Are you looking for good winter boots for travel, but are not sure where to start? This article is for you! We selected the very best winter boots for women, men, and kids. Find out!
Choosing the right clothing and footwear is key when it comes to winter travel. Whether you are traveling to Canada, Alaska, Iceland, or Scandinavian countries, your winter packing list will be pretty much the same. Good winter boots are probably the most important item when visiting Arctic regions in winter.
I often have readers asking what are the best winter shoes for travel and I also see what fellow travelers recommend on the internet forums and Facebook groups.
So here is a small selection of the best winter boots as recommended by real travelers based on their experiences. I also included my personal favorite waterproof winter boots that I use for European winters. At the bottom of the post, you can also find the very best boots for extreme winter temperatures, best-rated budget winter boots as well as the best winter shoes for active kids. Find out!
This list of the best winter boots for travel has now been updated for winter 2020. However, most of the shoes featured here are timeless winter boots that you can wear for many years to come. Some models or colors might change a bit, but the most important in my view is functionality, especially when you are traveling. Warm and dry feet will make any winter trip more enjoyable, so choose your winter shoes wisely. Read on!
- What to Look for in Good Winter Travel Shoes
- Sorel Winter Boots
- Columbia Winter Shoes
- UGG Waterproof Winter Boots
- Merrell Waterproof Winter Boots
- Bogs Winter Boots
- North Face Winter Boots
- Best Winter Boots for Extreme Cold Weather
- Best Budget Winter Boots
- Best Winter Boots for Kids (Boys & Girls)
What to Look for in Good Winter Travel Shoes
In order to choose the best winter boots for your trip, make sure that you know what kind of functionality you expect. Your choice of winter boots depends on where you are traveling to. For example, many people ask me what are the best boots for European winter. But Europe is huge! If you go skiing in Europe or are looking for winter shoes for Scandinavia, you’ll probably want to get winter boots from this list. Whereas if you are visiting cities like Rome or Paris, you’ll need very different winter shoes (something like classic UGG’s will be more than sufficient)…
In my opinion, all winter boots for travel have to be waterproof and keep your feet warm up to at least -10°C (14°F).
A good grip is also important – I once had to throw away a pair of winter boots because I kept slipping in them and fell several times. Little did I know at that time that stabilicers could have been the perfect solution. But in any case, good anti-slip rubber sole is a must for all winter shoes.
If you plan to do hiking, then laced winter shoes are a must. Whereas if you only plan some activities in the snow, Moon Boots might be a better choice since they are much warmer.
There is not one perfect winter shoe for every situation, but the winter boots in our selection below should get you covered most of the time. Take a look!
Sorel Winter Boots
Sorel is one of the most frequently mentioned brands when it comes to the best winter boots. Sorel has many models of winter shoes for men and women in all price ranges (60-300 USD), but from everything I read, it seems that the Sorel Caribou boots are one of the very best price/ quality options when traveling to really cold places.
Sorel winter shoes are extremely sturdy, waterproof, and very warm. There is just one disadvantage – the classic Sorel winter boots are quite heavy. I think, they are ideal for traveling to the really cold places with extreme winter temperatures like the Nordic countries, but it’s probably not something you’d want to get if you are just looking for winter shoes to wear in European cities.
Here is what travelers say about Sorel winter boots:
- I am from Canada and my Sorels keep my feet toasty warm.
- They have lasted me through four New England winters and still look great!
- I bought Sorel Caribou boots for several Antarctica And Falklands trips where we needed waterproof boots for wet landings and walking in the snow. Love them.
Columbia Winter Shoes
Warm and durable, Columbia offers quality winter shoes for the whole family at a very reasonable price (60-150 USD).
Here is what travelers say about Columbia winter boots:
- I live in Minnesota and my favorite boots are Columbia. They have this silver material inside that reflects your own heat back. So warm!
- We wanted good snow boots for snowshoeing and each got a pair of the Columbia omni-heat boots and we love them. They keep our feet very warm and dry.
UGG Waterproof Winter Boots
A bit on the expensive side, these UGG waterproof winter boots are my personal favorites. I also have a pair of classic UGG boots and they are my daily shoes for cold but dry European winter days.
I have worn my waterproof UGG winter shoes in Iceland in winter, in Northern Norway in winter, visiting Jungfraujoch in Switzerland, on every ski vacation for the last 4 years, and also every time I have to spend hours outside watching kids play football in the middle of the winter.
They are warm, really light compared to most other winter boots, and they are waterproof. I’ve had my UGG waterproof winter boots for 4 years now and they look like they will last quite a few more years. It was worth the investment.
UGG has just a few models of waterproof winter boots, both for men and women. Price range 200-300 USD.
Merrell Waterproof Winter Boots
Merrell offers some of the most affordable waterproof warm winter shoes for active trips. They have several highly-rated models of winter boots for men, women, and children.
Merrell winter shoes are not too bulky, therefore perfect for winter hiking trips. The price range of most Merrell models is between 60 and 160 USD.
Here’s what travelers say about Merrell winter shoes:
- My feet have never ever been cold in my Merrells. I went to Iceland in February, walked on a glacier in them and they were completely awesome.
- I live in an area where it snows and gets under -20 fairly often, and these boots kept my feet dry walking through the deep snow.
Bogs Winter Boots
Bogs is another highly recommended brand when it comes to good and sturdy winter boots that keep your feet warm and dry. They seem to be less suitable for hiking though, but Bogs winter boots are perfect for short walks in the snow and outdoor activities in winter.
Bogs have a variety of models of winter boots for men, women, and children. Most Bogs cost between 65 and 150 USD.
Here’s what travelers say about Bogs winter shoes:
- We live in the mountains and these great boots keep our feet warm and dry.
- I’m Canadian, Bogs are my jam.
- I’ve worn these boots for walks in freezing cold weather and to go sledding with my kids and my feet always stay toasty warm and dry.
- Should have bought these years ago. They are so warm and sturdy.
North Face Winter Boots
The North Face winter boots are perfect for everyday use in cold places, but probably not for the Arctic regions. They are lightweight and therefore comfortable to wear on longer hikes. Great winter shoes for regular European or American winters.
Here’s what people say about Northface winter boots:
- These boots are great for short-time winter activities. I’m not sure I would find them insulated enough for snowmobiling or ice fishing.
- I wore them on a winter scouts trip in 4+ feet of snow and my feet stayed warm and dry. Highly recommend.
Best Winter Boots for Extreme Cold Weather
If you are looking for the warmest possible winter boots for extreme winter temperatures, then you may consider Baffin Impact boots. They are really warm and heavy and are not really suitable for milder winters. However, if you are visiting the North Pole in winter and need the best and the warmest winter shoes available, you cannot go wrong with these boots.
According to Baffin, their Selkirk winter boots will keep you warm in the temperature range up to -70°C (-94°F).
Best Budget Winter Boots
If you only need winter boots on rare occasions and don’t feel like spending too much, you may want to look into buying cheap winter shoes. Cheap winter boots from Kingshow or Kamik offer quite a good quality for the money. They may not have the same insulation or grip as the more expensive boots from this list, but you cannot beat the price.
Don’t expect these winter shoes to last forever, but once again – if you only need winter boots for occasional use and don’t want to spend too much money, it’s worth looking into getting these cheap winter boots for your winter trip. Take a look at our selection below!
Best Winter Boots for Kids (Boys & Girls)
Since their feet grow so fast and kids’ winter shoes only last one season, we always look for sturdy waterproof winter boots that allow our boys to run and play. For us, the perfect winter boots for children have to fit all occasions: everyday wear for school, travel, as well as winter holidays in the snow.
It might be different for you, depending on how often your kids will wear their winter boots. If you just go on ski holidays for a few days and are looking for good winter boots for kids just for that one vacation, you’ll probably want to look for something cheap, yet really warm and slip-resistant e.g. something like these boots. Whereas if you are looking for good winter boots for kids for everyday use, you’ll probably want to get higher quality sturdy winter shoes that will last the whole winter.
Here in Europe, we buy Viking winter boots for our children every winter. Columbia has a similar model in the US.
Below you can find my selection of the best-rated winter boots for children that you can buy on Amazon. All these winter shoes for kids have great customer reviews and good price-quality ratio.
TIP: For more tips for kids shoes please check this post with a selection of the best kids shoes for travel (summer, winter, hiking, and much more). Take a look!
So, this is our guide to buying the best winter boots for women, men, and kids and for every budget. I hope that this hand-picked selection of the very best winter boots will help you choose your own perfect winter shoes for your trip.
Do you have a favorite pair of winter shoes that you absolutely love? Feel free to leave a reply below and share your experience – it will help other readers who are looking for the best winter shoes.
You may also like:
- Family travel: Best Travel Gear for Kids
- Iceland: What to Pack for Iceland in Winter
- Norway: What to Pack for Norway in Winter
- Switzerland: Jungfrau Region in Winter
- Northern Lights: How to See and Photograph the Northern Lights
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Our sneakers get us through the milder seasons with no problems. But when winter rolls in, they go back into the closet and we bust out the boot collection. Sure, heavier footwear is preferred for cleaning the gutters or shoveling the sidewalk. But when loaded with the right features and technology, sneakers can stand up to winter weather too. Here are five models that will keep your feet warm and dry in the coldest months.
Nike Lunar Force 1 Flyknit
As part of an annual tradition, Nike releases a line of “sneakerboots” every fall. This year, design director Dylan Raasch wanted to do something unexpected, so his team took the lightweight breathable upper from Nike’s Flyknit line and made it water-repellent. By incorporating a new thermoplastic rubber into the yarn, the summery Flyknit material can now take on the winter elements, shedding rain and surviving the odd puddle. A new durable, water-repellent finish helps seal the gaps in a Flyknit construction while letting the material maintain breathability and a comfortable stretch.
The four sneakers in Nike’s new collection all have a more rugged aesthetic. Along with the Air Presto Mid Utility, Lupinek Flyknit, and Roshe Two Hi Flyknit, the iconic Air Force 1 basketball sneaker has been refashioned into the Lunar Force 1 Flyknit Workboot ($200). Leather overlays and a gusseted tongue help protect from moisture, and a beefed-up rubber outsole offers durability and traction. An inner sleeve features zones of soft wool to bring warmth.
How it performs: The Lunar Force 1 Flyknit lives up to its water-repellent name without bringing full waterproofing. Typical rain gets pushed aside, but a sudden deluge of powerful water can get through. The elevated rugged outsole performs well in wet conditions and the added wool really ups the winter comfort.
Vans Sk8-Hi Mountain Edition
Whether or not you want to take your skateboard through the slick rain-soaked streets, Vans has footwear options that extend beyond sunny days. In its Mountain Edition collection, Vans has upgraded some classic designs with weather-resistant tech.
The most prominent choice in the MTE line is the Sk8-Hi MTE ($85). It comes with either a leather or suede upper, both Scotchguard-treated to keep the water out. A gusseted tongue eliminates openings in the sneaker’s upper for further protection. Inside, Vans uses warm linings, such as fleece, and additional padding. A thermal heat-retention layer (vacuum-coated aluminum strobel board) between the sockliner and outsole to retain up to nine degrees of heat within the shoe. The MTE outsole borrows from the snow boot history of the company. The lug design provides rugged grip and traction akin to a work boot or snow boot by pushing snow or slush out the side of the outsole instead of letting it pile up inside the traction pattern.
How it performs: The Sk8-Hi MTE has the look of a premium Vans sneaker, but it performed admirably in winter weather. The leather upper easily shunned rain—even sudden dumps of it. It’s still leather, so don’t be shocked with a little build-up. The fleece lining provides warmth, and the outsole offers solid traction without a blemishing the skateboard-ready aesthetic by making it look too much like a boot.
Adidas EQT Winter Wool
Pesky precipitation isn’t the only wintry weather our feet must endure. It gets plenty cold too. Adidas’s solution is to wrap the foot in wool. Stylish wool, at that.
The Adidas Original EQT silhouette, a classic 1990s model currently enjoying a resurgence, takes on our upcoming season with its Winter Wool variety ($140). The entire upper above the high-standing rubber outsole is already built for rough terrain, but here it gets embraced by a grey wool, at times double-layered for additional warmth. Adding leather on the collar lining, toecap, tongue tag, and heel tab add another touch of protection. A robust outsole with oversized nodes of traction help grip and elevate the foot off the ground—a key detail when you encounter a stray puddle.
How it performs: The Adidas EQT Winter Wool does what it says, providing plenty of warmth. The oversized outsole provides extra traction and a bit of relief from any splashes you may encounter. Extra leather near the outsole and in the heel tab adds protection. Unlike the rest of the winter crowd, the shoe isn’t a high-top and has a more refined style.
New Balance 910v3 Gore-Tex
Sometimes style isn’t all you need. Performance has its place too. New Balance knows this and partnered with Gore-Tex to winterize running shoes, everything from the typical street runner (the 880v6 has Gore-Tex) to the trail-ready 910v3 ($135).
The worst part about testing a pair of waterproof running shoes is running in the wind and rain. But the best part is searching for the next puddle to splash into. The Gore-Tex membrane made the 910v3 perfect for a wet run.
In this shoe, Boston-based New Balance added a new technology to its rubber compound it calls “HydroHesion,” which is meant to provide more grip in water. A protective layer of foam and TPU film has been placed under the foot to distribute the pressure of sharp objects (like rocks and roots) you’d find on the trail. There’s also an additional layer of toe protection. Even with all the armor, the running sneaker remains a manageable 11.6 ounces and doesn’t look like a super-duty boot.
How it performs: The fully waterproof membrane works from the outsole to the shoe’s upper, ensuring a dry foot even if you fully submerge it in a puddle. The only way water even has a chance of getting in is from the top down, but the proper pants or gaiters will alleviate that concern. And dry means warm; the 910v3 uses Gore-Tex and rubber in a winter-friendly way.
Converse Chuck II Shield Canvas Boot
The top-selling sneaker in history now comes in three styles that are incredibly unfriendly to water. While the Chuck Taylor All Star Tekoa Waterproof Boot uses rubber and leather for waterproofing in a definite boot-like look, there’s also a more minimal design that retains the classic Chuck aesthetic while including technology more fitting for weather-challenged months.
I tried both styles of waterproof Chucks, the $83 Shield Canvas version and the $130 waterproof leather model. Both include treatments on the materials to keep water from penetrating the initial layer. There’s a gusseted waterproof neoprene tongue and a weatherized gum outsole. More crucial is the interior bootie, which fully wraps the foot and provides an added layer of warmth. This design hides the winterization elements and retains a true Chuck vibe.
How it performs: The waterproof Chucks handle the rain just dandy, even the non-leather canvas variety. It can take on buckets of water and still keep your foot dry. The addition of the inner sleeve really serves to make this more than just a stay-dry version of the classic Chuck, giving it a winter-ready warming element for unfriendly climates.
Follow Tim Newcomb on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.