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15 Best Winter Boots for Women, According to Expert Testing

Survive all types of weather with these stylish and waterproof winter boots.

15 best winter boots for women, according to expert testing
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We updated this guide in November 2022 with new additions based on recent testing by the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab. Columbia remains our best overall pick.


As winter approaches, it's time to stock up on all the cold weather essentials — the best winter coat, warm fleece-lined leggings, dependable heated gloves and, of course, warm, snow-proof, well-insulated boots. Whether you need a good pair of waterproof rain boots or a pair that will keep you upright when you step on black ice during your commute, winter boots are a necessity during colder weather, especially for protecting your feet from icy puddles and snow storms until spring.

At the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab, we're constantly testing must-have winter essentials like the best down jackets or best warm socks, and all types of footwear to find products that you can depend on. This time, our analysts set out to find the best winter boots for women, evaluating the materials used and the construction of each. With the help of our consumer testers, we analyzed real-world feedback on the fit, feel and long-time durability of different contenders. Our top picks include styles with excellent reviews, innovative features for warmth and top-tested brands we love and trust.

Our top picks:

You can find more information about how we test winter boots — plus tips on how to shop for the best ones for you — at the end of this guide. Make sure to pair your winter boots with a pair of warm socks to keep your feet from freezing in cold weather.

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1
Best Overall Winter Boots
Columbia
Ice Maiden II Snow Boot
Columbia
Now 41% off
2
Best Value Winter Boots
GLOBALWIN
Winter Snow Boots
Globalwin
3
Best Winter Boots for Commuting
UGG
Women's Adirondack III Snow Boot
UGG
4
Best Duck Boots for Winter
Sperry
Saltwater Wool Embossed Duck Boot with Thinsulate
Sperry
Now 18% off
5
Warmest Winter Boots
Sorel
Caribou Boots
Sorel
6
Best Winter Chelsea Boots
Dr. Martens
Leonore Burnished Wyoming Leather Fashion Boot
Dr. Martens
7
Best Insulated Winter Boots
L.L.Bean
Women's 8-Inch Shearling-Lined Bean Boots
L.L.Bean
8
Best Non-Slip Winter Boots for Ice
Muck Boot
Arctic Ice Mid Snow Boot
Muck Boot
9
Best Work-Appropriate Winter Boots
Hush Puppies
Women's Amelia Lace Boot
Hush Puppies
10
Best Winter Boots for Snow
Kamik
Momentum Snow Boot
Kamik
Now 11% off
11
Best Slip-On Winter Boots
The North Face
ThermoBall Traction Bootie
The North Face
12
Best Winter Work Boots
Timberland
Premium Waterproof Boots
Timberland
13
Best Plus-Size Winter Boots
Bogs
Whiteout Adjustable Calf Snow Boot
Bogs
Now 15% off
14
Best Winter Boots for Hiking
Oboz
Bridger 7-Inch Insulated Winter Boots
Oboz
15
Best Tall Winter Boots
Tecnica
Moon Boot Unisex Shoes
Tecnica
How we choose the best winter boots
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To find the best winter boots, our Lab analysts researched various offerings from top brands to select the styles to test with consumer testers. We also asked the GH staff, including editors and product experts, about winter boots they've tried and liked to determine how well they last with long-term use. To narrow down the best of the best, we compared attributes like material, design, construction, water resistance, comfort, thermal insulation, durability over time, traction, weight, fit, comfort, ease of taking on and off, appearance and intended use. This year, we evaluated 17 pairs in Lab and with consumer testers in addition to decades of footwear testing data, including another test of 15 winter boots in our Lab in recent years.

Things to keep in mind when shopping for winter boots
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Here are a few important factors to help organize your priorities when looking for the warmest winter boots to keep your feet warm:

✔️ Fit: Before purchasing a pair, Good Housekeeping's Textiles Director, Lexie Sachs, says to prioritize “a snug fit around the calf, which is why most winter boots lace up instead of zipping.” Also, make sure to consider what kind of socks you plan on wearing with your boots. If you're a fan of thicker warm socks, it might be best to go up half a size in your boots.

✔️ Inner fabric: Insulation is the key to being warm and staying warm. Wool has inherent temperature-regulating properties, excellent for keeping you warm but not sweaty. Thinsulate is a synthetic material that gives warmth without weight, so it’s great for wet climates. Shearling, sherpa, fleece and flannel are also good options for the interior lining, as they can trap heat for extra warmth.

✔️ Outer Material: The boot will specify the material of the upper and the sole. The upper is the part that covers the top of your foot and ankle, so you should look for water-resistant options such as nylon and leather, which can come with pre-treated waterproofing. The sole should keep you dry and also provide good traction. Soles with bumps and crevices offer a much better grip on slick ice and wet snow.

✔️ Boot height: Shorter boots are generally easier to walk and maneuver in, but they may let snow in if you're moving through deep drifts. If you plan on trekking through snow, opt for a taller boot that will keep snow out and your calves warm and protected.

✔️ Tongue: To keep out all the elements, look for a gusseted tongue. "Gusseted" means the tongue is attached to the sides of the boot, so no snow or rain can sneak inside the shoe. Seam-sealed options are also excellent for extra protection.

✔️ Outsole: Depending on your climate, you'll have different needs for traction. If you're after more stability on slippery ice and snow, look for soles with deep lugs for extra traction and grip.

✔️ Weight: If you're walking longer distances, look for a lightweight option. Heavier winter boots typically include more protective elements, but if you never wear them because of how heavy they are, they may not be worth the purchase.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab has been a leading expert on footwear for years.

Grace Wu most recently updated this article. She's a textiles product review analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute who oversaw recent tests for winter boots and has written several stories on footwear, including hiking shoes, and winter apparel, such as warm socks, based on rigorous testing. Prior to joining GH, Grace earned a Master of Engineering in Materials Science & Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Fiber Science from Cornell University.

Emma Seymour is a senior textiles product analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she has overseen all Lab and consumer tests for footwear, including everything from workout shoes to comfortable dress shoes. She has a degree in fiber science and apparel design from Cornell University, with extensive research experience in athletic wear. As a lifetime sewer with previous product-development experience, she has a strong fashion background with expertise on proper fit and construction.

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