Top Winter Hike Boots for Ultimate Comfort and Durability

Winter hiking can be a miserable affair of numb toes and slipping feet or a fun adventure through wild terrain. The difference often comes down to the boots you choose.

You’ll want to look for hefty lugs designed to grip icy snow or wet ground, and a durable construction that holds up to the rigors of a long hike.

LOWA Renegade Warm GTX

LOWA is a well-known brand with a long history of producing high-quality hiking boots. These shoes lean into that heritage while incorporating some of the most modern material technology available in footwear today, including the highly grippy Vibram sole and the waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. This combination makes these shoes ideal for a variety of environments and terrains, though the shoes do tend to be heavy.

The uppers of these shoes are made from Heinen Terracare nubuck leather, which is soft, supple, and durable. This material is lightly sanded on top to increase breathability and give the leather a velvety appearance. The sanding also reduces the need to wax the leather, which saves you time and adds to the longevity of the shoe.

Another feature that makes these boots so comfortable is the fact that they use regular laces rather than quick-lace systems like most other shoes in this price range. While this may not seem like a big deal, the ability to fine-tune how tightly the laces wrap around your foot is an important factor in determining how comfortable and secure a pair of hiking shoes are.

These shoes also feature a grippy Vibram Evo outsole, which is great for gripping on different types of surfaces. This outer sole is also self-cleaning, which helps to keep your shoes clean and free from mud or dirt.

These shoes also have an ankle cuff that provides some extra support and comfort when hiking with a heavier pack. Overall, these shoes are a good choice for cold-weather hikes and walking on snowy trails or sidewalks. They can be worn for everything from day hikes to weekend backpacking trips.

Oboz Bridger II

Bringing a more traditional aesthetic to our best hiking boots reviews, the Bridger from Oboz has a rugged, sturdy build and is a great choice for long backpacking trips or rough terrain. These waterproof hiking boots are among the stiffest and most durable in our review, requiring more time to break in than some of our less-burly models, but they're a good choice for anyone looking for a long-lasting boot that can stand up to tough conditions.

The Bridger mid-BDry features a non-marking carbon rubber outsole made with Oboz's Granite Peak compound with 4mm directional lugs. The grippy outsole helps these hiking boots grip any backcountry surface and also provides some extra stability on steep climbs and inclines. The Granite Peak outsole is a good match for the tough PU rand and sturdy design of these waterproof hiking boots, which protect against damage from rocks and other debris on the trail.

Another feature that sets the Bridger apart is its sculpted O Fit insole, which offers a more custom fit and feel than many of the other insoles included with most hiking boots. It's a good match for most feet and helps keep the heel and arch well-supported.

The Bridgers are also relatively light for such burly hiking boots, clocking in at 2 pounds 6 ounces, which is pretty close to the weight of Vasque's Talus AT and Keen's Targhee III. The Bridgers are also available in a women's version and in non-waterproof "Vent" versions for lighter, more nimble hiking shoes that can be used with lightweight traction like Microspikes or Hillsound Trail Crampons. They're not suitable for heavy-duty ice climbing or glacier trekking, though.

Columbia Fairbanks

Winter boots tend to put a premium on warmth and protection. These features usually come with a price, however, as they often restrict breathability. If you plan to hike or snowshoe for long stretches, then breathability should be a significant factor in your decision-making process.

The Columbia Fairbanks is a good example of a winter hiking boot that doesn’t restrict breathability too much. Its breathable lining keeps feet toasty without overheating on hikes in mild weather. Its waterproof upper also works well against slush and rain. And its advanced traction outsole provides great grip on trails and sidewalks alike.

With a combination of 200 grams of insulation and savvy reflective lining, these boots keep toes warm on even the coldest of adventures. They’re rated to -25degF/-32degC and have a seam-sealed construction to fend off moisture from snow, slush, and mud.

Like all hiking boots, proper fit is key for comfortable wear, particularly with winter boots that offer a snugger fit. If the fit is too tight, it can pinch and inhibit circulation, which will reduce the warmth of the boot. It’s also important to consider the thickness of your socks when determining how snug to go.

Another reason why these boots are so popular is that they’re durable and affordable. One hiker reported that he had worn this particular pair of boots for just over a decade before the sole fell off. That’s pretty remarkable considering how many hikers abuse their footwear and use them for hard winter workouts. Still, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get your feet measured before buying. This will help ensure that your socks don’t compress over time, which can weaken the overall strength of the boot.

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Salomon Snowburban II

This is a solid option for winter hiking boots that offers plenty of protection for cold-weather hiking. The boots feature a waterproof and breathable ClimaShield liner that allows the shoes to breathe while keeping your feet warm. The boots are also designed with grippy traction that can hold onto just about any terrain. They’re a little expensive, but they’re worth the investment.

The Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry is a rugged insulated hiking boot that can be used for both winter hiking and snowshoeing. These boots feature a 400-gram Thinsulate insulation that can keep your feet warm in temperatures down to -40F. These are fairly heavy-duty boots that feel and act more like mountaineering or heavy backpacking boots than a Pac boot. They have a high cuff that prevents water and snow from entering the boots, as well as a rubber rand between the sole and uppers that provides lateral foot protection against rocks and other hard surfaces.

They have a good amount of comfort features designed into them as well, which makes them comfortable boots to wear on cold hikes. They have a simple lacing system that’s easy to get on and off, and they also have a good amount of ankle support. These boots can be used on trails of all levels of difficulty, and they’re a great choice for any winter hiking adventure.

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Another great winter hiking boot from KEEN is the Summit County III. This pair of boots features a very lightweight build and 400-gram Thinsulate insulation. This is enough to keep your feet warm in very cold temperatures, even when you’re post-holing 3 feet deep into the snow for a few miles. These boots are also very durable, which means they’ll last you a long time.

Mountain Hardwear Mount Blanc Pro GTX

The Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX is a serious alpine boot that’s packed full of features for technical climbing and winter mountaineering. It’s a stiff, rigid boot that’s completely compatible with crampons and climbs ice and rocks well. It’s also lightweight, so it will reduce fatigue in long winter climbs. These are some of the key reasons why it’s a favorite among mountaineers and ice climbers.

Its tough, rugged 3mm per wager leather upper is paired with a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Footwear waterproof and breathable membrane to keep feet dry in the cold. The ankle cuff has a PU Tek structure that’s molded directly into the leather and helps to cradle and support the foot. The sole is made of Vibram Total Traction and has a dual-density PU insert that absorbs impact.

While it climbs ice and mixed terrain well, the Mont Blanc Pro GTX doesn’t feel quite as stiff as some other fully-shanked boots. It does have some nice mountaineering features like a helmet-compatible hood, two map-sized pit zips, and adjustable cuffs and hems. Its cuff flexibility does limit the range of movement of the ankle, however, which could be a concern for less experienced mountaineers.

Its gusseted tongue feels very loose and wide, which makes it hard to tighten the boot around your heel when front-pointing. This can be a problem on ice, where you want the boot to lock down your heel. Its heel cup is also a bit weak and doesn’t hold the heel in place as well as other boots. Considering these shortcomings, the Mont Blanc Pro GTX is still a great choice for alpine climbing and mountaineering. It’s sized to work with crampons and is a good option for multi-day, winter mountaineering routes that involve a lot of hiking.


These waterproof hiking boots are among the stiffest and most durable in our review, requiring more time to break in than some of our less-burly models, but they’re a good choice for anyone looking for a long-lasting boot that can stand up to tough conditions. Like all hiking boots, proper fit is key for comfortable wear, particularly with winter boots that offer a snugger fit. These are fairly heavy-duty boots that feel and act more like mountaineering or heavy backpacking boots than a Pac boot.


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