12 Best Men’s Winter Boots 2020

It is frequently said that if you take care of your feet, they will take care of you. While this is very true in the summer, it’s even more important when things get cold. Boots that are not waterproof are a sure fire way to end up in bad shape in the winter. Likewise, boots that do not allow sweat to evaporate will cause much the same problem.

Picking a pair of winter boots takes some thinking but it isn’t that complicated. Getting the right boots will greatly enhance your enjoyment in the outdoors when the weather is less than optimal.

Best Mens Winter Boots

What Makes the Best Winter Boots?

Though there are a variety of considerations, these are the most important when picking your boots:

1. Activity

What you plan on doing in your boots will be your first deciding factor. A pair of hiking boots may not offer the full protection a hunter needs. A hunter’s boots may be too heavy for long distance hiking. Consider your primary activity first, choosing your boots from the best for that activity. You can always moderate your choice if you want boots that are more versatile.

2. Waterproofing

Probably the most important construction consideration for winter boots is their ability to keep water out. This is more important than keeping heat in. You can always add warmth inside a boot but a wet foot will get cold as much as 8 times faster than a dry foot. All winter boots MUST be waterproof to be effective.

At the same time, you want a boot that breaths. Having your foot drenched with sweat is the same as having it drenched with creek water or snowmelt. A dry foot is a happy foot so get something that breaths if at all possible.

3. Insulation

Only when a boot is watertight is warmth worth considering. Boots come in a variety of warmth factors so you really have to choose based on the environment you are most active in. That may be below zero if Maine or the low 30s in Texas. Getting a boot that is too warm can be a problem but often a little more insulation is better than a little less.

The type of insulation is also important. Some are prone to holding moisture, even in a waterproof boot. Usually, this is the extra insulation around the upper part of the boot. If you are regularly active in areas with a lot of snow or water, these may not be the best bet. There are plenty of synthetic insulations that will do the job just as well.

4. Traction

Some boots can have the same level of traction you would have in a summer boot while others may need to have additional traction for work on ice and snow. Usually, more traction means a stiffer and thicker sole which adds weight and can put more strain on the foot. Picking the right traction is a minor choice but can be a tough one.

If you are looking for a versatile boot, go somewhere in the middle or with a standard tread on your boot. Footwear that sticks to ice is nice but not necessary and can be inconvenient for longer treks on firmer ground.

5. Weight

The last consideration is weight and it ties all of this together. The warmer the boot, the heavier the insulation. Waterproof materials often add weight. Added tread and thicker soles are heavier. This is the balancing act.

No one wants to walk mile after mile in a shoe that is heavier than it needs to be. This shouldn’t be the deciding factor but it should be in the back of your mind. Once you have narrowed down the world of boots to those best suited to you, you can start looking at how heavy they are.

Top 12 Best Men’s Winter Boots in 2020

Danner Powderhorn Review
Danner Powderhorn
Best of the Best
Leather, Textile
Salomon X Ultra Trek GTX Review
Salomon X Ultra Trek GTX
Best Ultralight
Leather, Synthetic
Muck Arctic Pro Review
Muck Arctic Pro
Best Extreme Cold Boot
Synthetic, Fabric
Merrell Phaserbound 2 Review
Merrell Phaserbound 2
Most Comfortable
Sorel Caribou XT Review
Sorel Caribou XT
Best Classic
L.L. Bean Ultralight Pac Review
L.L. Bean Ultralight Pac
Best Occasional Wear
Vasque Coldspark Ultradry Review
Vasque Coldspark Ultradry
Best Winter Hiking
Kamik Nation 2 Review
Kamik Nation 2
Best Bang for your Buck
Leather, Synthetic
Bogs Workman Review
Bogs Workman
Best Wet Weather
Keen Winterport II Review
Keen Winterport II
Best Lightweight
Leather, Textile
The North Face Tsumoru Review
The North Face Tsumoru
Best Warmth for the Money
Columbia Bugaboot III XTM Review

1. Danner Powderhorn – Best of the Best Winter Boot

Danner Men's Powderhorn Hunting Boots Review

There is zero doubt that Danner makes some of the best boots to ever hit the market. Where most companies specialize in shoes and make boots as minor addition, Danner has perfected the science of the boot. Everything from construction to materials are simply top notch!

These boots are meant for hunting the high country and while they have all the insulation you need, they are a little on the heavy side if you are a distance hiker. For those who hunt anywhere but the wettest locations, water will never be an issue. Solid design and solid leather construction.

The soles of these shoes are quite thick and moderately rigid. This can lead to longer break in times but the boots are comfortable enough that you won’t have much trouble with breaking them in. As a part of the thicker sole, these have an amazing midsole made of EVA foam and great traction on even the slipperiest slopes.

All in all, any Danner is a serious boot with no compromises. The Powderhorn just takes that to the next level by providing great insulation and waterproofing. Two insulated versions exist. A 400g and 1000g. For most people, the 400 will be plenty unless you are in the coldest climates.


  • Very Warm
  • Great Fit
  • Incredible Durability


  • Longer Break-in Time
  • Somewhat Heavy

2. Salomon X Ultra Trek GTX – Best Ultralight Winter Boot

Salomon Men's X Ultra Trek GTX Backpacking Boot Review

Salomon has gained a huge reputation among those who spend time in bad weather. This is especially true of hikers, backpackers, and mountaineers. A big part of their product line revolves around skiing so they know how to handle cold and wet. This extends into their standard boot lineup.

As far as their boots go, their newly released X Ultra Trek seems to be the top of their lineup as far as an all-around boot for harsh conditions is concerned. They are lightweight, well cushioned, and do well for covering distance. They are made to last and use only premium materials in their construction.

The most apparent feature of these boots is the aggressive grip which makes them a premium choice for dealing with mud and snow. The soles have a rather distinct shape that allows you to put a lot more surface area around the toe of the boot into the ground for great traction, especially when climbing. No matter your outdoor activity, these boots will serve you well.

Any Salomon boot is a good choice but after some review, the X Ultra Trek seems to be about as top of the line as you can get. They are warm and breathable, yet waterproof thanks to their Gore-Tex construction. Boots like this will save your feet when you have to be out in weather that most people avoid.


  • Very Comfortable
  • Short Break-in Time
  • Great Tread
  • Light Weight


  • Less Durable
  • Mild Winter Boot

3. Muck Arctic Pro – Best Extreme Cold Boot

Muck Boot Men's Arctic Pro Hunting Boot Review

The Arctic Pro by Much is a legendary boot for the coldest weather that has been used by just about every profession that has to endure cold, wet conditions. You see these on survivalists, hunters, and even city workers who have to deal with bad conditions. When protection is key, these are the boots to do it!

Most people who avoid Muck boots do so because they look like they wouldn’t have the support or comfort that most people are after. This is far from the truth. Muck boots offer far more support than you would think for a Wellington style boot and their comfort, especially in the cold is nearly unbeatable.

This mostly comes from their neoprene construction with a rubber welting that goes from the sole all the way past the ankle. Not only does this hug the leg well but it is the primary feature that will let you go as cold as you need to, well below zero, in these boots. There are zero sacrifices to comfort.

With Mucks, the only thing you need to worry about is getting a boot that is too warm. In the colder months, this is generally not a problem. The Arctic Pro works well from late fall to very early spring and will conquer winter temps with ease. They are a great choice for anyone who needs a good boot but isn’t covering miles by walking. Farmers, hunters, fishermen, etc. are a great fit but hikers and backpackers may want to explore a different option.


  • Very Warm
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Good Traction


  • Less Custom Fit
  • Stiff Soles
  • Hard to Break-in

4. Merrell Phaserbound 2 – Most Comfortable Winter Boot

Merrell Men's Phaserbound 2 Tall Waterproof Hiking Boots Review

There should be no doubt that Merrell knows outdoor footwear, maybe better than anyone out there. Though most of their products are more oriented to warm weather activities, some of the boots are designed to be more robust. These make a great winter option that is lightweight and very comfortable.

The Phaserbound is a classic Merrell high boot that has some top of the line features to make it just a little better in bad weather. First, their combination Vibram outsole and inner EVA midsole provide the perfect mix of great traction, form-fit molding, and mile-eating comfort. If distance is your game, these are an incredible boot!

The main issue that most people have with these as a winter option is warmth. Though they do well in milder weather, once you dive into the teens, these can get a little colder than most people would prefer. They still have a Gore-Tex construction that is watertight combined with a mesh inner liner that is breathable and keeps your feet dry.

There is a lot to be said about Merrell and their website lays it out well. These are designed from the ground up for comfort and make some of the best boots you can buy hands down. If they were just a little warmer, they could top this list. As they are, they are still the best bet for a mild winter boot.


  • Superior Comfort
  • Great Tread
  • Modest Weight


  • Mild Winter Boot
  • Long Break-in Time

5. Sorel Caribou XT – Best Classic Winter Boot

Sorel Men's Caribou Extreme Snow Boots Review

Sorel is probably best known for its classic styling but this goes far beyond the ‘If it’s not broke don’ fix it’ mentality. The styling may be classic but the construction takes advantage of the best processes and materials available to produce boots that are outstanding quality. Enough so that finding their winter boots when the weather turns cold can be a challenge!

Sorel has several styles of winter boots that all fit well with what the modern outdoorsman needs but the Caribou XT is the classic design that made Sorel popular. When it comes to warmth, they are nearly unbeatable with their Omni-Heat lining and padded inner boot. These are so warm that those in a moderate climate may find them to be a bit too much.

The lower part of the boot is a rubberized molded boot where the upper is a PU backed textile. These combine to keep you dry and warm no matter the temperature. They are actually rated down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Probably best for deep snow and those that find a need to be in it.

If you live below the Ohio River, these are probably too warm unless you are in the high mountains. For those in Maine, the Great Lakes, and the Northwest, these are a perfect option. They will definitely give you the traction and warmth you need in the harshest conditions.


  • Very Warm
  • Great Tread
  • 100% Waterproof


  • May be too Warm
  • Not as Durable

6. L.L. Bean Ultralight Pac Boots – Best Occasional Wear Winter Boot

L.L. Bean Ultralight Pac Boots Review

It’s always a little surprising how many people disregard L.L. Bean and their amazing outdoor gear when they have been doing business in the outdoor sector for decades. All of their gear tends to be quite good but their footgear is amazing. Most of their boots have a great, classic look and all of the modern features you could want.

Take the Pac Boots which have been a northern staple. L.L. Bean has modified the construction to make them some of the lightest snow boots around. As a pair, they come in at only a pound in total weight. Combine this with an aero-gel insole and waterproof construction and you have an amazing boot for your winter outings.

Generally preferred by those who only spend short periods of time in the snow and cold, these boots are a little lighter on durability. That is not to say that they will not last years with good care. They will provide the hunter or outdoorsman with the ruggedness they need. For those that put a lot of miles on footwear like winter hikers, they may be a little too soft to get by.

So, if you like to get out and chase the mule deer and whitetail in the northern reaches of the U.S., these are a solid option. If you just get out from time to time to your local area, these are a solid option that will perform amazingly well. If you put a dozen miles or more on your footwear daily, there are more durable options.


  • Very Light Weight
  • Quite Warm
  • Easier Break-In


  • Less Durable
  • Less Aggressive Tread

7. Vasque Coldspark Ultradry – Best Winter Hiking Boot

Vasque Men's Coldspark Ultradry Snow Boot Review

Probably more so than any other company, Vasque dedicates its self to performance. This does lead to a boot that may be a little less durable but when it comes to comfort and putting miles on your boots, they are very hard to beat! You may end up replacing them more often but sometimes that’s worth the tradeoff.

The boot that Vasque makes that we are most interested in is their Coldspark. This is one of the slimmest, low-profile boots around that is suitable for the worst weather. This is mostly thanks to their clever use of Thinsulate insulation combined with a proprietary water barrier. This locks water out and lets your natural moisture wick quickly away.

So, the downside of this boot? Yes, most of the boot is a single stitch and the sole is just a glue bond. This will make them a little less durable. We aren’t saying that they are going to fall apart immediately. They are good for several seasons and many miles before you have to worry. They just aren’t as likely to hold up as well as a Danner or other tougher brand.

These boots are really designed for hikers but can serve many different roles. For a general outdoor shoe, they are great. They work well for any distance walkers in bad weather so backpackers are a good fit but so are backcountry hunters. One thing that makes them so versatile is the bi-directional tread that holds your foot in place from both directions. And that is the key to these boots, versatility!


  • Very Versatile
  • Slim but Warm
  • Great Traction


  • Less Durable
  • Mild Winter Boot

8. Kamik Nation 2 – Best Bang for your Buck

Kamik Men's Nation 2 Cold-Weather Boot Review

The first Kamik boots I owned I got for a very low price thinking they were a cheap boot that would last a season or so but I was blown away! I had these boots for about 5 years and wore them all winter but when it came time to replace them, I realized I got them at a huge sale!

While the version I had back then was not the Nation 2, it is perhaps their best cold weather boot all around. With a full rubber lower double stitched to the split-leather upper, they have all of the durability you could ask for. They can handle even the harshest, grittiest snow without failure.

They are also excessively warm with a sock-like liner that is padded out with added insulation. This is thicker in the lower boot and toe cap for added protection and especially heavy at the gusseted tongue. There is an additional layer of padding around the throat of the boot to keep water and snow out. All around these are functional, warm boot!

These are mostly a great all-around boot but work great for hunting or just those people who have to slog through a lot of snow in the winter. They are exceptionally warm and have very good tread to keep you planted in the snow. You do have to watch about getting them tied to tight as the insulation becomes stiffer as it absorbs moisture.


  • Very Durable
  • Very Warm


  • Slow Break-in
  • Can Absorb Sweat

9. Bogs Workman – Best Wet Weather Boot

Bogs Men's Workman Waterproof Insulated Work Boots Review

It’s easy to think of Bogs as a cheap alternative to the Muck boots and while this is partially true, it isn’t completely honest. Bogs are very good boots on their own and while they may fall behind Muck boots in warmth and comfort, they hold up well in traction and durability.

Bog’s Workman series is probably their most hard wearing boot with an extra thick rubber lower with even thicker soles. This is form sealed to the neoprene upper for a breathable and softer fit. While these boots are rather stiff, they are tough beyond belief and the molded in lugs give amazing footing on slippery surfaces.

Where warmth is concerned, these are fully as warm as the Muck Arctic Pros. It would probably not be possible to get your feet cold in these boots unless you dumped water in them intentionally. One thing is sure, water isn’t getting in any other way.

So, they may be a little harder on your feet if you spend a lot of time on hard surfaces but in the muck and mire of snow or mud, they do just fine. They may be a little less warm than a comparable Muck boot but not enough that you are ever going to notice. It’s a tossup but if price is one of your big points, these are quite a worthy purchase.


  • Very Warm
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Super Durable


  • Hard Soles
  • Modest Comfort

10. Keen Winterport II – Best Lightweight Boot for the Money

KEEN Men's Winterport II Winter Boot Review

We all know Keen makes some of the best hiking shoes around but rarely do those ever transition well to a winter shoe. Their boots are great even into mild weather but when it gets truly cold, you need specialized footwear. Luckily Keen has a clever answer to that problem.

The Keen Newport is one of their most popular shoes but it’s a sandal! So Keen took that base sandal and added an insulated, waterproof membrane around it and then brought that same textile up to the lower calf area to create one of the lightest, most comfortable cold weather boots around.

It’s arguable that these could be considered boots but they fit all of the criteria and perform very well. They are warm, waterproof, have excellent grip, and just perform. The comfort thing is no joke. On hard-pack, they provide exceptional cushion while on soft snow, they bite in and flex to keep your footing.

Honestly, these are just a shoe you need to try before you can truly understand how good they really are. They may not be as durable as a full leather boot but they are hard to wear out. Season after season, these are a go-to when it’s harsh outside but you have miles to cover. Great for hikers who keep moving. If you stand still for a while, they can get a little cold if the snow is deep.


  • Amazingly Light
  • Quite Warm
  • Very Comfortable


  • Less supportive
  • Not as Durable

11. The North Face Tsumoru Boot – Best Warmth for the Money

The North Face Men's Tsumoru Boot Review

Sometimes it’s hard to get your head wrapped around the product line-up from North Face. They have a line of fashion only wear then they have their tough, outdoor gear. Sometimes it’s hard to know which is which. Luckily, most of their boots fall into that outdoor gear category and are quite good for a budget price.

The boot here is the Tsumoru and it is a top-notch boot for those with a little milder winters. If you are in the great lakes or upper northwest, these may be a little light for longer outings. That said, these boots do use 300 grams of Primaloft insulation which is one of the best insulations on the planet. They may be worth a try.

As for durability, this boot has it in spades. The sole is molded onto the lower part of the boot in a single process that essentially makes them one piece. This whole setup is double stitched through a reinforced band to the textile uppers. The whole boot is waterproof and very well insulated.

The Tsumoru doesn’t vent as well as some boots if you have issues with sweaty feet but for most people, it’s going to be fine. They are light enough for a hiking boot but durable enough for the hard uses of hunters and those who work outside. For the price, they are an all-around decent boot.


  • Very Durable
  • Very Light


  • Less Warm
  • Long Break-in Time

12. Columbia Bugaboot III XTM – Best Budget Winter Boot

Columbia Men's Bugaboot III XTM Review

Lately, Columbia seems to be going down in quality as they try to meet lower price points and stay competitive. This has not been the case with their footwear thankfully. The ever-popular Bugaboot line has been around for ages and is still a solid choice for a budget-friendly outdoor boot when it gets a little chilly.

This is the third iteration of the Bugaboot and it has all of the kinks worked out to provide a solid and serviceable boot. What is better, this boot has 600 grams of insulation and will take you well below zero. Possibly as cold as the -40s or -50s. It’s a serious boot for serious cold.

While the sole of the Bugaboot is a little stiff, it isn’t so bad as to make the boot uncomfortable. You will need to take some extra time to break in the boot. This stiffness adds to the durability with its stitched and welted lower and a great mix of waterproof textile and rubber.

The Bugaboot even breaths surprisingly well. It will hold up to harsh wear and is a great choice for the hunter in even the worst climates. A little heavy for most hikers but lighter than several of the more expensive boots on this list. Really, this is a decent universal cold weather boot that can serve most anyone.


  • Super Warm
  • Quite Comfortable
  • Very Versatile


  • Stiff Sole
  • Hard to Break-In


Let’s be honest, if you spend a lot of time on your feet, your footwear is probably the most important purchase you could ever make. You really do need to get a boot that fits well, supports your foot, and is comfortable. This is even more important as the temperature drops. In order to have healthy feet you need circulation and that takes warmth.

This means a good pair of winter boots should be high on your shopping list. There are a ton of brands that make good boots across a large spectrum of prices and materials. Those above are only a fraction of what is available but they are proven and that makes a difference. The boots above really are the best of the best when it comes to winter footwear.


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