As with any hiking boot, the best winter hiking boot for you will depend on how adventurous you feel. That said, there are some essential features that no winter boot should be without.
Winter hiking boots must be fully waterproof, otherwise your feet will get seriously cold which can lead to a whole load of problems. In addition, they should be well insulated (particularly if your circulation is poor) as well as compatible with your snow shoes or crampons. Before we get into our list of the best winter hiking boots, lets take a deeper dive into the factors that make for a great pair of hiking boots for the winter season.
Winter Hiking Boots – What to Consider
- Insulation – Winter hiking boots may not be insulated, but if they are you can choose between fixed and removable insulation types. You’ll love the extra warmth of a removable liner, but they can be tricky to put on and remove. 400g insulation is highly recommended if you’re heading above the tree line.
- Kit Compatibility – If you’re a serious winter hiker, you’ll probably have crampons and snowshoes to hand. Ensure your soles will fit with your snowshoes before you find yourself knee-deep in snow, and if you’re likely to tackle a steep, icy climb, then match your crampons to your boots: flexible soles need flexible crampons, otherwise they’ll break.
- Grip – Winter time usually coincides with the arrival of snow and ice, both of which can be highly slippery to walk on. If your boots are not up to par in terms of grip you can find yourself struggling to get up a trail without having to take great care to not fall over.
- Durability – Yes, we know, you want all of your footwear to be durable – but this is even more crucial when it comes to winter hiking boots. Your boots are sure to take a beating trudging through snow, mud and ice, so you’ll want a pair that can last as long as you want to walk.
Now we’ve covered some of the main points, check out our top 6 choices before we dive into our top picks in more detail to explain exactly why we chose them for this list.
Top 6 Best Winter Hiking Boots Ranking
|Columbia Men's Gunnison II Omni-Heat Snow Boots||5||$$$||Check price on Amazon|
|Merrell Men's Thermo Chill 6" Shell Waterproof Sneaker||4.8||$$||Check price on Amazon|
|Columbia Women's Bugaboot Plus Iv Omni-Heat Snow Boot||4.6||$$$$||Check price on Amazon|
|Merrell Men's Moab 2 Prime Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot||4.5||$$$||Check price on Amazon|
|Merrell Women's Thermo Chill 6" Shell Waterproof Sneaker||4.4||$$$||Check price on Amazon|
|Vasque Men's Snowblime Ultradry Insulated Snow Boot||4.0||$$$$||Check price on Amazon|
A Closer Look at the Top 4 Best Winter Hiking Boots
Our top choice for the best winter hiking boots is non other than the Columbia Men’s Gunnison II Omni-Heat snow boots.
We decided to put these at the top because they really do it all. These boots have got enough grip to help you keep traction on even the most slippery surfaces and are securely waterproofed perfect for facing up to some hiking in the snow. What’s more, these boots have mountaineering based metal hardware to provide loads of support for your ankles, meaning you can have full confidence in these boots giving you proper support.
Inside you’ll find reflective thermal lining that helps your feet to stay warm as you hike, which is crucial in the winter to maintain circulation in your feet. Alongside this you’ll find the lightweight midsole technology allows for your feet to have plenty of cushioning to protect yourself from any and all impacts.
Second on our list is the Merrell Men’s Thermo Chill 6″ Shell. These boots are a great alternative to our number one choice if you are familiar and have a preference for the Merrell brand.
These particular boots are perfect for winter conditions due to the M Select technology that has been incorporated into its design. Not only do these boots contain an impermeable membrane that will simultaneously keep your feet dry whilst letting built up moisture escape, but they will keep your feet warm via low bulk insulation that weighs only 200 grams!
These boots are a great companion to have during those peaceful winter hikes, just make sure to pick the right size for your feet.
Coming in at number 3 on our list of the best winter hiking boots is an option for the women out there who are looking for a dependable boot during the winter months. These boots by Columbia might be on the more expensive side, but they are stacked to the brim with technology and design features to keep your feet safe.
Not only do these boots have OMNI-HEAT technology found in our #1 pick which work to keep your feet warm during hikes which is crucial to maintain circulation during the winter months, but they also feature a very sleek urban design.
There’s a choice of colours to pick from as well to suit any style, ranging from black and sunset red to white and eve.
Lastly lets take a look at another great option – the Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Prime Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot. Last in our top spot line up, don’t mistake these boots for being a bad option. They contain a full grain leather upper that is completely waterproof, as well as a waterproof membrane that lets moisture escape whilst keeping you dry.
The only issue we could find with these boots is the price, for what you’re paying there are definitely other options (see above) that feature the same or better features and technology for a greater value. We decided to add these in because we really enjoyed the style of these boots, so if they catch your eye then don’t be afraid to buy them!
Please let us know if there are any other boots you would like to see added to this list, we are always open to trying out a new pair of hiking boots for the winter season.
Please remember that these are just our opinions, if yours are different then please go ahead and choose your own boots!