Shoes can make or break your vacation, especially in winter when you have to contend with frozen toes and slippery sidewalks. That’s why a pair of warm winter boots can be a traveler’s best friend on cold-weather trips. The following boots are packable, lightweight, and comfortable enough to walk in for miles. I’ve also thrown in a few pairs of winter shoes that aren’t boots but are still worth adding to your cold-weather packing list.
Don’t want to buy new winter boots? Instantly warm up any pair of shoes with heated insoles. This pair from Warmfits will keep your feet toasty for up to six hours. You can cut them to fit your shoe size.
All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.
The Warmest Winter Boots
Don’t let freezing temperature, snow, or sleet keep you confined indoors. These warm winter boots will keep your feet toasty and comfortable, no matter how far you’re walking or how low the temperatures drop.
Columbia Women’s Minx Mid II Omni-Heat Winter Boot
Columbia’s Minx Mid II Omni-Heat boots are so warm they’re rated for temperatures as low as 25 degrees—and yet they only weigh 14 ounces. The faux-fur lining feels extra cozy without adding any weight, and the boots are guaranteed waterproof.
UGG Men’s Butte Snow Boots
The UGG Men’s Butte Snow Boots have a solid 4.5-star rating on Amazon, thanks to their stylish yet practical design. These waterproof, leather-lined boots with warm wool protect your feet from dampness and the cold (they’re rated for use in weather as cold as -4 degrees Fahrenheit). The Vibram outsole has a special pattern on the bottom to help with traction on icy surfaces.
Men’s Bugaboot™ Celsius Plus Omni-Heat™ Infinity Boot
For ultra-cold weather, you need the Columbia Bugaboot Infinity Boot, which has a special Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining and 400 grams of insulation—guaranteed to keep you comfortable even in frigid temperatures. They’re still comfortable to walk in, with an Adapt Trax™ outsole to provide advanced traction even in wet weather and a midfoot strap to keep the boot snug and secure.
Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Insulated Snow Boot
The well-made, durable Columbia Ice Maiden II boot is surprisingly affordable, considering its high quality. These warm, waterproof boots look equally at home on a trail or a sidewalk, and the non-slip rubber sole will help you keep your footing on slippery surfaces.
Men’s KamikIceland Winter Boot
Cozy and comfortable, the KamikIceland Winter Boot is rated for temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. The Cleansport NXT footbed helps fight odors, and the waterproofing will keep your feet dry even in snow and slush.
Sorel Women’s Slimpack Riding Boot
For maximum leg coverage, you can’t go wrong with the Sorel Slimpacks, which will keep you warm and dry from your feet to your knees. They’re lined with microfleece and 100g insulation throughout, so at least part of your body will be toasty this winter.
Lightweight Winter Boots
Want shoes that won’t weigh down your feet … or your suitcase? Pack these lightweight winter boots.
Women’s Saltwater Quilted Duck Boot
The Saltwater Quilted Duck Boot is a favorite on the SmarterTravel team. The water-resistant rubber shell and Molded Wave-Siping™ traction technology makes it a hearty warrior in the battle against slipping and falling in icy winter puddles. The quilted, lace-up design and ankle cut protect you from the elements without sacrificing your style.
SOREL Explorer™ Boot
Coming in at just 1 lb and 1 oz, you won’t find many men’s hiking boots that weigh less than the SOREL Explorer™ Boot. These waterproof boots have up to 100g of insulation, a grooved outsole, and a microfleece footbed cover so you can wear them in comfort and with confidence in snow, ice, or rain.
Blundstone BL1465 Waterproof Winter Lace-Up Boot
Although known for Chelsea Boot style, Blundstone tackled winter weather with these shearling lined, waterproof lace-up boots. Wear it two ways, either laced up to the top for maximum warmth or rolled down to create a wool collar.
Cole Haan Women’s Zerogrand Explorer Hikers
Cole Haan’s Zerogrand Explorer Hikers have lasted me through multiple Boston winters. They’re stylish enough that I don’t feel like I have to change out of them when I get to my destination, but waterproof and warm enough to stand up to slush and snow. Plus, they have Cole Haan’s famous Grand.Os technology, which makes these boots ultra-comfortable.
Whitin Men’s Insulated All-Weather Boots
Whitin’s All-Weather Boots are lightweight, affordable, water-resistant, and available in a variety of colors. If you need comfortable boots for city walking and sightseeing, these are a good bet.
Winter Boots That Are Great for Walking
Strolling through a snow-covered city can be a magical travel experience—unless your feet are freezing or soaking wet. Weather will never be a problem if you’ve packed a pair of these winter walking boots that are perfect for sightseeing or hiking in freezing temperatures.
Northside Men’s Back Country Waterproof Pack Boot
Men headed to cold and snowy environments will appreciate these boots by Northside. Built for outdoor activities, they’re lined with Thermolite insulation for warmth without bulk. A removable felt liner with faux shearling collar can be called in on extra cold days. And with its D-ring lacing system, the Pack Boots are easy to take on and off at airport security.
Women’s All Weather Insulated Winter Snow Boots
Looking for packable snow boots? The fleece lining and 200-gram Thermolite® insulation in this pair will keep you toasty and warm while the lock zipper will keep the boot from unzipping or sliding off as you trek through drifts of snow.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
You’ll comfortably walk for miles in these waterproof hiking boots from Salomon, which are well insulated and have sturdy rubber soles that will keep you stable even in wet weather.
Women’s Rangeley Waterproof Pac Boots
These waterproof boots stretch to mid-calf to keep your legs warm and dry. They come in three color options, all featuring a moisture-wicking fleece lining, a cushioned insole, and rubber outsole. The faux fur detail on top and the lace-up front give these heavy-duty boots a fashionable flare.
Merrell Men’s Moab Adventure Chelsea Polar Waterproof Boots
The Moab Adventure Boots feel comfy right from the get-go, thanks to a soft fleece lining and removable contoured insole. The boots are waterproof and well insulated, and provide plenty of cushioning for all-day walking.
Skechers On-the-GO Midtown – Fascinate
Skechers’ On The Go Boots are lightweight, so they won’t weigh you down or make your legs tired. A unique, squishy Goga Mat™ insole makes them comfortable to walk in, and the top can be rolled down to create a totally different look—perfect for saving on packing space.
Packable Winter Boots
These super packable winter boots for men and women, including foldable boots, serve a specific cold-weather purpose yet still manage to be lightweight and easy to fit in a suitcase.
Felicitas 84 Bootie
With a cozy faux-fur lining and removable footbed, the Felicitas 84 Bootie offers serious warmth and cool style. Small enough to squeeze comfortably inside a suitcase, these boots make it easy to add a pop of personality to any travel outfit with the colorful woven shaft and buckle detail.
Sorel Men’s Ankeny Moc Toe Snow Boot
The men’s Ankeny Moc Toe Snow Boot from Sorel has a waterproof leather and suede upper, plus seam-sealed waterproof construction, yet it still manages to be lighter than most men’s boots. It’s as at home on city streets as on the trail, and has a deep herringbone tread to prevent slips in snow, ice, and rain.
Comfortable Winter Boots That Look and Feel Like Sneakers
When you travel, you want dry, warm feet, but you also need to be able to walk for miles—comfortably. That’s why boots that feel or even look like sneakers can be a great fit.
Women’s ThermoBall™ Progressive Zip
The North Face has a reputation for being an outdoorsy, adventure-focused company, but has worked its way into many people’s everyday closets as well. The Progressive Zip boot is the perfect marriage of cold-weather function and on-the-go fashion, combining the sleek aesthetics of a zip-front sneaker with the water-resistant, fleece-lined, insulated technology of a winter boot. Available in vintage white or classic black.
Keen Men’s Brixen Low Waterproof Insulated Shoe
Don’t want to pack a big, heavy boot? Take footwear that’s the same size as a shoe but performs like a winter boot: the Keen Brixen is an insulated, waterproof sneaker. It slips on and off (perfect for wearing on the plane) and has a wool felt lining that will keep you warm, plus antimicrobial insulation to keep out odors.
Ecco Women’s Shape 35 Ankle Bootie
Booties are great for travel, since they offer warmth and support without being as hard to pack as a full boot. Ecco’s Shape 35 Ankle Bootie is a classic choice, featuring a side zipper for easy on/off at airport security. This pair is also very lightweight, making them easy to pack and unlikely to tire out your feet and legs.
Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot
These hiking boots from Timberland are as comfortable as sneakers while offering the support and waterproofing of a boot. They are lighter weight than many men’s boots and come in a variety of colors and sizes, including wide sizes.
Keen Women’s Elena Waterproof Insulated Sneaker Boot
Keen’s Elena shoes are the perfect hybrid between sneaker and boot, insulated for warmth but with a lightweight, supportive fit. The fabric is water repellent and designed to control odors, keeping you fresh no matter how far you walk.
Men’s Larimer Mid WP
Another strong candidate from The North Face, there’s nothing separating the Men’s Larimer Mid WP boot from a standard sneaker at first glance. Dive deeper into the construction, and you’ll find 100g of Heatseeker™ Eco zonal insulation, a padded waterproof suede and nylon upper, and a waterproof membrane to stand up to whatever winter weather comes your way.
Winter Shoes that Aren’t Boots
Want winter shoes that aren’t full-size boots? Try these packable winter shoes with sturdy soles, good treads, and cozy liners.
Rockport Men’s Northfield Oxford
Not every winter day calls for a full boot. When you don’t want to have to change your footwear, consider Rockport’s Northfield, which can fit into any environment without sacrificing dryness. These stylish oxfords are fully waterproof (and even have a unique seam-sealant to prevent any rogue leaks), and have a removable interior cushioning system that adds to your comfort.
FitKicks Original Women’s Foldable Shoes
Planning footwear for cold-weather travel isn’t all about protection from the elements. You’ve also got to plan for chilly indoor floors. FitKicks‘ foldable shoes have a rubber sole, so they can be worn outdoors as well—but for winter travel, your best bet is to pack a pair of these fold-and-go shoes as a comfortable slipper alternative.
Lowa Men’s San Francisco GTX Lo Surround
The Lowa San Francisco GTX Lo Surrounds look like Euro-style walking shoes but perform like a waterproof hiking boot. The lower-profile style is lighter weight and easier to pack than a hiking boot, but still protects feet on uneven walking surfaces like trails and cobblestone streets. It’s a packable and warm sneaker-style shoe that can take the place of heavy boots for some trips.
Lowa Women’s Walker GTX
If you’re planning a winter hike but don’t need a full boot, consider the Lowa Walkers. These waterproof, low-rise shoes are easier to pack than hiking boots but offer the comfort and traction you need for the trail.
Dansko Women’s Paisley Sneaker
Dansko lovers, rejoice! The company has the Paisley, a winter shoe that offers its signature comfort in a sporty style that’s winter ready. Waterproof uppers meet rubber outsoles for dependable traction on slippery surfaces. The shoe also has built-in moisture and odor control, plus a triple-density footbed for good arch support.
Caroline Morse Teel never takes a cold-weather trip without warm winter boots. Follow her on Instagram TravelWithCaroline for photos from around the world.
Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.
Editor’s note: Christine Sarkis, Sarah Schlichter, and Carol McPherson contributed to this story.
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