The Best Winter Hiking Boots for Women and Men in 2022

Frigid temperatures are no match for Salomon's Toundra Pro CSWP Boot.

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Winter Hiking Boots for Women and Men

Amazon

Love the challenge of a winter hike? There's an important place you need to start when gathering your gear: hiking boots. Whether you're strapping on snowshoes or crampons to head off into the backcountry or strolling a snowy trail, your choice in footwear is crucial to your comfort.

Taking your destination into consideration, you'll want to think about factors like temperature rating or insulation weight, shaft height, traction, waterproofing, and overall weight when selecting your winter hiking boots. With the right gear, you can comfortably explore winter wonderlands like never before.

Since there are so many types of winter hiking boots on the market, we've picked the best pairs across categories, designs, and price points. Our favorite overall pair for both women and men is the formidable yet stylish Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP Boot, as recommended by Backcountry Gearhead AJ Kraninger.

Here’s our breakdown of the best winter hiking boots for women and men:

Best Overall Women's

Salomon Women's Toundra Pro CSWP Boot

Salomon Women's Toundra Pro CSWP Boot

Backcountry

Why We Love It: It perfectly balances style with functionality.

What to Consider: This is a boot for extremely cold temperatures.

Many hiking boots prioritize function over form, but this pair excels in both categories. Its combat-boot vibe with faux-fur lining is decidedly chic (as far as heavy-duty winter hiking boots go, anyway), but it doesn't sacrifice any of its practical factors. The shoes are temperature-rated to a mind-bogglingly cold -40 degrees Fahrenheit — make sure you're hiking somewhere truly frigid, lest your feet overheat and start sweating in your socks — thanks to Salomon's Aerotherm Aerogel, which was derived from NASA technology. It also has excellent traction, durable waterproofing, shock-reducing EVA foam in the sole, and a high shaft to protect your legs from deep snow.

Price at time of publish: $200

Sizes: 5–10 | Weight per pair: 2.89 pounds | Temperature rating: -40 degrees Fahrenheit

Best Budget Women's

Columbia Women's Ice Maiden II Snow Boot

4.7
Columbia Women's Ice Maiden II Snow Boot

Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: This is a fashionable winter hiking boot.

What to Consider: They're better for easy hikes.

If you're seeking a pair of boots for some low-key winter hikes, this affordable pair is for you. They check all the baseline factors, from waterproofing to advanced traction to a solid insulation weight for mid-range winter temperatures, but they are, admittedly, not well-suited for the most intense hikers out there. At this price point and quality, they're better for lighter use, or perhaps heavier use over just one to two seasons. Still, there's certainly a market for that kind of shoe, and this is the pair to buy if you’re in it. We also love the Ice Maiden II’s stylish look, from the quilted shaft to the faux-fur trim.

Price at time of publish: $110

Sizes: 5–12 | Weight per pair: 2.1 pounds | Insulation weight: 200 grams

Most Stylish Women's

Sorel Tivoli IV Boot

Sorel Tivoli IV Boot

Sorel

Why We Love It: They come in five colors.

What to Consider: They're best for warmer winter temperatures.

Winter boots will always look like winter boots, but some pairs definitely have a leg up in the aesthetics department. This is one of them. They have a town-to-trail spirit with suede and leather uppers, a faux-fur or faux-shearling collar, and an impressive selection of five earth-tone colors that'll all work at après ski. But these boots are indeed made for winter hiking, as they're waterproof and windproof. Do note that their insulation weight is only 100 grams, so while they'll keep your toes warm in relatively mild wintry conditions, you might want to get something a touch warmer for a multi-day backcountry trek in Alaska.

Price at time of publish: $198

Sizes: 5–12 | Weight per pair: 2.38 pounds | Insulation weight: 100 grams

Best for Traction Women's

Oboz Women's Bridger 7" Insulated B-Dry Hiking Boot

Oboz Women's Bridger 7" B-DRY Hiking Boot

REI

Why We Love It: They provide great arch support.

What to Consider: They're on the heavier side and therefore best for more casual hikers.

Good traction is key to avoiding slips and falls on ice and snow — two things you're very likely to come across when hiking during the winter. This pair of boots has an outsole that's specifically designed to grip surfaces well in cold temperatures as well as support your feet when traversing rocky or icy terrain so that you don't feel any bumps digging into your soles. These shoes are also made to keep your feet warm, between the 200 grams of 3M Thinsulate Insulation and the proprietary thermal insoles that use mylar to reflect your body heat back to your foot.

Price at time of publish: $200

Sizes: 6–12 | Weight per pair: 2.56 pounds | Insulation weight: 200 grams

Best Lightweight Women's

Xero Shoes Alpine Women's Snow Boot

Xero Shoes Alpine Women's Snow Boot

Amazon

Why We Love It: The boots aren't just lightweight — they feel cloud-like on your feet.

What to Consider: They're zero drop, meaning there's no height difference between the heel and the toe.

With a moon-boot aesthetic, these boots look and feel more like slippers than they do hikers — particularly because they are extremely lightweight. They're also quite flexible and spacious, adding to the slipper-like feel. While they are waterproof and have a temperature rating of -25 degrees Fahrenheit, they do have a low shaft, which means water (or snowmelt) could leak in from the top. An important note: the boots also have zero drop, which means that the heel and the toe are equal in height, making it feel as if you're walking barefoot. (Most shoes are designed so that the heel is higher than the toe, causing your foot to slope down towards the ball.) Not everyone loves zero-drop shoes, so proceed with caution.

Price at time of publish: $165

Sizes: 5–12 | Weight per pair: 1.85 pounds | Temperature rating: -25 degrees Fahrenheit | Insulation weight: 200 grams

Best for Warmth Women's

Columbia Women's Bugaboot Celsius Snow Boot

Columbia Women's Bugaboot Celsius Snow Boot

Amazon

Why We Love It: They have a modern look.

What to Consider: They're a little stiff before you break them in.

For some heavy-duty warming, pick these densely insulated boots. They not only have an insulation weight of 400 grams but also feature a reflective lining that boosts heat levels inside the boot. Despite all this insulation, the shoes are surprisingly breathable, thanks to Columbia's OutDry membrane. We also love that they have a more modern silhouette while still providing excellent traction (in both wet and dry conditions) and waterproofing. The only thing to note is that these boots do feel quite stiff before you break them in, so wear them around at home before heading out on the trail.

Price at time of publish: $135

Sizes: 5–12 | Weight per pair: 2.75 pounds | Insulation weight: 400 grams

Best Overall Men's

Salomon Men's Toundra Pro CSWP Boot

Salomon Men's Toundra Pro CSWP Boot

Amazon

Why We Love It: They look supremely stylish for a heavy-duty hiking boot.

What to Consider: They're designed for extra-cold climates.

Yes, this boot has shown up twice on this list — it really is the best for both men and women. As we mentioned for the ladies, this is a boot that pairs fashion and function. It has a combat-boot look with a chic faux-fur lining that certainly works for a town-to-trail day. But don't let their style distract you — these shoes are waterproof and shock-reducing with a high shaft and sturdy traction for both on-trail and off-trail hikes. Keep in mind that these are temperature-rated to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, thanks to Salomon's Aerotherm Aerogel technology derived from a NASA invention, so you'll only want to wear them in pretty frigid temperatures.

Price at time of publish: $200

Sizes: 7–14 | Weight per pair: 2 pounds | Temperature rating: -40 degrees Fahrenheit

Best Budget Men's

Merrell Thermo Chill Mid Waterproof Boots

Merrell Thermo Chill Mid Waterproof Boots - Men's

Courtesy of REI

Why We Love It: They're pretty lightweight for a men's hiking boot.

What to Consider: The low shaft isn't great for deep snow.

You won't break the bank with these hiking boots, which are exceptionally comfortable, warm, and sturdy for an affordable pair of shoes. Between the waterproofing, antimicrobial agents to prevent bad odor, EVA midsole for comfort, 200-gram insulation, and extra-tough traction on the outsole (thanks to deep lugs), this pair of boots is a winner in the winter hiking boot category. The one thing to consider is that the shaft is quite low, which isn't great for walking through icy streams or deep snow, though you could pair the boots with gaiters for additional waterproof protection up your calf.

Price at time of publish: $120

Sizes: 7–15 | Weight per pair: 2.44 pounds | Insulation weight: 200 grams

Most Stylish Men's

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker Cold.Rdy Boots

Adidas Men's Terrex Free Hiker Cold.Rdy Boots

Amazon

Why We Love It: They're very lightweight.

What to Consider: The mesh upper means there's not much ankle support.

These winter hiking boots look absolutely nothing like winter hiking boots, and that's exactly why we love them. They're so sleek, it wouldn't be a surprise to see someone walking down a city street in them. But don't let the stylish look deceive you. Though they have a sock-like appearance, they're actually waterproof and warm, ensconced with a Gore-Tex membrane and insulated with Adidas' proprietary Cold.Ry layering system, rated at 200 grams. The stretchy uppers, however, don't provide a ton of ankle support. That said, the outsole is designed to grip surfaces in cold temperatures, reducing your chance of slipping.

Price at time of publish: $250

Sizes: 6–13 | Weight per pair: 1.98 pounds | Insulation weight: 200 grams

Best Traction Men's

Salomon Men's X Ultra Winter CS Waterproof 2 Hiking Boot

Salomon Men's X Ultra Winter CS Waterproof 2 Hiking Boot

Zappos

Why We Love It: They're lightweight.

What to Consider: They have a narrow fit.

Made from winter-specific rubber, the outsole of these winter hiking boots are designed to carry you safely through ice and snow. (Regular rubber typically gets harder in the cold, which reduces traction.) They're waterproof, of course, and insulated with 3M Thinsulate to keep your feet warm. Do note that these boots have a narrow fit overall, which isn't ideal for people with wider feet. It also means you might need to wear thinner socks with the boots, reducing your foot's insulation. But if you have narrow feet, this pair might provide an ideal fit. The boots also have a low shaft, so they're better worn in shallow snow.

Sizes: 7.5–13 | Weight per pair: 2.38 pounds | Temperature rating: Not listed

Best Lightweight Men's

Merrell Cloud Mid Polar Waterproof Boot

Merrell Men's Cloud Mid Polar Waterproof

Amazon

Why We Love It: They're made with recycled materials.

What to Consider: They are only lightly insulated, so they're better for warmer winter weather.

Hiking boots have a tendency to be a bit clunky, and winter hiking boots doubly so. But this pair of boots is a breath of fresh air in the weight category, which makes wearing them on the trail a breeze. Many of the lightweight materials used in the construction of these boots are recycled, including the laces, the fleece lining, and part of the rubber outsoles. The waterproof yet breathable shoes only have an insulation weight of 100 grams (which is one of the reasons they're so lightweight), meaning it's best to wear these boots on warmer winter days.

Price at time of publish: $116

Sizes: 7–15 | Weight per pair: 1.81 pounds | Insulation weight: 100 grams

Best for Warmth Men's

Keen Men's Revel IV High Polar Boots

KEEN Men's Revel IV High Polar Boots

Amazon

Why We Love It: The high shaft keeps snow out of your boot.

What to Consider: They feel bulky.

For a more rugged hiking trip in a very cold winter destination, these boots will keep your feet warm and dry. They're outfitted with 400 grams of insulation that's temperature-rated down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite all that insulation being largely compressed, the boots do feel a bit bulky. That said, they're also extremely comfortable without having a long break-in period. We also appreciate the high shaft, which prevents snow from entering your boot, as well as the durable outsole’s superb traction. And don't worry too much about overheating — the shoes are made with a breathable membrane (it's waterproof, though, so there's no leakage).

Price at time of publish: $210

Sizes: 7–15  | Weight per pair: 2.88 pounds | Temperature rating: -40 degrees Fahrenheit | Insulation weight: 400 grams

Tips for Buying Winter Hiking Boots

Know where you're going

"When choosing a winter boot, you need to pick the boot that is right for where you are hiking. If you are hiking through the Appalachian Mountains, you want a boot that is going to be warm, but not insulated as much as you would when hiking in Alaska during the winter," says Kraninger. "Same goes for the sole. If you are doing some winter hiking on a trail, you are not going to need as much grip as you would if you were blazing your own path."

Check the temperature rating or insulation weight

Along those lines, you'll want to ensure your boot is warm enough for your destination — but not too warm. Most brands list boots' temperature ratings (the lowest temperature at which the boots are designed to keep your feet warm) or insulation weight (measured in grams per square meter, with the higher numbers being warmer). "It is imperative that you do not get a boot that is too warm or without enough insulation," says Kraninger. "You do not want your feet getting too warm and keeping your socks damp with sweat and moisture."

Prioritize waterproofing and traction

"The boot needs to be waterproof. The worst thing you can do is get out a couple of miles and you start getting some snow melt in your boots," says Kraninger. But, again, when considering traction, you might be able to get away with less traction on easier trails.

Try on your boots at the end of a day on your feet

"Your feet swell the longer you are on them, so this will give you a very accurate feel on how the boots will fit while hiking," says Kraninger.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How should winter hiking boots fit?

    "Your boots should fit snug, but never tight," says Kraninger. "As a rule of thumb, with winter hiking, you should have about half to one inch of room at the toes, and you should have very little to no heel slip." He also notes that you shouldn't feel any pressure on your foot when your boot is loose, and if you do, the boot is too small. "You shouldn’t feel any squeezing while wearing your boot," says Kraninger. "This will cause you to have pain and possibly blisters and sores at the end."

  • How high should the shaft be on my winter hiking boots?

    Consider where you'll be hiking and the conditions you expect to find. "When choosing a shaft height, you need to think about how deep the snow is going to be," says Kraninger. "At the very minimum it needs to be above the hem of your pants. The deeper the snow you are going to be in, the higher that shaft needs to be. Boots range from just above the ankle to mid-calf." You can also add gaiters to low-shaft boots for taller protection.

  • Are all winter hiking boots compatible with spikes and snowshoes?

    Generally speaking, most winter hiking boots are compatible with most spikes, crampons, and snowshoes. Kraninger notes that spikes and crampons might be more likely to be made by specific brands to fit their own boots. But snowshoes, on the other hand, have more adjustability, so they can usually fit most boots. "When picking snowshoes, weigh yourself with all of your gear on," advises Kraninger. "No matter how minuscule you think that item is, pack it and wear it. Most snowshoes are designed for height and weight."

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure writers are shopping and product experts who use personal experience and expert recommendations to choose the best items for shoppers. For this article, Stefanie Waldek read dozens of customer reviews, incorporated her own winter hiking experience, and tapped the expertise of Backcountry Gearhead AJ Kraninger.

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we'll send you our favorite travel products each week.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles