10 Best Winter Hiking Boots (Buyer's Guide)

Author: Paul Ronto. Updated: .

No one wants cold feet while winter hiking. So, if you want to keep your tootsies warm and cozy on your next chilly hiking escapade, check out our list of best winter hiking boots. On top of that, we also included need-to-know facts and tips to help you choose the right one.

How we test and review winter hiking boots

As a pop-up-free and ad-free site, RunRepeat is here to give you the best of the best winter hikers based on reviews from over 60 experts and over 6000 users. 

As a bonus, we also took our time to calculate and rate each shoe in terms of their likeability. When we say likeability, we’re actually referring to the summarized opinions of both users and experts rather than what the brands dictate.

Popular hiking boots aren't the better rated ones

77 88 100
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10 best shoes
24 most popular shoes

4 reasons to get winter hiking boots

As the name suggests, winter boots are ideally used in cool to freezing temperatures. It’s pointless to wear these in humid, warm, and tropical settings, where a pair of breathable, lightweight hiking boots reign supreme.

Outdoor excursions in a cold environment are more challenging than you think. It’s important to prepare yourself (including your feet) from low temperatures and trails with slippery surfaces. Winter hiking boots are made specially to handle these types of conditions by providing you with the following: 

Possible consequences of NOT using winter hiking boots

Using hiking boots that fail to provide the protection needed for wintry conditions can lead to severe end results. Here are a few:

A nasty case of frostbite. This winter-related injury refers to the freezing of the skin and the muscle tissues underneath it. This causes pain and discomfort that makes moving around impossible.

Blisters. Boots that trap moisture, more often than not, generate friction causing the build-up of serum filled bubbles on the skin, commonly known as blisters. 

Hypothermia. Prolonged exposure to the cold can lead to a sudden drop to the body’s temperature. It can range from mild to severe, with symptoms that include shivering, fatigue, nausea, weak pulse rate, coma, and even death.

Special features to look for in winter hikers

Not all winter hiking boots are created equal. Some are built for damp, cool weather while others are capable of protecting your feet from sub-zero temperatures. Keeping an eye on the features of the boot you’re eyeing to buy will help you have a regret-free purchase.

Insulation and temperature rating. If you’re after a boot that’s equipped to keep your feet toasty all throughout your trip, then checking its insulation features and temperature rating is a must. 

Waterproofing. Keeping your feet dry is critical especially in cold weather. The water inside a boot can cause all kinds of havoc. To avoid this, hiking boots made for winter are equipped with waterproofing tech.

Crampon-compatibility. Yes, crampons are often linked to heavier and bulkier mountaineering boots, but winter hiking boots also use these. Crampons enhance traction and stability, allowing you to walk on slippery surfaces. Going for a pair of lightweight crampons is the better option if you don’t have to deal with technical terrain.

The best winter hiking boots in every category

Which winter hiking boots brand has better reviews?

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Which brand is cheaper?

Adidas $144
Vasque $163
Merrell $163
Salomon $163
KEEN $168
Oboz $192
Baffin $200
Danner $214
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Now, are you ready to buy winter hiking boots?

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.