What are the best brands for warm winter boots? Choosing the right winter boots for your outdoor activity can make or break your winter time fun. Protecting your feet from the ice and snow, keeps your toes warm and prevents hypothermia and frostbite from setting in. Boots come in all shapes and sizes and styles- there are so many choices and brands, it’s downright overwhelming.
Phew. Take a deep breathe, I’ve already done all the research for you! When it comes to boots, you want to go with a trusted brand with a long track record of quality construction. This is not the time to take risks. Think of boots as investment. You will most likely wear this same pair of boots for years, perhaps even decades! Most quality winter boots will cost you well over $100, but you can always wait for them to go on sale and snag them up when they do.
While it may be tempting to purchase a generic brand winter boot because of the price- you’ll pay for it later. Trust me- there’s nothing worse than wet feet, six miles into a 60 miles excursion along the Pacific Crest Trail! Choose a trusted brand and your feet will always be nice and dry!
Qualities of a Warm Winter Boot
Before I get into the best brands for warm winter boots, let’s take a closer look at what you should be looking for in a pair of boots. What will you be doing? If you’re hiking to the top of Mt. Rainier, you’re going to need a much different boot than someone snowmobiling through the Sierra Mountains.
An ice fisherman or a hunter in late season may need more insulation in a boot than someone hiking three miles in the late fall. You might also enjoy reading our article “How To Keep Feet Warm While Hunting“. So, before you set your heart on a pair of boots, think about what you need them for.
A quality pair of boots will always have a rubber sole with really good traction. No matter what you are doing, you’re going to need traction! Also, take a look at the insulation rating- this information is typically available on the tag or box. If you’re going to be trudging through three feet of snow in sub-zero temperatures, you may need a boot designed to keep you warm for those conditions.
Boot manufacturers will typically give you a temperature range the boot is rated for. The insulation of the boot plays a big factor in how warm it will keep your feet. Some boots have removable insulation liners – making it easier to dry out if the inside of your boot gets wet.
Boots are typically insulation with down, wool or a synthetic blend. If you’re spending a lot of time outside, make sure the boots are waterproof! While it may seem like all boots should be waterproof, they’re not! In fact, with some hiking boots you need to apply a waterproof coating yourself before you can hit the trail.
Best Brands for Warm Winter Boots
So, what makes a brand the best? Well, it comes down to how well the boots hold up in various conditions. Typically, companies that specialize in outdoor gear, have a really good reputation at making high quality products. Also, I consider how long the company/brand has been around. In most cases, brands don’t survive unless they are really good at what they do! Let’s take a look at a few of the best brands for warm winter boots.
Sorel boots are durable, well insulted and protect you from the harsh winter weather. When you wear a pair of Sorel’s you never have to worry about damp, cold toes. Sorel started selling and manufacturing boots in 1962 in Canada. The brand is known for its quality craftsmanship and using high quality material, like wool, leather and rubber to create a boot built to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
I bought a pair of Sorel’s 15 years ago for a trip to the Iditarod in Alaska. I still have them to this day. The removable liner is key to keeping toes warm all day long. In fact, you can purchase a new liner if needed and you basically have a brand-new pair of boots. With Sorel, you can look good while having fun in the snow too!
In the past few years the brand taking its core values and craftsmanship and applying it to various styles of winter boots! Sorel is a trusted brand with a history of keeping people warm for decades. A pair of Sorel boots are great for snowmobile, ice fishing, winter walks and standing outside for long periods of time!
Columbia is a trusted brand, known for its wide range of boots and budget friendly prices. The Portland, Oregon based brand has been making warm winter boots and other high-quality gear for more than 70 years. The company is known for its proprietary Omni-heat technology.
This technology is weaved into most winter jackets and winter boots. According to the company, omni-heat provides extra warmth and insulation where you need it the most. Most Columbia winter boots are breathable, so your feet don’t get too sweaty.
Columbia boots are also waterproof- to keep your feet dry and warm. Some of the boots are rated to -40- that means you won’t have to worry about your feet getting cold even if you’re planning a trip to Antarctica! Columbia is great brand to consider when looking for a new pair of warm winter boots.
Some of the boots also feature down insulation to cover your calves and shins! Down is a really great choice for those extra chilly days! Columbia makes boots for almost every activity you can think of! From snowshoeing, hiking in the mountains to a casual walk to work, you’ll be sure to find a pair of warm winter boots to fit your lifestyle and your budget!
If you’re hiking in the late fall or attempting to summit a mountain with glacier fields, Merrell is the brand for you! Merrell is known for its griping technology, preventing you from slipping even when on snow and ice!
Merrell also makes its boots with varying degrees of insulation to match the weather and your planned activities. Some boots are lined with sheepskin, others insulated with wool and synthetic material. Merrell is known for its M-Select Dry and M-Select Warm line of technology.
According to Merrell, M-Select dry means its boots are waterproof and wick away moisture inside the boot. This means your feet will stay dry and warm in a pair of Merrell boots. The M-Select Warm trademark refers to technology the brand has developed to trap heat and provide maximum warmth without all the bulk!
Most Merrell boots also come standard with liners to add extra warmth and comfort. Pretty cool! Merrell started making boots by hand in 1981 and the company hasn’t stopped since. The company has since expanded its brand to include all aspects of outdoor gear. Merrell is an excellent choice for warm winter boots!
Salomon is perhaps one of the most well known trusted brands in the world. Salomon is basically synonymous with skiing. The company got its start in France hand crafting skis and bindings. Since then, the brand has expanded to making high quality, durable and warm outdoor gear, including winter boots. Salomon sets the bar when it comes to making lightweight boots with a whole lot of insulation.
Not sure how they do it! Salomon boots are best suited for hiking, mountaineering and other intense winter activities. Most Salomon boots are rated for -30F. Salomon also makes boots with various heights- so you can choose how much protection you need from the weather. Some boots stop at your ankle, others provide Gore-Tex waterproof protection all the way up the shin.
Vasque is well known brand, making well insulated, durable and waterproof boots since 1964. The company prides itself on making boots designed to withstand every weather condition you can think of: mud, rain, snow, ice, sleet, rivers and more. The brand was inspired by hiking through the Alps in the 1960s.
I’d say this brand knows what they are doing. While on the pricier side of warm winter boots, it’s clear when you buy a pair of Vasque boots, they will last for decades. Just about every pair of Vasque boots are insulated, waterproof and have incredible grip on the soles.
This brand is named after the coldest, most fierce side of a mountain: the north face! Like most trusted boot brands, The North Face has been making boots and warm winter gear since the 1960s. The brand is rooted in making high quality gear for extreme conditions. That foundation is applied to every piece of clothing and every pair of boots the company manufacturers.
So, what makes a pair of North Face boots so special? They’re well-made with high quality material! Whether you need a warm pair of winter boots to walk around town or summit a mountain, The North Face combines style and durability into every pair of boots it sells. The boots are designed to keep your feet warm and dry, regardless of the weather!
The North Face uses PrimaLoft in most of its boots: “PrimaLoft® insulation is the world’s best down alternative for wet-weather insulating performance. Each series achieves comfort in any condition by delivering warmth without bulk, water resistance and comprehensibility that mimics goose down,” -The North Face.
Like most brands featured in this blog, The North Face makes winter boots specifically to address the individual needs of women, men and children. With The North Face, you’ll be sure to find a warm winter boot for everyone in your family!
If you’re heading to the Arctic Circle, this is the brand of boots for you. Baffin is known for making the warmest winter boots in the world. The company started in Canada in 1995 and in that time, it has developed a cult-like following for explorers, outdoors-men and industrial workers. When you want guaranteed warm feet, Baffin boots are the right choice for you.
Be warned though, these boots are expensive- however, you get what you pay for. Baffin uses a multi-layer approach to its boots, giving each pair maximum comfort and warmth! Baffin has mastered the art of combining comfort, moisture management and insulation all in one boot! The company stands behind every boot it sells. In fact, Baffin product designers test out every pair of boots in the field, in various temperatures and weather conditions to ensure they hold up.
The boots are rated from -4f to -148 F degrees. By far, Baffin is the best at keeping your feet in the coldest temperatures on the planet. So, the next time you go to the North Pole, pack a pair of Baffin boots.
Muck boots work wonders in wet weather. Muck’s are a hybrid between a rain boot and a winter boot. Muck is a great brand to explore if your hunting in cold weather or plan on spending a lot of time walking around outside. This is a go-to brand of choice for farmers/ranchers who live in colder climates. Muck boots are made out heavy duty neoprene- which is waterproof and keeps your feet incredibly warm.
Most Muck boots are rated for well below zero. Its arctic series of boots are rated for -60. While Muck’s may look like a rubber boot, don’t be fooled. It has the traction of a serious winter boot, with the flexibility and lining of a cozy winter slipper.
The boot however can be a bit bulky, so make sure this boot is appropriate for your activity. Muck’s are made to last. I personally know several people who have worn the same pair of Muck boots for decades.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of warm winter boots, you will not be disappointed! With so many trusted boot brands, you are bound to find the right pair, style and fit for your specific outdoor adventure.
Make sure you try on your socks with your boots before you buy them- you don’t want them to fit too snug! If your boots are too snug, you’ll lose circulation and you’ll feet will freeze, regardless of the boot. See our article entitled “How To Keep Feet Warm In Winter With Poor Circulation“.