Winter is coming. Even if you’re hearing it as a GoT reference, it still has you wondering about how prepared you really are for winter. If you’re in snow-heavy environments like New England or along the east coast, then you know just how hard the storms can hit. They pop out of nowhere, and you need to be ready with the best snow boots possible.
Whether the power goes out or the roads are bad enough that you have to walk to the store, there are a million reasons you need a pair of snow boots. Hiking, exploring, whatever it is you like to do, you need proper traction, insulation and comfort. Let’s let you slip into something a little more durable, and a lot more padded to take on the harsh tundra in your path.
The Best Snow Boot
The king of the hill in our snow boot race topped the other thirteen selections. Kamik just can’t be beaten when it comes to an excellent price for a high-quality boot. First and foremost, you get amazing waterproofing protection all along the upper section and the collar. At that collar, you get a pull cord to keep everything nice and tight, and double down on your waterproofing. When you’re talking about snow boots, effectiveness usually comes over comfort. Kamik caught our eye from the rave user reviews, and after slipping them on ourselves, we can attest to how phenomenal they feel for your heels and arch. Last but not least, the exterior is made of a 600D nylon construction, which is basically a bulletproof vest in the fabric world. No drop of water is getting into Kamik Greenbay snow boots. Be sure to also check out our list of the best waterproof boots for more great items like this.
600D nylon construction
Waterproof upper prevents snow from seeping in
Drawstring along cuff for extra comfort
Synthetic rubber insole
- Weight4 pounds
Planning on climbing or traveling into uncharted territory? You need to expect those cold chills, harsh winds and shivering nights. That’s why Muck Boots has poured their effort and expertise into Arctic Sport, a fantastic set of snow boots, allowing you to use them as low as -40 F. Yeah, that’s right. They’re completely waterproof from collar to sole, and provide excellent traction in soft powder as well as ticker snow with ice forming on top. When you get under the hood, you’ll find an EVA midsole to protect you from slips and falls with enhanced shock absorption technology. Everything about this boot is fantastically durable, from the comfortable construction to the design that contours to your foot.
EVA contoured midsole for maximum support and shock resistance
Highly durable rubber insole
Designed to retain heat for extended periods of time
Usable in conditions as low as -40 F
- BrandMuck Boot
- Weight6.7 pounds
Chukka boots? In winter? Hell yes. Sperry’s just the right brand to take this crazy concept and turn it into reality. First and foremost, we need to talk about the waterproofing on this bad boy. There’s rubber along the entire toe box, as well as a reinforced heel area that not only provides excellent support but repels water at the same time. You’ve got a high-quality leather upper with a three-ring cuff that helps contour to your pants and socks, creating a nice waterproof layer. The leather is a bit more susceptible to absorbing water, so we recommend getting a nice waterproof shoe spray to finish off the job just to be safe. Sperry Top-Sider Duct is known for their excellent size-as-shown percentage, so you won’t be getting some over/undersized, unfamiliar boot in the mail.
Synthetic sole with excellent traction
Waterproof rubberized toe box
Reinforced heel for added support
- ModelAvenue Duck Boot
- Weight3 pounds
Our editor’s choice for men’s snow boots, Sorel really hit this one out of the park. Slipping into these is not only comfortable but puts you in control of your padding. You can remove and replace the Thermo Plus interior (if you want to, though, with quality like this, we would recommend just keeping them in), and really get to play around with how these fit on you. Whatever you have in the path ahead of you, you’ll be traveling with Sorel through -40 F environments without damaging your boot or your toes inside. Sorel Caribou Boots will be sitting pretty on the durable, non-slip rubber insole, surrounded by a waterproof leather and synthetic outsole. The cherry on top is the AeroTrac technology, giving you a better grip every time you put your feet down in the wildcard of winter.
Rated to handle -40 F
Includes a removable Thermo Plus boot interior
AeroTrac outsole helps maintain traction on dodgy roads
Leather and synthetic construction
- Weight6.19 pounds
If you ever find yourself in -148 F conditions, well, we don’t know what you’ll be doing, but it must be pretty important. Thankfully you can have Baffin Impact under your feet to keep your digits properly warm throughout your expedition. Eight layers provide the most amazing comfort and insulation available, albeit it for a premium price. You get a wide arch for extra grip on the ice, and a rubber insole to keep your feet from slipping even when you hit a rough patch during your trek. Nylon and rubber make up the exterior, while the cuff is crafted to fit tightly and provide excellent heat retention and comfort. Our handy guide to the best ski boots features more great products like this.
Rated to the insane temperature of -148 F (you read that correctly)
Nylon and rubber construction
Includes a leather inner system (or suede depending on availability)
Tight cuff for maximum insulation
- Weight2 pounds
Rain boots? Yes. But they’re so much more than that. Not only do these boots provide you with top-of-the-line waterproofing, but you’ll also be able to trek into some dangerous reaches with protection as low as -40 F. It’s crazy how low the temperature can get, but with Bogs, you’ll be ready for anything. Since these are like a textile casing for your foot and leg, you have one thing to worry about: sweat buildup. Fortunately, Bogs took care of that with their owned branded Max-Wick liner to keep sweat at bay. There’s nothing you can’t handle with the right snow boots: slush, snow, and the sleek top of ice can all be conquered.
Textile construction w/ rubber insole
Bogs Max-Wick lining to keep sweat off your feet
100% waterproof against the toughest snow, slush and ice
Viable solution for as low as -40 F
- ModelClassic High-M
- Weight11.8 pounds
We discuss it more in our guide, but one of the biggest problems with making this list was finding boots with a short price gap. When you size up, the price jumps a lot, and North Face identified that problem. You have a short price gap at an already unbelievable low cost. Trek through the ice like you’re about to climb Everest because the treads on these boots are built to go over just about anything that comes your way. Chilkat II boots are even viable solutions for temperatures as low as -25 F, making them excellent for hiking. Rubber insole, leather and synthetic exterior, and a nice touch of fleece (how can it be North Face without fleece?) around the collar for some additional padding and warmth. Love this product? Check out our review of the best Ariat Boots for our top picks.
200g Heatseeker insulation is rated to keep you warm as low as -25 F
Leather and synthetic exterior
Fantastic treads to really step over ice with little to no problem
- BrandThe North Face
- Weight8 ounces
Budgeters on the lookout for the best snow boots for men, it’s time to rejoice. Not only do Kamik Men’s Nationplus Boot look masculine as hell, but even the tallest price tag is going to run you under a Benjamin. They really thought of everything on this one. Your lacing eyelets are rust-proof, so you won’t endure any nasty surprised when you go to pull these snow boots out next winter. They hold the quick lacing system in place, all built into the durable leather exterior. Like many others on this list, you can get into terrain as low as -40 F while wearing these without worrying about your digits freezing off. Moisture-wicking technology pulls the sweat from your feet while you walk, leaving less of a stinky odor when you go to slip these on again when the next snowstorm hits.
Leather exterior w/ rubber insole
Rated to withstand temperatures as low as -40 F
Rustproof lace system means no worries as time goes on
Moisture-wicking interior pulls sweat off your feet and avoids nasty odors
- Weight12 ounces
Columbia is one of our favorite brands here on Gear Hungry, so we just had to test out these Bugaboots in their third model. They beefed it up a bit on the temperature protection, rated to withstand -65 F as if it were child’s play. Bugaboots are made out of a diverse cast of materials, each with a seam-sealed waterproofing level, providing different levels of comfort in key areas of your ankle, arch and heel. Not only do they look absolutely ripper, but you’re also going to maintain them with ease. Sweat is wicked away by the comfortable, cushioned interior, meaning that the Mrs. isn’t going to say anything about your stinky boots by the front door (because there won’t be any). Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best Gore-Tex boots.
Omni-grip traction is unlike anything you’ve ever used; ice is no match for you
Comfortable interior cushioning also wicks away sweat
Crafted of leather, nylon and webbing for a diverse, waterproof finish
Rated to withstand temperatures as low at -65 F
- ModelBUGABOOTTM PLUS III XTM OHTM-M-PARENT
- Weight4 pounds
Keen wasn’t the first brand on our list, but after reading the rave reviews, we had to test them out. Durand is a man’s boot. Sturdily built, looks fantastic with just about anything you’ll be wearing, and completely waterproof from the top to the bottom. You’ll notice the nice raise on the arch and deep treads, designed to cut through snow and stomp over ice. Made of leather and synthetics, they’re simple to maintain with just a little bit of TLC from time to time (details in our buying guide below). Rust-resistant hardware, padded collar, and a whole lot of comfort for when you really need it.
Leather and synthetic construction w/ rubber insole
Interior leather lining is very breathable
Rust-resistant metal eyelets
- ModelDurand Polar-M
- Weight4.26 pounds
Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry Snow Boots have a lot going on but still remain at a reasonable price. Vasque isn’t the cutting-edge of winter boots, but these little gems come with two different systems for keeping water out of your boots. You get their UltraDry technology, as well as a separately waterproofed leather upper for maximum protection. They added a great amount of oomph to the heel, built with an EVA dual density midsole for extra shock absorption, and to put more distance between you and the ice beneath your toes. Last but not least, the textile and synthetic construction makes these absolutely fantastic to clean. They barely take up five minutes of your time and look like they just came out of the box when you’re done.
Textile and synthetic construction w/ rubber insole
Waterproof leather upper
EVA dual density midsole
UltraDry waterproof system
Reinforced heel w/ padded collar
- ModelSnowburban II UltraDry-M
- Weight12 ounces
In our quest to find the best snow boots for men, some brands surprised us. Sorel was one of those brands. We were in love with the sticker price, but what really caught our attention was their AeroTrac technology like we saw on our other pick. This works wonders no matter what you’re trying to traverse over, whether it’s jagged ice or a pile of frozen-over snow, you’re going to get through it with these. Sorel Bear Extreme Snow Boots also include vulcanized rubber along the toe box and the reinforced heel, doubling down on that waterproof promise. Omni-heat liners reflect your warmth back at you, which is why these boots work in temperatures as low at -60 F. You could be trudging through a blizzard at Mt. Washington, and you’d still have your digits nice and protected.
Synthetic and textile design
Omni-heat reflective lining keeps warmth in
Works in temperatures as low as -60 F
Waterproof vulcanized leather exterior
AeroTrac outsole for maximum traction
- ModelBEARTM XT-M
- Weight12 ounces
You don’t have a fat stack to dole out right now, and that’s okay. Northside’s another brand that’s got the budget-conscious gent completely covered. With Northside Waterproof Country Boot you get a combination of suede and rubber on the exterior, which helps repel snow and water naturally, and the extra coating doesn’t hurt. That waterproofing continues down into the rubber toe box and heel, which works like a shield when you’re dragging your feet through slush on the side of the road. There isn’t much more to tell, except that the quick-lacing system works very well, and the traction along the bottom of the outsole is practically unreal. Don’t forget to also check our selection of top Chelsea boots for more great boot options.
Suede and rubber construction
Quick-lacing system w/ metal D-rings
Sturdy traction on the outsole
We’ve come to an end, my friends. With Quest Winter GTX Snow Boot Salomon provides excellent quality, and a bit of diversity compared to the other boots we’ve covered. You get a 100% fabric exterior with a rubber insole, but don’t let that get you down. The outside may not be perfectly waterproof, but you do get Gore-Tex lining to prevent moisture from seeping into your boot. Not super sure? Not to worry. Salomon gives you a two-year warranty with your purchase to run these through hell and back. If you’re still not sure what you’re looking for in a snow boot, take a peek at our guide below and circle back to grab your favorite. You’ll find everything you need in there to make an informed decision.
Gore-Tex insulation keeps you dry and warm
Fabric construction w/ rubber insole
Outsole provides great traction
Two-year limited warranty included with purchase
- ModelQUEST WINTER GTX®-M
- Weight12 ounces
Snow Boots Buying Guide and FAQ
Winter can be absolutely unforgiving on your gear. You can’t spare any expenses or cheap out for your outerwear because one piece of shoddy equipment can be enough to let the cold seep in and take hold of you. We’ve laid out how we made our selection, how to maintain your winter boots and the answers to all of your burning questions.
How We Chose Our Selection of Snow Boots
Brand - Brand names come and go, but the ones that offer true quality tend to stick around for a while. We’ve been taking these well-known brands (and some lesser-known ones) and putting them under the microscope. At the end of the day, better brands tend to make better products.
Warmth - Depending on how low the temperatures are able to get and how thick the boots are, your warmth can remain even in -40 F weather. Some of these temperature ranges are pretty insane.
Quality - Quality and brand are synonymous with one another, but that doesn’t give them a free pass. If anything, we more closely inspect them to ensure that you’re not just buying a pretty logo, but that they’re justified in their prices.
Reviews - User reviews help us whittle down our selections. We started this list with over eighty different snow boots in mind, and reduced it based on the best of the best, utilizing user reviews to find the ones that we would eventually purchase and test.
Design - The design dictates how your feet are going to land. If the boot isn’t designed right, it isn’t going to feel right, and you’ll lose your footing when you crash down on the snow and ice. Play it safe, stick with a design that you enjoy and that works for you.
Price - You’re always going to be impacted by price. The one difficult part of compiling this list is the wide range that many products have. Depending on your size, you could be paying anywhere from 1.0x to 3.5x the bottom price, at the cost of additional materials on bigger boots. It’s a hassle, but one that can’t be avoided in this space no matter how hard you look. We took pricing into consideration when building this list, but just know that there’s a wide range that you’re going to be met with when you check the current price on these snow boots for men.
Features to Look for in Snow Boots
Insulation - You can’t very well say that the boots you have are top quality if they’re not keeping your toes warm. Our fingers and toes are the first areas on our body to receive frostbite or acute nerve damage from extreme temperatures. In a nutshell: your insulation is going to keep those piggies from damages all winter long.
Boot Height - The taller the boot, the less likely you’re going to get snow shooting down the top. This can come down to preference, depending on what area you live in and how much snow you frequently get. If you do go for a tall boot, make sure the upper section is made out of a naturally waterproof material.
Weight - Your winter gear is already packing a lot of additional pounds on you, which takes more out of you with each step. On average, you’re looking at between four and seven pounds for a quality pair of snow boots, and that’s just your feet. You can pack anywhere from twenty to fifty pounds of added weight on with gear alone.
Liners - A necessity for sure. Liners need to be easy to clean (as easy as a snow boot can be to clean), as well as provide excellent arch support throughout your journey. Bonus points if you grab a snow boot that has a removable liner.
Weatherproofness - Many gents make the mistake of assuming that just because they’re “snow boots” that they’re waterproof and wind resistant. That’s not the case. Leather and rubber are naturally water resistant, and the latter also fairs quite well against wind. It’s about the materials, the thickness, and if they’ve been treated with a coating or not. You can waterproof snow boots, but if they’re thin, the wind is going to knock right through them.
Grip - Depending on your activity level, the grip is one of the most important elements in your purchase decision. The point of snow boots is insulation and very obviously lending you a helping hand when traversing the frozen wasteland outside your front door. Some just do it better than others, and some are designed for extreme use.
Comfort - Just because you’re buying these with effectivity in mind doesn’t mean that they can’t be comfortable at the same time. Many manufacturers look to make a contoured design for the toe box, giving your feet a more comfortable resting position and reducing fatigue. This is where user reviews really become your saving grace.
Activity Level - What are you planning on using them for? Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, hiking or simply getting from A to B, you have to envision your everyday use. This will help you paint a better picture of just how much coverage you need, and how much money you’ll be doling out on your snow boots.
Types of Snow Boots
Casual - Just as you’d expect. These are great if you’re just walking through town to get a bite to eat with the boys, or you’re just looking out for your safety on patches of ice and inclement weather on your way to work. Casual snow boots aren’t used by contractors or carpenters when the frigid air hits, but most often come with excellent style elements so you can apply them to your wardrobe and make them work with your existing collection of clothes.
Hiking Boots - Now we’re getting somewhere. These are your number one companion on any hiking trip in winter. You’re not going to let a little bit of fresh snow stop you from taking the hike, but being a bit safer about it doesn’t hurt. These have a great balance between being comfortable and gripping the ground, however, frozen it may be.
Extreme Cold Winter Boots - Much like our number two selection above, these are designed to handle sub-zero temperatures with finesse. Whether you’re moving through slush with a mild wind going, or you’re working outside for extended periods of time, you’re going to need additional warmth. Extreme cold winter boots are a necessity in regions like northern New England, the upper midwest, and mountainous areas.
Snow Boots FAQ
Q: What Are Snow Boots?
A: Snow boots are built from superior materials that are naturally water resistant, or can easily be coated in water-resistant spray or coatings. Designed to travel through snow, accompany you on ice fishing, and just keep you warm through frigid conditions. Snow boots are one of the leading ways to prevent frostbite in harsh winter months (your digits are the first thing to be affected because they’re the farthest from your heart).
Snow boots also offer excellent comfort to reduce ankle swelling and fatigue when you’re traveling through fresh snow or stubborn, frozen-top snow that’s been on the ground for a few days. You get around easier, keep dry, and show that you’re prepared for absolutely everything winter’s going to throw your way.
Q: The Soles Don’t Have as Much Grip as Before, Why?
A: Your interior soles are eventually going to whittle down, and you’ll feel like you’re slipping around in your own boots. That doesn’t exactly paint a perfect picture of you trekking through the snow, does it? You need to the interior to be on-point just like the exterior.
The main cause of your soles breaking down is directly related to bacterial growth along the insole. You’ll find that over time, the grip lessens and even socks with traction pads on the bottom will have a hard time finding a grip. Consider replacing the insoles, and using our cleaning guide at the end of this to maintain your interior, and prevent this from happening again.
Q: Are Higher Shoes Better for Snow Walks?
A: Yes they are, but not just for the obvious reasons.
For one, you’ll have better traction while hiking. Sounds a bit arbitrary, eh? The higher the sides, the more stability you’re going to have for your ankles, and the better grip you’re going to get when you step down. Think about losing your footing on a rock or a section of the path when hiking. You always feel weight and force in your ankle before it moves up your shin. In fact, you’re about four times more likely to damage your ankle instead of anywhere else from the waist down while hiking, with your foot being in second place. Stability, dexterity, lessened chance of injury.
Then there’s the main point of keeping you dry while you walk or hike. The taller the cuff on the boot, the less likely the chance of stepping into deep snow or a sudden snowbank and it biting you in the rear end. Once the snow gets inside the boot, it’s basically stuck there. These are meant to keep water out at all costs, but once it gets inside, you’ll have to wait until you break or head home to take off your boot and remedy the situations.
Lastly, the main reason that snow boots with higher cuffs are better for going on a walk, is being protected against slosh on the roads. Winter sucks, and if you're walking through fresh powder to get to the store in the city you live in, you know that the plows didn’t do a good job and the roads are going to be crammed. This means more people driving through slush and send it flying your way. Keep the slush out, stay dry and warm in more urban areas.
Q: What is the Difference Between Regular and Waterproof Hiking Boots and Snow Boots?
A: Most of the design is all focused in the bottom half of the boot. You’re dealing with different treads that help to provide traction in different situations. For instance, standard hiking boots and waterproof hiking boots usually have the exact same treads along the bottom. Waterproofing the bottom of one of those boots would do nothing but make it slippery. That’s why we have to rely on the materials and their natural water repellent nature (which is why most boots have rubber soles).
With snow boots, they’re built in an odd way that lets you grip onto the snow, but also keeps it from melting and seeping through the material. The main difference is in the treads, but when you get into the upper second on snow boots, that’s where you hit the reason that the price point is so much higher.
The best snow boots are made of leather or rubber, which both naturally repel water. It’s still necessary to seal leather and reapply waterproofing spray to both types of boots, but since most manufacturers use these materials, it’s pretty resistant to water seeping through or getting in. The taller the boot cuff, the more expensive materials used, and the higher the price point is going to be. Then again, it’s also better coverage.
Q: Should I Wear Some Special Socks with my Snow Boots?
A: You have a couple of options. You can either go with a wool sock for maximum warmth and comfort, or a compression sock to keep your circulation alive and well, but also don’t have much in terms of insulation.
Personally, we use merino wool, which has proven to be the most breathable while keeping you completely warm. When your feet are already stuffed into these winter boots all day, it’s good to have a bit of breathability.
We don’t recommend standard Hanes cotton socks (or whichever brand you use) simply because they’re notorious for getting overly sodden and assisting frostbite while you’re out on the slopes or hiking through the snow.
Q: How do I Best Care for My Snow Boots?
A: There are two primary methods we want to go over. Before going through the step-by-step procedures, we just want to take a moment to explain the importance of caring for your snow boots.
Unlike a pair of work boots that promotes a bit of ventilation to keep your toes cool, snow boots do the exact opposite. You’re going to sweat, it’s going to get gross, and you’re going to develop a lot of bacteria growing in the toe box of your boot. Even the best snow boots are going to run into some form of these problems. The higher the collar and the better the rest of your snow gear is, the better the habitat you’re building for bacteria. It’s a double-edged sword, really.
So when we tell you to be extremely meticulous and thorough with these steps, it’s not simply out of a desire to sound intelligent. Bacteria eats away at your boots, causes athlete’s foot and other fungal growths, and also creates a nasty odor. This is everything you can do (in two different fashions) to avoid all those problems.
The Kitchen Cabinet Method
This one was a household staple back in the 1960’s. When you come in and kick off your snow boots, there’s melted snow and sweat sloshing around in there. This method not only gets rid of bacterial growth but also helps to reduce odors in the future.
- In a small bowl, mix together two teaspoons of baking soda with a half-cup of white distilled vinegar. One handles odors (which also handles bacteria), the other sterilizes, and if they both sit in the lining of your shoe, it’s not going to be a problem. Whip it into as much of a paste as you can.
- Get a rag or a simple face cloth and completely soak it in this mixture. Depending on the size of the rag, you may need to double the recipe we’ve provided. Make sure it’s saturated, and prepare to go to work.
- Dig that rag deep into the boot, moving all through the toe box. You’ll have to work your fingers in there up to your elbows but trust us, this is what’s going to eliminate that bacteria. R.I.P. that face cloth, though.
- Give a whiff over the boot. You should be able to smell a reduction of up to 90% in the previous odor. If not, if it’s been too long since you’ve cleaned your winter boots, get another rag and do it again. All the ingredients listed might cost you a whopping $3.00 for large containers of each product. Repeat this as necessary.
- Air dry. Leave the mouth of these boots in front of a fan or hang them at an angle outside, so that gravity will help to remove any excess moisture. Even if you leave in some of that mixture soaked into your liners, it’s not going to harbor bacteria.
The Old Toothbrush Method
We call it that, because you’re not going to use your new toothbrush, now are you? Grab one, buy a pack from the dollar store, do what you will. This can also be exchanged with a broader light bristle brush, but to get in those crevices, a toothbrush is best. Let’s get into it.
- Make a mixture of two parts warm water, one part vinegar. Scale the batch to the size of your boot, ensuring there’s enough to cover a tall collar.
- Swash the toothbrush around before every burst of brushing. You’re going to start from the top near the collar and work your way down, scrubbing circles into your boot. This mixture works well on leather, polyester, nylon, basically anything.
- Once you reach the bottom, flip the boot on its side and take care of the treads. You’re going to be surprised when you see it. These may be snow boots, but they pick up a lot of other junk along the way.
- Rinse your boot under the hose of your kitchen faucet, but don’t submerge. You’re just getting all those excess particles off that the toothbrush loosened, but didn’t fully remove.
- Important note: for leather boots, you may need to reseal them at this stage. This is up to your discretion.
- Lastly, consider applying a waterproof spray to recase your boots. Most snow boots rely on their materials to keep snow out, but no manufacturing process is 100% accurate. You should use a waterproofing spray because, for most snow boots, manufacturers use them before packaging.
Your Boots, Your World
There’s no tundra you can’t pass over. With the best snow boots for men strapped to your feet, you can go and pull a Nicolas Cage from National Treasure if you want to, or make like Wahlberg from The Italian Job. Either way, conquer the day and leave some love for the gents who showed you the ropes.