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.
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 damp and 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.
Sperry Women’s Saltwater Rain Boots
Perfect for freezing, wet days, the Sperry Saltwater Duck Boots are 100 percent waterproof, so your feet will stay dry no matter what. The rubber sole will give you firm footing on even the most slippery surface. Although they have a tough exterior, the insides are all soft comfort, thanks to the microfleece lining.
Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Plus III
For ultra-cold weather, you need the Columbia Bugaboot Plus III, which has a special Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining—guaranteed to keep you comfortable even in frigid temperatures. They’re still comfortable to walk in, with a cushioning midsole and advanced traction outsole.
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.
Kamik Men’s Fargo Pack Snow Boot
Cozy and comfortable, Kamik’s Fargo Pack Snow Boot is rated for temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. The antimicrobial 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.
The North Face Nuptse Purna Women’s Winter Boots
Full coverage boots don’t have to weigh you down—The North Face’s Nuptse Purna boots have a 10-inch shaft that will keep your calves warm and dry, and they only weigh 13 ounces each. The light weight is due in part to the waterproof outershell that’s made from velvet suede, as well as the ultra-thin PrimaLoft interior.
Columbia Men’s Terrebonne II Sport Mid Waterproof Boot
You won’t find many men’s hiking boots that weigh less than a pound, but the Columbia Terrebonne II does. These mid-boots give you protection and stability all the way over your ankle. The Omni-Tech waterproofing and Omni-Grip traction mean that you can wear these with confidence in the snow, ice, or rain.
Hi-Tec Women’s Kono Espresso I Waterproof
Get two shoes in one with the Hi-Tec Kono Espresso I. These lightweight boots can be worn with the faux fur-lined top folded down for more of a shoe look, or up for the performance and warmth of a boot. I-shield technology repels water, dirt, and stains, so no matter which way you wear them, you’ll be dry and warm.
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.
Rockport Cobb Hill Women’s Caroline Waterproof Boot
I don’t just love these boots because they’re named after me (fine, they probably weren’t, but I still like the name). I love them because I took them out of the box and wore them all over Boston on a rainy day, and when I came home, I had dry feet, no blisters, and no foot fatigue. These ankle booties look great with jeans or dresses, and have just the perfect heel height (1.25 inches) with a stability shank embedded into the midsole to provide excellent arch support and just enough lift. The buckle adjusts so you can customize the booties for a perfect fit. Rockport’s Cobb Hill Carolines are waterproof, thanks to a seam-sealed construction and interior zipper design, so you can wear them in the rain or snow.
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.
Totes Women’s Cynthia Winter Waterproof Snow Boots
Looking for packable snow boots? Not only are these faux fur-lined boots super cozy, but they’re also surprisingly affordable, depending on which size you snag on Amazon. The Totes Cynthia boots are built for snow, but they’re also very comfortable and easy to walk in.
Salomon Men’s X Ultra Mid Winter Waterproof Hiking Boot
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 on slippery or snowy surfaces.
DailyShoes Women’s Knee-High Eskimo Snow Boots
These DailyShoes boots stretch all the way up to knee height to keep your legs warm and dry. There are more than half a dozen colors to choose from. Bonus: The zippered side storage pocket can hold your keys and cards while you’re out in the snow.
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 Performance Women’s On The Go Snugly Winter Boot
Skechers’ Performance On The Go Boots are ultra-lightweight, so they won’t weigh you down or make your legs tired. A unique, squishy yoga mat insole makes these comfortable to walk in, and the faux fur lining will keep you from feeling the cold.
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.
Aetrex Women’s Tessa Short Sweater Boot
The Aetrex Women’s Tessa Short Sweater Boot weighs almost nothing compared to most boots, and offers serious warmth and cool style. Its synthetic sole keeps it light, and a slight platform heel keeps it comfortable, especially for people who don’t like flats. Note that these boots aren’t waterproof, so they won’t be good in wet conditions. But for anyone looking to combat cold temperatures with warm feet, these might be just the ticket.
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.
Pakems Cortina Boot for Women
The Pakems Cortina is the ultimate foldable boot for women, made of lightweight ripstop that scrunches up small to fit easily into your suitcase. The boots, lined with faux fur, feel as comfortable as slippers, and they have a handy zipper pocket to stash small valuables.
Pakems Vail Boot for Men
A similar option for men is Pakems’ Vail boot, which is just as comfy and packable as the women’s version above. It also has a storage pocket for credit cards, keys, or even a cell phone, and it folds up small for easy packing.
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.
Keen Women’s Elsa Waterproof Winter Boots
Keen has a reputation for being an outdoorsy, adventure-focused company, but you may be surprised to see that it has some ultra-fashionable (but still functional) warm winter boots as well. The Elsa boot stands up to even the coldest temperatures with a fleece collar, underfoot insulation, and a heat-reflecting fabric that helps retain your body heat. And the Elsas have stellar traction to keep you sure-footed on ice and slick surfaces.
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.
UGG Men’s Freamon Waterproof Chukka Boot
These comfy, lightweight UGG boots are designed to look like stylish chukka boots but feel like a sneaker. They slip on and off for easy access at airport security, and the waterproofing will keep you dry on rainy or snowy days.
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 Aerox 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.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 9 Chic Booties Perfect for Winter Travel
- 11 Warm, Lightweight Jackets and Coats for Travelers
- 7 Must-Have Travel Toiletries for Dry Winter Weather
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 and Sarah Schlichter contributed to this story.