For those ladies who reside in climates that get cold or if you’re visiting somewhere snowy, then you need a good pair of women’s winter boots to make the sub-zero temperatures more bearable.
Let’s face it; winter can be ruthless. From the single-digit temperatures, frosty winds, and slippery sidewalks, you need all the help you can to persuade you to go outdoors. Since the first step is to walk out the door, waterproof boots that keep the elements out and your toes toasty will help you enjoy the season and its fun activities.
Why You Need Winter Boots
Snow can be daunting for the first time winter traveler. When it comes to clothes, you have no idea that layering is not just for cakes. Besides that, you are also clueless about the type of shoe that is practical for this time of year. Here are a few reasons you need to ditch those stilettos and suede shoes for some women's winter boots.
Winter boots keep your feet warm even as the temperatures slip down. Some manufacturers offer a temperature rating so you know the level of cold the boots can withstand. Others have insulated insoles and lining materials for optimum warmth.
Winter boots have an excellent grip to keep you from falling over slippery ice and snow. Snow grips can be added to your winter boots to increase traction. Most outsoles are made of rubber to prevent slips and falls.
These boots are made heavier to provide maximum ankle support. They have a firm structure, padded sides, and laces that go all the way up making even its lightest category heavier than your favorite pair of sandals.
The water resisting features of winter boots make them an ideal option for the winter season. That and the fact that you won’t have to wear several layers of socks as you would with rain boots. That's because winter boots have a gusseted tongue that keeps water and snow from entering the boot. These boots can also have a cuff or a gaiter that extend above the boot to the knee to encourage snow to fall outside the boot.
What to Look for When Buying Women’s Winter Boots
There are endless styles and types of women’s winter boots to choose from on the market. To narrow down the best ones, here is what you should look for.
Sizing and Fit
How your boot fits determines the level of comfort you will experience. The winter boot should provide some arch and a proper walking posture. Some women’s winter boots may feel heavier so you should check the lightweight models if you’re not used to heavy footwear. Instead of choosing an exact fit, consider a size larger to allow room for an extra pair of socks for colder days.
To check your winter boot for warmth, consider temperature ratings, insulated lining, and an insulated insole. Some boots come with temperature ratings that act as a useful comparison tool among different models. However, it is worth mentioning that there is no standard way of measuring the temperature rating of a boot. Consequently, warmth depends on individual factors such as health, activity, age, and the socks you choose.
Not all women’s winter boots have temperature ratings so what you look for is the lining materials. That depends on the type of winter boot you choose. For instance, Pac boots have removable linings made of wool, acrylic, or polypropylene. Those without a removable liner use Thinsulate or Primaloft. For extreme cold conditions, consider boots with 400 to 800 grams of insulation.
Boot Height and Weight
The height and weight of women’s winter boots vary significantly. You have the option between tall and short boots. Tall women's winter boots range from 11 inches to 16 inches, but the extra height limits motion. In contrast, short boots are below 11 inches, so this makes them lighter but prone to let snow seep in from the top.
When it comes to weight, heavier women's winter boots meant for the worst conditions weigh six pounds each. Lighter models weigh about three pounds each, but you have to be careful with these because they may not be stable enough when hiking difficult terrain.
The traction of a boot depends on the size of outsole lugs. Lugs are the bumps in the rubber that provide grip. The outsole can come with a heel brake that comes in handy on uneven terrain and sharp descents. Where rubber is just not enough, some winter footwear has Vibram outsoles.
A good women's winter boot should not only keep those feet warm but also dry. For this reason, most winter boots get proofing by sandwiching a waterproof but breathable membrane between the insulator and outer material. Another option is by using treated leather or nylon. Rubber also works due to its waterproof properties. Eventually, the leather, suede, and nylon will have to be retreated to retain the waterproof material.
The lining materials of your winter boots do more than provide insulation against the cold. Most women’s winter boots have antimicrobial features that prevent bacterial growth and foot odors. Some even come with quick-drying features to prevent frostbite.
Laces vs. Zippers
It matters how easily you can get a winter boot on and off. Some laces allow one fluid pull from the top while others require you to pull the strings from your toes up. That's why some people prefer zippers, toggles or slip on boots for the simplicity they offer.
Types Of Winter Boots
There are four main categories of winter footwear including Pac boots, snow boots, casual, and active winter hiking boots. Here is a more detailed overview of each boot.
The defining feature of a Pac boot is a thick rubber lower shell and a water-resistant upper portion as well as an insulated inner lining that is usually removable. These boots offer great insulation, but they are not breathable. For this reason, they are great for short periods such as making mellow dog walks or shoveling the driveway.
Snow boots feature a water-resistant upper portion and a rubber outsole, but unlike the Pac boots, the rubber lower shell is not full. Therefore, this makes them less bulky and less durable too. Snow boots come with added aesthetic elements such as faux fur cuffs and shearling linings making them great for stepping out in style and for light hiking.
Active Winter Hiking Boots
Speaking of hiking, those who enjoy this sport during winter know that you need a boot with more grip and breathability. You really don’t want to leave your feet soggy and smelly with sweat. Therefore, the active winter hiking boots feature a rigid upper for stability on technical terrain. They also have softer rubber soles and deeper lugs for enough traction. The downside is that it takes a while to put them on and take off.
While these boots are not suitable for active winter hiking, they are ideal for wearing to work and outdoor strolls. They are thick, durable leather with built-in insulation for extra warmth.
[amazon box=”B018WSWP90,B01N39OOMN,B018WOQLO4,B00GW977B8,B00RKJYD52,B0183KSIFC,B00AZOC83S,B00BCJVMR8″ template=”table”]
Best 10 Available Women’s Winter Boots
[amazon link=”B018WSWP90″ title=”1.) The North Face Women’s Shellista” /]
The North Face Shellista II boots feature a waterproof nubuck leather and a knit upper design. It is 8 inches tall and comes with a lace up closure to provide a secure fit. The rubber toecap offers great protection against the slush. On the inside, it comes with 200-gram PrimaLoft Silver insulation to keep your feet warm. The outsole has a durable TNF winter grip rubber that comes with temperature-sensitive Ice Pick lugs for good traction.
[amazon link=”B01N39OOMN” title=”2.) Oboz Bridger” /]
These 7-inch active winter hiking boots have an all Nubuck upper leather and a rugged sole. It is made with a soft lining on the inside with smooth seams and a 200-gram of Thinsulate insulation for toasty feet. In addition, the interior feature the proprietary BDry waterproof membrane. Its outsoles have a nylon shank with TPU chassis to provide a supportive and flexible sole.
[amazon link=”B018WOQLO4″ title=”3.) Sorel Women” /]
The Sorel Joan of Arctic boots has rubber bottoms and waterproof leather uppers for maximum protection against the elements. It also features faux fur cuffs that add to its appeal. Besides this, the 13-inch boot comes with a removable felt liner. The outsole is lug-less making them have less traction. This also makes these boots more of a Pac boot than an active winter hiking boot.
[amazon link=”B00GW977B8″ title=”4.) Columbia” /]
The Columbia Ice Maiden boots feature a leather and textile upper with a faux fur collar at the cuffs. It has a 200-gram insulation for adequate warmth with a cushioning footbed. It also comes with an Omni-Grip non-marking traction on its rubber outsole. The 10-inch boot is waterproof for dry feet as you walk over the snow and slush.
[amazon link=”B00RKJYD52″ title=”5.) KEEN Women” /]
The Keen Durand Polar is a leather and fabric winter boot with a faux-fur cuff. The boot is 7 inches and has 400 grams of bamboo-based insulation. Its custom footbed has a wool lining and a thermal layer for added warmth. Despite all of this, the Keen Durand is still lightweight. The boot is versatile because apart from doing winter chores, it can withstand long winter hikes. That's due to the non-marking lugged rubber outsole that offers great grip.
[amazon link=”B0183KSIFC” title=”6.) Columbia Women’s Bugaboot” /]
These 7-inch boots feature a leather upper and a rubber sole that has a waterproof seam-sealed design. They also have 200-gram Omni-Heat insulation, which is the shiny mylar dots at the top of the boots. The Omni Grip non-marking traction makes them a decent choice for winter hiking and walking over slippery trails.
[amazon link=”B00AZOC83S” title=”7.) Kamik” /]
The Kamik Momentum measures 8 inches and features thick rubber sole at the bottom. It uses durable nylon and Nubuck upper to make it water resistant. It also has a waterproof gusseted tongue as well as faux-fur trim at the top to keep out snow and other elements. On the inside, the boot has 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation that packs a lot of heat without being bulky.
[amazon link=”B00BCJVMR8″ title=”8.) Timberland” /]
The Timberland Mount Hope boots are premium leather with a waterproof membrane making them stylish winter footwear. They have a D-ring lace-up closure for a secure fit and a convenient pull top at the back. For warmth, the boot has 200 grams of PrimaLoft insulation as well as aluminized strobe design to pack heat. The faux fur lining helps to keep away the elements, and the TPU shank at the bottom provides great stability.
Our Take on Your New Boots
The bottom line is that a high performing women’s winter boot will not only keep you warm but also let you enjoy all the fun activities that come with winter. Don’t let not having a good pair of boots be your excuse to hibernate in the house anymore.
Use the factors we discussed above to help you pick a winter boot that suits your needs. Another option is to pick any of the ones we have just reviewed, and you’re all set for the season.