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Best Winter Hiking Boots for Men: Finding the Right Pair to Resist the Elements

WINTER HIKING BOOTS FOR MEN
John C. Porter
Written by John C. Porter

Outdoor activities in the wintertime are a whole other ball game compared to summertime activities. You face different temperatures, terrain, and weather, which greatly influence what gear you’ll need to take with you. One of the most important pieces of gear is footwear.

Having proper winter hiking boots will help ensure your feet stay warm, dry and comfortable while exposed to the winter elements. This article will cover the important features to consider when investing in a pair of hiking boots and also give some product reviews of the best winter hiking boots for men on the market.

Product NameBaseInsulationHeightWeightPrice
Baffin Apex Arctic rubber shell8-layer removable inner boot system;14 in2 oz/pairCheck price on Amazon
Korkers FootwearEVA midsole; rubber outsole400 grams of 3M Thinsulate9 in55 oz/pairCheck price on Amazon
Icebug MetroEVA midsole; rubber outsolePolyester backing; short nap polyester fleece lining and footbed cover6 in30 oz/pairCheck price on Amazon
Under Armour OverdriveCharged Cushioning midsole; Michelin Wild gripper rubber outsoleNone6 in40 oz/pairCheck price on Amazon
Baffin CrossfireEVA midsole; Arctic rubber shell; Polar rubber outsoleRemovable multi-layer inner; Thermoplush lining11 in76 oz/pairCheck price on Amazon
Bogs Ultra MidRubber sponge midsole; rubber shell and outsoleNone10 in92 oz/pairCheck price on Amazon
Kamik NationplusRubber shell; SNOWTREAD rubber outsole200 grams of 3M Thinsulate11 in54 oz/pairCheck price on Amazon
Vasque SnowburbanEVA midsole; Vasque Venture outsole with ColdHold Compound400 grams of 3M Thinsulate8 in58 oz/pairCheck price on Amazon

Important Features to Consider

As with any other product, you can’t just pick out the first you come across and buy it out on an impulse. You actually need to know what are the important features that you need to consider before choosing the model that best suits your needs. Therefore, we have prepared the most important features you need to consider before buying a pair of winter hiking boots.

Fit

When investing in any hiking boot, it’s important to factor in sock thickness. Make sure to try on boots with the socks you plan to wear to ensure maximum comfort. Having boots that are too big will cause excessive water and snow to spill in and also cause toe pain. Boots that are too tight will be uncomfortable and also reduce breathability.

Man hiking with his dog

Now that you’re familiar with the features to consider when investing in a pair of winter hiking boots, it’s time to learn about some of the most popular winter boots on the market.

Components & Materials

Uppers: For the upper part of hiking boots, it’s important to consider the material(s) it’s made of because this will affect the boot’s weight, breathability, durability and water resistance.

Some of the most frequently used materials include:

  • Full-grain leather is highly abrasion-resistant, water-resistant and overall very durable. This material is used mostly for backpacking boots, used on extended trips where you’ll be carrying heavy loads and crossing rugged terrain. Before any long journey, full-grain leather boots will need plenty of time to break-in to. Because of its durability, full-grain leather is not as light or breathable as boots with nylon/split-grain leather combinations.
  • Split-grain leather is the rough inner part of cowhide that is split away from the smooth exterior. It’s usually combined with nylon or nylon mesh to create a boot that’s lightweight and has excellent breathability. Split-grain leather boots often cost less, but overall they’re less abrasion- and water-
  • Nubuck leather is full-grain leather that’s buffed to look like suede. Just like a regular full-grain leather, they’re water- and abrasion-resistant, and offer excellent durability. Although they’re quite flexible, Nubuck leather boots also take time to break-in before any extended hike.
  • Synthetics such as polyester, nylon and “synthetic leather” are also used for hiking boots. The upside of synthetics are they are light-weight, have quick drying properties, break in more quickly, and they’re generally less expensive. However, they often show wear and tear sooner than leather models, because synthetic boots have more stitching on the outside.
  • Waterproof membranes such as Gore-Tex or eVent are meant to keep your feet dry in any wet condition while still offering breathability. However, such waterproof membranes are not as breathable as ventilating meshes which are used on some waterproof shoes. Sometimes a durable water repellent (DWR) is used instead of waterproof membranes for better breathability.
  • Vegan hiking boot options can also be found on the market. They’re made without any animal products or by-products.

Midsoles: The midsole of a hiking boot is what provides cushioning, buffers from shock, and the part that determines the stiffness of the boot. The stiffness of a boot is an important consideration to ensure comfort and stability on rocky, uneven terrain.

A pair of hiking boots for mens

Two of the most common midsole materials are ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyurethane:

  • EVA is used in various densities for midsoles, depending on which parts need firmer support. EVA is lightweight, offers more cushioning, and generally less expensive.
  • Polyurethane is more durable and generally firmer than other midsole materials. Because of its durability, polyurethane is used for extended backpacking and mountaineering boots.

Outsoles: Hard outsoles ensure the more durability on rugged and uneven terrain. Rubber is the most common material used on hiking boot outsoles, but sometimes carbon is added to backpacking or mountaineering boots for extra hardness.

Other considerations for hiking boot outsoles are lug patterns and heel brakes.

  • Lug pattern: Lugs are bumps on the outsole which give extra traction. Having lugs that are widely spaced apart can shed mud and snow more easily and provide good traction. Backpacking and mountaineering boots often have deeper and thicker lugs for a better grip.
  • Heel brake: Having a heel brake will help reduce a hiker’s chance of sliding on steep descents.

Waterproofness

For winter hiking boots in particular, waterproofness is an important feature. They must be fully waterproof to ensure that your feet won’t get wet or freeze. Factors for waterproofness include boot materials and boot cut.

Leather offers a high degree of water resistance, and when paired with a waterproof membrane, your hiking boots will fare well for any winter hike. Also make sure that your hiking boots are a mid- to high-cut for extra ankle support that will help keep snow and water out.   

Insulation

Insulation is another factor to consider to help keep your feet as warm and comfortable as possible in the cold winter elements. Winter hiking boots can have either fixed or removable insulation or, also come in various layers. Single-layer insulation is provided by the inside materials and is fine for basic winter hikes.

Insulation of hiking boots on the floor

But for extreme hiking and winter camping a double-layer insulation is recommended. Double layer hiking boots have insulation on the inner and outer parts of the boot. Some of the most popular insulating materials include: Thinsulate, wool, Zylex and polypropylene. For winter hiking, 400 to 800 grams of insulation is recommended.

Winter Gear Compatibility

For any serious winter hiker it’s important that the hiking boots you invest in are also compatible with crampons and snowshoes. Make sure that the outer sole of your boots fit your snowshoes and that your sole flexibility matches the flexibility of your crampons.

Temperature Rating

For outdoor footwear it’s important to take into consideration the temperatures that a boot can withstand comfortably. However, temperature ratings are always approximate and based on high activity levels. Factors that affect temperature ratings include: weather, wearer’s activity level, fitness, metabolism, perspiration, circulation, exposure time, clothing and cold sensitivity.

Top Product Reviews

Baffin Apex Baffin Apex

Price: approx. $180

Weight: 2 oz/pair

Height: 14 inches

Special features: Waterproof leather, Arctic rubber shell; EVA midsole; polar rubber outsole; lugged, -148 F, 8-layer removable inner boot system; double B-Tek hollow fiber insulation

Best use: For extreme weather, snowmobiling, ice fishing

Description: The Baffin Apex Insulated Boot is best for extreme weather and winter activities such as hunting, snowmobiling and winter camping. It has undergone rigorous testing in the North Pole, at the base camp of Mount Everest and while snowmobiling and ice fishing. The quick-lace fastening system and full length tongue ensures the boot will slide in with ease and fit any leg size.

For enhanced waterproofness the Apex boot has an upper made of a waterproof leather with fully sealed seams. The boot also has a layer of Hydromax II, which wicks away moisture and funnels water vapor to keep foam dry. The polar rubber outsole provides deep traction for snow and ice.

For insulation it contains a double B-Tek hollow fiber and waffle-comb foot bed for better airflow and insulating properties. The Apex boot also features a reflective air bubble underfoot and open cell polymech foam for extra flow and cushioning. However, its durability does come at the cost of its hefty weight when compared to other winter hiking boots.

PROS:

  • Durability
  • Waterproofness
  • Made for extreme weather

CONS:

  • They are relatively expensive

Related: Check out O’Neal Rider Boots if you want the product of similar quality. Daystar Fork Boot, are also considered a good addition to your gear.

Check the price on Amazon

Korkers Footwear Korkers Footwear

Price: approx. $100

Weight: 55 oz/pair

Height: 9 inches

Special features: Waterproof leather; EVA midsole; rubber outsole; Omnitrax 3.0 interchangeable sole system,  -30oF, 400 grams of 3M Thinsulate

Best use: Hiking, snowmobiling, ice fishing

Description: The Korkers Footwear Snow Boot is considered a technical performance boot for multi-sport winter adventures such as alpine hiking or snowshoeing. It has fully waterproof and breathable membranes with extra webbing and stitching to ensure your feet stay dry.

In addition to the 3M Thinsulate insulation, the SnowJack has underfoot placement, for extra warmth. This winter hiking boot features a lace-up closure, 360o rand, and molded toe and heel caps for protection and support that doesn’t limit flexibility.

One of SnowJack’s most distinct features is the Omnitrax 3.0 interchangeable sole system. The outsoles are interchangeable which means you can adapt your traction, according to changing weather conditions.

The two outsoles included are the SnowTrac Winter Rubber Lug and IceTrac Studded Rubber Lug. Also included are 32 carbide studs per pair which give extra traction on ice. The interchangeable outsoles are easily packable and can be switched even while wearing the boots and standing up.

PROS:

  • Can withstand extreme temperatures
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Additional soles, toe and heel caps

CONS:

  • The price

Related: Check out Korkers Storm Boot if you want the product of similar quality. Daystar Fork Boot are also considered a good addition to your gear.

Check the price on Amazon

Icebug Metro  Icebug Metro

Price: approx. $85

Height: 6 inches

Weight: 30 oz/pair

Special features: Weather resistant suede; PU mudguard; lycra; EVA midsole; rubber outsole; 5oF; polyester backing; short nap polyester fleece lining and footbed cover

Best use: Hiking, snowmobiling, ice fishing

Description: Icebug Metro Boot is warm enough for winter weather, but can also be used comfortably indoors. The fleece lining and footbed cover not only provide insulation, but also ensure minimal water absorption. The EVA midsole is molded and features ESS shank and a TPU stabilizer for added shock absorption, stability and comfort.

The rubber outsole features 16 permanent BUGgrip carbide studs that provide extra traction. The Metro BUGrip also has an aggressive toe spring, running shoe platform, crisp walking gait and brushed Nylex lining. Instead of a lace-up closure, this boot has medial waterproof zipper pull loops, making them easy to slip on and off.

This boot may offer insulation and weather resistance, but does not hold up against extreme hiking conditions that other boots can. Therefore, this boot is best used for shorter winter hikes and casual winter wear. Many users consider these boots to be very warm and comfy.

PROS:

  • Warmth
  • Waterproofness
  • Stability

CONS:

  • Cannot withstand extreme weather

Related: Many users are recommending Icebug Traction Sole Cover because it is practical, and very useful.

Check the price on Amazon

Under Armour Overdrive Under Armour Overdrive

Price: approx. $160

Weight: 40 oz/pair

Height: 6 inches

Special features: Textile and foam; charged cushioning midsole; michelin wild gripper rubber outsole

Best use: Hiking, snowmobiling, ice fishing

Description: Under Armour Overdrive Hiking Boots hiking boot was inspired by fat tire off-road bikes and made in collaboration with Michelin. This boot is recommended for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. They’re made for all-terrain performance with its outsole compound and traction pattern for cross-slope grip.

The Overdrive Fat Tire features Michelin Wild Gripper outsoles with a lug pattern designed to shed mud and debris with ease. Its full length Charged Cushioning gives support, impact protection and energy return. The bottom also has a soft high-rebound foam which can morph to any terrain.

The boot has a lace closure with D-rings on the eye stays for extra security. Although the Overdrive Fat Tire offers exceptional traction for snow and ice, its lack of insulation would not make it an ideal boot for extended exposure to winter conditions.

They have a lace up closure that make your ankles secure, but there is also a lack of insulation that means you should not spend too much time in them; otherwise your feet will sweat and you won’t feel cozy and comfortable anymore.

PROS:

  • Stability
  • Durable sole

CONS:

  • No waterproofness
  • No insulation
  • Unsuitable for extreme weather

Check the price on Amazon

Baffin Crossfire Baffin Crossfire

Price: approx. $80

Weight: 76 oz/pair

Height: 11 inches

Special features: Timberwolf Nubuck PU coated leather and nylon inserts; EVA midsole; Arctic rubber shell; Polar rubber outsole; 40F; removable multi-layer inner; Thermoplush lining; B-Tek 4 hollow fiber

Best use: Hiking, snowmobiling, ice fishing

Description: The Baffin Crossfire Winter Boot is best used for extreme winter weather, full days out in the snow and for activities such as sledding, dog walking, snowshoeing or hunting. It’s fully waterproof and has a tall shaft height, which offers exceptional deep snow protection.

Its full length, speed lace fastening system allows for maneuverability. The upper part of the boot features inserts made of a double weave 900 Denier nylon with reflective piping to increase visibility and safety in low-light conditions. Its EVA midsole is flexible and cold resistant, while its rubber shell and outsole are lightweight and offer integrated arch support.

The Crossfire features a multi-layer inner boot technology to help keep you warm during moderate winter activities. The open cell polymech foam gives more cushioning and flow while the Hydromax II layer has a wicking technology to keep the foam dry. The 8-layer liner also helps keep moisture out while keeping warmth in.

PROS:

  • Waterproofness
  • Insulation
  • Stability and durability
  • Extra warmth and cushioning

CONS:

  • The price

Related: Check out Baffin Revelstoke Winter Boot for similar features. They are considered very good too.

Check the price on Amazon

Bogs Ultra Mid Bogs Ultra Mid

Price: approx. $90

Weight: 92 oz/pair

Height: 10 inches

Special features: Neoprene; rubber sponge midsole; rubber shell and outsole; -40oF

Best use: Hiking, snowmobiling, ice fishing

Description: The Bogs Ultra Mid Snow Boot is made of 70% rubber and 30% neoprene. However, it’s made with 7 mm of waterproof Neo-Tech for ensured waterproofness and breathability. The rubber shell is durable and provides 4-way stretch and flexibility for outdoor activities.

The rubber outsole is non-slip, non-marking and self-cleaning. However, it does not provide the best traction on ice compared to other winter hiking boots. The Ultra Mid Winter features a Max-wick moisture wicking lining and a Dura fresh bio-technology lining to help fight odors.

It also has an internal midsole with rubber sponge for extra cushion and warmth. Instead of a lace-up closure system, this winter boot features pull-on handles which allows you to slip them on with ease.

These boots are comfortable because they contain a rubber sponge that provides warmth and softness. The closure up is in a form of a zipper instead of lace, but you will be able to slip in your feet without any problem plus your feet won’t feel clammy inside.

PROS:

  • Breathability
  • Stability
  • Durability

CONS:

  • No insulation

Check the price on Amazon

Vasque Snowburban Vasque Snowburban

Price: approx. $110

Weight: 58 oz/pair

Height: 8 inches

Special features: Waterproof leather and textile; EVA midsole; Vasque Venture outsole with ColdHold Compound; 400 grams of 3M Thinsulate

Best use: Hiking, snowmobiling, ice fishing

Description: The Vasque Snowburban Snow Boot fares well in cold winter weather and is a great boot for alpine hiking. It features an UltraDry membrane to ensure waterproofness and a thermoplastic urethane (TPU) shank for low weight performance, stability and comfort.

The Vasque Venture outsole provides great traction for cold weather conditions and was also made to easily shed mud and snow. In addition to its 3M Thinsulate, it features a fleece-lined collar for extra warmth.

The Snowburban Ultradry also has a speed lacing closure system, reinforced toe cap, front dee ring, and custom molded kickplate. The dee ring on the front is for gaiter application, while the molded kickplate at the back makes it compatible for snowshoes. These features make it a great choice for any winter hiking adventure.

The most praised characteristic of these boots is stability and many owners have praised their durability as well in harsh weather. Besides a lacing closure system, you also get a reinforced toe cap, front dee ring and custom molded kick plate.

PROS:

  • Stability
  • Durability
  • Good outsoles
  • Waterproofness

CONS:

  • No temperature rating

Related: Darn Tough Cushion Socks are a great addition to the whole gear, and they would keep your feet warm.

Check the price on Amazon

Kamik Nationplus Kamik Nationplus

Price: approx. $37

Weight: 54 oz/pair

Height: 11 inches

Special features: Waterproof suede and nylon underlay; rubber shell; snowtread rubber outsole; -40oF; 200 grams of 3M Thinsulate

Best use: Hiking, snowmobiling, ice fishing

Description: The Kamik Nationplus Boot was designed with the harshest conditions in mind. They have a rustproof speed lacing system to ensure that your boots can be easily put on or taken off. To ensure that your feet stay dry and comfortable the Nationplus has a waterproof gusset tongue and sealed seams to ensure waterproofness.

Not only that, but it also has a moisture wicking lining. This boot features a SNOWTREAD outsole which gives excellent traction on snow and ice, making it a great boot for alpine hiking.

Its removable 3M Thinsulate insulation liner also ensures that air is trapped to retain body heat and deliver warmth. 3M Thinsulate is an exceptional insulating material to have for a winter hiking boot because it provides 1.5 times more warmth than down.

Many users have praised these boots as very comfortable and comfy which can be contributed to the material they are made of. The insulation is made of a 3M Thinsulate that keeps your feet breathable but still provides warmth and softness. They can be removed easily.

PROS:

  • Stability and durability
  • Waterproofness
  • Insulation

CONS:

  • The design

Related: Arctix SnowSports Cargo Pants go well with these boots and they would keep your legs dry and warm.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Words

For any outdoor winter excursion, it’s important to invest in a pair of boots that will protect you against the elements and keep you comfortable. Make sure to assess your outdoor lifestyle and winter activities in order to find a pair of boots that will suit your intended purpose(s).

Thoroughly research and try on different styles and models to ensure that you find the best pair of winter hiking boots for your next outdoor adventure.

We hope that you found our article interesting and useful, and if you have some thoughts or experience with some of the models we talked about, feel free to share them with our readers by leaving a comment in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John C. Porter
John C. Porter

John is passionate about hiking long distances. His record is over 65 miles in one day with backpacking gear. John hiked over 10 thousand miles, tried over 100 hiking shoes and visited 56 countries so far. His favourite hiking route is West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

  • Brian Green

    The Kamik Men’s Nationplus Boots are the most comfortable winter boots I have ever owned. They are incredible and the quality is comparable to those $200 boots. I had to scoop snow under below zero weather and my feet stayed dry and never got cold. They are also easy to put on and pull off. Awesome boots that are a must buy!

  • Larry Allen

    I am extremely pleased with the Korkers Footwear Men’s Snow Boots I’ve bought. The boots are of high quality and are good for heavy rain storms, cold weather mountain biking, and sleigh riding. Design of the boots is also cool and the fit is very comfortable. I like the idea of being able to use different tread types with this boots. I plan to order a couple more ice treads for replacement.

  • John C. Porter

    The Kamik Men’s Nationplus Boots are designed for the harshest conditions and won’t disappoint. Many are surprised since these are affordable and won’t break the bank. One great feature is the 3M Thinsulate that provides more insulation than down.
    Great choice of boots Brian!

  • John C. Porter

    Glad you are pleased with your choice of boots Larry. The Korkers Snow Boots are really something. They are excellent and the breathable membranes ensure a comfortable experience.
    True, those interchangeable insoles are awesome!

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