For most fashion items, there are but a few questions that most people ask themselves before handing over their credit card or clicking "check out" on a website. Questions like, "Do I think this is cute?" or "Does this fit into my budget?" are top of mind. However, other practical questions that help you to understand exactly what type of, say, snow boots are best for your lifestyle and activity level are key to finding an option that you’ll be happy with all around.
In searching for a great pair of snow boots, Regina Popp, Senior Director of Fashion and Trends at Designer Brands, says it's worth striving to find a balance between fashion and function, that is to say, styles that will help you avoid frostbite while hiking and camping and will, at the same time, be cute and trendy enough to wear on winter date nights.
Meet the Expert
Find Byrdie's roundup of the best snow boots in 2022, ahead.
Best Overall: UGG Adirondack III Boot
Who else recommends it? Today, Reviewed, and the NY Post all picked the UGG Adirondack III Boot.
You can always count on UGG to make sturdy and warm snow boots that will last you for years. The brand's Adirondack boots are among the most well-reviewed women’s snow boots on the market—proof that people are loving their purchase—and strike a great balance between fashion, function, and warmth. The rubber outsole is super durable while the inside has a soft wool lining that's designed to keep feet warm in temperatures as low as -32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Price at time of publish: $250 for Burnt Cedar/Black in size 9
Materials: Waterproof leather and suede upper, sheepskin lining | Size Range: 5-12
Best Budget: Totes Rogan Snow Boot
If you’re searching for a well-reviewed, budget-friendly pair of snow boots for the season ahead, these Totes snow boots are a great option at around $60. The brand's unique tread pattern provides excellent traction and the waterproof exterior ensures no water seeps in while walking around on the snow and ice all day. They're durable and dependable—a solid snow boot at a great price.
Price at time of publish: $60 for Black Slate in size 7 wide
Materials: Waterproof synthetic upper, faux fur lining | Size Range: 5-11 (plus wide)
Best Designer: Prada Gabardine Boots
While there are plenty of designer winter boots on the market, finding a snow-specific boot is a little more difficult. Prada's Gabardine boots are specifically made for the snow—the iconic lug sole provides solid traction for icy conditions.
Price at time of publish: $1,650
Materials: Nylon, leather | Size Range: 5-11
Best Moisture-Wicking: Columbia Paninaro Omni-Heat Pull-On Boot
This pull-on, puffy boot is modern, trend-conscious, and built to keep your feet as warm as humanly possible. With thermal-reflective lining and waterproof upper, it keeps moisture out and warmth in, while the traction is made for staying stable on winter surfaces. There's even a pocket to stash small belongings.
Price at time of publish: $139.95 for Black/Stratus in size 7
Materials: Textile upper, Techlite EVA midsole, Omni-Grip rubber outsole | Size Range: 5-12
Best Short: Sorel Kinetic Short Boot
Looking for an attractive snow boot that doesn’t look like a snow boot at all? Meet Sorel’s Kinetic Short Boots. Convenient and comfortable with a slip-on design, these boots are completely waterproof and lined with a warm fleece but would look as cute with jeans as they would with workout leggings.
Price at time of publish: $140.92 for Camel Brown in size 12
Materials: Waterproof suede upper, microfleece lining | Size Range: 5-12
What Our Editors Say
"I added these to my wardrobe a couple of winters ago, and they're still good as new. I love the funky sole that really pops with sleek black pants or a pair of jeans and leather jacket. They keep my feet toasty and dry during my early morning walks in the snow." —Erika Reals, Associate Fashion Editor, Commerce
Best for Extreme Conditions: North Face Shellista IV Boot
North Face is, of course, known for its outdoor gear, and its snow boots are no exception. The boots have a modern design but also come with a lot of cool features that make them ideal for outdoor activities. Take its Surface Control rubber outsole, for example, which is optimized for winter conditions, according to the website.
Price at time of publish: $158.95 for TNF Black in size 10.5
Materials: Waterproof leather, nylon, faux fur, recycled polyester | Size Range: 5-11
Best Lined: L.L. Bean Shearling-Lined Bean Boots
No snow boot list would be complete without a pair of Bean boots. They take shape from the iconic Bean boot design but are elevated with waterproof full-grain leather and shearling lining. And yes, they are as comfortable as they look, according to positive reviews.
Price at time of publish: $249
Materials: Waterproof leather, natural sheepskin shearling lining | Size Range: 6-11 (also in narrow and wide)
Best Slip-On: Blundstone Thermal Chelsea Boot
You’re never going to find a traditional-looking, slip-on bootie that’s made for surviving in the Arctic (the design just lets too much heat escape through the top of the boot), but there are great options out there for more mild, wet weather. These Blundstone Chelsea boots are a great example. Waterproof and armored with a plush, sheepskin footbed, they're guaranteed to keep your toes as warm as possible.
Price at time of publish: $249.95 for Black in size 7
Materials: Leather upper, sheepskin, TPU outsole | Size Range: 5-15
Best For Traction: Dr. Martens Wintergrip Chelsea Boots
These classic Chelsea-style boots are lined with fleece to make them extra cozy, but the factor that makes them extra perfect for snowy, icy winter weather is their WinterGrip sole, which is built with grooved cleats for superior traction, grip, and durability on slippery surfaces.
Price at time of publish: $159.95 for Black Snowplow in size 8
Materials: Waterproof leather, fleece lining | Size Range: 5-12
Best Heeled: Naturalizer Verney Waterproof Boot
If you’re looking for a truly snow-friendly boot with a heel, you are not going to find anything. Unsurprisingly, snowy conditions and heels of any kind don’t mix. However, a waterproof heeled bootie is a different story. This super well-reviewed pair of heeled Chelsea boots from Naturalizer are made with seam-sealed waterproof leather and a rubber sole, which will give you better traction on surfaces and keep your toes dry during the winter. They also have a 3-inch heel, which is a good amount of height without being too unstable. Great for hiking in the snow? Probably not. Great for walking to drinks and dinner in the snow? Absolutely.
Price at time of publish: $160 for Black Leather in size 6
Materials: Waterproof leather, soft knit lining | Size Range: 4-12 (plus wide)
Best for Hiking: Hoka One One Anacapa Mid GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
Designed for all-day comfort during long hiking trips (or even just a lot of walking), these waterproof, lace-up boots offer premium support and Vibram Megagrip high-traction soles to keep you from slipping around. Plus, these are hiking-specific, so they’re made specifically for long treks.
Price at time of publish: $185 for Elderberry/Grape Wine in size 6
Materials: GORE-TEX waterproofing, leather, EVA, rubber | Size Range: 5-11
Best For Warmth: UGG Yose Waterproof Lace-Up Boot
Here's a chic, modern-looking snow boot, and the reviews are pretty great, too. Not to mention, they're temperature rated to negative 25 degrees. So, you know they’re going to be warm.
Price at time of publish: $98.62 for Black in size 7
Materials: Leather upper, UGGplush wool blend lining, rubber sole | Size Range: 5-12
Best For Walking: Sorel Brex Boot
The Brex’s chunky lug sole may seem dramatic, but it's made for walking in wet weather, with all the same Sorel-approved technology that ensures your feet stay warm and dry, such as a seam-sealed waterproof construction, an ultra-soft EVA footbed, and a high-traction sole.
Price at time of publish: $200 for Warp Red Black in size 5
Materials: Leather upper, rubber sole | Size Range: 5-12
Best for Comfort: Sorel Caribou Boots
Sorel Caribou Boots are popular because they're seriously warm. These boots are designed specifically to be used in heavy snow, which is why they’re the best for prime insulation. As one reviewer writes, “My last pair of Sorel Caribou boots were purchased in 1989. I am thrilled with the quality and comfort of my new boots! P.S. I still wear my 31-year-old boots as they are still in great shape.”
Price at time of publish: $199.95 for Shale/Stone in size 5
Materials: Waterproof nubuck leather upper, recycled felt inner, Sherpa pile snow cuff | Size Range: 5-12
Best Mid-Calf: UGG Adirondack III Tall Winter Boot
The taller version of UGG’s classic Adirondack III winter boot, these snow boots are designed to hit your leg just between your knee and your ankle, providing extra warmth to your legs as well as your feet. This is particularly ideal if you’re dealing with lots of snowfall multiple times a year. They also have a lot of solid reviews, with one customer writing, “I have tried many different boots, and these are the most comfortable.”
Price at time of publish: $325 for Black in size 7
Materials: Leather and textile upper UGGpure wool lining, rubber sole | Size Range: 5-11
Best Knee-High: Cougar Gale Snow Boot
These tall, round-toe boots are, at first glance, just a regular pair of versatile, knee-high boots, but they’re built specifically for snowy weather. If you’re skeptical about just how well these would do in real snow, it’s probably great to know that these are rated for minus 24-degree weather.
Price at time of publish: $169.99 in size 7
Materials: Waterproof nylon upper, textile lining, rubber sole | Size Range: 6-11
Best Leather: Eddie Bauer Lodge Boot
Finding leather boots that look more classic than like snow-specific boots can be a bit tricky, but these Eddie Bauer Lodge boots fit the bill. Made with waterproof material, fleece lining, and a rubber outsole specifically made for traction, these are snow boots that will look as good in snow as they do out of it.
Price at time of publish: $150 for Oak in size 6
Materials: Full-grain leather upper, 100% polyester lining, rubber outsole | Size Range: 6-11
What to Look for When Buying Snow Boots
Waterproofing & Warmth
According to Popp, finding the perfect winter boots is all about striking the right balance between fashion and function. “Are you looking for a versatile, Insta-worthy winter boot that happens to be warm, waterproof, and ready to brave the snow? If so, Sorel is a great fit for you [because of the plush lining,]" she says, also pointing out the important distinction between the terms "waterproof" and "water-repellent." Keep in mind that the majority of winter boots are simply treated with a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating, which can be perfectly adequate for milder climates but won't help you when you need heavy duty snow, sleet, and puddle protection. For that, the gold standard is Gore-Tex, a finely woven waterproof membrane that locks out moisture, and thus keep your feet warm, while remaining breathable. Of course, if you're looking to maximize warmth beyond what a pair of boots can offer on their own, you may want to size up to make room for a supplemental, thick sock.
If you’re encountering ice and snow, traction is even more important than waterproofing, and you need a pair of traction-heavy boots to keep you safe from falling in slippery conditions. The best way to ensure this is by studying a given pair of shoes to make sure you're on track to purchase ones with excellent traction via serrated rubber, or lug, soles. Fit also plays a role, tighter, laced boots offering amore customized fit.
How should snow boots fit?
If you read the reviews of snow boots, you’ll likely see a lot of discussions about socks. This is because most people wear thick, winter socks with snow boots that can affect the sizing. Still, many winter boot options now come with thermal linings, so this may not be necessary, Popp points out. She recommends making sure the boots in question are not constantly slipping around, which may cause fatigue for your leg muscles, and paying attention to the shaft height for the most precision. “Winter boots should be tall enough to keep out the snow (depending on your climate), but still easy enough to slip on and get outside to enjoy the snow," she says.
Can you wash winter boots in the washing machine?
Finding your perfect pair of winter boots is one thing, but knowing exactly how to clean them is a whole other ballgame. Cotton, nylon, and polyester are all OK to be washed in the washing machine, but when it comes to leather and suede (even waterproof leather and suede), you should bring your boots to a professional to be cleaned.
How do you remove salt from winter boots?
How you clean your salt-covered boots is going to depend on the type of material it's made of. Salt is notoriously harsh on natural materials like leather and suede, but there are ways to combat the problem, especially if it's addressed right away.
According to The Spruce, swiping a mixture of distilled white vinegar with cool water over salt stains on the shoes could do the trick. Just be careful not to saturate the shoes if they are sheepskin (such as UGGs), as this can lead to shrinkage and permanent staining. Allow the shoes to air-dry away from direct heat, and voilà.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust Byrdie
Olivia Muenter is a fashion commerce contributor for Byrdie, and she has been published in Refinery29, Bustle, Fashionista, Glamour, and Woman’s Day, among others. Her search for this piece covered shoe retailers of all types. For criteria, she evaluated customer reviews, return policies, variety of inventory, and user-friendly or inspiring shopping experiences.
23 expert-approved winter boots that are functional, stylish and warm. Today. https://www.today.com/shop/best-women-winter-boots-2021-t235112
The best winter boots for women of 2022. Reviewed. https://www.reviewed.com/style/best-right-now/best-winter-boots-women
Best snow boots for women 2022: 15 stylish and warm options for winter. New York Post. https://nypost.com/article/best-snow-boots-for-women/