15 Best Winter Hiking Boots 2021 (Reviews)

Winter hiking boots have gone through many transformations over the past decade and are more comfortable and lighter than ever before. You will not find those heavy boots or military surplus boots or plastic mountaineering boots to stay warm.

In today’s market, winter hiking boots are insulated, breathable, and waterproof. These boots can make your feet warm even if the temperature is below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can walk over snow and ice. These winter boots are compatible with snowshoes and microspikes as traction aids.

For whatever extreme terrain, you will be sure to have warm and dry feet during hiking.


What is winter hiking boots?

It is a type of boot that is waterproof or water-resistant, specifically designed for protecting your ankles and feet during your outdoor walking activities.

Winter boots are insulated to keep your feet dry and warm. They commonly have laces and not be slip-on.

You will feel the comfort as you walk or snowshoe in them in winter. The amount of insulation you require will vary on the temperatures and distance you walk in.


Types of winter hiking boots

There are three kinds of winter hiking boots including Pac boots, mountaineering boots, and insulated winter hiking boots.

Pac boots

Pac boots are similar to winter boots with a thick rubber lower shell. The upper part is made of heavy-duty nylon or leather.

The lower shell is waterproof. The upper part is waterproof or water-resistant. Most Pac boots are crafted with a thick, insulating liner to keep feet comfortable in the coldest temperature.

Pac boots are an excellent option for ice fishing. If the Pac boot has removable liners, they can be dried out quickly.

Mountaineering boots

Mountaineering boots are stiffer, insulated, and its upper parts are taller. The stiffness and height design can aid climbers to maneuver and climb steep terrain.

Carbon fiber and steel shanks are to achieve extra stiffness. In many ways, the stiffness can help climbers conquer challenging terrain helped the crampon by improving their precision. The insulation and warmth are essential because it is needed to keep your feet warm, comfortable, and avoid the frostbite.

Insulated hiking boots

Insulated hiking boots are waterproof. Many models have made with waterproof synthetics or rubber, or so the fabric will not absorb water.

If there is moisture inside these boots, insulated winter hiking boots will still keep your feet warm.


The insulating material of winter boots

Thinsulate is the most common material used to produce winter hiking boots. It is 15 micrometers in diameter insulating material made from fibers.

It provides one to two times the warmth and provides overall insulation from duck down. The Thinsulate material is easy to move and lighter.

Many commercial products use the material. It can even be used for home insulation due to its high insulation capabilities.

Thinsulate can also reduce noise levels within a vehicle by about 50%. It can be used in boots, winter accessories, skis, clothing, houses, and sporting apparel. It provides a lighter and warmer lifestyle.


Parts of winter hiking boots

  • Outsoles. The bottom of winter hiking boots is called the outsole. The outsoles are usually made from rubber or another similar material. If you want to get great traction during hiking, winter hiking boots should have lugged outsole treads. A lugged outsoles can provide traction on ice and snow. Outsoles with large tread patterns do not trap snow in between the treads. This feature will improve traction on a slick surface.
  • Cuff. Cuff appears above the upper of the winter boots. Cuff is made from wool, fleece, or acrylic attached to the winter boot’s liner. Some winter boots model offers a pull-up gaiter with a drawstring closure to keep out snow coming into the insole.
  • Upper. Boot uppers are commonly made from heavy-duty nylon or leather. The heavy-duty nylon and leather are resistant to wind, punctures, and abrasion. The upper should extend above your ankle for maximum protection at a very cold temperature. Many winter hiking boots include durable water repellent coating to deliver the best protection from moisture and snow. Some winter hiking boots are equipped with a waterproof breathable membrane for optimal protection against water.
  • Lower. Heavy-duty winter boots have an injection-molded rubber lower shell. It is blended to the upper to shape the winter hiking boot’s lower part. The function is to block the snow and moisture to penetrate. A rubber lower shell is an excellent way to keep moisture out and trap the moisture in. Wear wool, merino wool, or polyester socks when you are wearing winter hiking boots.
  • Toe rand. In winter hiking boots, a rubber covering the joint between the boot sole and the upper is called a toe rand. It has the same shape as the toe rand of cowboy boots, but it is not the same thing. A toe rand has a tight seal to make sure water resistance.
  • Gaiter ring. A gaiter ring is a small ring mounted to the top of the toe box. You are allowed to hook the gaiters to avoid it from riding up your leg. You can also hook the gaiter to your boot laces.

How to choose the right winter hiking boots

Protection

The most crucial factor to an excellent pair of winter hiking boots is the protection they can provide to your feet. You need to feel comfortable during the hiking through the ice and deep snow.

Waterproof

If you find winter hiking boots with Gore-Tex inner lining, it means that the winter hiking boots maintain your feet dry. The rubber lowers, and leather uppers will block water and wet snow to penetrate.

There is also an option to waterproof your winter hiking boots with a spray waterproof coating. You have to wait 24 hours to allow the winter hiking boots to become fully waterproof.

Removable liners

If the inside of your winter hiking boots gets wet, you can remove the liners out to dry back at home. It is an easy thing to do.

The cut

Winter hiking boots are produced in many styles, such as high-cut and mid-cut to low-cut. It is recommended to choose the mid-cut or high-cut, which will support your feet in the extreme winter terrain.

These styles will help block the water and snow to penetrate.

Insulation

Find winter hiking boots with 400 to 800 grams of insulation. Winter hiking boots with Double-layer insulation can withstand a very cold hike.

Double layer winter hiking boots have an inner and outer boot with insulation. For extreme winter and hiking camping, purchase a double layer winter hiking boots style.


How to maintain winter hiking boots?

  • You must pay attention to footwear cleaners to make sure they are OK for use on your winter boots. You must always read and follow the directions.
  • Never use detergents or bar soap that may contain additives that may harm the leather material or waterproof membranes.
  • To clean mold, use a mixture of eighty percent water and twenty percent vinegar.
  • Rinse your winter boots completely with clean water after every use.
  • Do not put your winter boots in a washing machine because this action can damage the boots.
  • Waterproof your winter hiking boots while they are still wet and wait for 24 hours. If you start to notice that water starts to penetrate, you can practice waterproofing.

Frequently asked questions

1. Can you use your hiking boots for winter?

Before you use your hiking boots for winter, you must find out about the waterproofing and insulation. Winter hiking boots are waterproof. They are made from rubber or waterproof synthetics, which will not absorb water. Insulated winter boots will keep your feet warm even if moisture gets caught inside. Regular leather or synthetic hiking boots are not always waterproof. If your hiking boots absorb water in the cold weather, your feet will freeze, and you will feel discomfort. Your feet might get frostbite in extreme weather on long winter hikes.

2. How much insulation does winter boots have?

You can find the amount of insulation in winter boots but may not find it. Some winter boots have 200 gram Thinsulate insulation or 400-gram thickness of the insulation. The more thickness insulation is much warmer. Winter boots with more thickness insulation are preferred for hiking in very cold (-60 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures on long hikes.

3. How to avoid blister with winter boots?

You have to be sure you fit in well before hiking in winter with your boots. Learn to lace your hiking boots to let go of pressure on the top of your foot. How you lace can eliminate heel lift or keep your laces from losing. Fit and test out your traction devices such as microspikes, snowshoes, and crampons. This practice will identify hot spots and take corrective actions in advance. To avoid blister, you can tap your feet with leukotape, or try to wear better socks, or re-adjust traction aids.


Top 15 winter boots for hiking comparison chart

Model Insulation Price Rating Price
1. KEEN Revel IV High Polar Men’s Hiking Winter Boots Waterproof Winter Boots KEEN.WARM recycled PET fibers $$ 5.0 Buy At Amazon
2. KEEN Men’s Snow Boot KEEN.WARM recycled PET insulation $$ 5.0 Buy At Amazon
3. Oboz Men’s Bridger 8″ Insulated B-Dry Waterproof Winter Hiking Boots 400 gr Thinsulate $$ 4.8 Buy At Amazon
4. Merrell Thermo Glacier Mid Waterproof Snow Boots 400g/ Thinsulate/Aerogel $$ 4.8 Buy At Amazon
5. Columbia Men’s Fairbanks Omni-Heat Snow Hiking Boots 200 gr Thinsulate $$ 4.7 Buy At Amazon
6. Scarpa Men’s Mont Blanc Pro GTX Mountaineering Boot Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort $$$ 4.7 Buy At Amazon
7. Salomon Men’s X Ultra Mid Winter CS Waterproof Hiking Boot Thinsulate synthetic fibers $$ 4.6 Buy At Amazon
8. Danner Men’s Mountain 600 4.5″ Winter Hiking Boot PrimaLoft Gold polyester fibers $$ 4.6 Buy At Amazon
9. Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus Iv XTM Omni-Heat Mid Calf Boot 600 gr Thinsulate $$ 4.5 Buy At Amazon
10. La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX Hiking Shoe Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort $$$ 4.5 Buy At Amazon
11. Danner Men’s Vital 8″ Insulated 400g Hunting Shoe 400 gr Thinsulate $$ 4.5 Buy At Amazon
12. Vasque Men’s Snowburban II UltraDry Snow Boot Winter Hiking Boot 400 gr 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation $$ 4.5 Buy At Amazon
13. Salomon Men’s Toundra Pro CSWP Snow Boots Aerogel $$ 4.4 Buy At Amazon
14. Merrell Men’s Thermo Freeze 6″ Waterproof Hiking Boots 400 gr M Select™ lightweight insulation $$ 4.3 Buy At Amazon
15. The North Face Men’s Chilkat 400 II Hiking Boot 400 g PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Eco $$ 4.0 Buy At Amazon

5 best winter hiking boots reviews

1. Scarpa Men’s Mont Blanc Pro GTX Mountaineering Boot Insulated Hiking Boots

Mountaineering boots

The Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX is an insulated hiking boot with Gore-Tex Comfort (waterproof breathable liner layer) to keep your feet dry and warm during cold temperatures. It is a waterproof mountaineering boot or hiking boots that come with an integrated gaiter.

The insulated hiking boots have a PU midsole and nylon shank for stiffness and shock absorption. There are also rear and front lugs that support universal crampon compatibility.

The lacing is all-metal to lock-in in an excellent fit for front pointing. The fit has a large toe box and runs wide.


2. La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX Hiking Shoe Snow Boots Insulated Hiking Boots

Snow boots

The La Sportiva Nepal Evo is mountaineering boots made from a single leather insulated with Gore-Tex Duratherm. Gore-Tex Duratherm is a waterproof and lightweight insulation layer that keeps your feet dry and warm during cold temperatures.

They have a stiff TPU last. Its lace locks are an innovative design to provide the lacing tight to the front point with crampons.

To keep debris out and seal the boot’s top, the insulated hiking boots are equipped with an integrated mini gaiter. The rear and front welts are compatible with all crampon types available.


3. Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry Snow Hiking Boots

Winter hiking boots

Vasque’s Snowburban II UltraDry can withstand extreme winter conditions because it is insulated with 400 gram Thinsulate synthetic insulation. The insulation will keep your feet warm during low temperatures.

The uppers are made from leather with a waterproof lining. The waterproofing will ensure the water or snow does not penetrate.

The EVA midsole is lightweight and has a thermoplastic urethane shank, for cushion and protects the feet from extreme terrain while hiking. If you walk all day long, a wool collar can reduce odors and increases comfort.


4. Salomon Men’s Toundra Pro CSWP Snow Hiking Boots

Snow Hiking Boots

Salomon’s Toundra Pro snow hiking boots are insulated by ultralight Aerogel insulation. The snow hiking boots are rated to -40F.

These snow hiking boots have a big and comfortable toe box, a reinforced toe kick for additional protection, and a heel cap compatible with snowshoe bindings and microspike. An arch in the midsole supports gaiter compatibility.

Upper boots and fleece-lined tongue provide a comfy fit. They are an excellent choice to get through cold-weather hiking.


5. KEEN Revel IV High Polar Men’s Waterproof Winter Boots

Insulated hiking boots

KEEN’s Revel IV High Polar Boots are insulated hiking boots that are insulated with 400 gr KEEN.WARM recycled PET fibers insulation. The boots are rated to -40F.

It comes with 5 mm lugs for additional traction when you are walking deep snow. These boots have a big signature toe box and run wide.

You can conquer tough terrain with this pair of boots because of its side protection, heel ridge, and beefy toe kick. You can be sure to wear very warm boots in very cold weather because of the additional thermal heat shield insole.


The best winter boots for men:


The best winter boots for women:


15 Best Winter Hiking Boots 2021 (Reviews)
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