6 Best Winter Running Shoes, 40+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
6 Best Winter Running Shoes, 40+ Shoes Tested in 2023

As opposed to regular running shoes, running shoes for winter are more protective and warm. And to combat slick surfaces, they are also much grippier. 

It’s not easy to filter out the best of the best among winter shoes, which is where we come in. We test various running shoes for the cold, snowy, and icy season, and select the most suitable pairs from different categories.

How we test running shoes

We do not just cherry-pick the shoes we choose to put on this list. Each model goes through a myriad of tests in our own shoe testing lab to determine their quality as winter running shoes. 

To examine every model, we carefully go through these:

  • Log a minimum of 30-50 miles before giving our feedback
  • Cut open each shoe to examine its parts
  • Measure every part in various parameters like ventilation, lightness, stiffness, etc. 

To give you an idea of how they stack up against other running shoes on the market, we also calculate their CoreScore (a rating of 0-100) from thousands of expert and user reviews. 

Best winter running shoes overall

Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GTX
Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GTX

CoreScore

88
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 645 users
84 / 100 from 7 experts

Pros

  • Fantastic waterproofing
  • Grips on everything dry and wet
  • Great for road-to-trail transitions
  • Also for hiking
  • Responsive
  • Stable on rocky terrain
  • Supports moderately flat feet
  • Straight-out-the-box comfort
  • Lighter than other GTX shoes
  • Locked-in heel
  • Worth every penny

Cons

  • Lacks durability
  • Not for summer runs

Verdict

Whether raining or snowing, the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GTX is a waterproof trail shoe that will keep your daily runs not only dry but also comfortable. On top of this, it's full of pop and support; it won't tire your feet out. And if you want a road-to-trail hybrid, the Pegasus Trail 3 GTX from Nike can do the job.
Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GTX full review

Best road winter running shoes

Brooks Ghost 14 GTX
Brooks Ghost 14 GTX

CoreScore

83
Good!
4.5 / 5 from 8,273 users
75 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Fantastic comfort
  • Not-scrunched-up fit
  • Provides stability even on uneven terrain
  • Good to go from day one
  • Smooth ride
  • Simple yet stylish design and colorways
  • Awesome grip, even on wet surfaces
  • Ample padding and cushioning

Cons

  • Questionable durability and waterproofing
  • Annoyingly short laces that come undone easily
  • Not for narrow feet

Verdict

The Ghost 14 GTX is the all-around workhorse for the grab-a-shoe-and-go type of runner. True to its Ghost lineage, it delivers exceptional comfort, solid traction, and a stable ride. If you’re all about hitting mileage goals come (light) rain or shine, this is a shoe that takes the “daily” in daily trainer seriously.
Brooks Ghost 14 GTX full review

Best trail winter running shoes

Brooks Cascadia 16 GTX
Brooks Cascadia 16 GTX

CoreScore

86
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 576 users
93 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Superb protection
  • All-day comfort
  • Smooth, pleasant ride
  • Waterproof, yet breathable
  • Roomy toe-box
  • Secure fit
  • Grippy even on wet rocks
  • Extremely stable
  • Sturdy and durable
  • No breaking-in needed
  • Doubles as a hiker

Cons

  • Could be lighter
  • Too firm underfoot for some
  • Not particularly responsive

Verdict

Many runners know the Cascadia. It was one of the most popular trail running shoes back in the day, and with the 16th version, it has received a solid update. It’s nearly an all-new shoe and one that excels at protecting and keeping the feet stable on a variety of terrains, whether you are out for an ultramarathon or a short hike. This GTX version is also effective against bad weather, and overall a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
Brooks Cascadia 16 GTX full review

Best Nike winter running shoes

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 Shield
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 Shield

CoreScore

82
Good!
4.2 / 5 from 528 users
86 / 100 from 4 experts

Pros

  • Keeps feet dry
  • All-day comfort
  • Excellent cushioning
  • Supportive
  • Lightweight
  • Boundy
  • No heel slips
  • Excellent grip
  • Locks the feet in place
  • Enough heel support

Cons

  • Tight toe box
  • Poor quality

Verdict

Running through puddles and snow? The Nike Pegasus 37 Shield is the perfect companion. With its weather-proof features and comfortable midsole, it shines in mid-distance daily training runs. Because it runs narrow in the toe box, it's not ideal for high-mileage runs. And if you're looking for a breathable, water-draining shoe, you might want to consider other Nike running shoes.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 Shield full review

Best value winter running shoes

Hoka Challenger 6 ATR GTX
Hoka Challenger 6 ATR GTX

CoreScore

79
Good!
4.4 / 5 from 2,598 users
N/A

Pros

  • Comfortable cushioning
  • Waterproof
  • Versatile responsivemess
  • Delivers warmth
  • Grippy outsole
  • Roomy toebox
  • No heel slip
  • Relieves pain

Cons

  • Not for rocky surfaces
  • Not for narrow feet

Verdict

The Hoka Challenger 6 ATR GTX is a sweet spot for someone who needs a warm, cozy, waterproof shoe for chilly and rainy winter runs. As a hybrid trainer, it is best suited for a mix of pavement, moderate dirt, snow, and slush with some icy spots. Apart from long-distance runs, it is also a great companion for hikes and casual walks.
Hoka Challenger 6 ATR GTX full review
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.