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Your favorite hiking boots may treat you well for most of the year, but if you're traveling and hiking in the winter, you need footwear that can stand up to snow, slush, and cold. . There are a ton of great winter boots on the market, but you'll be happiest if you pick one best suited to the kind of winter adventure you plan to embark on. Participating in winter activities looks different than any other season. Ice climbing requires crampons or microspikes, which are winter shoes that help you stick to the ice wall. Backpacking through deep snow requires insulated boots that are waterproof and sturdy, so that hikers can trek through a slippery, rocky terrain.
What to Look for in Your Winter Hiking Boots
When looking for the perfect boots, there are a few things winter hikers need to consider. To keep any moisture or wetness out from walking through snow, you'll need to find boots that have some sort of weatherproofing-like a waterproof, breathable liner--and you should also make sure the cuffs and tongue heights will keep snow out. . Your boots will need some sort of insulation to keep your feet warm depending on how cold it's going to be where you're hiking. And you'll have to also look at how deep and wide the lugs of your boot are for traction, since you'll need some grip strength while climbing slippery rocks. If you're planning for a longer hike, check how supportive the midsole is too for optimal comfort.
Our Choices for the Best Winter Hiking Boots
1. Best Overall Winter Hiking Boot
Men: AsoloFugitive Gore-Tex (GTX) Wide Hiking Boot
We picked the Asolo Fugitive GTX Wide Hiking Boot as our best overall winter hiking boot for men because it has a little bit of everything you'll need for any type of winter hike. It's comfortable and breathable, while still weatherproof and supportive. Its suede covering and nylon upper makes it durable, and it has a rubber toe overlay to protect from abrasion. It's grippy and also has aggressive traction lugs so that you can remain stable while hiking up slippery rocks.
Women: Oboz Bridger Women's 7" Insulated B-DRY Waterproof Hiking Boot
Our pick for the best overall women's winter hiking boots is the Oboz Bridger 7" Insulated B-Dry Waterproof Hiking Boot. Its leather uppers make it weatherproof and durable, but it also has breathable membranes that make it light. The 200 gram 3M Thinsulate insulation and thermal wool-topped insoles will keep your feet warm and supported, along with molded rubber heel kicks with a removable lip to secure a snowshoe strap.
2. Best Budget-Friendly Winter Hiking Boot
Men: Men's Bugaboot™ III Boot
The Columbia Bugaboot III Boot for men is a great option for those who are looking for something high-quality, but reasonably priced. For about $110, it offers 200 grams of insulation and is waterproof. Its superior midsole cushioning makes it comfortable, while its advanced traction outsole make it supportive.
Women: Manfen Women's Hiking Boot
The Manfen Women's Hiking Boot is definitely a steal if you're trying to find a quality, budget-friendly shoe. The waterproof hiking boot has an integrated, inserted EVA midsole for comfort and cushioning but is also lightweight and durable. It has a rubber toe box and rubber outsole for optimal trail grip, along with great ankle support and a snowshoe strap ridge for the best support and traction. Prices for this boot range between $50-$80 on Amazon.
3. Warmest Winter Hiking Boot
Men: Danner Men's Powderhorn Insulated 1000g Hunting Shoes
Although these are known as hunting boots, they make for great winter hiking boots if you are looking for something really warm. With 1000 gram Thinsulate ultra insulation, you can bet that your feet will stay pretty toasty. Its Gore-Tex waterproof membrane is also breathable, and its multi-density foam patterning takes away any hotspots that might develop. Its Danner Powderhorn outsole provides ultra-durable traction and a bi-fit stability board for comfort, making this a great choice if you're trekking in really cold weather.
Women: Salomon Vaya Powder TS CSWP Boot
For the ladies, our warmest winter hiking boot is the Salomon Vaya Powder TS CSWP Boot. It's stylish but functional, with Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet warm and ClimaSalomon laminate to keep moisture out while absorbing sweat. It has a Contragrip outsole for excellent traction and an EnergyCell midsole for cushion and support. It also has a protective toecap to protect your toes from poles and skis.
4. Best Weatherproof Hiking Boot
Men: Vasque Men's Snowburban II UltraDry Snow Boot
If you hate wet feet, especially when trudging through cold weather, then you need a boot that is more than just water-resistant. For men, we recommend the Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry Snow Boot. It has an UltraDry waterproofing system and is made of waterproof leather. It's lightweight, and its molded rubber heel kick will keep your feet warm. It also has winter traction outsole lugs with razor siping so that you won't have to worry about slipping either.
Women: Women's Newton Ridge™ Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot
For women, the Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot is inspired by classic mountaineering boots, built with leather, mesh, and Omni-Tech waterproof membranes for a breathable but seam-sealed construction. Its lightweight midsole makes it comfortable and cushioned, and it also sports Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber for the best grip.
5. Most Supportive Winter Hiking Boots
Men: Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip Boot
Just because you want a more supportive boot doesn't mean you have to suffer hiking with a clunky pair. The Danner 600 Arctic Side-Zip Boot can last through the worst winter conditions and is very reliable. It features the Danner Dry laminate to keep the moisture out and a 200 gram Primaloft insulation to maintain warmth. But it's also breathable. Its Vibram SPE midsole makes the boot comfortable and incredibly supportive. It also features Vibram Nisqually Arctic Grip outsoles that you can rely on for great traction.
Women: KEEN Revel IV High Polar Boot
The women's KEEN Revel IV High Polar Boot is made for deep-winter trekking. It has synthetic and leather membranes that make it waterproof and heavily fortified. Its thermal trapping insulation reflects the heat within and EVA midsole makes this boot durable and cushioned. The molded rubber outsole and multi-directional lugs provide great traction and help fight against any penetrating cold underfoot. If you're looking for a study boot that isn't too bulky, this is a great choice.
6. Best Lightweight Winter Hiking Boots
Men: Men's Fairbanks™ Omni-Heat™ Boot
Just as a supportive boot doesn't need to be clunky, a lightweight boot doesn't need to be fragile. The Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot is made of Omni-Tech membrane, Omni-Heat reflective lining, and Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber, making it breathable, warm, and sturdy. It features a Techlite lightweight midsole that provides great comfort and cushioning, while staying true to its feather-like weight. It's 200 gram insulation keeps just enough heat in, so you won't have sweaty feet.
Women: Salomon Women's Outblast TS CSWP
The Salomon Women's Outblast TS CSWP is an awesome option because the pair can also serve as running shoes. Although great for everyday wear, this boot provides everything you'll need in footwear to go winter hiking. With Thinsulate insulation and a winter insole, these lightweight boots will keep your feet warm. They're less bulky than your usual winter hiking boots, but they offer the cushioning and comfort need for a dynamic boot.
7. Best Winter Hiking Boots for Kids
SalomonXA Pro V8 Winter CSWP Boot
Bringing the kiddos along? Check out the SalomonXA Pro V8 Winter CSWP Boot! Its features include ClimaSalomon waterproofing, polyester lining, an OrthoLite footbed, an EnergyCell midsole, and a Contragrip rubber sole. So you can count on this boot to be supportive, be warm, and also have enough traction so you don't have to worry too much about your kids slipping on rocky terrain.
Have any great recommendations for the best winter hiking boots to buy? Share your tips with us on our Wide Open Roads Facebook!
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