Running outside during the winter is like navigating an obstacle course full of slush puddles, snowdrifts, and frozen sidewalks. If you want to protect your feet from freezing conditions, you need to have the right pair of winter running shoes.
When shopping for the best winter running shoes for women, consider the ones that come with Gore-Tex, insulation technology, or spikes. It is also important to check out the shoe’s outsole to see if there's some solid traction that will keep you upright on snowy paths.
To help you narrow down your best options, we’ve rounded up 30 winter running shoes for women and selected our top picks in different categories such as best overall performance, budget, road or trail, and the most popular options.
Our staff at RunRepeat does not just cherry-pick certain models or brands to add to this list. Each pair of winter running shoes goes through a battery of tests on and off the road and in our independent shoe testing lab to closely examine the quality (or lack of quality).
To determine the strengths and weaknesses of every model, we carefully follow the following process:
Buy all the shoes on this list with our own money
Cut each shoe into its essential parts for measurement and weighing
Measure over 30 parameters of the shoe like heat technology, durability, water resistance, et cetera
Log at least 30 to 50 miles on average before giving our feedback
Gather more information from shoe experts and regular users
To conclude the whole process, we calculate the CoreScore (a rating of 0-100) of each model based on the comparative data we have gathered above. The final ratings give you the idea of how each pair of shoes stacks up against other women’s winter running shoes on the market.
The Nike Pegasus Trail 2 GTX is a trail shoe that REALLY impressed us. It kept our feet dry all throughout the wet conditions we ran! It's made for training runs so don't expect anything fast. Instead, expect a superbly bouncy and comfortable shoe that will mute out all the rocks and roots underfoot. Even better, in areas of grip and durability, this shoe will wow you!
The Peregrine 11 GTX from Saucony may not be the best choice for light trails, but it sure is a certified star in semi-technical and technical terrain. It's a waterproof shoe that can go fast or slow in short to long distances. With its impermeability, it's also an excellent winter-ready shoe. The Saucony Peregrine 11 GTX doesn't have a lot of fuss, making it a great trail shoe for beginners.
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.
The Ultraboost Winter.RDY features a water-repellent upper to keep you going in light rain and snow. A "winterized" version of the popular Ultraboost, this shoe features the responsive Adidas Boost midsole and a durable rubber outsole that gives traction on rough and wet grounds. Its upper offers warmth during cold weather while keeping your feet dry on puddles and heavy rain.
People are generally happy with the Salomon XA Pro 3D V8 GTX. This trail-optimized model is welcomed because it offers confident traction, a secure and waterproof wrap, and steady underfoot experience. On the other hand, the stiffness of the platform and the restrictive upper are criticized.
Getting inspiration from the popular Salomon Speedcross, the Supercross Blast GTX will give you the protection and traction you need to tackle the outdoor with confidence, from the urban park to the local trail. Admired for its waterproof upper, the shoe is ready to keep your feet dry in rainy weather and warmer on colder days. Designed for soft and muddy terrain, the shoe may lack the grip you need on rocky surfaces.
Considered the more road-influenced version of the Saucony Peregrine 10, the Saucony Mad River TR 2 offers a more forgiving, feel-good ride. This makes it an excellent road-to-trail alternative without compromising the necessary features to tackle semi-technical terrains. Whether you want to go fast or mellow, the Mad River TR is sure to deliver. It's a very versatile shoe, to say the least, for such an affordable price.
The Peregrine 10 ST is a running shoe by Saucony that many see as an efficient choice for wet outdoor settings. It offers an optimized outsole and water-resistant upper to tackle muddy and damp surfaces. However, some aren't happy with its restrictive forefoot section. In the end, fans of performance footwear that can handle slippery surfaces can have fun with this offering by Saucony.
The Hoka One One Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX is a highly durable trail running shoe that performs in a variety of weather conditions. It is crafted with a responsive midsole, aggressive outsole, and waterproof upper, which aim to enhance speed and comfort. This running shoe works best for neutral runners or those who do not overpronate.
The S-Lab Cross from Salomon is a "Ferrari" that's designed to make you feel like an elite during your race day in mud, rain, snow, and soft surfaces. To put it plainly, it thrives in technical scrambles. If you're looking for an all-rounder, this is NOT it. It's strictly limited to races on soft and wet terrain. If you want a similar ride, but with a lower price tag and more cushion, you might want to consider the Hoka Evo Jawz.
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.