When you are dealing with the worst that winter can throw at you, you want to make sure you have a great pair of comfortable men’s winter boots that can deal with the coldest, most snow and slush-filled days around. The best styles for the extreme cold have the right amount of insulation, substantial traction in icy conditions, and will, most importantly, keep your feet dry. There are a lot of men’s footwear options available, but we have found, not only the best designs but also the comfiest for any cold-weather winter situation.
Kamik Greenbay 4
If you are looking for a serious boot that is going to keep you warm whatever winter activity you are doing, you are going to want to check out the Kamik Greenbay 4. It is one of the most popular styles that is not going to let you down in the harshest conditions. It is made with a 600 denier nylon (that is waterproof), with solid synthetic rubber(He) sole. The shaft is a whopping 13″, so you won’t have to worry about deep snow with this design, and there is also a drawstring at the top to help keep the snow out. What makes the Greenbay 4 a little different from some of its competitors is they are incredibly light to walk in. Despite the bulky look of the rubber sole, they are made with rubber(He) that is 50% lighter than natural rubber but still just as tough. The Greenbay 4 is rated to -40° Fahrenheit, so they will keep your toes nice and toasty. A lot of men love them for being easy to get on and off, having an excellent grip, and, of course, for being comfortable.
Available from Amazon
Muck Boots Arctic Sport
If you want a fully waterproof design that is warm and insulated for cold weather, you are going to want to check out the Muck Arctic Sport Rubber High-Performance Winter Boot. Mucks are beasts that work well in severe conditions. They have an 11″ shaft (from the arch) and are made with 5 mm neoprene, which is a fantastic material for waterproofing and heat retention. If you find it hard to get a fully waterproof and super warm style, this is a great option to take a look at since the rubber extends up past the ankle quite a bit. In addition to the neoprene for retaining heat, they also have 2 mm of thermal foam on the footbed, so you won’t get that creeping cold feeling that you can sometimes get from winter footwear if you are standing on snow or ice. The rating of this design is from -40 °F to 40 °F (-40°C to 4°C). Despite the look they aren’t bulky but are very comfortable and easy to walk in, they even have excellent traction for icy conditions. Since they are pull-on, they are also easy to get in and out of. Mucks are 100% waterproof, but they aren’t as breathable as some of the other options out there, so if you get sweaty feet, they probably aren’t the best option for you.
Available from Amazon
Oboz Bridger 8″ BDry Insulated Winter Boots
A fantastic option for those men who want a good, insulated design that you can wear for hiking or walking long distances is the Oboz Bridger 8″ BDry Insulated Winter Boots. This style also comes in a slightly longer 10″ version if you need a little bit more coverage. These are hiking winter boots, but they are adaptable for men who do a lot of walking in cold conditions and who want a decent amount of support for their feet. Most reviewers love this style and say they are very comfortable and warm. They have a Mylar reflective base that can reduce heat loss and a wool topped insole that also helps to keep things toasty. The tread is designed to be softer and to grip well in cold conditions. They have 200 grams of 3M Thinsulate insulation, which is an okay amount of padding if you are walking or hiking. If you are stationary, you will want to look for a style that has a higher level of insulation. One other cool thing about this design is that the leather is weatherproof and doesn’t stain when you get it wet.
Available from Amazon
KEEN Durand Polar WP Winter Boots
Another hiking option that you can wear for long walks in the winter is the KEEN Durand Polar WP Winter Boots. The Durand has a reputation for being warm, well made, and comfortable. They are also very lightweight, and many reviewers say that they feel more like a shoe than a snow boot, although warmer than a shoe. They have a solid tread for icy conditions and are easy to walk in the snow in them. They also have a nice looking, unobtrusive design that you can wear to work or around town without feeling like you are wearing massive snow boots. Durand’s are assembled in the USA.
Available from Amazon
Baffin Wolf Snow Boot
The Baffin’s Wolf Snow Boot is another very serious winter design for the harshest conditions. The Wolf is designed to keep your feet insulated in deep snow. They have an 11″ shaft along with the drawstring collar as well as two straps that are designed to keep the snow out. The Wolf comes with a seven-layer removable insole and a solid tread on the outsole. Since they are so big, they aren’t considered a good option for driving or a lot of walking. The Baffin Wolf is not technically waterproof but is water-resistant, so they are a little more breathable, making them a great option if your feet tend to overheat in insulated styles.
Available from Amazon
L.L. Shearling-Lined Bean Boots
Often imitated never quite duplicated, the L.L. Bean Shearling-Lined Bean Boots are a very versatile cold-weather design that works well in all kinds of cold weather situations. They are hot, waterproof, and comfortable to wear outside all day long. This style is made in Maine from waterproof leather on the outer part, with a shearling lining on the inside. The rating on this Bean boot is to 25° for light activity and to -20° for more intense activity. Apart from the shearling that will keep you warm, this design also has 200-gram Thinsulate™ insulation on the bottom part of the sole. The other cool thing about this Bean design is that they are quite breathable, so if you get stuck inside wearing them, your feet won’t overheat as quickly as some of the other heavier styles.
Available from L.L. Bean
Sorel Bear Extreme Snow Boot
For those of you who love Sorels and are looking for one of their warmest styles, look no further than the Sorel Bear Extreme Snow Boot. They are hot and comfortable, although they are quite heavy and not intended to be worn for long walks. Since the Bear is rated to 60 below, this is an excellent style if you aren’t moving around that much. They are also great for deep snow, as the shaft is about 13.5″ from the arch, and they have the upper drawstring. For such a big, bulky design, many men find the Bear to be very comfortable and easy to wear. Like most Sorel styles, they are very durable and should last quite a long time.
Available from Amazon
The North Face Chilkat
One of the most popular men’s winter boot going is The North Face Chilkat. They come in a few slightly different versions, including a pull-on style with no laces and the option to get them with either 200g or 400 g of insulation. The style pictured is The North Face Chilkat III 200g. These are a popular choice because they are waterproof and will keep your feet dry and warm. They have 200g Heatseeker™, which is a moderate level of insulation that is good if you are moving around, and you have trouble with your feet overheating. The traction is said to be very good on snow and ice, while still being quite lightweight and easy to walk in. They are also Gaiter-compatible if you are dealing with deep snow and need to add extra protection. They tend to fit a little small, so if you are ordering online, make sure you pay attention to any sizing recommendations from reviews or the manufacturer.
Available from Dick’s Sporting Goods
Bogs ® Classic High
The Bogs® Classic High Boot is another rubber style that is built for winter. Not only is it fully waterproof, but it also has 7mm four-way stretch Neo-Tech insulation, which gives them a rating to -40˚F. Bogs have a pretty significant outsole that is built for durable traction on any surface. Since they are mostly rubber, they are easy to clean so you can wear them in muddy as well as slushy, cold conditions. Fully waterproof boots aren’t very breathable, so if your feet sweat a lot, it can lead to odor, so Bogs includes an Aegis antimicrobial odor protection insole to help keep the smell at bay. This style is a pull-on, so you don’t have to worry about time-consuming laces, and they are easy to get on and off.
Available from Bogs
Another option from Kamik that is very popular for men who are looking to keep warm in winter conditions is the Nationplus Boot. The Nationplus is lined with removable 200B Thinsulate Ultra insulation, which provides warmth for temperatures as low as -40°F. They have liners that you can remove if the boots do happen to get wet on the inside, although they shouldn’t get wet as they are waterproof and seam-sealed. The lining is also moisture-wicking, which is something quite important to have in cold weather footwear if you get sweaty feet. The soles are said to grip well in snow and icy conditions. One of the things that men like about the Nationplus is that they are pretty light and don’t have a lot of bulk, so they are relatively easy to move around in.
Available from Amazon
What to look for:
Styles that make functional boots that will withstand heavy snow and slush need to have a few essential features; this is what you need to look for:
Insulation– If you want a warm design, you need to get a style with padding. The most common type of insulation is the 3M Thinsulate that comes in either 200g, 400g, or 600g. The higher the number, the warmer your feet will be. Some brands have their own proprietary insulation that works in much the same way as the 3M Thinsulate. Boots can also have other types of lining like shearling or fleece that can add to the warmth. Apart from the lining, you should also look for insulation on the footbed that will stop your feet from getting cold if you are standing in one spot for an extended period. If you are walking around a lot, you probably won’t want an insulation level of much beyond 200g unless you have unusually cold feet. If you are standing around, you will want to look for a higher level of insulation. The other thing to think about is whether you will be wearing the boot inside (i.e., you wear it to work or class, and you don’t change out of it), you aren’t going to want a style with a really high level of insulation because your feet will overheat when you are inside.
Height– For those men who are going to be dealing with deep snow, you will want to look at the styles that have the longer shafts. These are great for snow, but not that great for walking or hiking when there isn’t a lot of snow since sometimes the longer shafts will add extra weight, making them less comfortable.
Traction– Most winter footwear has unique rubber compounds on the outsole, that are designed to work well in cold weather. If you are looking for a design that will work well in icy conditions, you need to research the tread grip and find a style that is designed explicitly for icy conditions. You could also consider a product like Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats for Walking on Snow and Ice that you can slip on and off as the need arises.
LacesSlip-on– If you are putting on and removing your footwear a few times a day, you may want to consider a slip-on style. They usually don’t look quite as good as the lace-up options, but they are so much easier to get on and off. Laces can also get wet and come untied, which isn’t fun to have to stop and do up in the cold.
Waterproof- Depending on what you will be wearing the boots for, you are probably going to want to get a waterproof design. The problem with waterproof styles is that they retain heat and aren’t as breathable, so if your feet sweat, there is nowhere for that sweat to go, and your socks can get wet from the sweat and be very uncomfortable.
Temperature Rating– Some brands offer temperature ratings for their different styles. These ratings are pretty useful to help narrow the options down. A lot of brands are only useful to about -25°F / -32°C, but they can go as low as -60.
Material– Leather and suede are best avoided in a heavy-duty snow boot as they can stain and end up not looking all that great.
Sizing– When you are shopping, consider whether you will be wearing thick socks with your footwear since it will make a difference to what size you should get.
Liners- Some styles have removable liners with insulation that you can take out and let dry or clean. The problem with removable liners is that they can be a pain to get back in the boot, and they sometimes move around when you are wearing them and cause discomfort.