Updated April 2017
Snow may be thawing in most parts of the US, but we are still keeping an eye on this category. As online retailers transition to spring and summer footwear, many of these models are now available at large discounts, making this a great time to buy. To further compare the boot-to-boot performance in each scoring metric, we added charts and tables.
The Best Winter Boot for Women
The North Face Shellista II Mid
Doesn't outperform in all metrics
Our Editors' Choice Award winner this year is the versatile North Face Shellista II Mid
. These boots provide excellent traction and weather protection in all kinds of winter conditions — we loved the beautiful waterproof
NuBuck leather shaft and rubberized outsole for its looks and performance. We stuck to slippery rocks and sidewalks easily with the temperature-sensitive, pliable lugs. As for comfort, we can't emphasize enough the positive feeling of slipping inside the soft interior lining. At a decent price of $140, this boot combines comfort, performance, and style better than any other model. Not limited to urban use, this model also functions as a light hiker when the snow isn't too high. If you're looking for the best of all worlds, the North Face Shellista II Mid is where it's at!
Read full review: North Face Shellista II Mid
Best Bang for the Buck
Not very water resistant
When it comes to combining comfort and affordability, the Kamik Momentum
stole the show. We were surprised that such an inexpensive boot would keep our feet so happy! At only $90, the Momentum is by far the least expensive and highest performing boot in our review, deserving our Best Buy Award. Let's start out with our favorite things about this model: it has a super touchable liner that provides warmth and envelops the foot in comfort. It also offers plenty of warmth, great traction, and is super easy to pull on and take off thanks to its cinch cord closure system. That said, this model does not offer the most water resistance (it flooded in three inches of water) and due to its plush lining, it is also very slow to dry
. The other thing that we didn't love about our Best Buy Award winner is that it looks like a little kid snow boot. We never wore it out to dinner with friends, but it was the ideal option for casual errands around town, a quick trip out on a dog walk, or stints shoveling snow. If you don't mind the lack of style and are just looking for a warm, multi-purpose snow boot, the Kamik Momentum is an unbelievable deal!
Read full review: Kamik Momentum
Top Pick for Severe Weather
Sorel Joan of Arctic
Heavy and bulky
The Sorel Joan of Arctic
is a warm, stylish, highly waterproof boot that kept our tester's feet comfortable down into the double negative degrees. This model is ideal for women who live in super cold climates and are looking for footwear that they can wear either for outdoor chores like shoveling snow or walking around town on frigid days. Although it is super warm, it's very heavy, clunky, and not the most comfortable. It is also the only product in our review with a removable liner, which is a stellar performance feature for those who need to wear this boot day in and day out. Outside its performance, the Joan of Arctic is stylish enough to wear out to dinner with friends and was actually several of our testers' favorite stylish boot. When you leave the restaurant or store, this boot will definitely keep you warm and dry on your walk back to the car, but it is not suitable for activities like hiking, where mobility and light weight are key. Overall, we loved the Joan of Arctic when the conditions called for it, but given how low it scored in our comfort metric, we don't recommend this boot unless you'll be facing frigid temps and severe snowstorms.
Read full review: Sorel Joan of Arctic
Top Pick for Winter Hiking
Vasque Pow Pow II UltraDry
Comfortable and supportive
Great long term weather protection
Poor deep snow protection
One of our favorite boots in this review was the Vasque Pow Pow II Ultradry
. This incredibly comfortable and supportive winter hiking boot took us on snowy trails, across frozen creeks, and to work in the snow and slush. Although this boot has a techy look that was voted our least stylish, it truly excels in all other metrics. Most notably, we loved how warm it was given that it's significantly less bulky than the Sorel Joan of Arctic. The Pow Pow II Ultradry has 400 grams of Thinsulate insulation and keeps our toes surprisingly warm, especially when we were moving. This contender breathes well, making it a perfect winter hiking compadre. This boot is surprisingly water-resistant, keeping your feet dry in puddles up to eight inches deep. That said, without a nifty set of gaiters, it doesn't provide as much protection from tall snow drifts. So if you're looking for a boot that will move with you while keeping your feet warm and dry - this is the best option!
Read full review: Vasque Pow Pow II Ultradry