When the weather starts to get rigid, the days shorter, and all the leaves have fallen off the trees, you know winter is here. Some choose to hibernate like Eskimos, and others continue living their life enjoying some fresh air outside, making snowmen, and sledding with their family. If you choose the latter, a good pair of snow boots will come in handy.
Snow boots are a timeless and essential piece of footwear. Whether it's those classic Sorels for men or light and modern design for ladies, the aim is to keep your feet warm and protect them from frigid temperatures and moisture. Whoever said you can conquer the world with the right shoe wasn't wrong, as a fabulous pair of snow boots makes everything possible in winter.
Below, we run down the best snow boots for 2021, including our best choice for everyday around town strolls, best hiking shoe, warmest snowshoe, and the best for your pocket without compromising on quality. Of course, we have chosen footwear for both men and women, so everyone is taken care of.
1. Vessi Cityscape Waterproof Sneakers- Best Everyday Snow Shoe
If you still haven’t heard of Vessi, you are in for a nice treat. The now popular company was started by three Vancouverites who had just about enough with rain ruining their cool shoes. In 2017, they set out to create a waterproof shoe that can do it all from keeping water out, and your feet dry from outside and inside without compromising on style.
Vessis' number one seller to date has been the Cityscape waterproof sneakers, and for good reasons. Unlike the other two top sellers, the Cityscape is designed with a broader and lighter sole on top of their signature wave grip, making it a great snow shoe because it will keep you steady and give you enough grip. What's more, this sneaker has a rather tight grip on your feet, so you don't have to worry about losing your stability.
What we like most about the Vessi Cityscape sneaker as a snow shoe is the style- sometimes you don't feel like wearing a full-blown snow shoe because it won't go well with the outfit or where you are going. With the Cityscape though, you can wear it with anything and go anywhere with it from official meetings to casual lunches in style, even in the middle of winter.
As for the intricate details of the shoe, this sneaker uses Dyma-tex, Vessi’s patented 100% waterproof knit, which not only keeps your feet warm during winter but breezy when it's hot. With the antibacterial insoles and easy slip-on, slip-off style, you can be sure your feet will remain nice and fresh all day long. The Vessi Cityscape sneakers are available for both women and men in 2 different colors.
2. Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat - Best Snow Boot Overall
Very rarely do you come across a truly capable snow shoe that hits the perfect balance between warmth, protection, traction, and everyday usability, so this Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat is a real gem.
It's not hard to appreciate how versatile the shoe is whether you want to go hiking, snowshoeing, or run around town. This is not the warmest, most protective, or stylish shoe, but it sure does everything it's supposed to do perfectly.
With 200g synthetic fill, the Bugaboot falls on the averagely insulated snow boot spectrum, except it's also constructed with a substantial, waterproof build to seal out the cold and keep you warmer than any other 200g boots. Speaking of waterproofing, this snow boot scores very high thanks to the mix of nylon, leather, and rubber wrap around to effectively block out all moisture. This means you can submerge your foot in water to ankle level and not get wet.
As a snow boot, traction is crucial to avoid sliding and falling. This Colombian Bugaboot boasts Michelin tread that provides a truly impressive grip on any surface. The lugs are well-spaced to prevent snow buildup and hold up well on steep hills.
Like every good snow boot, this bugaboo is quite comfortable. The first thing you'll notice is how less stiff it is right off the box, and it doesn't need much breaking in. It weighs 3 pounds which is not as heavy as Sorels and other popular winter boots, so they are easy on your legs. Despite the plasticky look on the interior, this shoe is actually quite breathable, and plush plus the cushioning around the ankles protects all your pressure points from harm.
The Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat is the snow boot you want if you are looking for versatility, and it's well worth the price.
3. Kamik Nation Plus- Best Budget Winter Boot
If you are in need of a good snow boot that will keep your feet warm and dry when doing light outdoor activities, this Kamik Nation Plus is the best choice. This is the shoe you underestimate, and it ends up blowing your mind with exceptional performance. We like that it's nothing showy like most winter boots, but it has above-average traction, is waterproof, warm, and designed to keep snow out of your feet.
Three things make this Kamik Nation Plus the best snow boot in its price range; it has a nubby tread pattern that really grips chunky ice, a broad base to give you support and stability on smooth surfaces, and a comfortable fit to keep your ankles stable when walking on fresh snow. This boot also features speed-lacing system borrowed from hiking boots, and this enables you to tighten the shoe more when necessary.
Another thing that makes the Nation Plus stand out is their shaft height at 11 and a half inches, which means they will protect almost the entire length of your legs. As for waterproofing, it is made of burly leather and thick rubber, a combination that keeps moisture out completely. Its insulation comes from a removable liner with 200g foam-like Thinsulate, which is warm enough if you are active but may need a pair of snow socks if you are just hanging out.
For the cherry on top, this fantastic boot has a comfortable antimicrobial footbed on top of the moisture-wicking lining, and your feet will thank you for that. For anybody who needs a high-quality, budget-friendly snow boot, you can't go wrong with the Kamik Nationplus Boots for men and women.
When the temperature has gone negative, you need a winter boot that can keep your feet warm and toasty. Unfortunately, most winter boots made to be on the warmer side tend to also be very heavy, which can be tiring. This Oboz Bridger 9” Insulated BDry is different though, weighing only 3 pounds, 5 ounces despite the heavy insulation materials.
The premium design uses incredibly high-quality material all over, offering you excellent feet protection and warmth. What makes this shoe the warmest in its class is the 400gram 3M Thinsulate insulation, heat-reflective insoles, and the cool lacing system that seals out all the cold. The Oboz Bridger is also completely waterproof, thanks to the durable nubuck leather upper that keeps moisture out. Though these boots need some break-in time, the molded rubber toe caps keep your toes well protected and add to the shoe's durability.
For extra comfort and support, they come with dual-density midsoles and wool-topped, mylar-lined thermal insoles. These women's snow boots may be stiff and rigid on the outside, but the interior feels like heaven. Like the snow beasts that they are, these boots boasts granite peak outsoles with deep, directional lugs for optimum traction no matter where you are. The special winterized rubber grips are also infused with silica which improves grip on slippery surfaces.
Investing in a pair or two of good snow boots is important for two reasons; one, you can still go out of your warm house in the middle of winter, and two, you don't have to worry about falling or frozen toes. Like everything else, however, snow shoes also need some tender loving care after a long day of work. Make sure you remove all the grime you picked up throughout the day with a soft brush.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the Best Boots for Snow?
The best snow boots should provide enough protection against snow and moisture and keep your feet warm throughout the day. Waterproofing and enough insulation are therefore the most important features to look for in snow boots besides traction and comfort.
While choosing a snow boot, be sure also to pick one with moisture-wicking properties because your feet can still sweat even when it’s super cold. Consider the purpose of the snow shoe and where you plan on wearing it- for extended outdoor activities, go for a boot with more insulation, taller height, and water-proofing. For a quick run to town or office, you can choose easy waterproof sneakers instead.
3. What is the Difference between Snow Boots and Winter Boots?
While both shoes are designed to keep your feet warm during the cold months, snow boots have some features not found in winter boots. In a nutshell, snow boots are waterproofed to keep moisture out, and they have better traction to protect you from falling when walking in snow. Most snow boots are designed to withstand the harshest snow and enable you to go outdoors even in the coldest climate.
4. Can you Wear Normal Boots in Snow?
We get it, snow boots are heavy, cumbersome, and not the most stylish. Luckily, today you can find brands that make modern, contemporary, and normal-looking shoes that can protect you from snow and keep your feet warm. For example, the Vessi line of waterproof sneakers is designed for any weather, but you can still wear them to the office, run around town, or even a lunch date without compromising comfort and style.