Winter is only a few months away, which means cold and snowy days are just around the corner. Before the drastic change in temperature begins, now’s a good time to get your cold-weather wardrobe ready. Along with warm coats, cozy hats, and fuzzy scarves, a pair of sturdy snow boots should be a staple in your closet this season. We often think a simple pair of leather booties might be enough to get us through the winter, but a blizzard or two later, it’s clear that we need something more suited to stand up to severe weather. That’s why we turned to real shoppers, who have bought and tested these snow boots for themselves, to see which pairs actually provide the warmth and insulation you need to get through a harsh winter. RELATED: The 15 Best Winter Coats for Women, According to Thousands of Customer Reviews The heavy-duty shoes, below,have thousands of customer reviews combined, most of which are four and five stars. But our favorite thing about them has to be the price of each. Most cost less than $200, which means you’re about to add high-quality, warm, waterproof footwear to your shoe closet without breaking the bank. And though most snow boots aren’t necessarily famous for their cute designs, these shoes surprised us with cool patterns, trendy faux fur detailing, and bold colors. So whether you’re looking for heavy-duty commuter shoes to keep you dry and warm through city slush or a fashionable option to wear après-ski on your next winter vacation, you’re sure to find something here that will meet your needs. Scroll down to see the 14 best top-rated snow boots for both men and women. These are the best snow boots for women: Best Overall: Sorel Joan of Arctic Waterproof Snow Boot Best for Comfort: Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Snow Boot Best Short Option: Sorel Whitney Short Lace Boot Best for Warmth: Polar Women’s Nylon Tall Winter Snow Boot Best Slip-on Option: Tundra Sara Boot Best for Traction: The North Face Shellista Waterproof Insulated Snow Boot Best Moisture-wicking Option: Kamik Sienna 2 Boot Best Stylish Option: Ross & Snow Women’s Genuine Shearling Lined Moto Boots Best for Hiking: Merrell Women’s Thermo Chill Six-Inch Waterproof Boot These are the best snow boots for men: Best Overall: Kamik Men’s Nationplus Snow Boot Best Wind-resistant Option:Sorel Caribou XT Boot Best for Traction:Columbia Bugaboot III Boot Best for Warmth: UGG Butte Waterproof Boot Best Short Option: Ceyue Men’s Leather Snow Boots Best for Comfort: Sperry Avenue Duck Boot Best Slip-on Option: Kamik Men’s Greenbay 4 Cold Weather Boot Best for Hiking: Timberland Men’s Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot Best Tall Option: Muck Boot Men’s Arctic Sport Rubber High Performance Boot
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Spain Has a Secret Ski Valley Hidden on Its Northern Border—and the Food and Wine Are Every Bit As Good As You’d Expect
If champagne breakfasts and hearty dinners in mountain villages sound like your scene, you may want to consider the Spanish Pyrenees for your next ski trip. There Tom Robbins discovers first-rate cuisine and a distinct, beguiling blend of cultures—both traditional and modern.
I was born in Quebec and grew up skiing in the Laurentians, so what I’m about to say might be sacrilege. But here it goes: I don’t love to ski. I love soaking in a hot tub. I love drinking hot chocolate in the lodge. I love exploring ski towns, talking to the locals, and the views from snowy mountaintops. But the actual act of skiing? I could take it or leave it. The time spent on the slopes is never my favorite part of a winter adventure. Maybe you’re like me, and prefer to spend one day in ski boots and the rest of your ski vacation touring the town. Or maybe your go-to travel buddy loves to snowboard and you have a questionable center of gravity. Either way, there’s no reason we can’t visit some of the world’s best ski destinations and have a great time without clicking on a set of skis. Here are nine international ski destinations that are perfect for people who'd rather pass on the powder:
This Northern Iceland Town Doesn’t See the Sun for 9 Weeks — Here’s How They Celebrate When It Finally Reappeared
Winter in North Iceland is dark. It can be brutal, with high wind speeds and heavy snowfall. And after spending nearly three months in minimal daylight, seasonal affective disorder takes over — even against the breathtaking landscapes. In Ólafsfjörður, a town of 800, spirits are high during December, with Christmas to celebrate and a New Year’s Eve bonfire and firework show to look forward to. Houses are decorated in Christmas lights that, quite literally, brighten the town. For foreigners, the darkness can be excruciating to manage as the days grow darker and circadian rhythms are thrown off. For locals, it’s another way of life — and they handle it like champions with the assistance of vitamin D and cod liver oil. There were 2 hours and 42 minutes of “daylight,” though it feels like twilight, on Dec. 21, winter solstice. Ólaf sits in shade cast by the mountain range blocking the sun. Winter solstice means that longer days are near and the fleeting sun will return. New Years Eve is an exciting celebration in town: At 8 p.m. the rescue team, made up of local volunteers, host a large bonfire on a snow-covered beach where they'll put on a deafening firework show. At midnight, more fireworks light up the town as they're launched in the streets, on the beach, and on the mountainside. Every day, the sun rises higher and, after 9 weeks away, locals gathered to welcome it back, though a snowstorm made it impossible to see. Despite the storm, Siggi, a goði (priest) from the Norse religion held a sun ceremony on Jan. 26 dedicated to Freyr, ruler of peace and sunshine, and Syn, the goddess who guards boundaries (or tunnels). Locals gathered around a fire at the high school, Siggi spoke to the gods in Icelandic, then passed a ram's horn filled with MaltExtrakt, a malt drink, as each person hailed to something: mother nature, the sun, even uncertainty.
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Whether you’re climbing a frozen waterfall or just the steps up to the Metropolitan Museum, winter outings are easier when you aren’t relegating your cold hands to your pockets. Find the perfect pair of winter gloves to bring along and free yourself from frozen fingers. There are a few things to consider when picking out a pair of gloves: First, make sure your fingers almost touch the tips of the glove, but not push against them. A small air pocket will help to trap warmth. Longer cuffs will also help keep you warmer — you want the glove to be able to go under your coat sleeve so there isn’t any exposed skin around your wrists. Related: The Best Ear Warmers for Winter Travel The thicker your glove, the warmer you’ll be — and the clumsier, too, in some cases. Make sure you can easily put your gloves on and take them off indoors. If they start out feeling clumsy, they’ll only get harder to manipulate as you (and they) get wetter and colder. Most manufacturers tend to have a similar hand fit across their designs, so it may take a few different brands before you find the one for you. Women’s gloves are distinguished by a smaller palm size and longer fingers than men’s gloves, but feel free to cross categories if one isn’t working right for you. The right pair should fit like... well, you know.
This slideshow was originally published on RealSimple.com. If you live in an area where winter weather strikes, finding a pair of durable snow boots that will actually keep your feet warm and dry is probably at the top of your shopping list. But with so many styles available, especially at a store as big as Nordstrom, finding the right pair of boots can feel overwhelming. Instead of wasting time and money buying winter boots that aren’t as insulated or waterproof as they claim, we turned to reviews from real customers who shop at one of our favorite retailers, Nordstrom. Not only do these best-selling boots have near perfect ratings, but according to reviews, these shoes also equal parts cute, cozy, and weatherproof—making them the best options for braving blizzard-like conditions. From fleece-lined booties to fuzzy waterproof wedges, these are the top-rated snow boots that will keep your feet nice and toasty for the rest of the season.