The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020

Winter Hiking Boots in the Snow

A good pair of winter hiking boots is a critical piece of winter camping gear.

Winter hiking boots keep your feet warm, dry, and comfortable during the coldest months of the year. But the sheer number of models available can make narrowing down your choices difficult.

Start with our reviews of the 11 best winter hiking boots in 2020. Or, head straight to our buyer’s guide for more information on how to find the best winter boots for your preferred activity, such as hiking, backpacking, or snowshoeing.

Here is exactly how to choose the best winter hiking boots for 2020.

Table of Contents

  1. Best Winter Hiking Boots
  2. Winter Hiking Boots Buyer’s Guide
  3. How to Choose the Best Boots
  4. Winter Boot Care
  5. Winter Hiking Accessories

11 Best Winter Hiking Boots for 2020

Because there are just so many models available, we’ve reviewed dozens of the best winter hiking boots to help narrow down your options to just a handful of the very best. These are the best boots for winter hiking based on their comfort, traction, insulation, waterproofing, and durability.

Here are the 11 best winter hiking boots for 2020:

1.     Best for Men: Men’s Oboz Bridger B-Dry

Oboz Men's Bridger Mid BDry Hiking Boots

$180.00  in stock
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 1 Rei.com
as of March 28, 2020 9:32 am

The Men’s Oboz Bridger B-Dry Hiking Boots are extremely versatile winter hiking boots.

Comfortable and durable enough for either winter hiking and backpacking, they also work just as well for shoveling snow off the driveway. They’re even compatible with snowshoes.

These Oboz boots are notable for their wool-topped foot beds, waterproof nubuck leather uppers, 200g 3M Thinsulate insulation, waterproof membranes, and rubber toe caps. Other highlights include the winterized soles with multidirectional lugs for the ultimate in winter traction, whether you’re going up or down a mountain – or just walking around town.

Of course, as our overall best winter hiking boot of 2020, the Oboz Bridger is high among the most comfortable boots available, even for long hikes in snow. 

What We Like:

  • Breathable
  • Warm & Well-Insulated
  • Comfortable Cushioning

What We Don’t Like:

  • Heavy

2.     Best for Women: Women’s Oboz Bridger B-Dry

Oboz Women's Bridger Mid BDry Hiking Boots

$180.00  in stock
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 1 Rei.com
as of March 28, 2020 9:32 am

The Women’s Oboz Bridger B-Dry Hiking Boots are the women’s-specific model of our top-rated winter hiking boot.

Like the men’s model, these winter boots boast waterproof nubuck leather, 200g 3M Thinsulate insulation, wool-topped foot beds, and winterized rubber outsoles.

The main difference between these two boots, aside from minor stylistic changes, is that the women’s model is 7” tall rather than 8” tall. The Oboz Bridger B-Dry Women’s Boot is also slightly narrower to better accommodate women’s feet.

These women’s winter hiking boots are extremely comfortable and durable. They have plenty of traction for even the snowiest winter hiking and backpacking. They are compatible with snowshoes.

What We Like:

  • Excellent Heel Support
  • Well-Insulated & Waterproof
  • Comfortable Right Out of Box

What We Don’t Like:

  • Insulation Slightly Thinner In Toes

3.     Best on a Budget: Kamik Nationplus

Kamik Men's Nationplus Boot

 in stock
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 3 Amazon.com
as of March 28, 2020 12:43 am

The Kamik Nationplus Boot is an excellent budget-friendly winter hiking boot.   

The Nationplus proves you can find a quality winter boot for under $100. It’s appropriate for all activities, from shoveling the driveway to short winter hikes.

The Nationplus boot is particularly notable for its rugged design that doesn’t sacrifice comfort or traction. It’s 11” tall with a lace-up design, removable insulation liner, moisture wicking lining, and rubber sole. It also stays extremely warm (Kamik rates the boot down to -40°F)

The only downside to this Kamik winter boot is the lack of complete waterproofing. Although it is quite water resistant, moisture can leak into the interior of the boot near the tongue in heavy rain or deep snow. This lack of 100% waterproofing won’t be an issue for most users, although it’s certainly cause for concern in extremely snowy conditions.

These Kamik boots work well for hiking, but they’re particularly well-suited at keeping your feet warm, even when you’re not moving. For this reason, they’re a great choice for ice fishing and other winter activities that require a lot of sitting in one place. 

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Extremely Warm
  • Lots of Traction

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not Completely Waterproof

4.     Best for Backpacking: Keen Durand Polar

KEEN Women's Durand Polar WP Winter Boots

$99.73  out of stock
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 1 Rei.com
as of March 28, 2020 9:32 am

The Keen Durand Polar Boot comes out on top as the best winter backpacking boot.

The boot is available in both a men’s and a women’s version with only minor differences between the two (mostly cosmetic).

Not only is this boot extremely comfortable, but it’s also lightweight and breathable. It stays warm (thanks to 400g insulation) in even very cold winter weather and is completely waterproof (thanks to the dry membrane).

Both the men and women’s Keen Durand Polar Boot are known for their versatility. They work well for camping, hiking, and backpacking as well as normal winter chores. The boot is compatible with snowshoes.

Although this winter hiking boot is expensive, it’s incredibly durable and will last for years on end.

What We Like:

  • Comfortable
  • Very Warm & Completely Waterproof
  • Lightweight

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive

5.     Best for Snowshoeing: Vasque Coldspark UltraDry

Vasque Men's Coldspark Ultradry Snow Boot

$133.52  in stock
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 3 Amazon.com
as of March 28, 2020 12:43 am

The Vasque Coldspark UltraDry ranks as the best boot for snowshoeing.

They have 200g 3M Thinsulate for warmth, 1.8mm waterproof leather and waterproof breathable membranes for waterproofing, and a multidirectional tread for traction.

Like many of our other top-rated winter boots, the women’s and men’s Vasque Coldspark UltraDry have very few differences. Both versions of the boot are known for their overall comfort and support. Although they can feel stiff at first, the boots loosen up to the perfect degree after the break-in process.

Although this boot can be used for any winter activity, it does have a few snowshoe-specific features, such as molded rubber heel kicks to more securely hold snowshoe straps in place.

Another immediately noticeable attribute is weight. These winter boots are lightweight, which is a big benefit for snowshoers as well as those hiking in snow. Finally, this Vasque winter boot provides excellent ankle support and stability, thanks in large part to its lacing system.

What We Like:

  • Excellent Support
  • Slim Profile
  • Molded Rubber Heel Kicks for Snowshoes

What We Don’t Like:

  • Lengthy Break-In Period

6.     Best for Camping: Kamik Greenbay 4

Vasque Men's Coldspark Ultradry Snow Boot

$133.52  in stock
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 3 Amazon.com
as of March 28, 2020 12:43 am

The Kamik Greenbay 4 comes out on top as our favorite boot for winter camping.

As a slip-on winter boot, it’s the best suited for hiking or backpacking, although it still has excellent traction. The boot is utilitarian and user-friendly. It’s a great choice for hanging out around the campsite or performing outdoor chores at home.

Both the women’s and men’s Greenbay 4 are constructed from 600 denier nylon and an 8mm removable thermal liner for a one-two punch of warmth and waterproofing.

But perhaps the best aspect of this Kamik boot is its comfort. It is quite roomy with a loose fit to keep your feet happy in casual situations.

What We Like:

  • Comfortable
  • Easy-to-Use Utilitarian Design
  • Very Warm

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not 100% Waterproof

7.     Best Slip On: Blundstone Thermal 566

Blundstone Men's Thermal Boots

$109.83  out of stock
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 1 Rei.com
as of March 28, 2020 9:32 am

Another quality slip-on winter boot is the Blundstone Thermal 566.

Although they work okay for winter camping in a pinch, these boots truly shine for winter use around town, such as walking the dog or running errands. Thanks to their stylish, relatively low-cut design, it’s possible to dress up these Blundstone winter boots to wear out to dinner – or even to the office.

The boots start with the classic Blundstone 566 design then add in Thinsulate insulation, a sheepskin foot bed, and a waterproof leather outer. You won’t have to worry about cold feet while wearing these winter boots – but do note that they’re not at all breathable. Your feet will most likely sweat if you hike in them.

Another minor disadvantage is the low height of the boot. Although the boots themselves shed ice, rain, and snow with ease, you don’t want to wear these in deep snow or through puddles. 

The biggest highlight of the Blundstone Thermal 566 is comfort. In particular, the sheepskin foot bed not only increases warmth, but provides a huge amount of cushioning.

What We Like:

  • Stylish Design
  • Comfortable Sheepskin Foot Bed
  • Good Traction

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not Breathable

8.     Best Pac Boots: Sorel Caribou

Sorel Women's Caribou Winter Boots

$95.83  in stock
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 1 Rei.com
as of March 28, 2020 9:32 am

The Sorel Caribou Boots (available in a men’s and women’s version) are among the best pac boots you can buy in 2020.

This style of winter boot is notable for the thick rubber lower, a thick insulating interior liner, and a fully waterproof construction.

The design of the Sorel Caribou is about as classic as it gets. The boots were first introduced in 1962 and have been used as a design platform for dozens of winter hiking boots since.

What makes these pac boots stick out from the pack is their warmth, waterproofing, and ease of use. No one wants a winter boot that’s difficult to use.

Unfortunately, these aren’t the best boots for winter hiking because of their bulky design and heavy weight, but they are an excellent option for winter camping or wearing around the yard. 

What We Like:

  • Very Warm
  • Easy to Use
  • Classic Design

What We Don’t Like:

  • Bulky & Heavy

9.     Best for Wet Weather: Bogs Classic High Insulated

Bogs Women's Classic High Insulated Boots

$64.83  in stock
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 1 Rei.com
as of March 28, 2020 9:32 am

The Bogs Classic High Insulated Boot is the best winter hiking boot for wet weather.

In some areas, winter is more likely to bring rain than snow. That’s when a completely waterproof, taller-than-normal boot is a must. The Classic High Insulated is that boot. It’s notable for its tall slip-on design and complete waterproofing.

Although some consider it a rain boot and not a classic winter boot, it does have relatively thick insulation to protect your feet from cold weather. It also has surprisingly good traction in snow and even on ice.

The main disadvantage of this boot is the tight fit. The boot is quite narrow – which doesn’t necessarily sacrifice comfort, but does mean it’s not quite as warm as it otherwise could be.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of this boot is its ease of use. It’s super easy to slip on and off (despite its tight fit), making it an excellent winter boot to use at home.

What We Like:

  • Slip-On Design
  • Tall Height for Deep Snow
  • Completely Waterproof

What We Don’t Like:

  • Narrow Fit

10.  Best for Extreme Cold: Baffin Impact

Baffin Men's Impact Snow Boot

$199.98  in stock
5 new from $199.98
Free shipping
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 3 Amazon.com
as of March 28, 2020 12:43 am

The Baffin Impact Boot is our number one choice for the best winter hiking boot fr extremely frigid winter conditions.

In fact, this winter boot (in both the women’s and men’s version) is far too excessive for most winter hikers and campers. Here’s what we mean: Baffin Impact is incredibly warm thanks to 8 layers of insulation. It’s well equipped for temperatures down to -50°F and even colder. In fact, Baffin itself rates the boot for temperatures down to -148°F (colder than the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth).

The outside of this burly snow boot consists of waterproof nylon and thick rubber. The sole is designed to provide traction in deep snow and slick ice. The downside to the burliness and incredible warmth of this winter boot is its huge size. It’s far too heavy and bulky for most uses. And its lack of breathability means it really only makes sense in below-freezing weather.

Despite the overall quality and high performance, most winter users will be more than happy with a less expensive, less robust winter boot.

What We Like:

  • 8-Layer Insulation
  • Lots of Traction
  • Easy Buckle “Lace” System

What We Don’t Like:

  • Bulky & Heavy

11.   Best City to Trail: The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Redux

The North Face Men's Back-to-Berkeley Redux Leather Boot

$54.99  in stock
Buy Now
The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020 3 Amazon.com
as of March 28, 2020 12:43 am

The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Redux is a stylish winter boot that performs well on the trail and looks good around town.

It’s fully waterproof and well-insulated for use in snow and rain. It is constructed from full-grain leather, an EVA midsole, and PrimaLoft Insulation.

This city-to-trail winter boot boasts a simple lace system, lots of traction on snow and ice, and a relatively slim design that looks good in just about any situation.

Although this is technically a winter hiking boot, it’s not the best option for hiking in deep snow or multiple-night backpacking trips. It’s more of a casual winter hiking boot that also works for everyday winter chores, such as walking the dog in snow.

The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Redux Boot is available in a variety of different colorways. 

What We Like:

  • Stylish Design
  • Multiple Colorways
  • Warm & Waterproof

What We Don’t Like:

  • Slim, Tight Fit

What About Normal Hiking Boots?

Winter Hiker Legs in the Snow

A lot of people wonder why they can’t use their normal hiking boots for hiking in the winter.

The answer boils down to three main factors:

  • Warmth
  • Waterproofing
  • Traction

Most hiking boots simply aren’t up to the task of keeping your feet warm and dry in winter weather conditions.

Winter hiking boots feature additional insulation and waterproofing to ensure your feet stay warm and dry while cold weather camping and hiking.

Even with a waterproofing treatment, wearing a normal pair of hiking boots in the snow not only paves the path for discomfort, but also greatly increases the risk of frostbite.

Another benefit winter boots have over normal hiking boots is a sole specifically designed for traction in snow and ice. 


Winter Hiking Boots Buyer’s Guide

Winter Hiking Boots on Snowy Rock

There are a lot of factors that make up a great winter hiking boot. 

But one factor reigns supreme: fit. The best hiking boot fits well. It’s comfortable for the duration of your hiking trip, whether that’s a mile-long hike or multi-day backpacking trip. 

In addition to fit, the best winter boots are warm, waterproof, and durable. They provide a lot of traction on snow, ice, and rain-slick terrain.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider to select the best boot for winter hiking:

Type of Boots

Several types of winter hiking boots are available. Although you can subdivide them up into any number of categories, the three main types are pac boots, slip-on boots, and insulated boots. Several varieties exist for each type. These include models with additional waterproofing and additional insulation for more extreme weather.

Size & Fit

Sizing and fit are by far the most important factors when buying a winter hiking boot.

The boot must be comfortable for your intended activity, whether this is camping, hiking, backpacking, shoveling snow, or something else.  

This is where things get a little tricky.

Slightly loose boots are most comfortable (and a little warmer). But your boot can’t be so loose that it causes discomfort when hiking long distances. Too tight a boot, on the other hand, can lead to serious circulation issues, including cold feet.

Find a good middle ground between looseness and tightness. And don’t forget to factor in the additional bulk of thick winter hiking socks. 

Insulation & Waterproofing

The best winter hiking boots are warm and waterproof. Unfortunately, there’s no standardized warmth or waterproof rating for hiking boots. 

Many manufacturers do list a temperature rating and waterproof rating in their product specifications, but there is no outside organization that verifies such ratings. This means that warmth and waterproof rating vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Your best bet, aside from trying boots on in person, is to read plenty of winter hiking boot reviews to gauge their overall warmth/waterproofing. 

At the same time, you don’t want a boot that’s too warm. Some winter boots, like those designed for snowmobiling, are far too well-insulated for strenuous activities like hiking and backpacking. Your feet will get far too warm (and likely start sweating) if you try hiking in these ultra-insulated winter boots. 

The best winter hiking boots are very warm, but are also constructed from breathable materials. 

Traction

A winter hiking boot must have excellent traction. The sole of the boot should be specifically designed for winter use. If you expect to hike in snow, buy a boot with a sole made for snow and ice. 

Most winter snow boots have larger lugs than normal hiking boots. In addition to their larger size, these lugs are usually spaced slightly farther apart to prevent snow from becoming trapped in between them.

Another traction-based consideration is outsole hardness. Although a harder outsole is more durable (and is a staple on most winter backpacking boots), it can also slightly reduce traction, especially on ice. 

The best hiking boots for winter have a durable outsole but still provide top-quality traction over ice, snow, and other slick terrain.

Weight

Most winter hiking boots weigh slightly more than normal hiking boots. This extra weight is due to the extra layers of insulation and the thicker outer materials used for warmth and waterproofing.

But many hikers still prefer a lightweight winter boot. In fact, lightweight winter hiking boots are of particular importance to backpackers, mountaineers, snowshoers, and others traversing long distances in the snow. The most weight-efficient winter hiking boots are made from synthetic materials.

Features

Three of the most important features to look for in a hiking boot for winter are removable liners, reinforced toe caps, and gusseted tongues.

A removable liner is simply a removable inner layer that provides extra warmth and insulation while hiking in cold weather. But the real benefit of a removable inner liner is the ability to remove them at night. On multi-night winter camping trips, this allows you to take them out of the boots, so that both the boots and the liners completely dry out at night.

A reinforced toe cap simply adds extra durability to your boots. This feature is particularly important if you’re using crampons that could otherwise damage the fronts of your boots.

Finally, a gusseted tongue is a boot tongue that is sewn to the sides of your boots to prevent water from entering (even if you step in deep snow).

Brand Reputation

Always buy hiking boots from a reputable brand.

Most top outdoor brands stand by their products in full, which can even include lifetime-guaranteed, no-questions warranties. 

It’s just as important to buy from a brand/retailer with a time-tested return policy. Because winter hiking boots are an outdoor product that absolutely needs to fit 100% correctly, it’s essential you’re able to return them if they’re the slightest bit uncomfortable.

For example, REI’s return policy allows for a replacement or refund for an entire year after the purchase (not including wear/tear or damage caused from improper use/accidents).

Finally, a reputable brand likely has a larger following of customers than a new up-and-coming brand.

With winter hiking boots, it’s beneficial to buy a model that’s been around for several years, so you can read a wide variety of user reviews to inform your decision.


Components of a Winter Hiking Boot

Winter Hiking in the Snow

An understanding of the components and materials used in the construction of a winter hiking boot is helpful for those serious about finding the absolute best boot available.

Uppers

The upper is the top part of a hiking boot. On winter hiking models, it’s most often constructed from leather, heavy-duty nylon, or waterproof synthetic materials (such as Gore-Tex). The upper should extend past your ankle to provide protection when hiking in snow.

Midsoles

The midsole provides the cushioning for a hiking boot. Most winter boots have a relatively thick, injection-molded midsole for extra durability, comfort, and stability plus extra waterproofing. Common materials include EVA and polyurethane.

Internal Support

The internal support of a hiking boot is the layer between the midsole and outsole. As the name implies, the goal is to help support your foot from the inside of the boot by adding a layer of stiffer material. Strong internal support is especially important for winter backpacking boots.

Outsoles

The outsole is the bottom traction layer of a hiking boot. On winter models, where traction on snowy terrain is essential, the outsole often includes large lugs for increased traction. The lug pattern is usually more spaced out than normal to prevent the buildup of snow between lugs. Most winter hiking boots also include a “heel brake” (a raised heel) on the outsole to prevent sliding out on slippery or steep terrain.

Insulation

Insulation on winter hiking boots comes in two main forms: built-in or removable. Built-in insulation is typically constructed from synthetic or down filling. Sometimes, a natural shearling like sheepskin is used. Removable insulation, on the other hand, is often made from synthetic materials or sometimes felted wool. A cuff attached to the top of the boot (often stitched to the insulating liner) provides even more warmth and helps keep snow out.


How to Choose Winter Hiking Boots

You now know what factors and features make up the best winter hiking boots. But how do you select the model that’s best for you? There are three main factors to consider.

1. Activity Type & Level

Winter hiking boots are designed for a wide range of different uses.

Some are made specifically for hiking and backpacking while others work better for camping and hanging out around the campfire. Others are constructed with more extreme conditions in mind, such as mountaineering. If you plan to add in any additional activities, like snowshoeing, make sure that the boots you select are compatible with snowshoes.

Simply put, it’s essential to find a pair of winter hiking boots that is compatible with your preferred activity type. 

You must also consider your activity level during the buying process. Those that only plan to hike a few miles at a time can usually get away with a budget model winter hiking boot while those that go on long backpacking trips will hugely benefit from a high-end model. 

2. Expected Conditions

The type of winter hiking boots you need largely depend on the winter weather conditions you expect to encounter. Hiking in the snow requires a much different boot than camping in the rain.

Although many of the best models are quite versatile, there’s no reason to buy boots created for extremely cold weather when you’ll only ever use them in relatively mild conditions.

3. Try the Boots On

Trying each model on is by far the best thing you can do when it comes to buying winter hiking boots.

Even if you intend to buy a pair online, you can’t beat trying several models on in a store before pulling the trigger. Not only does this help you find the model that you like best, but it also ensures that the boots fit well.

Like any type of footwear, sizing for winter hiking boots varies from brand to brand and model to model. There is simply no substitution to trying on each pair of boots in person to get a proper hiking boot fit.


How to Care for Your Hiking Winter Boots

Proper care will help your winter hiking boots last much longer. This includes breaking in your new boots, proper cleaning and storage, and regular maintenance.

Here’s what you need to know about hiking boot care and maintenance:

Breaking in Your Boots

A great fitting pair of winter hiking boots will only get you so far. It’s equally important to properly break them in.

Because of the additional insulation and extra-thick materials, winter hiking boots typically take a little longer to break in than a normal pair.

Start the break-in process by wearing your winter boots around the house. Remember to use the same socks and insoles you’ll use while hiking. Lace the boots up to a comfortable snugness for this step.

Graduate from walking around the house to a short walk around the block. Continue to adjust the boots, especially the laces, as necessary. Slowly increase the distance of these walks. Once you’re comfortably walking several blocks, you’re probably ready for a short hike.

Your first few short hikes are where the serious break-in happens. Even though these are winter boots, it’s best to complete this step in normal conditions before graduating to the snow. Gradually go on longer hikes, adjusting the boots as necessary. If you plan to go backpacking in the boots, add a little more weight to a daypack with each hike.

Never rush the break-in process. It might seem like overkill, but it takes multiple weeks to truly break in a new pair of winter hiking boots.

And remember to listen to your feet throughout the entire process. It’s essential to catch major problems early on, so that you can return problem boots for a new pair before they’re thrashed. Minor problems – such as hotspots and blisters – are easier to adjust for during the break-in process as well.

Waterproofing Your Boots

Any quality pair of winter hiking boots will have a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish. Most top-of-the-line models utilize rubber and waterproof synthetic materials for enhanced waterproofing right out of the box. Even still, there might be a time when you need to waterproof a pair of winter boots, such as boots that utilize leather.

The waterproofing process starts by applying a waterproofing treatment (usually a spray or a cream). The boots must be clean before you start. Remove the laces and dampen the boots before application.

Follow the steps on your waterproofing treatment packaging. This usually involves applying the treatment to the thoroughly dampened boots, letting it soak in, and then drying the boots at a normal temperature (without using an additional heat source).

Remember that serious winter hikers and backpackers should invest in fully waterproof boots from the start – not a model that requires additional waterproofing.

Outdoor Life has an extensive guide on how to waterproof boots.

Cleaning Your Boots

Cleaning your boots as soon as you return from a winter hiking trip is the best way to ensure they’ll last for years to come.

Start by removing the laces and brushing large chunks of dirt and mud from the boots with any type of soft brush you have on hand. Next wash the boots under warm running water. Continue to scrub until the boots are clean.

Although special boot cleaning fluids are available, you can clean most hiking boots simply with warm water and a brush (never use soap or detergents). Remove any removable liners as well as the laces and insoles after cleaning to allow all the components of the boot to dry out completely.

It’s always best to let the boots dry at a normal temperature rather than by using a heat source which can weaken the boot prematurely.

Storing Your Boots

The best place to store your winter hiking boots is somewhere with a stable temperature (room temperature is ideal).

Make sure that your boots are clean and completely dry before storage. A storage area with proper ventilation is key.

Never store your boots in your trunk for an extended period of time. If possible, avoid storing them someplace like an unheated attic, garage, or shed that will experience extreme temperature fluctuations.

Conditioning Your Boots

Although most winter hiking boots are made from rubber and synthetic materials, those that do use full-grain leather require regular conditioning.

Condition your hiking boots with a leather conditioning whenever the leather parts start to look dry, rough, or cracked.

You must use a leather conditioner designed specifically for outdoor boots, as the versions made for industrial boots will quickly wear out the leather.


Best Winter Hiking Boots Accessories

Winter Backpacker in the Snow

A good pair of boots only go so far to keep your feet warm and comfortable while hiking in the winter.

Complement your winter hiking boots with the following accessories:

Hiking Socks

The best hiking socks for winter are warm, comfortable, and moisture wicking.

Look for a pair with heavy cushioning for the most warmth plus ample cushioning for cold-weather backpacking and hiking trips. 

The best winter hiking socks are made out of merino wool, polyester, or another material that wicks moisture away from the feet and dries out quickly.

Remember to always try on your new winter hiking boots with your go-to winter hiking socks to ensure the best fit possible.

Aftermarket Insoles

Aftermarket insoles can make your winter hiking boots even more comfortable.

If you’re struggling with blisters, foot aches, or other discomfort, a pair of hiking boot insoles might be the solution.

A variety of insole types are available, including low-volume, medium-volume, and high-volume models as well as those created to treat specific problems (such as plantar fasciitis, heel slippage, or collapsed arches).

Although custom insoles are available, most hikers find hiking insoles that work for them by visiting a brick and mortar outdoor store like REI and trying on several pairs inside of their winter hiking boots.

Gaiters

Gaiters are extremely beneficial for hiking or backpacking in deep snow.

They’re worn around the bottom of your legs to cover the opening to your boots to keep out rain, snow, and water on demanding hikes.

Your best bet is to buy gaiters based on activity type. Hiking and backpacking typically require shorter gaiters that are also lightweight and breathable.

On the other hand, mountaineering, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and other snow sports should be taller and heavier duty.


Final Thoughts

Woman Winter Backpacking Near a Lake

You now know what it takes to find the perfect pair of winter hiking boots for 2020.

Now, we want to hear from you:

What type of winter hiking boots do you own? What’s your typical type of winter activity? Is it hiking, camping, backpacking, snowshoeing, or something else altogether?

And, remember, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2020”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *