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Best Winter Hiking Boots

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Best Winter Hiking Boots

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This is a gear review about the best winter hiking boots in 2022.

If you like to go hiking in cold weather conditions without the right footwear, you risk cold feet, numb toes and possible frostbite.

I’ve taken a look at the best winter boots for winter hikes, backpacking and snowshoeing. The insulated winter hiking boots will work well with all the Best Snowshoes, Crampons or Microspikes for your next winter season trip. If you want warm feet, keep reading.

Note that there are men’s boots and also women’s winter hiking boots available in each of the styles.

Best Winter Boots for Hiking 2022

The Winter Boots for Hiking in 2022 are:


Best Winter Hiking Boots – Overall

Merrel Thermo Overlook 2 Tall

Pros:
> Reasonably priced

> 100% waterproof

> Warm fleece lining

> Plenty of cushioning 

> All-terrain outsole

Cons:
> If you buy the wrong size, the company won’t exchange them for another size

The Merrel Thermo Overlook 2 winter boot reaches calf high for full ankle protection as you hike. And not only does it feature a waterproof outer shell to keep moisture coming in, but it also lets moisture out if you start to sweat.

Winter hikers will like the fleece lining for insulation which gives the winter hiking boot a temperatures rating of -40F / -40C. There is plenty of cushioning underfoot from the EVA midsole for shock absorption. And there’s a Vibram Arctic Grip outsole, which is designed for use on any terrain, including wet ice and slush.

It’s available in two color options, namely black and seal brown. And it’s available in sizes ranging from 7 to 15, and there are some half sizes available.

Overall, the Merrell Overlook 2 is a good insulted boot for winter hikes as long as you are not taking these boots down to extremely low temperatures and one of the best around.

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REI
Amazon

Best Winter Boots for Wide Feet

Keen Revel IV Polar

Pros:
> They’re 100% waterproof

> Insulated for -40º degrees

> Has anti-odor technology

> Has LWG certified leather

Cons:
> Premium product at a premium price stock

Now, these are boots with a lot going for them!

First off, they are 100% waterproof, and won’t let any water in. And at the same time, the waterproof leather have a breathable waterproof membrane to allow sweat to escape immediately, keeping your feet completely dry.

They are also very well insulated, and are designed for use in temperatures as low as -40 degrees. 

But that’s not all, these boots feature Eco Anti-Odor technology to rid the shoes of any odor from your sweat. And the waterproof full grain leather upper used on the leather boots is LWG certified, which means that it’s tanned in an environmentally conscious manner, and it’s treated with PFC-free chemicals. And there is an EVA midsole for comfort.

There are four color options to choose from, and it’s available in sizes 7 through to 15, including half sizes. And like most Keen’s they have a wide toe box and are the perfect winter boot for wide feet or wanting an extra large toe box.

Overall, these leather boots are one of the popular winter hiking boots on the market and well suited to hikers with a wide foot that are looking for a high quality insulated waterproof boot for winter hiking.

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Best Winter Expedition Hiking Boot

Baffin Snow Monster Boots

Pros:
> Excellent customer ratings

> Advanced & effective insulation

> They’re a full 11 inches from the arch

> Bungee-cord speed lacing system

Cons:
> No half sizes available

> Premium product at a premium price

It comes from a long-established brand and has some rather unique features. Most notably, the sole is made with advanced thermo-set polymers in order to achieve a perfect balance of warmth, grip and protection. Rated to extreme cold temperatures of -94F / -70C, they are one of the best snow boots.

But, this warmth does not stop at the sole. The Snow Monsters are fully insulated right up to the opening, which is a full 11 inches from the arch. The winter boots are essentially made for use in cold temperatures and deep snow.

The other great feature is how the sole and midsole are molded to the base, since this gives them better durability.

It’s available in two color options, namely black, and worn brown. And it’s available in sizes ranging from 7 to 14.

Overall, the Baffin Snow Monster Boot is a winter hiking boot best suited for winter hikers that want to go hiking in cold deep snow or very cold conditions such as arctic expeditions.

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Warmest Winter Hiking Boots

Sorel Glacier XT Insulated Winter Boots

Pros:
> Phenomenal customer ratings

> Both water and wind resistant

> 13 mm thick omni-heat lining

> Has vulcanized rubber outsole

Cons:
> Only one color option

> Not available in smaller sizes

> The price goes up with the shoe size

The Sorel Glacier XT Insulated Winter Boots are built for extreme cold as low as -100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want one of the Warmest Winter Boots designed to keep your feet warm in the coldest of temperatures than this is your winter boot.

Made with a PU coated fabric that is both water resistant and wind resistant. And the shaft is about 13 inches from the arch, so you can trudge through really deep snow. It also features a 13 mm thick inner boot with a special omni-heat reflective lining designed to keep your feet warm. 

Meanwhile, the outsole has been handcrafted with waterproof vulcanized rubber, which provides excellent grip even in icy conditions.

There’s only one color option available, which is black with red accents and a white logo. It’s quite sporty looking.

Overall, this is the warmest winter boot in this review and the best insulted boot for extreme cold.

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Premium Winter Hiking Boots

The North Face Chilkat 400 II Boots

Pros:
> Comes from a top brand

> Water-repellent surface

> Breathable textile fabric

> Recycled insulated lining

> Winterized rubber outsole

> There are half sizes available

Cons:
> No small or large sizes

> Premium product at a premium price

Now, these winter boots come from a big name brand, and as you may imagine, they subsequently come with a big price tag to match.

However, many people seem to feel it’s worth the money, given the numerous excellent customer ratings and reviews.

The star feature of these boots is The North Face’s proprietary DryVent fabric. This fabric is designed to be both waterproof and breathable.

The outer surface is treated with a durable water-repellent finish that is designed to repel water from the surface.

But that’s not all they have going for them. They also feature 400 grams of insulation and a cozy fleece lining.

What’s more, this insulation is made with recycled materials, so you’ll be helping the environment by investing in them. It has been designed for temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Meanwhile, the compression molded EVA midsole is made so that it will last longer. The outsole is even more durable, made with winterized rubber and designed to maintain traction. And the protective toe cap is quite solid.

It’s available in two color options, all black or zinc gray and black. It’s available in sizes 9 through to 11.5 including half sizes.

Overall, the North Face Chilkat 400 winter boots are suited for winter hiking.

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Other Winter Hiking Boots

Vasque Breeze WT GTX Hiking Shoe

Pros:
>Vasque’s most premium winter boot

> Features a Gore-tex waterproof outer

> Also features 200 grams of insulation

> Exclusive Megagrip Vibram outsole

> Available in half and wide sizes

Cons:
> They’re only available in brown or green

> The boots lack height, they cover your ankle, but that’s about it

This is Vasque’s most premium winter boot. It features a Gore-tex waterproof outer to keep the rain out, and it has 200 grams of thinsulate insulation to keep your feet dry and toasty warm when it gets cold out there.

It also features Vasque’s exclusive Vibram outsole, complete with Megagrip compound, so you get plenty of grip on the ground with every step. And leather uppers are soft enough so you will need to much time to break them in.

It’s available in a wide range of sizes, from 7 through to 14, including half sizes and wide fit. Unfortunately the price does go up with size, but I’d argue that the winter boots are very reasonably priced.

Overall, the Vasque Breeze WT are great for winter hikers in many winter weather conditions, but I wouldn’t risk wearing them in extreme cold. If you want hiking boots for winter hikes that use quality thinsulate insulation and are not too cold or for everyday wear, these could be the winter boots for you.

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Best Budget Winter Hiking Boot

Merrell Thermo Chill Boots

Pros:
>Excellent customer ratings

> Has a very reasonable price tag

> Looks particularly smart & sleek

> Waterproof AND lets moisture out

> Features deep lugs on for traction

> They have 200 grams of insulation 

Cons:
> Only available in black (but they look stunning)

Now, these are a popular pair of winter boots that look very smart, sporty and sleek for everyday wear. They are also cheaper than most of the other winter boots in this review. So if you want a warm boot at a reasonable cost, this might be for you.

It features Merrell’s special M Select Dry fabric, which is waterproof and seals water out. But at the same time it lets moisture escape, so your feet never feel sweaty.

The leather upper also has mesh for breathability and provides excellent ankle support and very deep lugs on the outsole for great traction on the ground in wet, slippery conditions.

They also boast 200 grams of insulation, making them warm enough for walking through snow. They’re available in sizes from 7 through to 15, and there are some half sizes available.

Overall, when you take into account the weight, price and quality this is a very versatile boot for winter weather and well worth a look for anyone wanting a good boot without the high price tag.

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Best Lightweight Winter Hiking Boot

Salomon Toundra Pro CS WP Snow Boots

Pros:
>Excellent customer ratings

> Has a very reasonable price tag

> Looks particularly smart & sleek

> Waterproof AND lets moisture out

> Features deep lugs on for traction

> They have 200 grams of insulation 

Cons:
> Only available in black (but they look stunning)

Here we have some snow boots that are perfect for walking through snow. And granted, they are expensive, but there are a great many who deem them to be worth it, given that so many people like them.

They feature the best technology in the business, coming from NASA, no less.

It uses Aerogels which was developed by NASA as its means of insulation, which it claims is lighter and thinner than other insulating materials, making this the warmest boot in Toundra Salomon’s range. It is designed for temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

They have polyurethane coated leather upper that are a 100% waterproof insulated boot and will not allow a single drop of moisture to penetrate through.

And that’s not all – it also features aggressive treads, so you get excellent grip and traction with every step you take, even on snow and ice.

And if all that’s not enough, it also comes backed by a lengthy 2-year warranty. Very reassuring.

It’s available in sizes 7 through to 14, including half sizes. When I tried them on I found them to be true to size, and I was very impressed with their performance when I used them in snow.

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Winter Hiking Boots for backpacking in the snow

Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. Let’s walk you through some of the key points to consider when buying.


Women’s Winter Hiking Boots

All the boots in this review have been Men’s Winter Hiking Boots but the women’s winter hiking boot is essentially the same. Most winter hiking boots in this review all come in a women’s specific version.


Size

One of the most important things to consider when buying winter hiking boots is size and fit. If you buy the wrong size, you can risk chafing or a lack of foot and ankle support.

Finding the right size when you’re shopping online may be trickier than trying them on in store, but it can be done.

If you know your usual shoe size, you can usually find the right size for you, which you can check against size charts displayed on the product page. When Buying snow boots keep in mind that you will certainly be wearing quality socks to keep your feet warm in colder temperatures. Wearing thick socks will mean you will need to size up from your regular hiking boots.

When I measure my feet with one of the feet measuring devices I am right on size 10 but hiking boots feel tight for me at that size. I always wear size 11 hiking boots or running shoes. When wearing winter hiking boots I can fit in size 11 or even size 12, specially when it is really cold and I need extra thick wool socks for added insulation. So go a full size bigger or even an a half size bigger than you usually wear.

Also keep in mind that some of the winter boots will need a short break in period, but overall they should feel comfortable right out of the box.

You can get sizing info from the product page for each of the boots in our shortlist by clicking on “Check price”. 


Weight

Let me make it clear, winter boots will be much heavier than regular leather hiking boots. Good winter hiking boots needs a lot of insulation to keep your feet toasty. Most have some form of thick reinforced toe cap to protect the feet but this also adds to the weight and bulk of a good winter boot. Also, the boot height on a good winter boot is much higher to allow you to travel in deep snow.


Insulation

Without adequate insulation, your feet could quickly start to feel incredibly cold and uncomfortable and ruin your days’ hiking. So make this your next consideration. 

Some manufacturers will state the lowest temperatures the winter boots can take. And when they do, I like to look for ones that can handle temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit which is also minus 40 Celcius. When you know what sort of cold weather protection you need you can narrow down the best winter boot for you.

Many winter boots use a removable liner so you can take out the insulation overnight and dry them out of needed. That way the hiking boot and liner can have a good chance of drying before you put them on again in the morning.


Water Resistance

If you end up walking in the rain or through melted snow, then you need your winter boots to be water-repellent or at the very least highly water-resistant. Feet that are wet and cold feels worse than feet that are merely a little cold.

Almost all the winter boots feature some sort of waterproof lining for weather protection. The waterproof membrane on insulated waterproof boots will make hiking trails covered in deep snow easier to traverse.


Breathability

A long day’s hike in well insulated boots could make your feet quite sweaty and, again, uncomfortable. To that end, it’s worth looking for a winter boot that wick sweat away.

Keep in mind when in cold conditions your sweat will freeze before it has a chance to move through the breathable membrane. This is not something other boots need to deal with. Regular waterproof hiking boots do a much better job at breathability than winter boots for this reason.


Deep Lugs on Sole

It’s also important that you invest in boots that feature a good tread pattern with deep lugs, because you need to get as best a grip on the ground as possible. If you’re treading through the snow, icy conditions or slippery surfaces good tread is important, but that may not be enough, you might need extra traction.


Traction Devices

When hiking on challenging terrain you may want to add some sort of traction device to add grip on icy surfaces or hard packed snow. A good pair of Microspikes are usually all you will need. In most cases Crampons are only needed on mountaineering style trips.

When hiking on deeper snow all the winter hiking boots in this review will work well with Snowshoes. So if you are be aware that any winter boot in this review will work with snowshoes or microspikes.


Warm Socks

Having a good pair of winter hiking boots is only half the solution to having warm feet on the hiking trails in winter. Warm socks are super important. A lot of the time two pairs of socks will be best. A thin liner sock and thick or midweight wool socks worn in combination. The Best Warm Socks for Hiking are usually wool socks as they endure the harsh winter elements better than most synthetics.


Value for Money

You can expect to pay at least $100 for a pair of good quality winter hiking boots, but there are some that can cost well over $200, including some in our shortlist.

This is why, if you have a tight budget to stick to, I recommend that you check prices as you go along.


Conclusion

Best Winter Boots for Hiking in 2022 are:


Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Best Boots For Hiking In The Winter?

We would argue that the best boots for hiking in the winter are our number one pick, the 

How Tall Should Winter Hiking Boots Be?

If you’re trudging through snow, you  need your boots to be at least as tall as the fallen, and a little taller besides in case you’re met with further falling snow.

As a general rule, the taller your winter hiking boots are the better, provided that they allow for enough movement.

Another one of the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.


Read More:

Winter Boots for snow hiking

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Sydney, Australia.

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