The Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni Cold-Weather Boots will keep your feet dry if you stand in a stream or puddle. Seriously, you could just step right into the water, and provided it didn't crest the impressive seven-inch rise of the shaft, your feet would not get wet. And were the stream or puddle into which you stepped freezing cold, your feet would stay nice and warm, too. That's because these exceptionally well-made winter boots come with a 200-gram insulation and an Omni-Heat reflective lining that radiates your own body heat right back at you.
You know those metallic emergency blankets (also called space blankets) that people wrap themselves in after an accident or after running a marathon? Columbia's Omni-Heat technology uses much the same approach. The lining consists of multiple little dots of a radiant metallic material that reflects your foot's warmth back into the boot instead of absorbing it and drawing the warmth away from your extremities.
And to top it off (or... bottom it off, to be more precise) these boots have an outsole featuring excellent traction that's lightweight and offers a plenty of energy return. The boots are an ideal choice for winter treks, whether you're hiking across miles of woodland terrain or simply plodding across town on a cold wintry morning.
People don't like the Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni Cold-Weather Boots ... they love them. A fan named Sean called them "worth every penny if you live somewhere where there is heavy snowfall," while an owner named Joey said they were "absolutely amazing" and sharing that he "tested waterproofness by having on no socks and sticking [my] foot in a bathtub filled with water. Even while fully submerged, my foot was dry."
Most professional gear testers eschewed the bathtub test and instead wore their Columbia boots out into the wilderness. A writer with The Wirecutter said they offer "the best balance of warmth, waterproofing, and walkability," while the Gear Institute review called these boots "comfortable out of the box" and noted the roomy toe box.
Pros: Amazing insulation quality, reliably waterproof, good traction on snow, ice, and varied terrain
Cons: Too warm for use except in winter, rather large and bulky
L.L. Bean's boots were introduced in 1912, and haven't changed much since. That's because they haven't had to.
Leon Leonwood Bean did generations of anglers and hunters a serious solid by tacking together these remarkably warm and dry boots. The Bean Boots went on to become the genesis of his stardom more than a century ago. Today, you'll find them everywhere from the backwoods of Maine to the boroughs of the Big Apple.
While many of L.L. Bean's products are being made offshore these days, the company continues to craft a select few of its products stateside, including the beloved Bean Boots.
Constructed using rubber bottoms and soles, a steel shank, full-grain leather uppers, and 3M Thinsulate, these boots have hardly changed since the start. Of course, there was no 3M nor Thinsulate in the early 20th century, but the design, the leather, and the rubber have all remained the same.
One thing that has changed L.L. Bean's boot game is variety. There are more than 30 styles of Bean Boots to choose from with an array of linings so there's a pair for each season.
These boots are part of the history of exploration and expedition themselves, having gone to war for the United States Army and forayed both poles. They are also storied to have found their way onto Ernest Hemingway's feet, who, according to GQ, even went so far as to recommend them himself.
Reviews on L.L. Bean's site are almost entirely positive across the board, yielding a 4.6/5-star rating, with only a handful of negative reviews coming from customers who seemed to get the odd bad pair.
Unfortunately, L.L. Bean's lifetime guarantee was discontinued, and purchases only come with a one-year warranty from here on out. We're sad to see this longstanding tradition go, but will still stand by Bean's boots unless the quality itself starts to drop. — Owen Burke
Pros: Sturdy, high-end leather and rubber, steel shank for support, not outrageously priced, hand-stitched
Cons: Maybe not the most fashion-forward boots you'll come across this season (or next), but their beauty lies in their utilitarianism
A good work boot helps you accomplish your tasks without you even knowing it's there. Work boots need to be supportive and protective yet lightweight enough for the long hours required at the construction site, the farm, or the landscaping job. They need to keep your feet warm and dry in the winter, but not be so heavily insulated as to make feet sweat when your body temperature is raised. And of course, work boots need to be tough enough to endure the abuse that comes with the toughest jobs.
The Ever Boots Ultra Dry Insulated Waterproof Work Boots score high marks when tested against every one of the aforementioned standards, and they even have one more attribute worth noting: They look great. While aesthetics might have little effect on how well you get your work done, you might as well choose a work boot that looks good, right?
Made with full grain leather, these boots are a great choice for workers in areas where winter precipitation can be heavy. Beyond that waterproof leather, they have watertight stitches, water-resistant laces, and a seal added along the sole to help make sure no snowmelt, rain, or slush ever soaks through to your feet.
These boots have a solid 4.5-star rating with hundreds of reviews posted on Amazon. One customer calls them "warm and waterproof" while another says they are "sturdy and at a good price."
A gear tester with AllThingsWaterproof.com called the Ever Boots Ultra Dry Insulated Waterproof Work Boots "ideal for construction, landscaping, gardening" and more, while a MyWorkWear.org writer noted the affordable price and the "high-quality materials and exceptional workmanship."
Consider stepping down a half-size because, in our experience, these boots tend to run large.
Pros: Great price point, reliable waterproofing, classic work boot look
Cons: Sizes run too large, break-in period required
Why you'll love them: Even when the temperature drops well into the negatives and the snow is blowing in sideways, you can head out with confidence while wearing a pair of Wolverine Drillbit Oil Rigger Boots.
The Wolverine Drillbit Oil Rigger Winter Boots are some seriously heavy-duty footwear. And speaking of heavy, let's get one thing out of the way early. These boots are too cumbersome, both in terms of weight and bulk, for use on long hikes or even for days spent strolling around town in the winter. But for working outdoors, shorter slogs around your property or neighborhood, shoveling snow, snowmobiling, hunting (when heavy hiking isn't required), and for other highly physical activities, they're ideal.
If you really wanted to step up your work boot game you could go with Danner or Red Wing, but those are still twice as much as Wolverines. The brand offers more styles than we’d care to count, and you can find everything from bona fide steel toe work boots to more classic, thick leather boots built for the ages.
These are superlative boots for extreme winter conditions primarily thanks to their excellent insulation, water-resistance. The boots' arch and ankle support is provided by a molded EVA insole and an upper that almost reaches mid-calf.
But the feature that sets these boots apart from the rest is the BOA lacing system. Rather than pulling the laces tight by hand and then tying a bow to secure the boots, you tighten and secure the wire lacing of these boots simply by twisting a dial. The laces pull tight evenly and are held secure by the ratchet-locking mechanism of the dial, and simply popping the dial forward about a half inch loosens the laces.
This allows you to put on or remove your boots and to tighten or loosen the laces even while you're wearing bulky gloves. Anyone who knows the frustration of fumbling over laces with frost-numbed fingers is nodding right now.
A relative newcomer to the market, these boots don't yet have a lot of reviews from customers. But maybe you'll take it from me: They're excellent boots that are indeed almost strangely easy to tighten and loosen. And yes, I am wearing my pair as I write just to help me connect with the assignment. (No, I'm not kidding. I'm wearing these boots right now ... inside ... at my desk.)
A writer with HuntersHandbook praised the BOA lacing system, saying it allows for "a glove-like fit that's easy to adjust on the fly." Multiple gear writers also mention the Vibram Arctic Grip outsole of this and other Wolverine boots, noting its excellent stability in snow, ice, or loose ground.
Elsewhere around the web, reviews by everyone from diesel mechanics to tow truck operators and, yes, even oil drillers suggest the Wolverine Drillbit Oil Riggers will fit the bill for whatever you might find yourself getting into at your day job. — Owen Burke + Steven John
Pros: Easy to lace up even with gloves on, warm and waterproof, intelligent tread pattern
Why you’ll love it: At less than half the price of most of our other picks, you’ll get at least a couple of seasons out of Kamik's sturdy, reliable, faux-fur-lined winter boots.
Kamik has been making affordable winter boots in Canada since 1898, and for the past 25 years, Kamik has been striving toward sustainability. The company has its own boot and recycling programs and 73% of its goods are North-American-made.
A removable polyester felt liner keeps things toasty inside while a faux-shearling collar helps to seal in the heat. Kamik claims that the boots are rated down to -58 degrees Fahrenheit, but, frankly, if you’re entering temperatures anywhere in that range, you may want to invest a little more in a higher-tech boot.
The downfall of many a cheap boot — apart from poor lower-to-upper binding — is riveted eyelets, which are wont to pop off in short order. Kamik only makes a handful of boots this way, though. Our pick, the Alborg Cold Weather boot has D-ring eyelets sewn on with leather patches, which should hold up at least a couple of seasons.
In an Amazon review, a ski and snowboard instructor summed up the pluses and minuses as well as anyone: “I work as a snowboard instructor and live & play outdoors. These boots are up to the task… My gripe is that they are made in India, but are still far superior to the Sorel's [sic] made in China. If you want a better product and don't mind spending twice as much, the Kamik Pearson's are made in Canada. I will be purchasing those next time!” — Owen Burke
Pros: Affordable, wide selection, over a century of shoemaking experience
Cons: Not the most durable boots in the world, but perhaps at this price range
There is an elegant simplicity to the Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Boots. They are made almost entirely of full grain leather with a dark oiled finish that only gets better looking with age. (To a point, of course.) The eyelets and hooks are brass colored and will also take on a faint patina as the seasons roll by.
These boots will look right at home whether you're wearing them with coveralls as you conduct highway repairs on a freezing winter morning or at the bottom of a pair of designer jeans as you make your way into the lodge to grab a coffee or cocktail.
The White Ledge boots have a multidirectional lug pattern on the sole, providing you plenty of grip when you're trekking along the trail, climbing a hill with a steep grade, or standing in one spot while working. The breathable dual-density EVA footbed provides support and helps to prevent your foot from overheating, while a generously padded collar and tongue help ensure these boots are comfortable the very first time you slip them on.
You can treat these boots like hardware for work or for hiking, but you might also consider reserving them for winter nights out on the town.
With more than 4,500 reviews in, the Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Boots have an admirable 4.5-star rating on Amazon. One owner calls them "good looking and completely waterproof," while another gushes that "these are the most comfortable shoe, of any kind, that I own."
The professional gear writers are almost as effusive, with a review on BootBomb.com calling them ideal for use on "slippery slopes" or "muddy riverbanks" while also noting their "fine looking design." A tester from Today's Camping Gear called them breathable and comfortable and appreciated their moderate weight.
Pros: Classic stylish looks, out of the box comfort, built to last for years
Cons: Sole too thin for some uses/users, narrow toe box
Why you’ll love them: Red Wing is known by many as one of the longest-running leather boot designers in the United States, and the Heritage 6-inch Moc Toe is an iconic and dependable workhorse boot.
I’ve been testing out a pair of Red Wing's Heritage Moc Toes this year as the weather’s been getting cooler and I get the feeling that they may well outlast me. It might be the leather, which is almost unbearably tough to start (my ankles have the blisters and abrasions to prove it) but softens just enough over time without compromising the stitching at all.
These aren’t the kind of boots I’d want to wear on a winter hike, but they’re just right for trotting around town while still keeping a semblance of fashion about you.
With humble turn-of-the-twentieth-century beginnings in a small Minnesota town from which it took its name, Red Wing has been sourcing leather to make its boots from a nearby tanning factory that the company bought in the 1970s.
The fashion experts at Esquire call them a work boot “for the weekend” to be worn running errands or heading out on the town. AskMen swears by them, too, but warns that here may be a hellacious break-in period.
All in all, you can’t go wrong with any pair of Red Wings, but the classic eight-inch 877s are an icon in and of themselves. — Owen Burke
Pros: Trendy, rugged, waterproof, tough soles
Cons: Breaking them in can be a painful chore (but well worth the agony)
Why you'll love them: Soft, heavily insulated, and easy to pop on and off, Muck Boots' Arctic Sport boots are great for running in and out all winter long.
MuckBoots are a popular choice for all seasons and terrains, but the Arctic Sport boots are designed with an additional 2mm of thermal foam atop 8mm of neoprene, earning a broad comfort rating between -40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
They're great for shoveling the driveway or running to the store while keeping you and your clothes muck-free. They'll also suffice for a light hike, and are excellent on any flatland adventures.
The Arctic Sport boots are also fleece-lined, completely waterproof right to the top, and incorporate a breathable “airmesh” lining, keeping your feet dry from within and without.
The lightweight rubber sole is reparable, so if you find a fissure after a few of seasons of wear and tear, a quick patch job will have them ship shape in short order.
The tall shaft of the boot is 14.5 inches when measured from the arch, making these boots great for light wading in shallow streams.
Weighing between two and two-and-a-half pounds, the Arctic Sport is extremely lightweight for any boot, let alone a lined, waterproof one with a reinforced toe, or “bumper.”
All in all, Muck Boots’ Arctic Sports might be a bit cumbersome for romping around town for any length of time, but they're fully serviceable for dipping in and out of the house. — Owen Burke
Pros: Waterproof, lightweight, suitable for multi-season use, tall neoprene shaft, ideal for wading across shallow streams, well-insulated with fleece and thermal foam
Cons: Lining is not removable and can get hot, especially with sweaty feet, not ideal on slick or black ice with little or no snow cover, no laces for those who require ankle support
The word "beanie" is kind of one of those catch-alls that encompasses a ton of different styles, from slouchy cuts to ultra-fitted ones with a variety of embellishments and fabric variations. The sheer number of options is overwhelming. After all, when you can buy a beanie anywhere, how do you narrow it down?
You could do a ton of research on the topic. Or you can read on for our top five favorite picks for men and women from around the Internet.
Your choice of scarf can make or break your comfort level in the wintertime. Opt for one that's wooly and warm and you'll be toasty. Choose a too-thin fabric and you, well, won't. Scarves are also a great opportunity to infuse a bit of personality into your winter wardrobe. And when you get bored of your outerwear, you can always pick a new scarf to mix things up.
These five brands are your best bet for warm, attractive options that will keep you cozy all winter long.
A good pair of thermal gloves can make all the difference on a cold winter day. We did the research to find the best thermal gloves you can buy to keep your hands nice and toasty for the rest of this winter and for many more winters to come.
Mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves, so if it's cold where you live, work, or play, slip a pair on and keep the chill out.
Yes, you will lose a measure of dexterity when choosing mittens versus gloves. But you won't risk losing a finger to frostbite, or simple suffering from frigid digits, to be a bit less dramatic. Today we've lined up some of the best mittens on the market, including mittens for babies, kids, adults, and some specialty pairs, too.