Keep your feet warm and dry.
By Trent Jonas
There’s no reason for cold temperatures and a little snow to keep you off the trails—not if you have the right boots, anyway. When choosing winter footwear for outdoor activities, look for boots that are well-insulated and waterproof but also designed for active wear: They need to be comfortable and allow your feet to breathe. Here are half a dozen of our favorite hiking boots for winter trekking in comfort.
Two hundred grams of insulation and an Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining make Columbia’s Bugaboot Plus IV an awesome choice for cold-weather hikes—whether in the local park or deep in the backcountry—in temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. The Bugaboot boasts a waterproof membrane, midsole cushioning for long days on the trail, and compound rubber outsoles, while leather uppers will keep you warm and comfortable above the ankle. The Bugaboot Plus IV is available in both men’s and women’s sizes and styles.
The Keen Summit County men’s boot boasts 300g of KEEN.WARM insulation, along with thermal footbeds and compression-molded EVA midsoles designed to keep your feet warm and happy on the trail in temperatures down to -35 degrees Fahrenheit. Women can find similar comfort and cold weather performance in the Keen Hoodoo III boot, which has 200g of KEEN.WARM insulation. Both boots are constructed with KEEN.DRY waterproof barriers, which keep out moisture while permitting your feet to breathe.
Available in both men’s and women’s versions, the Thermo Rogue 2 Boa from Merrell is an excellent lightweight choice for the winter hiker. The Thermo Rogue is a mid-boot that extends to just above the ankle. It’s built with Gore-Tex membranes to keep it waterproof and breathable, while 200g of PrimaLoft insulation—including 1.5mm over the toe area—to make sure your feet stay warm. The Thermo Rogue’s midsole is constructed from compression-molded EVA, and the contoured insole is removable, so you can adjust the level of support as needed. The Vibram Arctic Grip All Terrain outsole and 5mm lug depth will give you all the traction you need on ice and packed snow.
The Arctic 600, coming in both men's and women's styles, is a winter hiking boot with classic Danner lines. The Arctic 600 is packed with 200g of PrimaLoft insulation and lined with DannerDry, so your feet will stay warm and dry, whether you’re out on the trail or out on the town. The Vibram SPE midsole adds an extra layer of comfort, so you can spend all day on your feet, and the Vibram Nisqually Arctic Grip outsole will make sure you stay upright on ice and snow.
The Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP (Climashield/waterproof) boot for men and women is rated for comfort to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Designed to protect your feet in extremely cold conditions, the Toundra Pro is lined with Aerogel insulation and lined with faux fur for comfy warmth, while a Climashield membrane keeps your feet dry. The midsole is dual layered for extra comfort, and the Ice Grip rubber sole maintains its traction even in the coldest weather.
The Vasque Coldspark Ultradry for both men and women offers warmth and comfort in an ultralight boot at a very comfortable price point. Both the footbed and midsole of this mid hiker are made from Dual Density EVA. The boot is lined with a Retain breathable reflective barrier, which offers the insulating effect of 200g of traditional insulation without the additional weight. The outsole is Vasque’s proprietary Monolith with ColdHold compound to ensure traction in cold weather.