Best Winter Boots for Men: Leather Boots, Insulated Work Boots, and More

Whether you’re heading out on a backcountry hike or spending the day on a snowy worksite, a good pair of boots is your best friend.
Whether you’re heading out on a backcountry hike or spending the day on a snowy worksite, a good pair of boots is your best friend. (Annie Spratt/)

Don’t get cold feet, get a new pair of boots. A good pair of winter boots will keep your toes dry and warm, while providing enough traction to help you keep your footing in the harshest winter conditions. But not all winter boots are made alike. Nothing’s worse than buying a pair of cruddy winter boots that will leave your toes numb all winter. A high-quality pair of winter boots is an important part of every outdoorsman’s winter clothing arsenal. And in some cases, you may want more than one pair of boots in your chamber.

Winter boots are customized for an array of different outdoors activities. Some are better for spending frigid mornings mucking around swampy areas hunting winter geese, while others are better for strapping into snowshoes and heading deep into the backcountry, and yet others are stylish enough to don before hitting the town. Regardless of what you’re up to this winter, you need winter boots that get the job done. We did the hard part for you—the research. Here is a definitive guide of the best winter boots for men available today, as well as key factors to consider before making your next purchase.

Best men’s winter boots overall: Sorel Men’s Caribou Wool BootBest waterproof boots for men: The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport Extreme-Conditions BootsBest winter hiking boots for men: Salomon Men’s X Ultra Winter CS Waterproof Performance BootBest insulated work boots: Carhartt Men’s 10″ Waterproof Insulated PAC Composite Toe BootBest winter ankle boots for men: Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle BootBest cheap boots for men: NORTIV 8 Men’s Insulated Warm Winter Snow Boots

Get ready to find your new favorite pair of men’s winter boots

Men’s winter boots should be well-made, warm, waterproof, and durable. Before buying a new pair, you need to consider how much you’re willing to spend, which winter activities you’re planning on using the boots for, and how long you want your boots to last. Below is everything you need to consider when hunting for a new pair of the best winter boots for men.

Want stylish or practical cold weather boots—or both?

Winter boots are the rare kind of apparel that can look good without sacrificing any functionality. While there are winter boots tailored to specific winter activities, you should also consider getting a pair that you’d want to be seen wearing around town.

The kind of cold weather boots you wear say a lot about who you are as a person. Before buying a pair of men’s boots, look into the different styles that are available today. This doesn’t mean you have to give up any practicality. Today, many people consider timberland-style work boots stylish—especially for the no-nonsense outdoorsman. On the other hand, a pair of chukka boots is better for a more formal look. Whatever style appeals to you most, don’t skimp on functionality.

Best winter boots for men all-around: Sorel Men’s Caribou Wool Boot

Sorel Men's Caribou Wool Boot is stylish and rugged.
Sorel Men's Caribou Wool Boot is stylish and rugged. (Sorel/)

Sorel is one of the most well-known makers of winter boots. Sorel winter boots are high-quality, durable, warm, and they look pretty darn good to boot. Sorel’s Men’s Caribou Wool Boot is a stylish and extra toasty version of Sorel’s classic winter boot. These men’s winter boots are waterproof. The full-grain leather upper is constructed with a seam-sealed design. The bottom of the boot is made out of a vulcanized rubber shell that repels water. The soles boast rugged rubber grips that give the boot solid traction. Add to that a 9-millimeter wool inner boot, and you have one of the warmest cold weather boots on the market. Sorel estimates the boot will keep you warm in temperatures as cold as negative 40 degree—if you can afford them. These Sorels are high-quality but pricey.

What about waterproof boots?

When it’s cold out, it’s usually wet, too. Snow, sleet, and rain make having water-repellant boots a must-have for outdoorsmen living anywhere that has a cold winter. Almost every winter boot on the market boasts some level of waterproof or water-resistant qualities, but that doesn’t mean they’re all made the same.

Winter hiking boots usually have some kind of synthetic upper with a water-resistant membrane. While this will likely get the job done when hiking through snow, it won’t keep your feet dry in wetter conditions. Leather boots also have waterproof qualities, though damp conditions often allow for water to seep in through the seams. The most waterproof boots are usually made with entirely rubber outer shells, though what you gain here in waterproof qualities, you’ll likely lose in comfort.

Best waterproof boots for men: The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport Extreme-Conditions Boots for Men

The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport Extreme-Conditions Boots for Men live up to their name.
The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport Extreme-Conditions Boots for Men live up to their name. (Muck Boot/)

The Original Muck Boot Company made a boot that you can brave the wet and the cold in at the same time. The Arctic Sport Extreme-Conditions Boots let you stomp through wet conditions any time of the year. They’re perfect for waterfowl hunting and working in wet, cruddy conditions. These men’s boots are 100% waterproof—and they’re also buoyant and flexible. They’re made with snag-resistant, four-way stretch nylon and rubber. The stretch-fit top hugs your calves to keep the heat in. A 2mm thermal foam underlay is added to the instep for extra warmth. The boots have a reinforced toe and double reinforcements on the instep, heel, and achilles areas, making for an especially rugged and durable boot.They’re rated to a wide range of conditions and are good for anywhere between -40-degrees Fahrenheit to 60-degrees Fahrenheit.

Taking a winter hike?

Most people think of summer when they think of hiking. But the cold shouldn’t stop you from getting out into the backcountry for some good, clean fun. Winter hiking is a solid cold weather activity in its own right. But there are also a ton of other winter activities that you would benefit from wearing a high-quality winter hiking boot, such as snowmobiling, snow shoeing, and ice fishing.

Winter hiking boots usually are made with leather or synthetics outers, much like regular hiking boots. The big difference comes in terms of insulation. Winter hiking boots are usually not as breathable as summer hiking boots—but they’re warm. And high-quality winter hiking boots are also pretty darn waterproof. If you’re in the market for a new pair of cold weather hiking boots, make sure to get a pair that packs a real punch in terms of insulation, otherwise you’re basically just buying a pair of rebranded summer hiking boots.

Best winter hiking boots for men: Salomon Men’s X Ultra Winter CS Waterproof Performance Boot

Salomon Men's X Ultra Winter CS Waterproof 2 Hiking Boot makes winter hiking fun.
Salomon Men's X Ultra Winter CS Waterproof 2 Hiking Boot makes winter hiking fun. (Salomon/)

Salomon is known primarily as a ski company, but the company also makes some top-notch hiking boots. Here, the company merges its snow and hiking know-how together in one product. Salomon’s Men’s X Ultra Winter CS Waterproof 2 Hiking Boot is one of the best options on the market for winter mountain sports. The boots have Thinsulate insulation that keeps you warm in the coldest conditions. A combination of synthetic material and full grain leather keeps your feet dry. The boot shaft is 7″, which is tall enough to keep the snow out, but not too tall to limit your mobility. For deeper snow, there is a built in gaiter hook to attach snow pants to. The heels are padded, making the boots especially compatible with snowshoes. The Contragrip soles provide traction, while the light rubber bottoms are agile and stable at the same time.

Need insulated work boots?

Many people purchase one pair of work boots and wear them all year long. This can work out fine, so long as it stays reasonably warm out. If you are working in frigid temps, nothing’s worse than having frozen toes for 8+ hours because you didn’t get the right pair of boots. Even if you don’t have a job that requires you to work outside in subzero temperatures, winter work boots will likely come in handy for tasks like shoveling and splitting wood.

When you’re on the market for winter work boots, there are several key things you need to consider. How much insulation do you need? Some work boots are sturdy enough for cold weather, even if they’re not specifically billed as winter work boots. Look for boots that offer insulation. Besides this, consider getting leather boots, which typically offer more heat retaining qualities than canvas or fully-synthetic work boots. Regardless of insulation, getting waterproof work boots is a must. Do you need a steel toe? Steel-toed boots will protect your feet better than any other kind of work boot, though you may sacrifice some comfort. Steel-toed winter work boots are life-savers if you’re working outside with heavy objects that have the potential to fall and crush your toes.

Best winter work boots for men: Carhartt Men’s 10″ Waterproof Insulated PAC Composite Toe Boot

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