If you happen to be one of those guys who thinks they can get through winter’s worst in nothing but semi-rugged sneakers, you’re painfully wrong. Your feet will remind you of that fact when things get cold and dicey out there. The triumvirate of warmth, weather protection, and traction is a prerequisite when it comes to winter boots. The rest of your body might be warm and dry, but if your feet take bad hits, then you’ll be miserable in no time flat.
Why Do I Need Winter Boots?
If you didn’t already know why your hands and feet get cold first, it’s because your blood vessels naturally constrict to conserve body temperature and reduce heat loss. A good pair of winter boots can prevent chilled toes and improve comfort. But you have to choose wisely, as well as hopefully add a dose of style. Thankfully, winter boots take many forms and provide varying levels of warmth and protection. We’ve chosen eight top-notch winter boots to get you through the next few months of less-than-perfect weather conditions.
What to Look for in Winter Boots
Waterproof: Keep your feet protected from the snow and slush with waterproof or water-resistant boots. Waterproof boots will usually sport leather or neoprene.
Insulated: Consider how warm you want your toes to be. Some light insulation will keep you comfortable but fur or flannel-lined boots will make sure your feet are nice and toasty.
Traction: No slipping and sliding. Opt for boots with a rubber outsole for premium traction.
The Best Winter Boots for Men
Sperry Tall Ice Bay Boots with Thinsulate
Nope, Sperry isn’t just about boat shoes. In fact, they make a truly impressive pair of winter boots that can tread through some pretty bad stuff. The Tall Ice Bay Boots are calf-length to keep snow out, and they’re fully waterproof and insulated with 200g Thinsulate and shearling. The snow tire-like IceTREAD manages slippery surfaces with aplomb, and the rubber shell and outsole protect feet when the frozen stuff gets jagged. The decorative contrast laces and Sperry badge add some fancy touches to an otherwise wintry-business boot.
Vasque Talus WT NTX
You don’t have to hike to wear these winter boots. But know that the Talus WT NTX is made for it if so desired. Polyurethane-coated leather ensures waterproof impenetrability, and a Nature-Tex membrane is even earth-friendly. When it comes to traction, the ColdHold compound provides surefootedness on ice and snow, and the dual-density EVA footbed makes sure your dogs are comfy. Wear them in the city or in the great outdoors equally, and the grey colorway fits both situations.
Timberland Premium 6″ Waterproof Boots
The classic Tims profile is present here, but the Premium boots use waterproof and seam-sealed silver-rated tannery leather, 400 gram PrimaLoft insulation, and a soft ReBOTL fabric lining that uses recycled plastic. The steel shank provides arch support and stability, and the chunky lug sole can easily handle slush, mud, and snow with ease.
Muck Boot Company Arctic Pro
These are the boots you break out when Ol’ Man Winter wants to put a snowy, freezing hurting on you. They’re not only 100% waterproof, but they’re also lined with fleece and protected by 8mm thick neoprene for weather-resistance, toughness, and durability. They’re also almost 18″ tall, so they can handle heavy snowfall, frozen brush, and all manner of winter crapulence. Plus, these Muck Boots are supremely comfortable for long hours of winter trudging. Your energy will give out before these boots do.
Wolverine Gold Waterproof Insulated 8″ Work Boot
Work boots don’t have to be single-layer, single-dimension footwear. These look like conventional work boots, but beneath the waterproof leather, they conceal a breathable mesh lining for moisture-wicking and thermal insulation for chilly workdays. The removable footbed molds to your foot shape, and the nylon shank provides great support. We love the contrasting dark lug sole that’s as handsome as it is grippy.
Converse Winter GORE-TEX Chuck Taylor All-Star
Who says winter boots actually have to be boots? These Chucks keep the boot height while keeping the loyal sneakerhead happy in cold, wet weather thanks to GORE-TEX treated leather, a warm polar fleece lining, and a modified sole for added traction in bad weather. The tongue is even gusseted to keep snow and water out. Best of all, they keep the classic Chuck looks without compromise.
Blundstone 584 Thermal Chelsea Boots
Blundstones have a cult following because they are truly versatile. They provide a look that can easily manage the business casual office while possessing tremendous resilience. The Shock Protection System keeps feet comfy, and the XRD footbed manages impacts. The Thermal Series adds premium waterproof leather, Thinsulate lining, a sheepskin footbed, and waterproof elastic side gores. They’re as easy to remove as they are to put on, and they’ll kick winter’s ass without making you look like a Sherpa.
Overland Hubert Wool Lined Waterproof Leather Boots
These are the stylish winter boots you can wear to a nice dinner out or to a work meeting. They also happen to be made in Canada, so they won’t shy away from winter’s worst. The distressed Italian cowhide is handsome but also waterproof. Inside, there’s a 12mm wool lining that’ll keep your feet toasty without overheating them. The beautiful and practical grey lug sole gets a contrasting strip of leather in the stacked heel. Our favorite part, however, is the full inside zipper that prevents you from having to lace and unlace.