If you live or visit anywhere cold, dependable winter footwear is essential. The best winter boots for men keep your feet warm and dry all season, whether you’re shoveling a driveway, commuting on slushy streets or hiking through snow. After careful consideration, we selected the The North Face Chillkat V 400 as the best boot overall, while Kamik Nation Plus is the best value option, starting at less than $100 a pair. We’ve highlighted several others on this list, too, depending on what you’re after.
When shopping, beyond checking for a good fit, pay attention to other practical boot details, especially traction, insulation, height and waterproofing. After consulting with an outdoor gear expert, we rounded up a wide range of styles, from hard-wearing work boots to hiking boots you can wear in subzero temperatures. Below, find our picks for the best winter boots for men that will get you through the harshest months with ease.
Why Trust Forbes Vetted
At Forbes Vetted, we’ve researched, written and published our way through dozens of footwear stories. The author of this particular article, Molly Calhoun, is a regular contributor who has covered a variety of menswear topics from bomber jackets to the best dress shoes for men. Calhoun consulted outdoor expert and Backcountry Gearhead Andrew Butterworth to gain more insight into what makes a pair of men’s winter boots truly exceptional. In addition, the publishing of this piece was overseen by senior fashion editor Kari Molvar, who has over a decade of experience covering lifestyle topics—and is well-accustomed to harsh New England winters.
This story is regularly updated to guarantee all prices and product information is accurate; we also re-evaluate each pick for greatness and swap out any products that no longer make the cut. In its most recent November 2023 update, fashion writer Claire Epting added four new pairs of boots to the list: The North Face Chilkat V 400, Sperry Ice Bay, Thursday Boot Co. President and Wolverine Floorhand.
How We Chose The Best Winter Boots For Men
Ultimately, our picks for the best men’s winter boots meet the following criteria: They come in a wide variety of sizes, have a sole that offers reliable traction and an upper made from durable and (in most cases) waterproof materials. They also have overwhelmingly positive customer reviews over a consistent period of time; each of our picks earned an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars or higher. We only considered top sellers from major outdoor brands with stellar reputations, including The North Face and Columbia. Finally, we ensured our selections cover a wide range of weather scenarios, from mild winter climates to negative digits and several feet of snow.
What To Consider When Buying Winter Boots For Men
Shopping for men’s winter boots is nuanced and depends on your needs and local climate. Below, the key factors to consider, according to an expert:
“Synthetic insulation is generally the best bet in winter boots to ensure warmth,” says Andrew Butterworth, Backcountry Gearhead and outdoor expert. “A good pair of thick wool socks can help, but keep an eye out for synthetic insulation at around 200 grams for plenty of warmth. Although different companies have their own proprietary insulations, Primaloft is generally the gold standard.” Many boots are equipped with removable liners that offer both loft and breathability, which is key when you’re moving around and feet start to sweat.
Outsole And Traction
“A good rubber sole with plenty of traction lugs and sticky rubber with something like Vibram will help keep you upright,” says Butterworth. “Some boots can also come with spikes to increase traction as well, and in the worst of conditions over-the-foot crampons are also necessary.” Of course, the chunkier the lug sole, the heavier the boot, which can be fine for walking short distances but not ideal for long hikes.
The height of a boot can be important for two reasons: The higher the boot, the more potential for warmth and keeping out snow. “Not everyone will need a mid-calf boot, since some locations don’t get snow that deep but are still cold and icy to warrant insulation and traction,” says Butterworth. “I like to think about the climate and environment the boots will be used in; how cold is it and how deep is the snow potentially going to be?”
“A fully gusseted tongue to keep out moisture as well as a waterproof membrane is the only way to ensure the boot is fully waterproof,” says Butterworth. “For waterproof treatments, Gore-Tex is your best bet, but leather boots are also able to be treated with waterproof coatings to keep your feet dry in the long run.” When shopping for boots, you may also see the term “seam-sealed,” which means a sealant is applied to a boot’s seams, blocking water from seeping in.