The Best Winter Boots for Women of 2023
Depending on where you live, winter can mean frigid temps, mud and rain, piles of snow, or anything in between. With that in mind, we’ve tested a wide variety of winter-worthy kicks and compiled the best winter boots for women that span all types of designs and uses.
Below, you’ll find winter hiking boots, snow boots, extra-warm boots, stylish winter boots, and women’s rain boots. Some boots are plenty versatile enough for multiple activities, while others are specialized.
Our list is quite comprehensive. If you need more help deciding, be sure to check out our buyer’s guide at the end of our review to unravel just how to choose the best winter boot. Also, check out our comparison chart to see how our choices stack up against one another, and our FAQ section for any lingering questions.
We’ve tested all the boots we could get our hands on and used them through rain, snow, mud, and sun on countless adventures around the world. And we’ve whittled it down to our favorites here. These are the boots we recommend to family and friends — the boots we get excited to wear all winter long.
Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys in the categories below:
- Best Overall Women’s Winter Boots: Oboz Bridger 7″ Insulated Winter Boots
- Best Budget Women’s Winter Boots: Merrell Thermo Chill Mid Waterproof Boots
- Runner-Up Best Women's Winter Boot: KEEN Women’s Revel IV Mid Polar Boots
- Most Stylish Women's Winter Boots: Columbia Women’s Heavenly Omni-Heat Waterproof Boot
- Best Women's Boots for Heavy Snow: Baffin Icefield Insulated Boot
- Best Women's Winter Rain Boots: Hunter Original Wellington Rain Boots
- Vasque Women’s Coldspark UltraDry Snow Boot
- Oboz Sphinx 9-Inch Insulated Boot
- Sperry Maritime Repel Snow Boots
- Danner Women’s Mountain 600 Boot Insulated
- Bogs Women’s Classic Casual Lace Leather Boot
The Best Winter Boots for Women of 2023
- Weight 2 lbs., 9 oz. per pair
- Insulation Yes, 200 g
- Waterproofing Oboz B-Dry membrane
- Outsole Winterized rubber
- Boot Height 7"
- Well insulated
- reliable traction on a variety of surfaces
- A bit heavy
The waterproof leather is impressively durable and has stood up to many rocky hikes and winter scrambles. Directional lugs provide great traction, and specialized winterized rubber soles are infused with silica to improve grip on icy surfaces.
And those features work. We ventured out on extremely slick roads and frozen trails and never slipped. The 7-inch height provides plenty of ankle support while still allowing full range of motion. These boots were on the slightly heavier side, but we were A-OK with that after factoring in the ankle height protection, traction, and durability.
And if you want even more, check out the Oboz Bridger 9-inch Insulated Boot, which offers an extra 200 g of warmth ($210). Overall, these are some of the best winter boots you can buy.
- Weight 1 lb., 14 oz.
- Insulation Yes, 200 g synthetic
- Waterproofing Yes
- Outsole Rubber, 5 mm lugs
- Boot Height 6″
- Reasonably priced
- Effective rock protection in the toe
- Great waterproofing
- Not the best traction
The 200 g of M-Select insulation is warm without being bulky. And the contoured insoles are flexible and supportive. They’re also removable, so you can switch them out for your favorite insoles for enhanced comfort. These boots have a nylon shank molded to a medium-range arch, which our tester loved. The shape and design proved comfortable right out of the box.
We found the Thermo Chill to have decent but not excellent traction. However, the toe caps are fantastic for protecting against rocks. Because of their bulk, weight, and warmth, we experienced no problems with these boots. We’re confident they’re the best winter boots for the price.
- Weight 2 lbs., 4 oz. per pair
- Insulation KEEN.WARM PET fibers, rated to -25 F
- Waterproofing KEEN.Dry membrane
- Outsole KEEN Polar Traction rubber
- Boot Height 6″
- Ideal for wider feet
- Durable soles
- Toe box shape isn’t for everyone
More than that, they’re ready to take on snow, sleet, and whatever Mother Nature serves up. The waterproof membrane keeps feet dry through surprise stream crossings and everyday winter muck. And the 200 g of insulation kept our feet plenty warm (while hiking) in temps as low as 7 degrees F.
The tread isn’t extremely aggressive, but we never experienced any slippage. It also makes these a more comfortable crossover for walking the dog or running errands around town.
The Revel IV also have some great features for getting outdoors. The metal gaiter loop on the toe means you can easily hike in deeper snow. And the rubber protection on the heel integrates well with snowshoes. And, like all KEEN boots, they have a large rubber toe bumper to protect toes and increase durability.
- Weight 13.8 oz. per shoe (size 7.5)
- Insulation Yes, 200 g
- Waterproofing Yes
- Outsole Non-marking rubber
- Boot Height 8.5″
- Good value
- Not the best fit for wider feet
They offer a great amount of warmth thanks to Columbia’s Omni-Heat thermal-reflective lining and 200 g synthetic insulation. They’re toasty, comfortable, and durable enough to last our editor for several seasons.
In terms of specs, the boot also has an Omni-Tech waterproof/breathable seam-sealed membrane and a waterproof textile upper, with added faux fur trim for major style points. The rim of waterproofing on the side and around the toe of the boot is plenty for general, daily use, and even walking back in forth in heavier snow at say, a ski resort.
The traction isn’t enough on super icy or wet surfaces, so we wouldn’t use these for serious winter hiking. The aglets, rivets, and lace caps are all metal, and none have failed our tester yet. These boots fit comfortably and are easy to lace and unlace.
Our only con? We don’t recommend these boots for those whose feet run wide; instead, try one of the boots below (Baffin would be our recommendation, and many Merrell boots are available in wide sizing).
- Weight 4 lbs.
- Insulation Yes, B-Tek Heat hollow-fiber synthetic insulation
- Waterproofing Yes, B-Tek waterproofing
- Outsole Polar rubber outsole
- Boot Height 7″
- Well-suited for extreme temps
- Great traction
Totally waterproof and complete with a seven-layer inner boot system, these snow boots ($180) are ready for your next extreme winter adventure, whether in the American West, Upper Midwest, Canada, or beyond.
The cinchable top keeps snow out, and they provide plenty of traction in slippery conditions. The Baffin Icefield Insulated Boot is not light or sleek, but they are warm. If cold feet are your problem, these could be the answer you’ve been looking for. They run small, so we recommend sizing up.
- Weight Unknown
- Insulation None
- Waterproofing Fully waterproof vulcanized rubber
- Outsole Original “calendared” high-traction outsole
- Boot Height 15″
- Completely waterproof
- Tall enough for deep snow
- Nice styling
- Not the grippiest outsole
The nylon lining wicks moisture well. And the natural rubber outsole is adequate for most city conditions. But for truly slippery or icy conditions, these are not our top pick.
The 15-inch height on these boots offers enough coverage for nearly any rainy or snowy conditions. It’s also worth noting the overall circumference makes for a snug fit. If you have larger, athletic calves, fit may be an issue.
Best of the Rest
- Weight 1 lb., 14 oz.
- Insulation 200 g insulation
- Waterproofing Yes, waterproof leather and waterproof membrane
- Outsole ColdHold rubber
- Boot Height 7″
- Good for rugged hiking trails
- Quite breathable for a shoe with a waterproof membrane
- Some slippage on icy surfaces
The Coldspark also proved grippy through a variety of conditions including mud, muck, and snowpack. There was some slippage in extremely icy conditions, but overall we were happy with the traction. At 1 pound 14 ounces for the pair, they’re not ultralight, but they’re about as streamlined as winter hiking boots get.
- Weight 2 lbs., 2 oz.
- Insulation 200 g, PrimaLoft Bio with recycled fibers
- Waterproofing Oboz B-Dry membrane
- Outsole Vibram Arctic grip rubber
- Boot Height 4-5″
- Durable upper
- Sleep styling
- Effective lacing system
- Shorter cut isn’t ideal for deep snow
The Sphinx is slightly shorter in height, though it still measures over the ankle. The oiled nubuck leather provides a clean and sleek look, uninterrupted by the soles’ lugs (see the Bridger for comparison). That being said, this boot still provided top-notch waterproofing and protection in snowy conditions and quickly became one of our favorites.
- Weight Unknown
- Insulation Yes, 200 g
- Waterproofing Rubber, waterproof leather
- Outsole Lugged rubber
- Boot Height 6″ (1.25″ heel)
- Good value
- Timeless styling
- Durable outsole
- Flimsy laces
We found they offered plenty of traction in rain and slush. They also did pretty well in icy conditions but not as well as some of the ice-specific boots on this list. We wish the leather lacing system was more durable. There’s also a bit of a heel, as we wanted to include at least one heeled boot on this list.
For casual day-to-day use in a winter climate, these boots are great. Overall, these Sperrys score top marks for durability, function, and style. Bonus: they’re a great price.
- Weight 1 lb., 14 oz per pair
- Insulation Yes, 200 g PrimaLoft
- Waterproofing Yes, DannerDry membrane
- Outsole Vibram Arctic Grip
- Boot Height 4.5″
- Ankle cut is a little low for deep snow
Consider the Mountain 600 ($190), insulated with 200 g of PrimaLoft’s Gold level insulation and complete with a waterproof membrane and full-grain leather upper.
While Danner does make an even beefier 7-inch-height “Arctic” 600 boot model, we found the Mountain 600 Insulated better in terms of the time it took to break in, warmth, and overall comfort. The shoe is comfortable, not too stiff, and fits well, and it’s carried us for many cold miles from trail to ski slope to town.
The Mountain 600 Insulated wraps up a great and capable outsole, warm synthetic insulation, and great style all in a tight package. If this boot had a slightly higher ankle height (6 inches), it may have risen on our list. Still, it’s one of the best winter boots on the market.
- Weight 2.9 lbs. per pair
- Insulation Yes
- Waterproofing Yes, Neo-Tech
- Outsole Rubber (type unknown)
- Boot Height 5″
- Minimal break-in required
- Not the warmest
The lace-up style allows for a secure, custom fit, and the modern details prove rather stylish. One of our testers received numerous compliments while tromping about in these boots.
These boots are not heavily insulated, so they’re better for moderate fall and winter temps. But for wet temps above 15 degrees F, we found the Neo-Tech insulation plenty warm. They offered some of the best protection from water and slush, especially around the upper and lacing area. And the rebound footbed is cushioned and supportive for all-day wear.
All in all, these Bogs are comfortable out of the box, stylish, and one of the best winter boots for milder, wet weather.
Women’s Winter Boots Comparison Chart
Oboz Bridger 7″
Insulated Winter Boots
KEEN Revel IV
Winter Hiking Boot
|KEEN.WARM PET fibers
|KEEN Polar Traction rubber
Merrell Thermo Chill
Mid Waterproof Boots
|200 g synthetic
Columbia Heavenly Omni-Heat
|Baffin Icefield Insulated Boot
|Synthetic, unknown fill
|Polar rubber outsole
Hunter Original Wellington
UltraDry Snow Boot
Oboz Sphinx 9-Inch
|Vibram Arctic Grip rubber
Sperry Maritime Repel
Danner Mountain 600
|Vibram Arctic Grip
Bogs Classic Casual
Lace Leather Boot
Why You Should Trust Us
We have many editors and gear tester that live in cold winter climates, so we put these boots to the test in an array of snowy, icy, and wintry conditions over several seasons — everything from light snow to heavy blizzards. We also tested them during a variety of activities — walking, snowshoeing, hiking, shoveling snow, and more.
One of our lead testers put in over 500 testing hours to find the best winter boots for women. The top picks are a culmination of the best boots in terms of quality, traction, warmth, and durability. We made sure to include a variety of boot heights and styles to ensure that everyone can find what suits their needs (and winter climate) best.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Winter Boot
Winter boots come in all sorts of shapes and styles. As our list of recommendations demonstrates, the winter boot market contains everything from extreme weather work boots to stylish formal footwear. With so many options, it can feel daunting to sift through the pile and select the perfect pair.
When choosing the best winter boots for you, it’s important to understand some of the key factors that differentiate one pair from the next. In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we thoroughly explain each of these factors to help you make a confident and informed choice.
Any winter footwear worth its weight will offer plentiful warmth. Many winter boots come with a specific temperature rating. While these ratings can be helpful guidelines, the actual feel of a pair of boots will always be a better indicator of warmth than a manufacturer’s rating.
Often, boots claim to have very impressive temperature ratings well below zero. Because there is no standardized test for boot temperature ratings, always take these numbers with a grain of salt. The warmth of a boot comes from various factors, including sock thickness, activity level, personal cold tolerance, and much more.
A winter boot rated to -10 will likely feel warmer than a boot rated to zero made by the same manufacturer. Using temperature ratings to compare boots from different manufacturers is a less reliable practice. We certainly recommend trying boots on to get a real impression of their warmth and comfort.
Winter boots utilize a variety of different insulation types to achieve the desired combination of warmth and comfort. The most common types of insulation are synthetic, felt, and sheepskin.
Most modern winter boots are equipped with synthetic insulation. Between the outer shell and the inner lining of the boot, synthetic materials provide lightweight and durable warmth. Perhaps the most important benefit of synthetic material is that it can insulate even when wet.
Popular name-brand synthetic insulation options include Thinsulate and PrimaLoft, though many other quality options are available. No matter the name brand, the total weight of synthetic insulation will always be a better indicator of warmth than the name brand.
Many manufacturers include the insulation weight in their boot specifications. Lightweight to midweight boots will usually have a fill rating between 200 and 400 g. If you are seeking heavy-duty boots for extreme cold, look for a fill rating of at least 300 g.
Felt and Sheepskin
Felt and sheepskin are materials that have long been used to insulate winter footwear. While synthetic insulation is by far the current norm, some manufacturers opt for classic and traditional materials.
The downside of felt and sheepskin insulation is they tend to be heavy and bulky. Still, these materials can be warm and comfortable.
Usually, felt and sheepskin is utilized in a boot’s lining where they can be in direct contact with the foot. While these materials provide warmth even when wet, they may become extra heavy when saturated and require lots of time to dry.
As you might expect, heavier boots are usually built for the worst conditions, while lightweight winter boots are better for moderate temperatures and less demanding uses. As the thickness of outsoles and the fill rating of insulation increases, overall weight goes up. Lightweight winter boots are great for active use, but they often sacrifice some stability, grip, and warmth.
Almost all winter boots are ankle-high or higher. Boot height is a major factor that determines the intended function of the boot.
Lower-cut boots are typically around 7 inches from the footbed to the top of the boot. Lower-cut boots are ideal for hiking, as they tend to be relatively light and flexible. The downside of lower-cut boots is they allow snow to seep in, especially when post-holing through deep snowpack. If you find yourself in bottomless snow with a pair of ankle-high boots, a pair of gaiters may offer a simple solution.
If you plan to use your boots in regions with lots of snow accumulation, you’ll probably want to pick boots at least 8 inches tall. Work boots and boots for extreme weather are designed to sit higher on the leg, keeping the elements out and the warmth in.
Nothing beats a reliable pair of boots that keep your feet warm and dry no matter how bad the weather gets. Waterproofing is the difference between blissful comfort and soggy misery.
Waterproofing is ultimately a product of the materials incorporated into a boot’s design. Features such as rubber outer layers and an exterior water-resistant treatment are standards of most waterproof boots.
All of the boots we’ve selected are designed to keep water out as much as possible. Some of the more robust included models feature a two-piece system that includes an outer waterproof barrier and an inner removable liner.
One-piece boots typically feature a waterproof membrane sandwiched in between the outer material and the lining. While one-piece boots usually don’t have the fail-proof waterproofing of many two-piece styles, they tend to be lighter and more flexible.
The downside of built-in insulation and waterproof membranes is decreased breathability. While boots that trap heat are certainly desirable, overheating can be a real concern, even in extremely cold weather. For this reason, a reasonable degree of breathability is an asset in winter boots.
Generally, lightweight hiking-style winter boots are more breathable than heavy-duty work boots or two-piece models that thrive in extreme cold. While hiking or performing other strenuous activities, breathability can help to prevent sweating and blisters.
Ultimately, breathability is a trade-off. Winter boots simply cannot be completely waterproof and extreme weather-ready and fully breathable at the same time. If you’re simply looking for top-notch warmth or waterproofing, breathability doesn’t need to be a major consideration when selecting boots. If you plan to wear your boots for active use in a wide range of conditions, be sure to select a breathable pair.
A winter boot’s exterior material will significantly affect its waterproofing, breathability, and weight. Rubber and leather are the most common outer materials.
The waterproof qualities of rubber boots are unbeatable. For decades, brands including Muck Boot and XTRATUF have been well-regarded for their nearly impenetrable rubber boots. In constantly wet and rainy regions such as the Pacific Northwest, rubber boots are a rightfully popular choice.
The downside of rubber as an outer material is its lack of breathability. In the same way rubber boots successfully keep moisture out, they also keep moisture in. For long hikes and active use, rubber is not the ideal outer material.
Leather boots have been a popular winter footwear choice for hundreds of years. While leather does not provide the impenetrable qualities of rubber, it is a supple, durable, and relatively water-resistant material.
Compared to rubber boots, leather models tend to breathe slightly better. If you plan to wear your boots in a wide range of weather conditions, leather boots are an excellent versatile choice.
Outsoles and Grip
The outsole is the part of a boot that makes direct contact with the ground underneath. Good grip is essential to a winter boot’s value and performance.
True winter boots come with outsoles designed to provide reliable grip in cold and snowy conditions. To account for subfreezing temps, many winter boot outsoles feature soft rubber compounds that don’t overly harden in the cold. Additionally, thoughtfully designed tread patterns can prevent snow and mud from building up.
Outsole compounds and tread patterns vary wildly across the winter boot market. Generally, models geared toward hiking will have a deep tread and superior grip. Work boots typically come with heavy, bulky outsoles that prioritize durability above grip.
In severe conditions, you may want more winter traction than your boots can offer on their own. No matter how deep and sticky your tread is, chances are it won’t help on solid sheets of ice.
Traction devices such as Yaktrax and MICROspikes can be fixed onto the bottom of winter boots for improved grip on ice and hardpack. These devices have metal components designed to dig into ice and improve traction — just like tire chains on a car.
Fit and Sizing
Properly sizing winter boots can be a tricky process. Unlike with most footwear, you’ll likely wear extra thick socks with your winter boots, and it’s important to consider this when picking a size.
Ideally, your winter boots will be comfortable and free of major air pockets and hot spots. Of course, the best fit for you depends on the type of activity you’re using the boots for.
If you’ll be hiking or working on your feet, we recommend a snug fit for maximum performance. If you plan to use your boots for hanging out casually or simply wearing around town, a looser comfort-first fit is the way to go.
As always, there’s no substitute for trying on boots and shoes, and we highly recommend you do so if possible.
There are a few important things to consider. First are the overall weight and fit. A super-heavy boot will quickly become tiresome. And one that’s too loose will rub and cause blisters.
On the other hand, a slightly taller boot may be worth the weight, as it offers extra ankle support. Consider where you’ll be walking and your personal preference for high or low designs.
Second, good traction is a key consideration. Icy, slick conditions are a common winter occurrence. And you don’t want to spend your time outdoors worrying about slipping. The Oboz Bridger and Sphinx are great winter boots for light hiking and walking. The Bridger offers ankle support, excellent traction, and just enough warmth, while the Oboz Sphinx offers more warmth.
If you find yourself regularly heading out in icy conditions, we recommend the Baffin Icefield Insulated Boot. The Vibram Arctic Grip outsole is true to its name and delivers excellent traction. And the 15-inch height keeps out snow.
A more budget-friendly option for lots of prolonged use in the snow (think trudging around a ski resort, shoveling snow, hiking, or walking to work) would be the Merrell Thermo Chill Mid Boots for $120 (or less when on sale!). The Oboz Sphinx is also equipped with the Vibram Arctic Grip rubber if you want a lighter and smaller boot that’s still capable on snow.
The best winter boot is subjective and depends on your needs. Sorel, KEEN, Merrell, and Oboz all make excellent winter hiking boots for women. For a stylish leather option, the Sperry Maritime Repel Snow Boots can’t be beaten.