Weather will happen. Seasons change and sometimes you are under circumstances where you are caught in the snow. One of the worst, and most deadly, situations in the wild is being unprepared in the winter months. Deep snow, unforgiving ice, and harsh winds will greet you and remind you just why you need to invest in one pair of the best winter boots for women.

There are adventurers and travelers who every year enter the frozen tundra for hunting, exploration, or camping trips and return with frostbit toes. Mother Nature is highly unforgiving and if you are caught without the right gear in any situation it will be a moment you won’t forget. There are hundreds of women’s boots out there to choose from so where do we even start? It may seem overwhelming but choosing the best boot for women is easier than it sounds and really comes down to a few factors that will make or break your decision.

Stomping Through the Snow: The Best Winter Boots for Women

Types of Women’s Winter Boots

There are few key types of boots based on make and construction that should be analyzed first. Ideally, you know where you are going to be traveling but sometimes this is not true. Different sizes and materials have a lot to do with the performance of a boot in general so here there are the main types to look out for:

  • Ankle Height: Ankle height boots are a good place to start. They are fashionable and logical. Ankle height boots begin by often offering a better range of motion when being worn. Because they are shorter, they are easier to run or jump in than with taller boots. They are also beneficial because in almost all cases they are lighter and less bulky than those that are taller. This is ideal for long walks that may be over changing terrains. Ankle-height boots do have their advantages but they are missing details in a few key places. They don’t perform as well in deeper snow or deeper water puddles. This is a major factor because snow drifts and comes down unpredictably. And, let’s face it; you never want to have warm toes and frozen ankles when the snow and water melt and seep into your socks.
  • Mid-Calf Height: The second most popular height is the mid-calf height. These are a key height because they fully cover the ankle while still allowing the knee full movement and motion. A few benefits to mid-calf boots are that since they are taller they will withstand deeper drifts, snow melt, and puddles. With this height of boot you would be able to easily ford a river if necessary. They will keep more of your leg warm during your travels and, even if the snow is minimal, these boots will protect your legs through any bush or undergrowth you may be walking through. One of the downfalls this boot has is that since they are taller, they are often bulkier. This adds weight and a lack of mobility in the ankles of the user. Climbing, running, and jumping may be significantly harder in a boot at this height.
  • Rubber Construction: Moving onto the construction of the boot, one of the main materials that winter boots will be made from is rubber. There are clear advantages to having rubber during the winter months. First, rubber is one of the most durable materials out there. It withstands a lot of use and rough traveling before breaking down. Rubber is highly waterproof as well. Nearly all rain boots are constructed with rubber partially if not completely. This should be true for winter boots as well because snow is cold and will eventually melt and we don’t want that melting inside our shoes. Though rubber is a great material all-around, it does have a few flaws to be considered as well. Rubber is more inflexible than other materials. It bends some but does not always give a full range of motion for the foot. It is also not known for comfort. Really comfortable boots made with rubber often feature more layers or thicker layers in the insole of the shoe to compensate for a material that isn’t super comfortable alone. Finally, rubber is often much heavier as a material than some canvas and synthetic materials.
  • Canvas or Synthetic Construction: Moving on from rubber materials, a large number of winter boots are made with a canvas or synthetic construction. A few benefits are the fit, weight, and mobility. To start, the fit of a synthetic shoe or boot will be tighter and snugly. Rubber simply does not form to the foot. Synthetic and canvas will form a little better to your foot and not leave any room for your foot to slide inside the boot. The weight of a synthetic or canvas boot will be significantly lighter than that of a rubber boot. This adds up to better mobility and less work when walking or running over significant distances. And since they are lighter, they are much easier to move in. A canvas or synthetic boot material will allow for bending, folding, and indenting. Climbing will be much easier in a synthetic boot. It will move with your foot and will fold where your foot naturally does. Disadvantages to this material are that it may be less weatherproof than rubber. It may not be as durable over time as rubber although some brands have made this distinction nearly a stalemate between the two. Finally, synthetic materials, although being improved on all the time, are still more likely to let water or snowmelt in.

How to Select the Boots

Taking into consideration the type of boot and the material it’s made from, which are two of the most important factors in this decision, you must also research various other details that will make significant differences in which boot will work best for you and your needs.

Qualities Women’s Winter Boots Need:

  • Warmth: A lot of the warmth comes from the construction on the inside of the shoe. Often times winter boots will have multiple layers inside the shoe offering added warmth.
  • Comfort: While the comfort of a boot does depend a lot on the person wearing it, you will notice that some companies have added insole gel and added layering for support and foot-forming technology to help make this boot comfortable for the long haul.
  • Traction: Nearly all boots are outfitted with a rubber sole. They type of rubber will determine its traction abilities. Vibram rubber is one of the best known and most used rubber on the market because of its amazing traction record.

Top Brands to consider

Some of the top players in the women’s winter boot game are those same companies that have proven with testing and new technology that they can create the best outdoor gear. You will see a lot of the same names, but each name brand has different styles within the winter boot section.

Within each brand, each boot has different qualities. Some focus on fashion, some on comfort, and some on function. You as the buyer have to see through those ploys to ensure you are getting the best balance of each feature. The following is a list of the top winter boot brands and various styles of boots within that brand. These boots are made with various materials and of various heights.

  • Sorel, with the following names:
    • Sorel Tofino
    • Sorel Joan of Arctic
    • Sorel Tivoli High II
    • Sorel Conquest Carly
  • Vasque:
    • Vasque Pow Pow II
  • UGG:
    • UGG Adirondack II
  • The North Face:
    • The North Face Nuptse Purna
  • Colombia:
    • Colombia Bugaboot Plus III Titanium

We hope that, after reading this, you are ready to start your own search and look for the best boots for winter you can possibly get. Remember: never settle for something that isn’t comfortable or of high-quality!