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Best Winter Hiking Boots: Save Money, Buy Right!

Henry Silva
Written by Henry Silva

You will agree with me that hiking during winter can be great and it can also be the most horrible experience of your life, without the right pair of winter hiking boots. But getting the best winter hiking boot can be a little bit difficult and that is why we have carefully shortlisted the top winter hiking boots which you can get right away.

Get yourself the best winter hiking boots you can find on the market and you won’t have to worry about frostbite, at least not on your feet. It goes without saying that your summer boots won’t cut it when it comes to winter hiking because they will easily get wet and your feet will freeze.

a pair of hiking boots on the ground

So, to avoid that, get specialized boots for winter hiking. What makes these boots different and better is that they are well insulated, keeping your feet warm during the cold weather.

In this article, we will show you what are the most important features you need to keep an eye on when searching for such boots, as well as offer you reviews of some of the best models available on the market. So, keep on reading if you need a new pair of high-quality, winter boots for hiking.

Product NameSoleWeightBest UsePrice
Salomon Quest 2Synthetic sole1.4 poundsWinter hiking, runningCheck price on Amazon
Merrell PhaserboundVibram sole1.6 poundsHiking, camping, backpackingCheck price on Amazon
Salomon X UltraRubber sole4 poundsWinter hiking, SnowshoeingCheck price on Amazon
The North Face Chilkat 400Rubber sole4 poundsWinter hiking/work, SnowshoeingCheck price on Amazon
Keen Summit CountyRubber/heat trapolator soles1.7 poundsWinter hiking/work, Snowshoeing, hunting, Day hikingCheck price on Amazon
Sorel ConquestRubber/Molded EVA2.1 poundsWalking, snowmobiling, and Snowshoeing, winter hiking, SnowsportsCheck price on Amazon
Vasque SnowburbanSynthetic sole1.8 poundsWinter hiking, SnowshoeingCheck price on Amazon

Features To Consider

Is a hiking boot is right for you, depends greatly on where you will wear them too, the level of activity you will be putting them through, and also on the width of your foot and the shape of your arch. Let’s check out some basic features to consider before buying a winter hiking boot.

Warmth

The is the first feature that you should look for in a winter hiking boot. Staying warm is definitely what you want, and that’s why you are buying a pair of these, right? Hiking boots are generally designed to be worn during the cold weather, and the pair you buy should, therefore, be able to keep your feet warm when walking outside in the snow and cold temps.

A man wearing a pair of winter hiking boots

To tell how warm a pair of boots is, check the amount of insulation they have. The best insulation as mentioned should be between 200 and 400 grams of synthetic insulation. The proper amount is important because insulation materials trap and reflect the heat your foot creates, so the proper amount of insulation is important in order to maintain adequate circulation.

Waterproof

When you are walking or hiking in the snow, there will be times when the precipitation will fall as rain. Keeping your feet protected from the wetness is, therefore, important to avoid being uncomfortable and having wet and cold feet.

Ensure that the boot you buy has some kind of waterproof barrier to keep the water out. You will find some boots that have a rubber bathtub style wrap on the sole to keep the boot water resistant.

A man walking in a pair of winter hiking boots

This is a great added feature. The reason why water resistance is important is because water conducts heat and so cold water will freeze your feet much faster than cold air will.

If your boot is not waterproof, moisture will build up inside your shoe and cause coldness. So, do a thorough check to ensure that your boot is waterproof because most of the warmest boots are not always waterproof.

Fit and Comfort

A boot that fits you well and is comfortable will make your hiking trip better. When choosing the right fit think of street shoe sizing, width, and foot volume, as all these determine how comfortable a boot will be.

Men hiking boots laying down

Always try your boot on before purchase to be completely sure they are the right fit. This is because some boots may run true to size while some run small.
If you’re buying online, check the return policy to ensure that you can exchange it should it not fit well.

Ease of Use

You will probably only use your winter boots for short durations, maybe just during the hiking trips or when you need to go out to shovel the car out. They are definitely not an everyday pair of shoe.

Image of Arctery'x Bora2 Mid GTX Hiking Boots

You, therefore, want a boot that is easy to slip on and off whenever necessary. So pick a boot that is not too complicated to wear. You could go for boots with a wide opening that won’t require you to cram your foot into.

Traction

Traction is very important whether you need your hiking boots to be able to maneuver icy walkways, or to keep you steady as you hike a mountain. Winter hiking boots with outsoles similar to a winter snow tire have the best traction. Boots with deep lugs and large surface areas and featuring softest and sticky rubber perform the best, especially when encountering very icy conditions.

A pair of hiking boots for mens
Good snow boots will have a lug patterning to prevent snow build up and a soft rubber that doesn’t harden even when temperatures go down. This helps the boots to continue gripping on snow and ice.

Top Winter Boots Available

We have successful ease your searching by compiling some of the best winter boots on the market today. Listed below are a quick review of 7 of the most popular hiking boots currently available, so go ahead and make your choice!

Salomon Ques 2 Salomon Quest 2

Price: From $127 to $295 approx.

Weight: 1.4 pounds

Dimension: 10 x 9 x 10 inches

Specific features: Synthetic sole, Salomon 4D chassis for stability/protection

Best use: Winter hiking, running

Description: The Salomon Quest 2 GTX Hiking Boot is a medium weight winter hiking boot that is both comfortable and very functional. The boots provide the kind of support and ankle stability that backpackers and hikers get from a normal hiking boot.

This means that you can cover some good ground when wearing these winter hiking boots. This is a high-performance boot that is light enough for running, and stable enough to handle the harsh terrain.

Furthermore, the Salomon boots have a Contagrip sole that gives you excellent traction for a wide range of surfaces, both on the trail and off the trail. They also feature a 4D Advanced Chassis that offers your feet support and great stability to your torso.

The uppers are made from a combination of several flexible and supportive materials. The boot’s lacing system is incredible, and the comfortable ankle collar will make it easy to go down steep grades.

Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Unique lacing system
  • Waterproof
  • Fast drying
  • Great ankle support
  • Pretty tough sole
  • Great grip and traction
  • Good looking boot
  • No blisters
  • Easy to take off and put on
  • Very durable and long lasting

Cons:

  • The seams do come open
  • Not completely waterproof

Related: if you want a pair of merino wool socks to wear before putting on your boot, you can check out the People Socks CCS0HC Crew Socks. Gives your boot a good fit!

Check the price on Amazon

Merrell Phaserbound Merrell Phaserbound

Price: From $138.00 to $170.00

Weight: 1.6 pounds

Dimension: 15 x 12 x 6 inches

Specific features: Vibram sole, full-grain leather upper, external instep/heel stability arm

Best use: Hiking, camping, backpacking

Description: The Merrell Phaserbound Hiking Boot are great when it comes to protecting your feet from soreness. The boots offer your foot cushioning where it counts. This boot is designed to withstand the rigors and demands of hiking mountains, even as weather conditions change.

The boots have a well made Nubuck leather upper and are waterproof. The uppers also have a thick padded tongue, a bronze loop lacing system that is rust resistant, and a removable EVA footbed that comes paired with a grade 6 nylon insole.

All these features make a sturdy, stiff boot that is water resistant. The Merrell hiking boot fits true to size and its lacing loops go all the way under the boot, enabling it to be snugged past the widest part of your foot.

This is great when you’re descending and will also stop your foot from jamming into the front part of the boot. The boot has a lower ankle height that is just perfect and has great support.

Pros:

  • Waterproof hiking boot
  • Great fit
  • Large toe box room
  • Good size
  • Very comfortable
  • Good quality
  • No blisters

Cons:

  • Some buyers needed to buy insoles for the boot

Related: Do you want a leather lace for your hiking boot? If yes, then you can check out the FeetPeople ZHK9 Leather Lace. Comes in multiple colors. These laces are real leather!

Check the price on Amazon

Salomon X Ultra Salomon X Ultra 

Price: From $107 to $180 approx.

Weight: 4 pounds

Dimension: 14 x 12 x 5 inches

Specific features: 200g thinsulate, waterproof, full-grain leather upper, winter grip sole

Best use: Winter hiking, Snoeshoeing

Description: Salomon X Ultra Winter Boots come as a model of  a very popular footwear brand, whose design was borrowed from the brand’s excellent X Ultra lightweight hiking shoe. The winter boot, however, has a higher ankle than the hiking shoes.

It also has 200 grams of Thinsulate synthetic insulation. The weight of insulation is unfortunately not so good for frigid temperatures. The light weight and the precise fit is nonetheless quite good for trekking a hard trail.

The Salomon X Ultra Winter features a trail-running shoe chassis that makes you feel like you’re actually running a trail. This makes it a great option when you want to move fast or Snowshoeing.

With their powerful design and look, you get that assurance that your feet are encompassed by protection and safety. Salomon usually gives careful consideration, with regards to subtle features, and this model is not exempted.

The entire upper part has seam-sealed Gore-Tex layers giving magnificent water protection. Aside from being water-resistant, the membrane likewise enables vapor to circumvent, guaranteeing that the feet stay cool and dry. This hiking boot is very light and has a cozy inner liner.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Cozy inner liner
  • Warm and comfortable
  • Perfect fit
  • Very light
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Laborious to lace up
  • A bit tight
  • Poor traction, especially on icy surface

Related: if you are tired of black marks always on your boots or shoes, then say no more, to them, with the CIKIShield A06RS1 Motorcycle Boots Shoe Protector Cover. An amazing protector cover for your boot!

Check the price on Amazon

The North Face Chilkat 400 The North Face Chilkat Boots

Price: From $105 to $155 approx.

Weight: 4 pounds

Dimension: 14 x 11 x 6 inches

Specific features: 200g Heatseeker, waterproof TPR shell

Best use: Winter hiking/work, snowshoeing

Description: The The North Face Chilkat 400 Boots is the second version of The North Face line of winter boots. The Chilkat is an affordable and well-made boot that features 200 grams of insulation.

It has a fully waterproof construction, making it a great choice for areas with lots of snowfall and cold temperatures. The boot has a beefy rubber lower and leather upper that are designed to use in various situations such as winter hiking and Snowshoeing.

The Chilkat has a lower ankle height, but, the upper is more flexible turning it into a very convenient and flexible everyday wear. On the downside, the boot tends to run small so ensure that you size up for the perfect fit.

The Chilkat boot comes with 400g of Primaloft Eco recycled insulation, making it one of the warmest boots available. Its water resistance is also among the best. Its temperature sensitive lugs have really good traction.

Pros:

  • Very warm
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Great traction
  • Looks good
  • Totally water resistant
  • Good for winter

Cons:

  • A little bit difficult to tie up
  • Fit is short
  • Boots run tiny and too narrow

Related: if you want an insole that can provide maximum solace and support for your feet while wearing your boot, then you can check out the Timberland PRO A24C6C Anti-Fatigue Insole. A perfect insole to get for your boot!

Check the price on Amazon

Keen Summit County Keen Summit County 

Price: From $95 to $160 approx.

Weight: 1.7 pounds

Dimension: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specific features: Solid performance, plenty of insulation, and clean design

Best use: Winter hiking/work, Snowshoeing, hunting, day hiking

Description: The KEEN Summit County Winter Boot has been hailed as one of the most comfortable boots available. Besides comfort, the Summit County has good traction on both fresh and malty snow. The boot has a rugged rubber outsole that hardens for a tough grip as temperatures falls.

The boot has a 450-gram KEEN.WARM insulation in the toe area to keep your toes warm and a 350-gram KEEN.WARM insulation on the rest of the upper. The boots also have a KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane, turning it into the ultimate winter boot.

The boots will still keep your feet warm should any cold elements enter. The boot has heat trapolator midsoles that combine  a reflective heat shield, a sealed honeycomb layer and 3 layers of wool, to give your underfoot extra insulation.

The boots also feature shellback heel supports giving you added stability. The midsoles are made of compression moulded EVA with TPU shanks. A great choice for travelling and summer hikes.

Pros:

  • Fit perfectly
  • Very warm and comfortable
  • Totally waterproof
  • Very light
  • Great quality for the price

Cons:

  • Wide forefoot section
  • The sole is not stiff enough
  • Boot runs narrower

Related: Protect your hiking boot from rain, snow, sun and salt with the Atsko Sno-Seal Waterproofing Leather Protector. Sno-Seal keeps the entire boot warm, dry and light.

Check the price on Amazon

Sorel Conquest Sorel Conquest 

Price: From $82 to $176 approx.

Weight: 2.1 pounds

Dimension: 14 x 9.5 x 4.9 inches

Specific features: Supportive Achilles strap, 400g Thinsulate

Best use: walking, snowmobiling, and Snowshoeing, winter hiking, snow sports

Description: The Sorel Conquest Boots are warm, waterproof, and quite comfortable. They are also a good choice because you require very little to no breaking-in. They are also very light and the laces and Achilles strap offers you a good amount of ankle support and you can easily adjust the straps for a better fit.

The good thing is that even though they are quite warm during low temperatures, they tend not to get too warm when the temperatures rise. The boots have waterproof full-grain leather uppers that are located on top of handcrafted waterproof shells to offer you superior protection against the cold and wet elements. The boots also have built-in gaiters with barrel-lock closures that seal out snow and minimizes leakage.

The boots have 400g of Thinsulate ultra insulation polyester fibers that are warm enough yet not bulky. For cushy comfort, the boots feature molded EVA midsoles. They also have steel shanks that enhance support and rigidity. With its aggressive, multi-directional lugs, the Sorel boot has enhanced traction to give you a steady step on slippery surfaces. They are likely to run a little bit large in both length and width, which is not such a bad thing as this allows you to wear extremely thick winter socks.

Pros:

  • Great padding
  • No blisters
  • Great ankle support
  • Nice built-in gaiter
  • Very comfortable
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Low quality
  • Thick rubber soles
  • Not completely waterproof
  • Crack in the seam after some time

Related: Need strong and sturdy laces for your boots? If yes, then you can check out the Miscly 4UD912 Round Boot Laces. Perfect for boots, hiking shoes and work boots. They likewise work incredible for other shoes.

Check the price on Amazon

Vasque Snowburban Vasque Snowburban UltradryBoot

Price: From $100 to $160 approx.

Weight: 1.8 pounds

Dimension: 13 x 10 x 5 inches

Specific features: UltraDry membrane, 400g thinsulate, molded rubber heel kick, rubber toe cap

Best use: Winter hiking, Snowshoeing

Description: The Vasque Snowburban UltraDry Boot is a high quality warm and comfortable choice for those who want to do some winter hiking and Snowshoeing. The insulation on this winter hiking boot is great delivering on the promise of warmth and water resistance.

The boot has 400g of synthetic insulation, outperforming most brands when it comes to warmth. Despite the high amount of insulation, the hiking boot feels similar to a lightweight mountaineering boot.

The stability of this boot is enhanced by a TPU midfoot stabilizer. The stabilizer adds considerable stiffness to the sole, without the need to add a cold absorbing and radiating metal underneath the foot.

Be prepared to go through any climate with the completely stacked insulation of the Snowburban UltraDry boot by Vasque. This hiking boot features a leather upper with covered finish which helps to keep moisture out. It also features a Perpetuum Last which gives an agreeable fit for steady and long-distance trips

The only drawbacks are that the Vasque is harder to remove compared to other brands. Its lacing system is not as impressive as that of other boots and it will need to be broken in before the comfort can set it.

Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable
  • High quality
  • Very warm
  • Great insulation
  • Great value
  • The design works
  • Lightweight
  • Great look

Cons:

  • Hard to take off
  • Poor lacing system

Related: if you want an insole that can provide maximum solace and support for your feet while wearing your boot, then you can check out the Timberland PRO A24C6C Anti-Fatigue Insole. A perfect insole to get for your boot!

Check the price on Amazon

Concluding Thoughts

We believe finding the right pair of hiking boot have been made easy for you with this article. When trying to buy a hiking boot, you will find yourself trying to answer a million questions. Should you buy a casual model or a pair of boots that is more geared for an active lifestyle?

Should go for a low or high length, type of a boot? The best thing to do is decide the type of boot you desire, then consider factors such as warmth, comfort, traction and water resistance when picking a particular brand.

A man wearing Oboz-Bridger-Mid-BDry-Mens-Hiking-Boots

We hope that this review will now make it much easier to pick the right winter hiking boot. Going shopping soon? Let us know in the comments section below if there’s anything else that customers should remember to take into consideration when buying winter hiking boots.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry Silva
Henry Silva

Henry was hiking since he was 4. He was lucky enough to be born in Boulder, Colorado and enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park hikes growing up. His favourite is Longs Peak, which rises to 14,259 feet (4,346 m) above sea level. It is the highest point of the park. Henry likes to explore new hikes and spend his spare time in the wilderness.

  • Harold Jones

    I like Salomon hiking books and I already have a pair but after wearing it for so long, I believe it has earned some rest. Is this one as good as the previous version? The ones I have are really comfortable and have good traction. I hope this version will live up to the high standards set by its predecessor.

  • Henry Silva

    One thing about the Salomon is that they are consistent in providing top-notch boots, yet they are innovative, as well. Expect newer models to be sleeker and better while maintaining the high quality of products that the brand is known for.

  • Mackenzie Hill

    Does the the North Face Verbera Utility Boot have a feminine version? I like the fact that really tall so I think it would give me good enough coverage against the snow. And does it have good arch support? I always want winter boots molded to complement the curve in my foot. I find them more comfortable.

  • Henry Silva

    The North Face brand is a strong and trusted brand that offers superior arch support. They are very comfortable to use and offers great traction. I believe they have quite a number of women’s boots similar to the high style of the Verbera. You can do a quick check at Amazon or their site just to be sure.

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