Nation Plus has the best performance and versatility on all cold-weather surfaces, from icy driveways to snow-packed fields.
It would be best if you had something to keep your feet dry and warm during snowy outdoor activities like shoveling driveways or walking from car to office.
Why it is great: The Kamik Nations Plus slightly exceeds all other boot options without going overboard. It’s waterproof and has excellent traction on all winter surfaces.
These boots have a temperature rating of -40°F/-40°C. We tested them and found they provide the perfect warmth for everyday activities – not too hot or cold. The advertised temperature ratings are not a guarantee. They do not account for how you exercise, for how long, or your metabolism. However, our testers were able to share their subjective opinions. They went out in the cold and had no idea how warm the boots were. The ratings were consistently in line with their subjective opinions. All viewed the 40/40 mark as comfortable and warm.
Great for both men and women: Sorel Caribou Boot
Sorel Caribou Boot (men’men’ses)
Snow boot for wetter conditions
In the original Sorel design, the Caribou is a superior snow boot and excels in warmer, humid weather.
You want a snow boot with a waterproof rubber sole that lifts you from snowy, slushy muck. This boot is ideal for warmer winters with many freeze/thaw cycles.
Why it is great: The Sorel Caribou comes in men’s ladies. It feels impossible to penetrate. It was more comfortable than eight other options when we tried it. We also felt it to be warmer and more stable on various winter surfaces.
The rubber sole raises your feet about an inch and a quarter above the ground. This keeps your feet dry and warm and helps remove you from the slush. The tongue is gusseted (sewn on the sides of your boot to the top), which is rare (no Kamik is this high). The shaft is tight and laces high. The CariCaribou’sed lacing system, made up of four sets of fat, exterior D rings, allows laces to glide with minimal friction. This will make getting the boot on and off your feet easier. The snow collar also prevents flakes from entering.