It doesn’t matter if you are headed out for a day trekking through the snow or spending a day shoveling snow out to be able to make it out of your driveway; having a good set of boots is the key.
They will need to keep your feet warm and dry, be comfortable, and it is a plus if they can even look good while they do it. It seems that every year, there is a new round of talk about what is the right set of boots. The problem is that the best women’s winter hiking boots will depend on a lot of different factors.
Our Top Picks
|Product Name||Weight||Best Use||Special Features||Price|
|Vasque Pow Pow II||1.3 lb||Hiking, Casual Wear, Snowshoeing||Molded Rubber Heal Kick, Thinsulate Ultra Insulation, Faux-shearling Lining||Check price on Amazon|
|Asolo Stynger||2.5 lb||Hiking||Molded Rubber Heal Kick, Thinsulate Ultra Insulation, Faux-shearling Lining||Check price on Amazon|
|Salomon Kaina||3 lb||Hiking, Snowshoeing||Climashield waterproof membrane, Synthetic Sole, climatherm HD insulation||Check price on Amazon|
|The North Face Nuptse Purna||4 lb||Hiking,Casual Wear||Waterproof suede upper, 200 g Prima Loft Silver Insulation, Lace up closure||Check price on Amazon|
|Columbia Buga Plus III||4 lb||Hiking, Casual Wear, Snowshoeing||200 g of Insulation, Omni-Heat Reflect Lining, Techlite Shell||Check price on Amazon|
|INOV-8 Roclite 286||5 lb||Hiking, Casual Wear||Meta-shank II midfoot support, reinforced toe box, aggressive tread||Check price on Amazon|
Features to Consider Before Buying
As we go through finding some top selections, there are a number of different debates that will need to be addressed. While for many, there is no right answer, there are important things to consider for each, and you will need to decide what is most important in each for you. You will need to look at form vs. function, tall vs. short and then you’ll need to consider some functions of the boots.
Form Vs. Function
As with much of women’s footwear there is a drive by many companies to make boots that look cute. While plenty of people may want to pick up a cute pair of boots, don’t let that be your guiding light. Since you are setting out to find a good pair of hiking boots, you will want to look at the other features that will take care of you while on the trail.
Now that doesn’t mean to say that companies that are making great boots for the trail don’t make them with any style. As you look through some of your choices you will find that you can have a cute boot that can keep you warm, dry and take care of your feet.
Tall Vs. Short
While many winter hiking boots are taller than their summertime counterparts, there are taller boots and shorter boots. A shorter boot will allow for more ankle movement, but if you step into a deeper puddle or snow, you’ll quickly find your foot cold and wet.
A wrong placed step can make the rest of your hiking day less enjoyable. A taller boot can protect you from this fate, but at the same time will limit how much your ankle can move. As your boots get taller you’ll need to consider what to do with the bottom of your pants.
In some of the taller boots you can tuck the ends of your jeans right into the tops of the boots. This will keep the bottom cuff of your jeans nice and dry. As an added benefit, it will stop gusts of wind from blowing up your pants and chilling your legs.
It doesn’t take much to come to the conclusion that a winter hiking boot should be waterproof. Even if you live in an area of the country that doesn’t get a lot of snow, you will still have to put up with rain and possibly slush. Waterproofing can come from either the material that is used, such as rubber or plastic, or it can be sprayed onto other materials.
Sprayed on waterproofing can wear off with use, but you can find spray on applications to reapply the waterproofing. You will want to pay attention to the areas that are stitched; as if these areas aren’t waterproofed correctly they can easily let water in.
Being that we are after a winter hiking boot you’ll want to have some level of insulation. However, unlike waterproofing where you can just say “Yes, please!” , for this one you’ll have to make a bit more of a choice.
You will need to consider where you are doing most of your hiking and how cold it will get. But then, you will also need to take into account if you find your feet to normally be cold or if they tend to stay fairly warm. It is an easy temptation to just go for a boot with the most insulation that you can, but since you are hiking your feet may begin to sweat.
Over insulation combined with waterproofing, can lead to feet wet from sweat instead of snow, either way, wet feet become cold feet. Some manufacturers will tell you how many grams of insulation are in their boots (you’ll want at least 400 grams if done in this manner).
More common nowadays is to give a temperature rating that the boots are rated to. Just remember that you don’t know the conditions that the boots were tested in. When in doubt, we would recommend going for a lower temperature rating than where you intend to normally use the boots.
Since you will be wearing these while hiking in the cold, you have some options to consider. You might want to use crampons or snowshoes. Some can be attached to any shoe or boot on the market. Others will need to have certain types of attachment points to use with them.
If you don’t have either, it isn’t something to worry about; you can easily select one that will work with the boots that you have picked. For snowshoes, you will want to make sure that the bindings can fit over your boot. For a crampon, you will want to pick one that has a flexible bottom if the sole of your boot is flexible.
Lastly, but by no means least, you will want to ensure that the boots you pick are comfortable for your feet. The first part is to select the right size, but as with any shoe each will feel differently.
Part of the equation is to break in your boot before taking it on a long hike. If you are trying them on, be sure to wear socks that are similar to the ones that you will be wearing while out on your hike.
Remember that boots should have some dead air space; this will help keep your foot warm and leave some space for bulky socks. Many people find that the tightest spot in the boot is the toe box; take this into consideration when trying your boots on. While you may not notice your toes being all bunched up at mile 1, around mile 15 or so, you might just start cursing your boots.
Top Winter Boot Choices
We know that even with all the features explained above, you might still have doubts about which pair of boots might be ideal for you. That’s why we came with a list describing the top choices and more in depth features, the idea is to guide you towards the best choice based on what you’re looking for.
Price: Approx. $150
Weight: 1.3 lb
Specific features: Molded rubber heal kick, thinsulate ultra insulation, faux-shearling lining
Best use: Hiking, snow shoeing, causal wear
Description: The Vasque Pow Pow II Winter Boots are a taller boot, measuring 8 inches from arch to the top of the boot. They have 400 grams of insulation that is not removable from the boot. Reports from reviewers state that these boots run about a medium width and tend to run fairly true to size.
They will work well with snowshoes and microspikes if you are looking to add a little more grip to the bottom. However a number of reviewers have mentioned that these boots have a good amount of traction even without anything added.
Also, these boots are extremely light, as a matter of fact, they’re one of the lightest models written about in this article. If you want comfort and durability in a lightweight boot, these can be a very good choice. Some reviewers have stated that they don’t feel that these boots are feminine looking enough, but there are 3 color choices to let you pick from, plus that is a very subjective opinion.
- Very good arch support
- Very warm
- Can be too tight at the beginning
Related: The DG Hill EOGG Wool Socks are commonly bought together with these boots. They’re ideal either for winter or for hikes, keeping your feet warm and comfortable.
Price: Approx. $235
Weight: 2.5 lb
Specific features: Gore-Tex membrane, Stynger’s locking lacing system, suede and cordura upper
Best use: Hiking
Description: A lighter weight book ready to push on boldly, the Asolo Stynger Gore-Tex Boot is ready to take care of your feet on those long hikes. With the Gore-Tex lining they are designed to keep your feet dry, even if it happens to be storming all night before you hike. The Gore-Tex technology is one of the most reliable ones, as well as one of the best-reviewed ones, so if you go with these boots, you can be sure they won’t let you down.
The sole is set to provide excellent traction, so you should be nice and safe even in the muddiest of trails. The Stynger lacing system is designed to keep your heel in place, which plays, in precision foot placement. This is key when you are trying to cross some rocky peaks. A owner or two have mentioned that the sizing is running a little bit larger than normal. Currently only one color scheme is available.
- Extremely comfortable, fit very well
- Some of the best reviews
- Gore-Tex technology
- Some reviewers considered them too wide
Related: The Hiker Hunger 0REBO Trekking Poles are a good add-on to these boots for those planning on buying the boots to go hiking.
Price: Approx. $228
Weight: 3 lb
Specific features: Climashield waterproof membrane, synthetic sole, climatherm HD insulation
Best use: Snow-shoeing, hiking
Description: The Salomon Kaina Snow Boot is not the tallest boot every, measuring 6.5 inches from the arch to the top of the shaft, but this should give you at least some protection from icy puddles of slush or snow banks.
While they don’t have a quickly available insulation rating, a number of reviewers have mentioned that they kept their feet warm across a wide range of temperatures and activities.
The reviews have also mentioned that the toe box seems a bit tight, some have commented that going up a size or so gives you more room to wear a sock comfortably. They are available in three different color choices.
Keep in mind that being a lower boot, it won’t be giving you as much support on your ankle as other boots. In fact, reviewers have complained about this, but if you don’t really need the ankle support because you find it uncomfortable or you simply won’t be hiking arduous terrains, this is a great boot for the price you pay.
- Very durable, last very long
- Very warm
- Very strong heel
- A bit too narrow and tight
Related: The Cold Pruf Platinum Bottom is a very warm leg bottom, ideal for hikes or cold days, and it can be worn with the boots.
Price: Approx. $128
Weight: 4 lb
Specific features: Waterproof suede upper, 200 g prima loft silver insulation, lace up closure
Best use: Hiking, causal wear
Description: If you are looking for a lightweight waterproof boot, the The North Face Nuptse Purna Bootsis definitely a contender. This boot measures 6.5 inches from the arch to the top of the shaft and feature a lightweight shell to keep the water off of them.
Furthermore, being a North Face product makes it extremely reliable, and these are even relatively cheap. As a matter of fact, this is a brand that satisfies its customers even if they have to pay more, which in this case you don’t. Good value for the price you pay.
The 6 color options that they offer, give you a chance to easily pick one that will work with the rest of your wintertime apparel. Several reviews have noted that they seem to be rather true to size when ordering, but if you are looking to wear very thick socks going up a size could be helpful. One reviewer did find the amount of traction on the rubber sole less than desirable for many winter activities.
- Good and affordable price.
- Very good fit
- Not much traction in case of snow
Related: The Seuolstory7 Crew Socks are commonly bought alongside these boots, since they are a 5-pack very comfortable pairs of socks to wear in cold weather.
Price: Approx. $130
Weight: 4 Pounds
Specific features: 200 g of insulation, Omni-Heat Reflect lining, Techlite shell
Best use: Hiking, snow-shoeing, causal wear
Description: The Columbia Buga Plus III Heat Boot are designed to keep your feet warm and comfy all day long.
They are rated down to -25 F and numerous reviewers have attested to the fact that these boots will keep your feet warm through quite the rate of temperatures out there. Also with a shaft measuring 7.25 inches from the arch to the top of the boot you are covered for some deeper snow. The soles are Columbia omni-grip which a number of reviewers have stated provides quite the slip resistant traction.
Also, some reviewers have mentioned that right out of the box they are very stiff. They have said the boots will loosen up a bit over time so it’s not a big deal, and the stiffness also means it adds a bit more ankle support. With four different color choices, this is a rather strong contender for your next winter hiking boot.
- Extremely warm, can be sued in very cold weather
- Very strong ankle support
- A bit smaller than advertised price, customers recommend ordering a size up.
Related: The Articx Cargo Snow Pants are a good match with these boots if you’re planning on using them for winter hikes or during winter outdoors activities.
Price: Approx. $250
Weight: 5 lb
Specific features: Meta-shank II midfoot support, reinforced toe box, aggressive tread
Best use: Hiking, causal wear
Description: The Inov-8 Roclite 286 GTX Hiking Boot sports a Gore-Tex membrane, making the boot waterproof while still being breathable. While it looks like an athletic shoe it can stand up to the trail and keep your feet nice and dry.
A few reviewers have put it more in the minimalist boot category, noting that it does not offer a whole lot of cushioning for your foot. But the tread is very aggressive, set to give you unparalleled traction, even in the slickest of areas while you explore.
As a note, this boot is sized in men’s sizes, so you’ll have to do a bit of converting or look up the right size in a table prior to ordering, but the reviews have brought up that it seems to run fairly true to size.
These boots have a much lower shaft then some of the other winter hiking boots on the market, so while they give you plenty of ability to move your ankle, a deep puddle or snow drift could get your socks rather soggy.
Another reviewer mentioned that these have next to zero arch support. While that may sound like a problem, some hikers prefer to have their boots configured this way, in the end it comes down to your preference.
- Very comfortable
- Not much ankle support
- A bit narrow
Related: The PIG Delta Utility Gloves are a good add-on for these boots, since the boots are traditionally designed for walks or hikes during winter, wearing comfortable and tactical gloves is also a good idea.
Wrapping It Up
Now you know what you need to look for to find the best women’s winter hiking boot. Be sure to take your time to consider each important point, from insulation to fit. You will want to keep an eye on boot weight.
Even a small change in weight on your foot can cause led to more impact on your knees and hips. While how stylish the boot looks shouldn’t be the first thing on your list, there is no reason to not select the cutest boot from the ones that meet your needs to take care of your feet on the trail.
And once you have picked your choice, be sure to break them in. Then after a good day on the trail your feet may be worn out, but you won’t be dealing with blisters, hot spots or pain. Happy Hiking and enjoy your new boots.
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