I’m very picky about footwear, especially when it comes to winter boots. And as a fashion editor, I’ve prioritized style over comfort more times than I’d like to admit. However, like many, I’ve had a difficult time finding winter boots that check all four boxes: warm, durable, comfortable and stylish. There’s nothing more miserable then walking through slush and snow and having my feet get cold, or worse— soaked. Nor can I fully justify wearing unsightly boots for the entire winter season.
Thus began my longtime quest to find winter boots that can withstand the harsh winter and still allow me to maintain (at least some) style cred. During a recent trip to Luleå, Sweden, which is located just below the Arctic Circle, I had the opportunity to test out a few pairs of winter boots from popular brands like Ugg, Cole Haan and more. Which ones stood out the best?
Keep scrolling to find out.
When I first spotted Ugg’s Viki boots, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. These boots have a chic hiker boot style, but are designed with form and function in mind. They have a gorgeous leather and suede exterior and plush sheepskin lining, which was so thick that I wore thin socks (not complaining). But because of this, there isn’t much wiggle room once your feet are inside, so I suggest going up a half size if this concerns you. For me, I didn’t mind because as soon as I slid my feet into them, they were snug and superwarm, like a pair of fuzzy slippers in boot form. I immediately felt like I was walking on clouds.
Initially, I was worried how the boots would feel outside in minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit in Luleå. Will my feet be warm enough? How will they feel in the snow? Will the leather and suede get ruined while walking through it?
Wow. These boots completely blew me away. They were incredibly durable while trekking throughout the snow and ice. Not once did my feet feel cold or get wet. I’m someone who walks baby steps at any sign of ice on New York City’s sidewalks, but with these boots on, I walked with a stride of confidence. This is all thanks to the outsoles’ Vibram Arctic Grip, a rubber that helps provide traction on ice.
The real kicker is that the leather and suede are waterproof. My gorgeous boots looked just as pristine at the end of my trip as when I first put them on.
These are the best winter boots I’ve ever tried. If you still don’t believe me, you can scroll through the boots’ dozens of 5-star reviews. And if you act quickly, you can save 30 percent!
I’m going to be honest. While I was looking at different boots to bring with me to Luleå, I was primarily focused on those that were tall, thick and a bit chunky, winter boots that fit the “look” of what I thought they should be. Surprisingly, while I was browsing Cole Haan’s website, I noticed these ultrachic short gray booties with lilac details. I scrolled through and saw that these boots had over 200 5-star reviews praising their warmth, comfort and style.
There’s no denying that these boots are super cute, but honestly, I didn’t think they had what it would take to keep me warm in Luleå. Well, I was proven wrong! I put them on during my stay at the magnificent Treehotel (if you’re ever in Luleå, I highly recommend staying here). While hiking through the forest wearing these boots, I couldn’t believe how warm and comfortable my feet felt. The waterproof leather kept them dry, while the rubber outsole provided the traction I needed. These fashionable boots are designed with Cole Haan’s Zerøgrand technology, which makes them feel extra lightweight, durable and comfortable.
Keep in mind, I didn’t wear these boots for hours on end, but for the short time that I did wear them, they were warm and comfy.
My takeaway is that these shoes are best designed for someone who is looking for a pair of chic winter boots that they can wear to the office and straight to dinner. With these, you can say goodbye to carrying an extra pair of shoes to swap into as soon as you’re done with work. For a limited time, you can buy them for $50 off the retail price.
I wanted to include Columbia’s Omni-Heat boots in my top three picks because they’re pretty heavenly, as the name implies. The boots kept my feet extra warm because of their Omni-Heat technology. Unlike many boots that have a thick and uncomfortable exterior, these boots felt supersoft and malleable. They’re lined with faux fur, which feels close to the real deal. Note, these shoes run a bit small and narrow, so I suggest sizing up either a half size or a full size.
The boots’ biggest strength is how cozy and comfortable they are. The lack of firmness and hardness throughout the shoes make them feel much more comfortable for all-day-wear compared to L.L. Bean’s duck boots or Sorel’s Caribou boots, which are much more rigid.
If style is most important to you, these boots aren’t home runs. However, if you value comfort above all else, then these are for you. And for a limited time, you can score these top-rated boots for less than $100.
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