Winter is far too long to stay trapped inside, but braving the cold weather requires the proper attire. This means having the proper footwear. Bulky, heavy boots are not an option, especially if you are walking to work or spending the day outside with your children. That’s why the best snow boots for women are lightweight, fully insulated, and waterproof, all without forcing you to sacrifice your personal style.
What Features Are Needed in Snow Boots
It’s best to start your search for snow boots before the snow actually starts falling, so you can be fully prepared when the cold weather hits. But to shop smart, you need to be aware of specific features to look for in your new boots, to keep your feet warm, dry, and comfortable all season long.
The first priority is making sure your boots are made of quality materials to ensure they won’t tear or break during use. The best material for the upper areas of the boots are leather or suede, nylon, or textile, all of which are durable and strong. The midsole and insole should be padded for comfort and shock absorption.
A molded footbed gives you proper arch support. EVA foam is commonly used for this area, because it is lightweight and comfortable. The outsole should be made of rubber, with thicker lugs on the bottom for traction on slippery surfaces. They should also be flexible to keep you moving freely.
Some type of moisture protection is necessary to keep your feet dry. Water resistance is fine for cold, dry days, but won’t be very good in rainy weather or walking through slushy or deep snow.
Waterproofing will help keep you dry on wetter days, though don’t expect them to stay dry if you decide to submerge them in deep puddles. Water resistant upper material combined with a waterproof membrane inside the boot and sealed seams gives you the best protection against moisture.
Some companies provide temperature ratings for their boots. This rating gives you the lowest temperature in which to wear these boots while still having warm and comfortable feet. This is not a guarantee, though, as the rating could change with your own personal medical history, the type of socks you wear, or how much you perspire.
For those boots that come without ratings, look at the type of insulation inside. Fleece or fur-lined boots are the warmest, and the thicker the better for colder temperatures.
The longer you wear snow boots, the heavier they are going to feel, so make sure you have a lightweight pair if you plan on doing a lot of walking or hiking in them. The thicker the material inside the boots, the heavier they will be, but many synthetic materials in snow boots are made to help keep your boot lightweight. Consider what you will be using the boots for when deciding which to buy.
Snow boots can top out at your knees or end above the ankle, and which to buy depends on what type of snow you’re going to be in. Obviously, the deeper the snow, the higher the boot should be, to keep the snow from dropping into them from the top. Higher boots also keep your calves warmer. But if in warmer temperatures with minimal snow, a shorter boot would be a great option.
Just because you are buying for warmth doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style. Snow boots come in a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from, making them perfect for work, play, and even a night on the town.
Now that you know what to look for in a great pair of snow boots, it’s time to start shopping. To make things easier on you, we’ve started your search with half a dozen highly rated snow boots, detailing the good and the bad, so you know what you’re getting with each pair.
Pick Your Snowboots Here
Tecnica Unisex Moon Nylon Fashion Boot
Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 6 inches
Specific Features: Cordura nylon upper material, foam lining, rubber sole, dual drawstring closures
Best Use: Hiking, walking, outdoor festivals, working outside
This is the original Moon Boot from Tecnica, available in a wide variety of colors to meet every style, and made for both men and women. They are lightweight but sturdy enough to handle hours of hiking trails or dancing at an outdoor winter festival.
The Cordura nylon outer material is water-resistant, keeping your feet dry all day. It also locks in the heat, so your feet will be warm even in temperatures that drop to -35 degrees Celsius. The foam lining customizes its shape to your foot, though some have said that this lining can actually loosen up a bit, reducing the stability over time.
This may make it difficult to join in any rigorous winter games or activities, but for hiking or walking to work, this should not be an issue. Of course, this extra room will accommodate thicker socks if necessary. Rubber soles give you the traction needed on snow, but they are not as great on icy surfaces, so tread carefully on these areas until you reach more stable ground.
There are two drawstring closures on these boots, the first to tighten the laces over the foot, and the other on top to secure the opening tightly around your calf, keeping the snow out. The Moon Boots are listed in EU sizes, so check out a sizing chart when purchasing so you receive the right pair.
Related: Tecnica has a huge variety of Moon Boots available, including the Moon Boot Sunset. It isn`t water-resistant and has no rating, but is made of the same materials and comes in sparkly black or blue outer material. Both are great boots, but for the warmth, dryness, and color variety, the original Moon Boots are the best choice.
Sorel Women’s Tofino Boots
Dimensions: 15 x 12 x 6 inches
Specific Features: Waxed quilted canvas upper material, leather overlays, leather shell, microfleece lining, 100g insulation, removable molded EVA footbed with microfleece topcover, rubber midsole, molded rubber outsole
Best Use: Snowmobiling, sledding, hunting, fishing, hiking, walking, working outside
The lightweight Sorel Tofino boots offer you the style and sophistication every woman wants, without sacrificing on warmth. The outer material is made of shiny, metallic material that is both breathable and waterproof, keeping your feet warm without getting soaked in sweat.
The microfleece lining combined with the insulation make sure your feet don`t freeze while you walk to work or climb sledding hills with the little ones. The molded EVA footbed is removable, so you can remove it whenever needed. The rubber sole has thick lugs, providing you with the stability and traction necessary for shoveling your walk or making your way over a patch of ice.
Those who have purchased these boots in the past have mentioned needing a half or a full size larger than their usual shoe size, which is especially important if you are planning to wear thicker socks. These boots may also feel a bit stiff when you first put them on, but not in an uncomfortable sort of way, and will give you the freedom of movement of a well-worn pair in a very short time.
The faux-fur trim at the opening of these boots add a bit of extra warmth and looks fantastic. With D-ring eyelets up both sides of the shaft, tightening your laces is super simple. For those worried about matching these boots to their own particular style, there are 5 different color combinations to choose from.
Related: There is also Tofino II boots available from Sorel, which have the same waterproof, breathable materials in the upper construction, and the same insulation, footbed, and sole materials. They have a fleece lining instead of the microfleece of the original pair and have more color options. But the Tofino II`s are also a bit more expensive than the originals, despite the minimal differences between them.
Sorel Women’s Conquest Carly Boots
Dimensions: 19 x 14 x 7 inches
Specific Features: Full-grain leather and nylon upper material, microfleece lining, 100g insulation, molded EVA footbed with microfleece topcover, rubber outsole with wrapped leather heel, lace and drawstring closures
Best Use: Short walks, shopping, walking to class, outdoors in heavy rain, best in fall conditions or in minimal snow
Though warm and waterproof, these lightweight boots are not meant for use in heavy snow or for rugged activities. The leather and suede upper material and nylon tongue are all waterproof, keeping your feet dry and comfortable even in damp weather.
Both the upper part of the boot and the rubber shell on the bottom are both insulated, so warmth will not be an issue unless you are in extreme cold. Though they have a microfleece lining, there have been some complaints about it being a tad thin with little cushioning beneath the feet, which is why some customers recommend adding a liner, insole, or wearing a thick pair of socks to keep your feet pain-free and toasty warm throughout the day.
This also means buying a larger size Sorel Women’s Conquest Carly Boots to accommodate this extra layer. The molded EVA footbed supports your arches, and when combined with the microfleece topcover, keep your feet stable in the boot with minimal rubbing at the heel. The heel is wrapped leather and there is some traction on these boots, but not enough to easily walk on ice.
These boots have a full length lace closure, which requires you to unlace them completely to pull them on or off, which some have found to be a hassle, as well as a drawstring closure at the top. Though they can be used in snow, these boots are better for general fall use, more for fashion and style than as a proper winter snow boot.
Related: There is an updated version of this boot from Sorel, the Women’s Conquest Carly II Duck Boot, which has replaced the nylon upper material with canvas and has sealed the seams for extra waterproofing. There is also vulcanized rubber on the midsole and the outsole, giving these boots better traction on wet surfaces. The microfleece lining has also been replaced by Jersey lining in this newer model.
Merrell Women’s Dewbrook Winter Boots
Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches
Specific Features: Full-grain leather upper material, 200g M-Select DRY breathable membrane, fleece thermos lining, M-Select Warm insulation, ActiveHeat insole, M-Select Grip outsole, zipper closure
Best Use: Hiking, shovelling, walking, everyday use
The Merrell Dewbrook winter boots will keep your feet warm and dry all winter long, no matter how cold it gets outside. The leather outer material is waterproof and durable, as is the breathable M-Select membrane, which keeps moisture from seeping into your boot while still allowing your foot’s natural moisture to escape.
The M-Select WARM insulation is thick without being bulky and combines with the fleece thermos lining to keep your feet warm. The ActiveHeat insole also has a silver reflective film to add even more heat into your boot, so you won’t even need to wear thick, heavy socks to stay toasty.
There is an air cushion in the heel to give you added stability and absorb any shock during your walk, preventing any painful feet at the end of the day. The thick grip on the outsole gives you excellent traction on slippery concrete, snow, or even ice.
The zipper closure is located on the inner side of these low-cut boots and make slipping them on and off fast and easy. There is also a cute button on the side, though it is more for style than purpose. These boots come in four stylish colors, including black, espresso, bourbon, and grizzle grey.
Related: Merrell has a variety of winter snow boots for sale, including the Sylva Mid Buckle Boots, and the Murren Strap Boots. They are waterproof and are made of similar materials, with a few exceptions. The Sylvia has a faux fur collar for a bit more style, while the Murren model has the ActiveHeat EVA footbed, but it is removable for easy and fast drying.
Keen Women’s Elsa WP Winter Boots
Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 9 inches
Specific Features: Leather and textile upper material, mesh lining, 100g Keen Warm insulation, non-marking rubber outsole, removable metatomical PU footbed, Sherpa collar, lace closure, Cleansport NXT
Best Use: Hiking, climbing, light rain or snow, walking
The Elsa WP snow boots are super warm, combining lightweight 100g Keen Warm insulation with a heat reflecting strobel to give your feet a thermal barrier that locks out the cold. The mesh lining and the Sherpa collar also add to the heat that stays trapped in your shoe, while still giving your feet the breathability needed to stay dry on the inside.
If you do happen to sweat a bit, the Cleansport NXT helps to keep any odors at bay, so you don’t have to worry about removing your boots in a crowd at the end of a busy day. The PU leather and textile outer material is waterproof, as are the sealed seams. Vulcanized rubber on the outsoles give you excellent traction on snow, but may not grip well on ice, so use caution on slippery walking surfaces.
They are also non-marking, which makes trying them on and testing them out on your kitchen floor perfectly safe. The metatomical footbed design offers the best arch support possible, cradling your foot throughout the day. It can also be removed for fast drying overnight.
Though the lining extends from your calf to your ankle, there have been some complaints about cold toes, so you may want to wear thicker socks to combat this issue, which could require purchasing larger size.
Related: The Elsa Tall Canvas Boots have the same outer material as the Elsa WP, but have a microfleece lining instead of the mesh and no Sherpa collar. If you prefer a taller boot, the Tall Canvas style may be for you, but for those who like a low-cut boot, the Elsa WP has the durability and the convenience of a removable footbed that bring them to the top of the list.
Baffin Women’s Loki Snow Boots
Dimensions: 19 x 15 x 5 inches
Specific Features: Waterproof suede leather upper material, faux-fur collar and sidepiece, Thermaplush lining, EVA midsole, Polar rubber outsole, toggle closure
Best Use: Walking, sledding, tubing, working outside or in cold indoor areas, shoveling snow
With a temperature rating of -20 degrees Celsius, these boots will keep your feet super warm while walking your dog or building a snowman with the little ones. They are made from waterproof suede leather on the outside and trimmed with a faux-fur collar and sidepiece.
There are 5 toggles to close up these Loki Snow Boots, held on by stretchy elastic, making it versatile enough to stay tight over leggings or stretch over a pair of thicker jeans. The liner is fixed inside the boot and made of thick Thermaplush to keep your feet warm in colder temperatures.
A removable multi-density insole allows you to remove it for speedy drying. The EVA midsole and the Polar rubber outsole are perfectly molded to the base of the boots. The outsole also has Polar Proven Lugs to give you excellent traction, keeping you stable and on your feet on slippery surfaces.
These tall boots are stylish as well as functional, making them perfect for any activity, from outdoor play to winter festivals to a romantic stroll through the park beneath the stars. The Baffin Loki boots come in two color colors to choose from, black or grey/charcoal.
Related: The only boot made by Baffin that comes close to the Loki is the Chloe Insulated Boot. It is made almost exactly the same on the outside, except for the laces that replace the toggles. The Chloe also has a 7-layer inner boot liner that is removable and is insulated enough to withstand temperatures dropping to -40 degrees Celsius.
Take Your Pick
With so many different types and styles of snow boots available, it can be hard to know what to look for to meet your specific needs for warmth and comfort. That’s why it is so important to research the best features of this type of footwear, so you can make an informed choice and still stay fashionable.
If you have found a pair of snow boots that you feel could fit on our list, please let us know in our comments section.